On the first day of the nerdiest Christmas ever

My friend and I exchanged our gifts last night.  It was officially the nerdiest Christmas in history.  We bought each other things we really wanted.  She got a Water Pik, and I got a food dehydrator.

Even though this exchange occurred late in the evening, I couldn’t leave on my trip to Anderson without trying out my food dehydrator.  When I started reading the instructions, I realized there is a lot more to food dehydration than slicing and turning the switch.  I knew I had apples and carrots in my refrigerator and bananas on my counter that will spoil soon, so I started slicing.

The dehydrator has four trays which sounds like a lot, but once you start slicing food it’s not as much as you think.  I filled them up quickly.

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I filled the bottom three trays with the apples and bananas.  I’m excited about having them for the road today.  The apples and bananas have a little cinnamon on them, too!  Carrots are on the top tray.

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I turned on the dehydrator about an hour before I went to bed.  I think it was on about nine hours.  They all turned out pretty well.  The apples and bananas turned out exactly like I imagined.  The carrots, however, dried up a little too much.  I think I will take them out a little earlier next time.  I have had carrot chips at the Fresh Market and absolutely loved them.  I just can’t figure out how they make them.  These don’t taste quite like those, but they are still good–just tiny!

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Now I just need to find some more great things to do with my new dehydrator!  In addition to the dehydrator, nerdy Christmas also brought me this:

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This little tuft of grass can be found on the baby bottle aisle at target, but I have a lot of ideas for this little guy.  See, nerdy Christmas.

I will be heading home soon.  I’m excited to be with my family and also sad to leave my tree.  When I see it again, it won’t be Christmas anymore; therefore, it won’t have the same sparkle.  Goodbye little tree.

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I might turn orange…or into a christmas tree

Tonight, I put up my second Christmas tree.  Target had a six-foot tree on sale this week, so I upgraded my living room tree and put my old, four-foot tree in my bedroom.  I covered it in pink lights and glittery teal christmas decorations.  It’s simple but adds some nice color to my bedroom for the season.

pink lights

Teal Ornaments

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Whoever decided it was nice and fun and reasonable to require an innocent ornament purchaser to tie little tiny strings on all fifty ornaments is seriously demented.  It took me forever.  Well, only half of forever because I quit about half way through the box.  It’s a small tree.

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Today was day three of eating through that massive amount of sweet potatoes and butternut squash, but I don’t mind at all.  I could eat foods I love over and over and not get tired of them for a while, but I might turn orange in the process.

Despite all that, I don’t care for leftovers.

I do, however, love making something different with food I cooked earlier.  Yesterday, I cooked an extra butternut squash with a plan in mind.  I follow a blog by Taralyn McNitt who posted a recipe for butternut squash soup.  I pretty much followed her recipe but added a few little twists of my own.

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1-2 teaspoons of garlic (I used way more because I really like garlic, but even I was a little overwhelmed.  This should be just enough.)
  • 1 smallish onion
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • a few dashes of seasoned salt (to taste)
  • 5 turns on the pepper grinder
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt.
  • 1 slice of reduced fat cheese of your choice

Dump it all in the food processor except one tablespoon of greek yogurt and the cheese. (I can’t say enough about the small Kitchenaid Food Processor.  I use it ALL the time.  I’ll post some tips on where to find it super cheap later!)  
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Process it until smooth.  This will make a thin mashed potato consistency.  If you want it more like soup, add more chicken broth.  I liked it just like this!

IMG_0160Put the soup mixture in a pot on the stove.  Heat on low, stirring often.  When it’s hot enough for you, spoon it into a bowl, top with the cheese slice and the remaining dollop of greek yogurt.  Stir the yogurt into the soup.

IMG_0162It’s pretty much awesome.

What does your Christmas tree look like?  Send me pictures!

Finally a Finished Christmas Tree and Chickpea Cookies

There are other adjectives I could put in front of chickpea, but there are so many I just decided to leave it at that.  They are really peanut butter banana oatmeal chickpea cookies, but whatevs.  I’ll get to these in a second.

After a harrowing attempt at putting up my Christmas tree last night, it is finally completed.  Let’s just say don’t buy cheap lights.  There is a reason why they are cheap.  After decorating my tree, un-decorating my tree, going back to target, and redecorating my tree, it’s finally Christmas at my house.

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Now, for the important part.

These cookies are so easy to make-especially if you have a food processor.  Dump the following into your food processor:

1 can of chickpeas

2 tablespoons of peanut butter (natural or homemade is best)

2 tablespoons of PB2 (Read about PB2)

1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt

A few squeezes of agave syrup (I don’t like my cookies super sweet, so I don’t use too much) OR 1/4 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of vanilla flavor

1/2 cup of oats

1/4 cup of almond milk

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Process to this consistency.

Use a spatula to put the dough in bowl.  Mix in some chocolate chips.

You can always just eat it with a spoon and forget the oven (like I do).

You can always just eat it with a spoon and forget the oven (like I do).

Spoon the dough onto a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for about ten minutes.

This cookie dough can be doctored up with all kinds of things. I threw a banana in there for my last batch.  Gave it a little pop!

Chickpea Cookies