I’m a pretty practical person. When my mom ask me what I want for a holiday gift, I usually have a hard time coming up with stuff. This year, I decided to take my birthday money though and invest in a Ninja blender. Sure, we have all seen the infomercials for it – but does it really work? I did a little online research. I usually don’t read people comments on stuff because it just gets my heart racing. The anonymity of the internet makes people think they can say anything. But I figured if the major of the 100 reviews written on multiple websites were good, maybe all those people weren’t paying to write them. I also chatted with a friend of friend who said it worked good at everything but chopping kale. Ice was my biggest concern. I had some cheap blender and it couldn’t chop ice for anything. I wanted a Starbucks quality blender at a price that fit my budget. The basic Ninja is $99. I used my Bed, Bath, and Beyond 20 percent off coupon getting it down to $80. With birthday money, I could justify the expense.
This smoothie was one of my first test. I have to say, it work beautifully. (Just so you know, I haven’t been paid a dime to say this or anything else on my blog). In the weeks ahead, I will share how it did on other recipe. (I’m even going to give homemade ice cream a try even though I didn’t buy that level of Ninja.) This recipe is definitely a keeper though. I saw it while watching Pioneer Woman on the Food Network and found the exact recipe on the internet. It will be on my Pinterest favorites if you want to tag it for later.
Orange Resolution Smoothies by Ree Drummond
2 c. frozen mangos
2 c. peaches
2 c. Greek yogurt
1 c. Orange Juice
1 c. pineapple
¼ c. honey
1 c. mini carrots
Blend together and serve. Makes eight servings.
- I used canned pineapple packed in natural juices.
- I chopped up the carrots.
- I cut the recipe to a fourth and it made a good cup and half smoothie.
My junior year of high school, I was lucky enough to take my first plane ride to Hawaii. My family didn’t ever really go on vacation so this was HUGE! My Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher had taken many trips over the years for free based on points earned from selling fertilizer. (But just to be clear, they always paid taxes on these trips.) That trip to Hawaii was probably my grandparents’ fifth or sixth voyage to Hawaii. It was February and my mother didn’t trust her 16 year old to stay home alone and my sister was going on her college choir tour.
The trip was an amazing opportunity. We stayed on the BigIsland – Hawaii. Grandpa got us a rental car so we were able to explore the island. It was my first time seeing the ocean which was this amazing shade of crystal clear blue. Grandpa and I flew in a helicopter over the an active volcano and you could feel the heat. I got to walk across the black sands beach which is made from the volcano ash coming from up from the ocean. We also participated in a luau just outside our hotel. Then, my mother and I flew over to Oahu for a day trip. We saw places like Pearl Harbor and a famous beach on Waikiki where they filmed a lot of movies.
One of the most interesting places we visited during that day trip was the Dole Pineapple Plantation. I had no idea how long and difficult the process is to grow pineapples. I believe they told us it takes two years. And if you have ever cut a real pineapple, you know what a prickly mess they can be. But I developed a new found appreciation for the fruit and have no issues paying the price for a fresh pineapple. That said, I did learn on the History Channel that the small or weird looking ones are supposed to be sold but canned for their imperfection. Just remember that the next time you buy an unusual one on sale at the grocery store for $1.99.
Today’s recipe also comes from Price Chopper’s produce recipe rack. You might not think this is much of a recipe but I thought it was something a little different than just eating the pineapple cold and raw. The lemon juice adds just a bit of a tang.
Pineapple Skewers with Lemon Yogurt
1 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced
3 T. of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 (6 oz.) container of low fat vanilla yogurt
toasted coconut or granola (optional)
Skewers (Metal or wooden soak water for 30 minutes)
Cut pineapple and thread on skewers. Grill over a medium heat basting with 2 T. of lemon juice, turning occasionally. In the meantime, combine yogurt, remaining lemon juice, and zest. Top with coconut if desired. Serve while pineapple is still warm.
Nutrition Facts: 65 calories, 1 g. fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 160 mg potassium, 14 carbs, 1 g. fiber, 2 g. protein
- I did not have an skewers so I made the pineapple just laying it on my stove top grill. It worked just fine.
- I made it without coconut. I substituted Honey Nut Cheerios for the crunch.
- If you like fresh pineapple, purchase a pineapple de-corer. All you have to do is cut off the top and start twisting it down the pineapple. I keeps the juice inside the pineapple.
- Looking to mix it up, maybe try grilling some strawberries with your pineapple.
- Consider purchasing Yoplait yogurt right now. For every pink lid redeemed online and mailed it, your local Komen Affiliate will receive $.20 per yogurt lid redeemed. It’s an easy way to help provide dollars to fund breast cancer education, screening, and treatment in your community.
When I worked at SAFEHOME, our managers always hosted a holiday party for us in December. It was actually pretty nice because they cooked all the food. It was a chance to taste some of their best breakfast recipes. I got this recipe from our Associate Director. I hope you like this spin on pineapple.
Pineapple Casserole by Janee’ Hanzlick
2 (15 oz.) cans crushed pineapple (or chunk if you prefer)
3/4 c. – 1 c. sugar
6 T. flour
1 & 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick of butter, melted
Put ingredients in casserole in order given. Layer and do not stir. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.
- I halved this recipe. I used one 20 oz. can of pineapple, 1/2 c., 3 T. flour, 3/4 c. fat free Kraft shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 sleeve of reduced fat Ritz crackers, and 1/2 stick of Country Crock. I baked it in my Rachael Ray Bubble and Brown 2 qt. dish for 30 minutes.