We offer daily encouragement for women in the areas of faith, healthy eating, family friendly recipes, menu planning, gardening, parenting, and fun. Be strong. Pray often. Win the battles. Seek Jesus. Take naps.
Today’s the day I discuss with you whether or not I feel like it is really worth the money to buy a Blendtec. (You probably already know the answer.)
What is a Blendtec?
Well now. A Blendtec is a regular blender – but it is NOTHING like a regular blender. I used to regularly spend $25 to purchase cheap blenders at the store, only to have them burn out on me in less than a year. Not only would a regular blender die quickly, but its capabilities were also very limited. Not so with a Blendtec!
Regular blenders make sort-of-smooth smoothies. Regular blenders take a long time to sort-of mix ingredients. But a Blendtec??? This beauty of a blender is such a high powered machine that cream goes from liquid to whipped in less than 20 seconds. I can put big pieces of frozen fruit into my Blendtec and have a perfectly smooth smoothie in just a few seconds! And, the seeds from berries? They get blended in too! So picky kids (and adults, ha!) don’t have to worry about chunks or seeds in their food!
Ultimately, a Blendtec is a regular blender with many more capabilities and much more power. After so many years of using a Blendtec, I still am amazed at how much time it saves me and at how beautifully it blends or whips or purees our food!
How do I use my Blendtec?
I use my Blendtec multiple times each week, and sometimes multiple times each day.
I mix batter in it, whip cream in it, make smoothies in it, whip mini cheesecake filling in it, the list goes on and on. From cakes to muffins to pancakes – the Blendtec takes away my need to stir and mix. Cream goes from liquid to perfectly whipped in less than 30 seconds. Recently I dumped in all the ingredients for these Mini Crustless Cheesecakes and had them in the oven within a grand total of 5 minutes. Beautiful!
Here are some of the recipes I use my Blendtec for regularly:
Why should I spend more money on a blender, bite the bullet, and buy a Blendtec?
In so many ways, my Blendtec makes my cooking and baking effortless. It is extremely high powered, which is reflected in the price. A $25 blender gives only $25 of effort (and in my experience, lasts less than one year in my kitchen). The Blendtec, though much higher in price, comes with a warranty and is so high powered that it turns frozen fruit into liquid in just seconds. Unbelievable!
I highly recommend saving up and investing in a Blendtec. Oh the time and energy you’ll save! I acquired a Blendtec several years ago, and it is still going strong. So my larger money investment has already saved me $25 many times over and will continue to save me for years to come!
While money saving is nice – I consider the time and energy saved even better. The fact that I can dump ingredients into my Blendtec and whip or blend them so quickly and easily truly is a refreshing help in my kitchen. I LOVE not having to spend extra time whipping or stirring. Lazy? Absolutely not. Efficient? You bet!
So is it worth the money to buy a Blendtec?
Oh yes. So very worth it. The Blendtec has changed my kitchen life, and this is no exaggeration. Because I make so much food from scratch, while still striving to keep our recipes as simple as can be, I find the Blendtec to be invaluable! I don’t know how I ever lived without it, and that’s the truth!
But I kept ignoring all the Prime Pantry offers, mostly because I didn’t want to take the time to figure out how it worked (silly). Also, since I usually buy by the case, I wasn’t sure it would be beneficial. Then on Prime Day, there was a sweet Prime Pantry offer which made me decide to give it a try. Aha, I realized! Having a Prime Pantry membership would greatly help me with the fact that…
2. I don’t have any room in my grocery cart anymore!
With a squishy baby in the front and a stocky 5-year old in the big part of the cart, there’s not much room left in my grocery cart for actual groceries. We go through lots of food, so typically I need to fill an entire cart to the max.
This has become very challenging, phew!
When I realized that Prime Pantry would save me a trip to the store for all the odds and ends I typically get (applesauce squeezies, granola, chips, condiments, nuts, etc.), it made me very excited. If most of what I needed at an actual store was fresh fruits and veggies, chicken, and frozen food – well THAT I could probably fit into the cart along with cute little boys. :)
3. But what about the $4.99 monthly fee?
Worth it, worth it, worth it.
I like avoiding fees just as much or more as the next guy. But goodness, there’s a lot to be said for keeping life calm and simple when so much going on in life is far from calm and simple.
With Prime Pantry, I’ll now be able to order whenever I need to and have it delivered for free (on orders over $10, which is basically the amount of food we eat in five minutes). That $4.99 fee saves me all kinds of time, energy, and effort so I feel it is money well spent. Plus it will probably save me money in the long run.
Nope, no room for little boys in that cart!
4. Also, my sanity.
God bless little boys who talk non-stop and ask all the questions up and down every aisle. I absolutely love how inquisitive, fun, and aware our 5-year old is, and taking him to the store is so good for life skills training.
But I find it very difficult to compare prices and think about specific ingredients we need or make an actual good decision about my purchases while answering, “Mom, why is that box blue? Why isn’t that box blue? Are your eyes blue? Do you like blue? Blue is my favorite color. But green is my favorite. And every color of the rainbow is my favorite. Remember that rainbow we saw? I want to see another rainbow. Why can’t we see another rainbow today?”
Oh precious one. Be five forever. But sweet as it all is, that doesn’t help me think and shop at the same time.
So Prime Pantry will help me out with this and give us fewer aisles to travel during shopping trips. I guess I’ll have to come up with other excuses now for losing my sanity.
So Amazon Prime Pantry for the win.
If at any time I find that I’m not getting my $4.99/month worth out of this membership, I’ll let it go, no problem. But for now, I’m finding this to be quite wonderful and helpful!
Want to try it for free?
This is pretty exciting! If you click on the banner below, you can sign up for a free trial for one month to see if it benefits you and your family!
Are you a Prime Pantry member? What do you like about it?
Prime Day has arrived! It’s like Christmas in July. Or is it? Is Prime Day worth all the hype?
Well, that depends on your goals.
Are you planning to get some early Chrismas shopping done? Have you been saving up for a big kitchen appliance in hopes that it will be crazy discounted today? Are you simply interested in seeing what is being offered and scoring a few great deals?
Then I’d say that Prime Day is worth all the hype!
It made me decide to follow the advice so many of you had given, and I got an awesome discount on an appliance I now absolutely love and use many times every week in my kitchen! If it wasn’t for Prime Day and the intrigue of possibly scoring a great deal, I may never have even looked into finally buying an Instant Pot.
WHAT WOULD MY LIFE BE WITHOUT MY INSTANT POT???? :) :) :)
For starters, my family would not be eating as many mashed potatoes. So clearly, all of the Coppingers are so grateful for Mom’s Prime Day Instant Pot score of 2017.
——-> Psssst! I don’t know how long this will last, but at the time I am writing this post, my very well-loved 8-Quart Instant Potis marked down to just $99 AND there is a $15 off coupon to go with it!!!!!! I think that’s less than I paid back in 2017! The price is so low, I’m tempted to buy another one for absolutely no reason. <———
So is Prime Day worth all the hype?
If you ask me, it is. But just like anything, you have to know your goals and not spend money just because something is on sale. It doesn’t matter if you saved $20 if you didn’t need an item in the first place.
But if you have been saving and planning and are ready to make a purchase, and you are blessed to find it on sale on Prime Day. Beautiful!
And if you are like my cousin who does ALL of her Christmas shopping on Prime Day so that she can enjoy the actual holiday season without the stress of shopping, then Prime Day is more than just hype. It’s helpful and practical and a great blessing!
If you want to hear from me about what items I’m most excited to see on sale for Prime Day, sign up here for our free newsletter. I’ll send an email or two as I find the best deals I think will benefit us all the most! (Plus, when you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get a bunch of homemaking freebies!)
As I’ve started looking for great deals, I’m finding a few not-so-great deals. So I advise that you do a little homework when you see something featured for Prime Day. It might be a fantastic deal!!! Or it might not. (Typically, deals offered for Prime Day really are great, though!)
We’re starting over at our house! Just like we did with our “first set of kids” we are teaching our new 5-year old Bonus Boy how to cook. Here are the favorite simple recipes we are using to help him learn kitchen skills!
Hopefully, you won’t get too tired of hearing me encourage you to teach your kids to cook. :) Obviously, it’s more important that you teach them to love the Lord and love people. Focus on that first.
But also, eating is something we must all do every day of our lives. Your kids need to know how to prepare simple foods (or complicated foods, if you are my 19-year old). It’s a much-needed skill, and guess what?
After putting in hours of effort, making lots of messes, and having a blessed mixture of frustration and fun with my oldest four kids – they can all cook. It is fantastic. The work involved was entirely worth it. And when all is said and done, we made a lot of awesome memories (and Monkey Bread).
Sometimes now, they feed me. Often they feed themselves. They will someday feed their wives and children. This is beautiful!
Now, we’re starting all over again. This little one moved in with us when he was four. He has become the 5th Coppinger Boy! If I have the audacity to make food without him, he can’t possibly understand why. “But I wanted to help you!” Well, who am I to argue with that?
He cracks eggs, makes messes, helps measure ingredients, makes messes, stirs carefully, makes messes – well, he’s also learning how to use a broom and dustpan. ;)
So what? I like a clean kitchen, but now that I have teen and adult kids who can cook, I realize more than ever that the messes from when they were little are just part of the teaching process. If I expect a mess from the little one in training, then I’m less frustrated when a mess inevitably happens. If we happen to crack, pour, and stir correctly so as to avoid a mess, well, that’s a bonus.
Ready for some kid-friendly recipes?
Simple Recipes to Help Kids Learn Kitchen Skills
Here are some of our favorite simple recipes we are using right now to help teach our 5-year old basic kitchen skills. He helps measure, pour, and stir. As we work, I talk through everything we are doing so that he learns the vocabulary of cooking and the reasons we do what we do.
Looking for some fun activities to do with your kids this summer? I’ve enjoyed 22 summers with kids (and counting!), so I certainly have a few ideas to share! Stay tuned during the next few weeks as we provide all kinds of suggestions for making your summer with your kids meaningful. (Subscribe here so you won’t miss out!) Today’s idea: Make Ice Cream in 10 Minutes!
As I was remembering this fun summer activity idea, I decided it would be much more fun to do if we invited friends over to join us! So we sent out the invitation, got our supplies ready, and had a little Ice Cream Making Party!
By the way, we are SO CLOSE to final adoption day for Bonus Boy that I almost waited to post this so that I could show you his precious face. Soon and very soon he will officially be a Coppinger and then all stickers come off!
This “make ice cream in a bag” idea is one of those we always WANT to do, but never seem to get around to ACTUALLY doing. Somehow inviting friends to do it with us made it much more doable, you know? Afterward, the kids played and the moms visited. Bliss! And also, there was ice cream to eat, so double win!
Make Ice Cream in 10 Minutes!
Summer Activities for Kids: Make Ice Cream in 10 Minutes!
3 droppers full of liquid stevia, or 3-4 Tablespoons real maple syrup, or 3-4 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup rock salt or coarse sea salt
quart and gallon sized freezer bags
Measure cream, sweetener, and vanilla into a quart-sized freezer bag and seal.
Fill a gallon-sized freezer bag half-full of ice.
Add ½ cup rock salt to the ice.
Place the sealed quart-sized bag filled with ice cream ingredients into the bag of ice and salt. Seal.
Toss the bag back and forth, shaking and tossing for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens to ice cream.
Remove the quart-sized bag and rinse the salt off.
Open the bag, scoop out the ice cream, and enjoy!
We moms found that the ice cream shakers needed a little bit of help to get the mixture shaken vigorously enough to turn into ice cream! Also: be sure to do this activity outside!! The bags tend to get drippy. :)
Here are some of our other Simple Ice Cream Recipes.
Use any of these with the above Freezer Bag Toss idea!
It’s hard to find a good price on this! Aldi has been my best option, if and when I can make it there to shop. (I live an hour away from the closest Aldi, boo!) Try to find one without added sugar. Or better yet, if you can find a good price on almonds, make Homemade Almond Butter!
My very favorite chips are these Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips! They are usually more expensive in the summer as they don’t ship well in the heat. So watch for them to go down in price in the fall and winter months, then stock up!
Need Vanilla Extract?
Oh how I love making it myself! Unfortunately, the price of vanilla beans has gone up over the years. Boo. Still, I think it’s best to make it ourselves if we can! Learn how here!
And now, grab your kids and let them help you make these awesome little treats!
I’ve shared it before (more than a few times), but I find that I must share it again. Everyone should know about this one simple trick that helps get dinner on the table fast!
My Simple Trick that Helps Get Dinner on the Table Fast!
It’s simply this:
Brown several pounds of hamburger meat ahead of time. Store it in your fridge or freezer in meal-sized packages. This is a beautiful thing!
It doesn’t take very long to cook hamburger meat when prepping a meal, but still, if it’s already cooked and ready to use, then all we have to do at mealtime is add it to the dish we’re making. Somehow, having pre-cooked meat in my fridge takes away a lot of meal-making stress. How?
Well, I often have very little time for cooking. Mealtime comes up quickly (and many times each day, for our entire lives, oy!). But if I am able to pull out meat that’s already browned, that means I don’t have to worry about thawing meat or cooking meat. I simply add it to pasta or potatoes, or we make Tacos or Nachos, or…
My current favorite is this Simple Creamy Pasta in the Instant Pot. Not only is it incredibly delicious and a huge hit with everyone I’ve fed it to, with pre-cooked meat, I can have dinner on the table in only 10 minutes!! That is 10 minutes from start to finish, truly. It is amazing! (While it’s cooking in my Instant Pot, we get out salad fixins, and our meal is complete!)
My Favorite Instant Pot Hamburger Tip
Speaking of the wonders of an Instant Pot, you should definitely click over to read this:
Amazingly, I cook 5-7 pounds of frozen hamburger meat in my Instant Pot, and it is browned and ready to use for meals for the next two weeks for my family – just like that! (And yes, we eat a lot of meat. We are a family of many, many athletic men and a beef-lovin’ mama.)
But, if you don’t have one and don’t want to invest, you can still easily cook several pounds of hamburger meat in a large pot on the stove. You’ll just need to thaw it first. :)
How to Store Pre-Cooked Hamburger Meat
Once you’ve got several pounds of hamburger meat cooked and cooled, what should you do?
I usually separate mine into meal-sized portions (1-3 pounds) and put it into these bowls with lids. Or if needed, I’ll put portions into ziplock bags.
I store these containers of cooked meat in my fridge for up to two weeks, and then pull them out as needed to prep meals. You can also store it in the freezer, of course. Just remember to thaw ahead of time!
Do you cook meat ahead of time? What are your favorite kitchen time-savers?
What’s the cheater way to make these Frozen Yogurt Cups?
Well, as you know, I’ve started buying a few cheater foods at the grocery store. Why? Well, now that our family is doing foster care and have started over raising Littles, all while keeping up with the Bigs, and navigating all the meetings and such involved with foster care – my time in the kitchen is more limited than before. And that’s saying something.
So yeah. Sometimes I buy ready-to-serve yogurt. It’s sweeter than what I could or would make myself if I always made or bought it plain and added our own good ingredients. But I’m pretty happy with the pre-made Whole Milk Yogurts I’ve found. So for now, we settle for this yogurt compromise.
——> Need some re-assurance that compromising on perfect foods is just fine and dandy? Read my post called Beyond the Free Range Chicken. Be encouraged! Be free! Buy the yogurt. (Or not. Because we’re all in a different place and God will lead us each in how to feed our families.) <——-
Meanwhile, in the land of store-bought yogurt and 5-year old chefs, may we now present to you the lovely idea you are going to thoroughly enjoy this summer!
First, if you don’t already have them, I highly recommend that you invest in these lovely silicone muffin cups. With these jewels, you can make this Frozen Yogurt Cup “recipe” and many more. I love them and don’t know how I got by without them!
Get 5 awesome Kids in the Kitchen eBooks, cookbooks, and curriculum, all for just $20! You'll love all the kid friendly (real food!) recipes, the activities, the games, and the lessons provided to help you teach your kids to cook.
We offered this last summer, and it was a huge hit! For all who missed out, we definitely want to offer it again so you can take advantage of the fun. Struggling with the heat, with the kids, and with the kitchen? We can help you survive summer – and thrive! Check it out:
In case you didn’t know this already: I LOVE SUMMER!! I love the break from all the crazy schedules, I love the church camps, the people we get to see, the swimming, the food, and the SUNSHINE. I love everything about summer and yes, I even love being hot. So in celebration of summer and everything I love, I created this:
How to Survive Summer – beautifully!
It’s an eBook package worth $32.70, but for one week only, we’re charging $6. BECAUSE IT’S SUMMMMMMMERRRRRRRR!!!
This package is extra special because it focuses on simple summer food, gardening, getting your kids to eat fresh summer veggies, and even finding awesome activities to do with your kids that do not involve a screen. It’s ridiculously fun, and it’s all for just six bucks!
What’s in the 6 for $6 Summer Survival Package:
Simple Summer Suppers – $6.95 Value
Simple Summer Suppers is a brand new eBook that we’re releasing just in time to include in this offer! (Notice that the full price of this one new book is higher than the cost of the entire package? Whooop!) This book gives you a sneak peek into the 13 great simple summer supper ideas we’ll be sharing here during the month of July. Too hot to cook, too tired to care, but the people still need to eat? This book’s got you covered!
Screen Free Summer – $3.95 value
This book is also brand new!! (Yep, we’ve been busy!) Get dozens of great ideas for fun to have as a family to make the most of your summer days. Get fun recipes, cute printables, oodles of games and activities to do inside and out. Wait till you see all the creative ways to use sidewalk chalk!
How to Eat Your Fruits…and Veggies Too! – $4.95 value
We pulled out this oldie-but-goodie that I originally wrote in 2008 and re-worked it to add more and better ideas. There’s no better time than summer to focus on adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Learn fun new ways to encourage your kids to eat these gems, and who knows? You might start liking a few new fruits and veggies too!
Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving – $6.95 value
I wrote this back in 2009 and just like the book above, we re-worked it a little bit just for this occasion! There are pictures of my babies in this eBook, because in 2009, my boys were little guys helping me snap green beans, shuck corn, and plant potatoes. Be still my heart. They still do all of the above, they’re just a lot taller than they were in 2009. Learn some simple gardening and preserving basics in this eBook. Get the kids involved!
Beat the Heat! – $4.95 value
Get 33 fabulous ideas and 49 simple recipes to help you beat the heat this summer! From fun ways to use the crock pot (while avoiding the oven) to some awesome summer snack ideas, this eBook is delightfully refreshing!
What to Do with the Chicken in Your Kitchen – $4.95 value
Aww, this gem is one of the first eBooks I ever wrote. I loved the chicken in 2007, I love it today. This eBook is everything chicken – basic, simple, delicious recipes you’ll love!
Ready to dig in? Get this entire Summer Survival Package for just $6! Offer ends Monday, July 8.
Summer Survival eBook Package
Keep the kids busy, feed everyone well, and do it all with simplicity! These eBooks equip you with loads of recipes, tips, ideas, and activities for awesome Summer Survival!
I super love that I have figured out how to make No-Churn Ice Cream varieties! These recipes only take 5 minutes to prepare, and they are so good! See #26-#29 below for all the recipes, but here’s the Low Sugar Chocolate Ice Cream recipe to get you started!
Last but not least (because I have an entire list of No-Bake Treat Recipes below!), I must highlight my two favorite “jello salad” knock-offs. Spoiler: There is no jello involved in the making of these recipes. Simple real food ingredients, plus delicious fresh fruit make these awesome salad treats!