In my experimenting with green smoothies this week, I made a grave error: I kept forgetting to make/drink coffee.

I don’t drink coffee to wake up/stop from being a bitch (I’m actually a morning person). I drink coffee to stay sane and keep myself out of my head. It’s my cheap antidepressant.

If I have to have a routine (I recognize the fact that I probably need routine in my life; I’m just not always crazy about implementing/getting used to them), I want it to be as streamlined as possible. I don’t want to have to make two things in the morning when making one will suffice. Hence, why I went in search of recipes for green smoothies that contained coffee.

(italicized text should be read in the voice of Marvin the Martian)

But Amanda! Doesn’t adding caffeine to a green smoothie defeat the purpose of detoxification? You should be aiming to be caffeine-free!

Shut up.

I would love to not require a daily intake of coffee/caffeine.  But caffeine helps me to stay sane, and in my experience coffee has proven to be the best delivery method (you did not want to see me the two years I gave up coffee for Lent).

So I did some googling yesterday and then I experimented this morning…and it worked!! I’ll be honest…it still tasted a little off to me, but it may be that I need to switch sweeteners (I used honey, which I don’t really like with coffee. I don’t like agave with coffee, either. Using Splenda, as I usually do with coffee, seems kinda wrong in this sense, so maybe I’ll pick up some stevia and try that).

So…Amanda’s Green Coffee Smoothie, Take 1:

1 chopped/sliced frozen banana

1/2 cup yogurt (I used half a container of plain Fage 2%)

~1.5t honey (I’m guessing – I just squirted it in until it looked like enough)

1T soy protein powder (I have the Whole Foods store brand)

1T green powder (I use the house brand from Cambridge Naturals)

2T instant coffee (Taster’s Choice French Roast)

~2T instant oatmeal (for fiber – it was about half a packet)

1 cup chocolate soy milk

Put in blender. Blend. Pour into glass. Drink.

Other notes:

  • I’ll try vanilla soy milk tomorrow.
  • I’m trying to use up a bunch of instant oatmeal packets. When I run out, I’ll switch to ground flax.
  • I did try a smoothie with coconut milk and coconut oil. Not all that great, mainly because the coconut oil gets even more solid when it hits cold banana and yogurt. However, as a non-coffee version, I do want to try it with cococut milk and adding pineapple.
  • I don’t use ice because my blender doesn’t like ice. If/when I get a new blender (such as the Ninja Kitchen System I’ve been drooling over), I’ll experiment more.
  • That may also cause to me create make-ahead smoothie packs, as seen on Pinterest, with frozen cubes of yogurt and coffee in addition to frozen bananas/berries/other fruit.
  • Happy Feast Day of  St. Anthony of Padua. I hope you find all of your lost things.
  • I hope I find all of my lost things, too.
  • Still going to the gym every day. I’m making an attempt at thirty 5K’s in thirty days. I’m up to seven.
  • I’ve been experimenting with green smoothies over the past few days, taking ideas from various recipes I find on Pinterest.
  • I found one called a Green Monster. While it’s my favorite jumping-off point so far, needless to say we do not refer to smoothies as such in the Enlightened Absolutism of Amandaland.
  • Today’s smoothie: 1 chopped frozen banana, half a container of plain 2% Fage, approximately 1 T chunky peanut butter, 2 T instant oatmeal, 1 T green powder (it’s easier to use in my weak-ass blender than actual spinach or kale), and approximately 1 cup vanilla soy milk (I just filled the empty yogurt container). 
  • Verdict: good texture, except for a few chunks of peanut that didn’t pulverize. Not super-thick – goes down real easy. Could be a little sweeter; not so crazy about the soy aftertaste.
  • Modifications to try tomorrow: coconut oil instead of peanut butter, sugar-free vanilla coconut milk instead of the soy milk, plus a tablespoon or so of soy protein powder (I know I said I didn’t like the aftertaste of the soy, but it needs protein). Maybe some honey or agave nectar. Also want to eventually up the amount of green powder, once I get the rest of the formula to something I like. Not sure yet if I want to add frozen berries or not.
  • Need to get back to the Knit ALL The Things? List.

And the cake may or may not be a lie.

Hello, Origamians. Long time, no write. As I probably mentioned in my last post, whenever that was (February?), I just haven’t had much to say. Still don’t, really. But I’ve had several requests for more posts, so here’s some random stuff you should know about and/or ponder:

  • Do you ever wonder about who lives at 122 and 124 Sesame Street?
  • Still contemplating a blog revamp. Just haven’t come to any kind of conclusion.
  • Remember a long time ago (October 2010, I think) when I did a post about how much I preferred real books over e-readers? Yeah…I bought a Nook Color last month (B&N Member Card and gift cards via MyPoints – thank you for your assistance). I freaking love it.
  • Among other things, thanks to the digital libraries of both the Boston Public Library and the Cambridge Public Library/Minuteman Library Network, I have finally read The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and have started Life, the Universe, and Everything. I’m also very close to finishing David Baldacci’s The Camel Club.
  • And in hard copy, I have (but have barely started) Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • I just came home on Tuesday after five days visiting the fam in Buffalo. The Dude and Cameron have moved just down the street from The Mom and The Dad, so I got to see them and Stewie every day while I was there.
  • The Dude and Cameron turned me on to two shows I never thought I would watch - America’s Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior.
  • Stewie is so. freaking. cute. And smart. And sweet. He had his first birthday last month – Wicked Awesome Aunt Amanda sent him an MIT t-shirt that says “Future Evil Genius.”
  • I’ve gone to the gym for the past three days. I did a 5K on the elliptical each time. Surprisingly, my lower body loves it and wants me to bring it on; upper body wants to go find someplace with iced coffee and a/c.
  • Or go to flour for a sticky bun. I’m seriously in love with them.
  • Can I be Indiana Jones when I grow up?
  • I stopped TiVoing/watching Conan. It just got to be too immature for my tastes.
  • So who did I switch to, to up the maturity level? Jimmy Fallon. Yeah, I know. I get the Pros & Cons song stuck in my head every Wednesday.
  • Why does the combination of melted Sorrento Mozzarella and Tops Pizza Sauce taste so damn good?
  • Yes, I do mean on a pizza crust.
  • What do you think it means that last night I dreamed I was peeling calluses off of my feet?

Yes, Origamians, I am alive.

My apologies for the hiatus…I’ve been hovering between not having much to say and having way too much to say.

And I have not resolved that issue as of yet. So if you don’t hear from me for a while again, that would be why.

  • Pictured above, the Marvelous Multigrain Sourdough, again from the Flour cookbook. It is amazing, and as Joanne Chang states in the recipe notes, it does indeed make unbelievable toast.
  • I also have finally gone to Flour. I had a cinnamon cream brioche that was tres yummy.
  • Today, I finally picked up a medium cookie scoop. So no more having to listen to me whine about only having small and large.
  • I also bought a plastic filter cone, for making pour over coffee (and strangely enough, I got a much better deal at my local hardware store than on Amazon). See, my beloved Cuisinart coffee maker has been on the fritz for the past six weeks or so. I put in an inquiry on their website yesterday, but have yet to hear anything. And while I do have instant on hand (and enjoy pretending to be in Folgers Crystals commercials), I miss my regular coffee. Especially since I have a ton of it on hand, including the Hyper-Caffeinated “Shock” that I picked up at Premium Coffee Roasters when I was in Buffalo (I highly recommend the Toasted Nut Fudge). And as I don’t know yet if I like the pour over method, I decided to go with a $4 plastic model rather than spent $13+ on ceramic at this time.
  • And having read how the Clever Coffee Dripper works, I’m now wondering if I actually did waste $4 and if I could just do the same thing with my tea maker (I have an older model, but the premise is still the same). Maybe I’ll give that a shot in the morning, first. Either way, it’ll make enough to fill the new tumbler I got right before Christmas (isn’t it pretty? And no, I didn’t pay full price – I had a coupon).
  • Explanation on the post title – I’ve been listening to the original cast recording of A New Brain lately.
  • A lot of knitting to be working on tonight. And need to do some yoga, too.

All of a sudden this morning I realized that I’m contemplating a re-launch of Origami out of a Refrigerator. I don’t want to get to into it yet, until I decide specifically how I want to describe it. I will say that it will be more on a specific (and popular, at least amongst my friends) topic. It will take more dedication, creativity, and photo skills on my part, though. The good news is that Origami out of a Refrigerator will still work as a title. Until then, I’ll just keep blogging (or not blogging, as seems more likely these days) as I normally do.

I’ve been back in the People’s Republic for five days now, and I’ve left the house all of once. That will hopefully/probably be different this coming week – for example, I know already that I have to go out twice on Tuesday alone.

Needless to say, I’ve been doing some baking. And since it’s January, that means I get back on a trying-to-bake-healthy kick. Oatmeal, flax – generally, attempts at more fiber and whole grains. And trying to figure out how to bake stuff that is good for you but tastes like it’s not.

First up  was Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Bars (hooray – finally starting to whittle down the stash of frozen whole bananas!). I hadn’t planned on doing anything different, but when I went to the cabinet and found my bag of non-organic dried apricots had turned black,  I had to turn to dried cranberries. The bars taste fantastic, but they came out a little too loose for my taste. Maybe I need to bake them a little longer or press them into the pan more firmly.

Yesterday I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, from here. I also replaced the AP flour with whole wheat flour. My only issue was that the cookies didn’t spread out very much, probably either because of the whole wheat flour or that I had chilled the dough. So I probably should have used it at room temperature. Or smooshed out the dough. Or maybe used a bigger cookie scoop (I used my small scoop; a medium scoop is on the list of things to pick up this week).

This is where I must add that I am SO glad I started freezing pre-portioned cookie dough. I only bake a dozen or so cookies and then freeze the rest – saves me from having to toss stale cookies, plus I have more opportunities for fresh, warm cookies whenever I want them. It was a huge time-saver right before Christmas, when I wanted to bake cookies for Landlords as I always do. All I had to do was bust out the Ziploc of frozen cookie dough balls.

I only baked a dozen cookies yesterday (using one of my brand new Silpat liners, courtesy of The Mom for Christmas – thanks, The Mom!). The rest of the dough got scooped and frozen for future use.

Today’s baking actually started yesterday – Country Bread from the Flour cookbook (also courtesy of The Mom for Christmas. And I really need to get to Flour this week – I’ve lived here over four years and I still haven’t been to any of them). I made the starter yesterday and continued the recipe today, making two loaves:

The lopsided-ness may be the result of either my loaf-shaping, slashing technique, or unlevelness/unevenness of my oven. (Side note: I also finally joined the ranks of the iPhone users this past week. While I absolutely hated the camera on my iPod touch, I have to agree that the camera on the 4S is pretty sweet)

But the bread was wonderful, both on its own and with the New England clam chowder I made. The chowder needs some tweaking yet – it took a lot longer than 6 minutes for the potatoes to become tender, during which time I feared the clams would overcook. I accidentally browned the butter, so while it gave great flavor from that, it didn’t exactly look awesome. Other changes I made were to use dried onion and onion powder (I believe we’ve previously established that while I like the flavor of onion, I don’t like onions), and fat free half-and-half (My official position: I don’t know how it’s made, I am just grateful it exists).

The only cooking plan I have for this week (so far) is kale chips, as discussed by the girls over at My Sister’s Grocery List. I think I may give them a shot in my lovely, huge new toaster oven (courtesy of The Dude, Cameron, and Stewie).

The rest of you Origamians probably have a long week ahead of you…wish I could say the same…

And yet another post from another airport…

Apologies for being MIA while I’ve been away…I’ve also been away for three days longer than planned. Alice disappeared late Friday afternoon. I was a complete wreck over it, and I just couldn’t leave until she came home, so I postponed my flight. She showed up at 2:15am on New Year’s Day, waking me up by jumping on the bed. Best start to a new year I’ve ever had.

So now I’m in the food court at Buffalo Niagara Airport, taking advantage of the fact that they have finally caught up with the rest of the country and are offering free wi-fi. CNN is on the televisions and the coverage of the Iowa caucus is making me want to hurl.

I board in half an hour, so I’m going to continue browsing and such until then. Talk to you soon, Origamians!