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From the moment I opened my Blendtec on Christmas morning, I’ve planned to use it to make almond butter.  Almond butter is one thing I absolutely refuse to buy on the Rock, because the huge jar of Maranatha that I can pick up in Canada for less than $10 costs over $30 here.  Ridiculous.  So, on Saturday afternoon, I fired up the Blendtec for something other than kale, for once, and figured out how to refill that Maranatha jar all on my own.

I started out with about two cups of raw, whole almonds.  I poured them into the Blendtec jar and, following the Blendtec cookbook instructions for peanut butter, ground them up using first speed level.  I let it run the whole cycle (50 seconds), scraped down the sides, and ran it for a full cycle at speed level 5.  I repeated this – the scraping and level 5 – until it reached the consistency I wanted (VERY creamy).  All in all, it probably took 10-12 50-second cycles at level 5 to get to be the texture I wanted.  I probably could have gotten there quicker at a higher speed, but I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my Blendtec and wanted to take it easy on my baby.

The result?

Success!

Delicious, creamy, perfect almond butter.  I’m so proud.  And SO excited to spread it all over everything in my fridge.

Verdict on Making Almond Butter in a Blendtec:

All in all, I got the perfect result.  The Blendtec did not disappoint in the slightest.  However, I think I could have made the process quicker by using a higher speed. 

Whether or not the Blendtec did a better job than a food processor would have, I’m not sure.  I still would have had to stop and scrape down the sides, but a food processor would probably be better for larger batches, simply because of the wider shape of the food processor bowl, versus the narrower Blendtec blender jar.

Now that I’ve figured out the basics, I’m excited to experiment with flavours and add-ins.  Yum!

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Two years ago today…

THE big moment.

My man put a beautiful ring on my finger on an amazing deserted beach in the middle of nowhere, Mexico. Happy engagement-aversary to us!  And yes, that’s really us in the photo.  The whole thing was so well planned that my Mom, who we were vacationing with, sat at the other end of the beach with her telephoto lens and captured the entire thing with the most beautiful engagement shots ever.  I still get excited when I look at them.  🙂

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Blah Tuesday.

Today wasn’t the greatest.  The dark clouds rolled in while I was straightening my naturally (unruly) curly hair with my ceramic straightener which, by the way, is set to 415 degrees.  That’s hot.  I discovered exactly how hot this actually was when I reached down without looking and grabbed it by the hot end, searing two parallel lines into the palm of my right hand.  Oh, and I’m right-handed.  Awesome!

The day got worse from there.  I had recently referred a friend for a position at my company and found out this morning that they hired her.  That isn’t the bad part.  The bad part is that my company has a recruitment program where referrers of successful candidates get a nice cash bonus for helping the HR process out.  The nice cash bonus is contingent on the submission of an obscure form, which I didn’t know about until it was too late to send it in, because they’d already offered her the job.  Major bummer.  The “nice cash bonus” could have covered the airfare and hotel costs for our upcoming trip to NYC…no joke.  Lame!

And THEN, I spent an hour attempting to print a document booklet-style on tabloid-sized paper.  It worked when the document was in draft form, but when I went to finalise it, I couldn’t make it print properly again.  I sat there for an hour, trying every setting imaginable, to no avail.  Might have been the most frustrating hour of my life.  I hate it when computers revolt. 

OK, the dark cloud has passed.  My hand is fine.  I’ll get over the cash bonus.  And my secretary will be back tomorrow (THANK ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY) and she will probably figure out the printing issue in about 4 seconds (and she’s so nice that she won’t even make me feel like an idiot about it).

Season 4 of Friends awaits.  Night y’all.

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Ow.

My legs are shaking and my arms feel like jelly.  Why?

I got my ass kicked tonight by Jillian Michaels and her evil 30 Day Shred.  I haven’t done it in awhile and guess what?  It’s like I never did it at all!  It was BRUTAL.  And that was only Level 1.  I was doing great until those dang side lunge things with the weights…which I cursed my way through, though I missed a few reps.  Oh well.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  According to my heart rate monitor, I burned 279 calories in about 26 minutes…not bad!  Actually, that’s more than I would have burned jogging/running for the same amount of time.  

I just know that I’m not going to be able to lift my toothbrush in the morning.  I’ve got a painful Thursday ahead of me!

To lessen the pain, I have lunch and dinner plans, which means two restaurant meals in one day.  Not so great for calories, but I’ve already taken a peek at the menus for both restaurants and figured out what I’ll be having and there are definitely healthy choices available.  Not always the case on this, the Island of Fried Everything Served with Mayo.

Tuesday’s Goals went pretty well, though I didn’t manage to do either the walking or the run after work because of the weather.  I didn’t have time to set goals for myself this morning, but here is what I’m planning for Thursday:

Thursday Goals:

  • no coffee
  • no baked goods (i.e. no white flour, no sugar)
  • green smoothie for breakfast
  • herbal tea when I get a sugar craving in the afternoon

That should do it for Thursday.  Night!

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