Well, I seem to be consistently posting something for the Bliss Connect Challenge right at the eleventh hour! It just so happens that this week’s Challenge ties in beautifully with something I wanted to talk about today anyway, with a little personal tweaking. The week’s challenge is to mention the health or wellness item that tops my wishlist this year and will make next year the healthiest ever, and to give a virtual gift!
It so happens that four new items have made their way into our household recently, which are definitely improvements to life. And I want to share two recipes for goodies pictured in yesterday’s post, for Shannonmarie and Amber, who asked. This might make it a fairly long post, but it’s lots of pictures and deliciousness, so please bear with me.
Three of the new things are better replacements for things we had already, and it’s kind of coincidental that they arrived during the holidays. They are all certainly health and wellness related. The number one would be…a new rebounder!
I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love rebounding. The old one was a super-cheapie, though, and I’ve barely rebounded for several months, because I kept having to mend it after every ten minutes of use, and mending it was very difficult. It lasted about six months and cost $50. If I pay $300 for one that lasts ten years, that’s actually cheaper! This one is a Cellerciser and it was a demo model, so it was actually a little less than $300. Extras include that the legs fold, the whole thing folds in half, and it comes with two spare springs, a carry case, and a bunch of reading material I don’t have time to get into right now!
I did have time to jump straight on the rebounder itself, though, when we picked it up yesterday evening. I got straight on and bounced and bounded and jogged and flew for fifteen minutes. It was SO MUCH FUN! And infinitely better than the old one.
Here’s the really wonderful thing, though: after that fifteen minutes of bouncing at 6pm, together with a beach hike earlier in the day, I had my first good night’s sleep for about two and a half weeks! It’s not that I hadn’t been exercising before, either–I sure had been. But I read somewhere that improved sleep is one of the benefits of rebounding. I’ll have to try that again!
Other new things: I think I mentioned that during the power outages in the storms a couple weeks ago, our tea-kettle and my beloved immersion blender both bit the dust. Well, they’re replaced, with improvements!
Our old tea-kettle was very communicative. It had a temperature gauge, which I really liked, and turned color as the water heated up. What I didn’t like was that it also squealed. A lot. Every time you put the jug on the base, it would squeal. Every time the water boiled, it would squeal. Every time you turned it on or off, it would squeal. No making tea in stealth while Phil slept!
Its replacement doesn’t tell me when the water reaches 175-180 (my preferred temp for tea-making), but I can actually pretty much tell that by ear. The replacement tea-kettle is not communicative, but silent. And every time I put the jug down on the base, I’m so grateful for the silence. Every time! It’s been a couple weeks and I’m still not used to it (Ms Oversensitive to High-pitched Noises that I am…).
The immersion blender was the third Kitchen Aid model I’d blown out in as many years, and I was ready to look elsewhere. The Juiceman cost about the same, but has 550 Watts, which is a big step up.
It comes with the same useful goodies–the wand that does most things, the whisk, and the mini food processor, which is actually not so mini–it’s probably twice the size of the Kitchen Aid one!
The wand has four blades instead of two, and they’re shorter, which makes it easy to clean.
I haven’t had it long enough to really put it through its paces, but it actually seems a little quieter than its predecessor, and definitely does a good job. One thing I’ll need to get used to is that the wand, whisk and mini processor attach to the motor by twisting on and off rather than snapping, like the Kitchen Aid did. With the Kitchen Aid, I sometimes had trouble with the motor and part separating, which was freaky and horrible (nasty grinding sounds and a whirring, unattached motor in my hand), but it’ll take some time for me to get used to the much tighter and stiffer, if safer, twist-on-and-off attachment. I liked being able to snap the motor off real quick and leave the wand standing in the mix (with the motor still attached, it would fall over, taking everything down with it. Don’t ask me how I know that).
The fourth item: I finally got a food scale! It is tiny–my chef knife next to it is for scale (ha ha).
It only goes up to eleven pounds, so it’s not going to be a major all-purpose scale, but it means that I can finally make a bunch of recipes from Sweet Gratitude without guessing what I’m doing.
Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the Pomegranate Fondants. No, they’re not in Sweet Gratitude–they’re out of my head! But I was looking at what Sweet Gratitude does with Irish Moss in terms of weights and ratios in order to give me some ideas.
I wanted a soft fondant as opposed to a creamier, denser truffle. Some of it, I made into hearts; some, I simply poured into an 8×4 pan, cut into squares…
…and finally covered, mostly with chocolate, but some I covered with carob.
Maybe I can do both!
What’s at the top of your Holiday wish list?