gadgets and gizmos aplenty

This was not the fettucine alfredo facsimile it purported to be (nor did I really expect to be, because in what universe does cauliflower taste like Parmesan and heavy cream?)

It was, however, quite delicious.

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From Oh She Glows, Cauli-Power Fettucine “Alfredo”. Highly recommend (though, holy garlic! But for me, that is a huge, huge compliment to a recipe.)

And I made it using my Chrstmas immersion blender! The first of a few new gadgets I’ll be highlighting in this post.

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This one does blending and also has a mini food processor attachment- it’s good stuff. Definitely didn’t make the sauce as perfectly creamy as a Vitamix would, as the recipe calls for, but a Vitamix costs as much as my rent, so… this is plenty smooth enough for me!

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My ratio of sauce to pasta was a little less than what the recipe called for, since I was only making it for one person (though I did eat it for several days) and because I thought the pasta looked a bit drowned in sauce in the recipe photos.

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And then I used the rest of the head of cauliflower to make veggie “buffalo wings” and they were magnificent. They are housed in my cute and functional new glass tupperwares I got with an Amazon gift card. Because I am 90 years old, and now use gift cards for tupperware.

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I’m also loving the timer my dad got me. I didn’t think it was something I really needed, since I have built in timers on my microwaves (yes, I have two… only one works, and it’s not the brand new one my sketchy apartment management just installed… anyway). However, unlike a microwave, this lets out a single, pleasant buzz instead of an unending barrage of beeps, and since my dishes tend to always be done cooking while I’m in the bathroom/in the middle of carrying something heavy/otherwise occupied, I appreciate that. I also like that it’s mobile so I can carry it around to other areas of my apartment and do other things while I wait for stuff to finish cooking (can we tell I’m a big multitasker?) Oh and finally it’s incredibly cute and my favorite color green.

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This was actually a birthday present, but I’ve really started using it in earnest now that it’s winter and cold. (Yes, I know, saying it’s cold when I live in North Carolina is a dick move. But living in North Carolina has turned me into a wimp and I will freely state that as I type this post, as I now spend all of my time at home, I am wearing a blanket wrapped around the lower half of my body).

It’s a rice cooker, slow cooker, and steamer. I have used it for the first two functions so far.

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I like it a lot for making whole grains, which can be dry and gross on the stovetop (or at least when I make them, since I haven’t learned the necessary secrets of making awesome whole grains on the stove.)

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I used the farro I made above, and mixed it with some roasted butternut squash. Yet another new toy to highlight: my clever new cutting board! Just squeezing the handle bends it so you can easily transport chopped food from the board to its ultimate destination. I have a slightly odd kitchen layout so it’s basically impossible to chop any large quantity of food next to my stove, so this is so nice for ensuring I don’t spill things everywhere when transferring chopped veggies from board to pot.

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That roasted squash ended up going into a recipe inspired by a recent Women’s Health magazine:

– Cooked farro or other whole grain
– Roasted butternut squash cooked with olive oil and herbs (they suggested sage, I used Italian seasoning)
– Dried fruit (they said cherries, I used craisins)
– Lettucey thing (they said radicchio, I used cooked Romaine)
– Nuts (they said almonds, I used walnuts)
– Dressing (they said oil and sherry vinegar, I used oil and white balsamic)

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This lasted me a few delicious days as leftovers- again, transported in my clever tupperware.

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Also, got a Soda Stream. Have made a lot of cranberry fizzy water- just plain unsweetened cranberry juice with soda stream fizzy water. A little lime or lemon is awfully nice in there as well. (My cousin Rachel taught me about this).

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Finally, in this picture I am lazily reading (an AMAZING memoir that I highly recommend) in bed, eating chocolate. But I am also tracking my fitness! (I.e. none at the particular moment photographed).

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I asked for and received a MisFit flash for Christmas and I really like it! I am also quite addicted to tracking my sleep- what’s funny is that regardless of how much I sleep at night (and note that this is while I was still on winter break, so I don’t get a lotta ten hour nights now!), the amount of “restful sleep” stays the same. See?

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As for tracking fitness:

– It gives you “points” so you may do slightly less than 10,000 steps and it will still give you your 1000 “points”- like if you run or do faster paced cardio- and do its little happy blinking sign that it does when you’ve hit your target. This actually annoys my neurotic side, and I will sometimes pace around my apartment until I hit 10K steps. Because otherwise I’d be… cheating. Or something.
– I have Map My Fitness’d a route in the park at home and know it is basically three miles on the DOT, but the Misfit said I’d walked 2.4. Based on that example, it underreports walking distance by about 20%. But I’d rather it underreport than overreport
– It tracks steps pretty accurately even when your hands are jammed in your pockets, which is useful for someone who’s always cold (me. I am always cold.)
– I am fond of kickboxing and it is confused by it. Fair enough. It’s only tracking one arm’s punches.
– I am fond of hula hooping and it gives me tons of points for it! Hahaha.
– It is clever about tracking sleep and will track two separate segments if, say, you sleep from 11 to 1:30 and then YOUR HORRIBLE NEIGHBOR’S CAR ALARM GOES OFF FOR TWO AND A HALF HOURS OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW (called the cops, and it made no difference- I don’t know what finally got the freaking thing off). Clever Misfit tracked both chunks of sleep (unsatisfying chunks, I note.)
– It, I think, gives you the best bang for your buck of the fitness trackers of which I have read reviews. At the beginning of the year, the Misfit Flash was actually on sale on Amazon for a whopping $25, whereas for a Fitbit (and the basic version doesn’t track your sleep) you’re dropping over $100. You can wear it for swimming laps (I don’t; but it’s an option). You can wear it as a lapel clip or as a watch (I know wearing it the way I do isn’t going to be accurate for something like biking, but I also know that I’m much less likely to lose it if it is more or less permanently attached to my wrist- I know a lotttt of people who’ve lost the Fitbits they had clipped to their jeans)

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