Friday, January 24, 2014

Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor: The Pros Are the Cons!

Please read my previous blog entry first. It is also about my Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor. Thanks.

The juices I have made in my new juicer taste delicious, and – so far – they seem worth the effort. The most remarkable thing about my Juice Extractor is that whatever you might consider a Con is also a Pro:

CON: The ingredients are more expensive than I bargained for. PRO: I can afford them in my current budget by not buying cookies.

CON: I need time to use the juicer. It’s not a five minute snap. I’m sure I’ll get better at it, but I need 15 to 25 minutes to prepare my ingredients and clean up. PRO: I’m pretty sure that spending time preparing food is an aid to dieting. When food requires time to prepare and eat, I'm sure it seems more satisfying. But CON: Who has this kind of time in the morning? PRO: I often do, because I’m retired. But seriously: CON: Often, my morning is a rush, like everyone else, and I won’t have time to juice.

CON: All that pulp is a terrible waste. PRO: I fry the pulp with a few other veggies, some cheese and/or a veggie burger, and I eat it. The pulp shortens the time I need to make my fried veggie dish. There’s no waste at all.

PRO: This juicer is easy to clean. Many of the reviews say so. But they don’t tell you what that means. CON: There are seven parts that are each easy to clean. Those easy-cleaning times add up.

PRO: One of my goals in buying a juicer was NOT to use our wonderful hand-held blender. That blender is 250 Watts (hard to find these days), and my wife requires it for some recipes. Using the juicer will extend our irreplaceable blender’s life. CON: No more banana shakes for me! But PRO: When I get hungry later, a banana plus a glass of soy milk makes a healthy snack.

Here's to Juicing! For now, at least.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Bought a Juicer. Lifestyle change?

I’ve been thinking about a Juicer for a few months. Good juice extractors cost around $100, and there’s a mighty chance that after using it a few times, I will exile it to a forgotten shelf. But when my diet is working, I start off the day with a plate of fried veggies and protein, with a milkshake. The base of my shake is soymilk or buttermilk plus a banana, and I add many ingredients and spices for variety. I thought that a juicer would enable me to add kale and other healthful tastes to my milkshake. But that fear of wasting $100 held me back.

Last week, the local supermarket offered the $100 Cuisinart Compact Juice Extractor for a mere $40, and I bought it. My lifestyle has changed. I wonder if I will soon abandon the juicer, but for now, I am definitely enjoying it.

In my next blog entry, I will assess the Pros and Cons. But to give you a heads up:

  1. Apparently, I cannot put bananas in my juicer. No recipes call for them. I might experiment with a banana, but I suspect it will goo up and gum up the works. I’m making delightful juices, but I have to eat the milk and banana separately.
  2. The veggies and fruits that I want to juice cost money! I think these are the most expensive parts of a decent diet. I did not consider this cost when I dreamed of buying the juicer.
  3. The juicer produces an extraordinary amount of pulp waste. It’s painful to look at all that $$pulp$$.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how these concerns fit into the Pros and Cons, which – for me – were full of surprises.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fedex Seemed Creepy Today:

Fedex notified me that a package would arrive at a bad time, so I went to their website to put a hold on the delivery. In order to do that, I registered an account at Fedex.

The first registration screen asked for the usual info: address, phone number, password, etc. After I supplied all this, the website explained that I had to verify myself. I think this is a good idea. I would not want someone, impersonating me, to hijack my deliveries.

In order to verify me, Fedex asked me a series of multiple choice questions, and this is where things got creepy. I had to identify a town my son had lived in. Many of the questions concerned an address that I have not lived at since 1974. I even had to identify a person, not related to me, who had lived at that address for an overlapping period of time.

Fedex, you know too much about me! I hope you are keeping this information well-guarded, because a person who wanted to steal an identity would love to have this kind of in-depth info. (By the way, I had to select an answer for a security question during the registration process. I know how to answer when Fedex asks for my mother’s maiden name, but my answer has nothing to do with my mother.)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Too Many Buttons:

Lately, I've been using a few elevators that shuttle back and forth between the ground floor and the second floor.

When I get into one of these elevators, I see two buttons: 1 and 2.

Now I admit that before I press one of these buttons, I usually have to think. (I'm not too good with East/West or Left/Right, either.) Still, it seems to me that these elevators have unnecessary buttons.

If we are on the first floor, the elevator can only go to 2. If we are on 2, the elevator can only go to 1. Therefore, the elevator needs only one button, labeled: GO.

Do you agree?

Friday, January 03, 2014

Close the dam* barn Door!

I swim laps for exercise. For a long time I have worn resistance gloves, which build up my arm strength. My gloves were wearing out, so I bought new ones online yesterday. I also, after a few web searches, bought novice fins, hoping that they will help my leg strength.

Today, my random web pages are chock full of ads for swim gloves and fins. Enough already! I'll be buying them again in about 15 months.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Blended Peanut Butter Coffee, recipe:

I invented a wonderful, delicious drink today. Other people have invented it before me (e.g., see here), but I have nice, clear instructions for you. Here is the suggested ingredients list:

2 T coffee grounds.
1 scant T peanut butter
Sweetening, such as two sugar cubes, or two packets of Necrtresse.

I use creamy peanut butter. People on the web advise that it is dangerous to use the crunchy variety.

Make about five ounces of coffee, using the amount of grounds (probably two Tablespoons) that you would normally use, and a little less water. Don't use really good coffee for this purpose, there's no point. (For example, do not use George Howell's marvelous Terroirs coffees.) I used Martinson's decafe for my first experiment.

When the coffee has been brewed, pour it into a cup suitable for use with your hand-held blender.  I poured the coffee over the peanut butter (held in a spoon) to weaken the thick consistency of the peanut butter. Use about one tablespoon of the PB. (I used slightly less. Other people suggest using much more.)

Add the sweetening.

I suggest a variable speed hand-held blender. Start at a low speed. You have two goals:
(1) Not to splash yourself with hot coffee. Be careful!
(2) To throughly blend the PB and the coffee. A "crema" will develop.

Coffee has the ability to mask or destroy many flavors, but it makes the PB taste more subtle, adding a hint of chocolate. Pour into your favorite cup or mug, and enjoy!