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Tis the Season with a Soda Stream

Posted Sep 27 2010 12:00am
 Good Evening!

It has been a fantastic weekend and I have a touch of the Sunday Blues this evening.  Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day and 81 degrees and today was one of those rainy overcast days.  I love the dichotomy of the weather and we spent the whole day outside yesterday and most of the day inside today.  I love the Fall season and have really been into pumpkin and spice lately. 

We slept in late this morning and I made everyone Pumpkin Pancakes topped with Maple Yogurt and Crunchy Pepitas.

 Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Yogurt and Crunchy Pepitas
•1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
•2 Tablespoons brown sugar
•2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•1 cup buttermilk (regular milk will also work)
•1 cup canned pumpkin puree
•2 large eggs - lightly beaten
•2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
•1 teaspoon vanilla

Maple Yogurt

1 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
2 tbsps Maple Syrup

Mix together and top pancakes with Maple Yogurt and Crunchy Raw Pepitas.


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and all of the spices.

In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, oil and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Allow batter to set at least five minutes before making pancakes.

Pour the batter in 1/3 cup amounts per pancake onto a well-greased medium-hot griddle. Cook until the edges appear dry and small bubbles start to form over the surface of the pancakes. Flip and cook the other sides until golden brown.

Yum!  The whole family enjoyed this pancakes and it was a nice way to start the day.

Speaking of starting the day, I am still on the Colonix Cleanse and have upped my Paranil Pills to 4 pills in the morning followed by 1 scoop of Intestinal Cleanser approximately 15 minutes later.  The cleanse has been very mild and I have not had any ill effects from it so far.  I will discuss this in further detail later.

Steve had to study today and the kids and I ended up doing a little exploring and shopping today.  There are so many great neighborhoods here and today we checked out the Irvington neighborhood and walked up and down Broadway checking out all the shops.  Since moving here my daughter has become a huge knitter and Portland has all of these cool yarn shops where you are really invited to come and sit down with friends, drink tea and knit while you catch up with each other.  I love the concept and just might have to learn how to knit myself.  We checked out Twisted today and they had the most gorgeous array of yarn.
Other things that sets Twisted apart from other yarn shops are
•Multiple crafts. While specializing in yarn and knitting supplies, Twisted stocks a variety of other crafting items. You’ve heard of the Yarn Harlot, of course. Well, here at Twisted we joke about being craft whores – since we’ve never met a craft we didn’t like! After all, if you’re in love with knitting, it’s just too tempting to learn embroidery or quilting or beading or basket weaving or…

•Sock yarns. Come see the Great Wall of Sock Yarn for yourself. We are the Portland headquarters for dedicated sock knitters. We stock small-shop dyers including Blue Moon, A Verb for Keeping Warm, Lotus Yarns, Black Trillium, Dream in Color, Yarntini, and Zen String.

•Local products. Including Blue Moon, Knitted Wit, Lantern Moon, Painted Skein, Stitch Jones, White Lotus, Zephyr Style, and more!

•Room to hang out. Twisted offers a comfortable, homey environment to meet and relax with friends. With sofas, chairs, natural light and lots of space to spread out, Twisted has the feel of your best friend’s living room.

•Tea bar. Several other yarn stores have coffee bars, which are already in super abundance in the highly caffeinated Northwest. Try some tea instead! It’s better for you, more varied, less expensive and just plain fun!

•Friendly vibe. Finally, excellent customer service is the first priority of all Twisted employees. No snobby looks or haughty attitudes here. Whether you are dipping a toe into your first scarf or doing a belly flop into your ump-teenth Aran sweater we want to help you and, more importantly, get to know you.

•Fun events, like open knitting on Tuesdays.

•Free wi-fi! 

We also stopped by our local Kitchen Kaboodle store to pick up the Penguin Soda Stream.  I have been saving up for this baby for a while.  I admit to loving Sparkling Water and am one of those that buys canned water.  I know... I know... all the cans are terrible for enviroment and a huge pain but have not been able to shake the sparkling water habit.  So I have been reading for quite some time about the Soda Stream System in which you can make carbonated drinks in seconds.  The sales associate at Kitchen Kaboodle was kind enough to demonstrate how to use the Soda Stream as well as let us taste the water and soda drinks that you can make with one.  I ended up getting the Penguin.

The Penguin is the first and only soda maker with glass carafes; It's an eye catcher in every kitchen and dining room. Among the Penguin features are: customized carbonation level, easy to clean, automatic access gas release mechanism and minimal space usage on counter tops.

Because SodaStream uses water straight from the tap, the system makes traditional store-bought beverage bottles obsolete. That means less plastic manufactured, less plastic waste is created, and fewer bottled beverages must be transported from manufacturers to distributors to stores to homes.

Globally, 206 billion liters of bottled water were consumed in 2008 (Zenith International Global Bottled Water Report, 2008). The energy required to make water bottles in the US only, is equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil (Container Recycling Institute, 2002).

According to the US Recycling Institute, more than 80% of bottles in the US do not get recycled and end up in landfills. Also, an estimated 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were produced in the process of replacing the 134 billion bottles and cans not recycled in 2005.

Using your own home carbonation system means:

•Less packaging waste from cans and bottles.
•Less pollution caused by transport of bottled beverages.

One SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters, equivalent to 170 or 310 aluminum cans! When empty, the carbonator is refilled and reused, ready to make more fizzy and tasty soda whenever you want it.

Oh my gosh, I am completely in love with this gizmo!  It is super simple to use and honestly it tastes like San Pelligrino or Perrier.  In celebration we recycled all the remaining cans and bottles in the house. 

SodaStream is an "Active Green" product, meaning that consumers  are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda  or sparkling water at home instead of buying it from the store. The more the system is used on a daily basis, the more CO2 footprint the user actively saves. (This differs from "Passive Green" products, which use green-friendly production processes, but their products are not inherently helping the consumers save on their daily footprint.)
So our Sunday Dinner was a classic.  About once a year I get a hankering for Meatloaf.  There is something so comforting about meatloaf and I actually like it better cold the next day.  I am a huge Elllie Krieger fan and ended up using her recipe for Mom's Turkey Meatloaf.

Mom's Turkey Meatloaf Ellie KriegerIngredients

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium onion, peeled
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk. Thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion. In a large bowl combine the turkey, oat mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees.F.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to15 minutes before slicing.

I served the Meatloaf with Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Shredded Green Beans and an Apple and Beet Salad.

The Shredded Green Beans were Awesome!  I got the recipe from the Super Natural Cooking Cookbook by Heidi Swanson.  By the way her new cookbook Super Natural Everyday Cookbook is available for pre-order now.  I can't wait!

I love how she takes simple ingredients and jazzes them up a bit.  She recommended shredding the green beans and then slightly blanching them, tossing them with a little lemon and lime zest and topping with fresh chives.  Fresh and delcious and both of my kids liked these!!

For the salad tonight I made a Beet & Apple salad that I found on the Food Network website.

Beet & Apple Salad
Toss 2 thinly sliced apples, 4 thinly sliced celery stalks (with leaves) and 1 minced shallot in a bowl with the juice of 1 lemon. Peel 1 beet, then slice into matchsticks and add to the bowl. Toss in 1 teaspoon sugar, 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve on a bed of sliced endive.

I loved this salad and can't wait to eat the leftover for lunch tomorrow.

It has been a great weekend filled with lots of good eats.  I am going to share some restaurant reviews with you tomorrow.  We checked out Pok Pok and a vegan restaurant called Proper Eats. 

I am off to read to the kiddos and get them to bed.

I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

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