Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Archive for May, 2019

Teagan And Her Tongue

Posted by terrepruitt on May 31, 2019

I could easily post a picture of one of the cats every single day.  Eh?  Do any of you pet owners have the same situation?  Right?  So, that I only post every few months is a huge display of control.  🙂

I am sorry that my blog does not have the ability to allow for pictures in the comments (if you can figure out how to do it, let me know.  I think it is a specific PAID plan.) but I would LOVE to post pictures of your pet(s).  If you send them to me, I will post them.  I love to see other people’s pets.  Just tonight I stood in front of my house to meet some gorgeous boxers that were walking by!  Had I thought about it I would have asked if I could have taken their pictures.

Here is Teagan and her tongue for today’s Friday Photo.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves

Posted by terrepruitt on May 29, 2019

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDIn looking up how to prepare fresh-off-the-vine grape leaves for stuffing it seemed like I should have started days before I planned on stuffing them. The first few sites I found said that stuffed grape leaves were prepared with leaves that had been soaked in brine for days. Well, DAYS of soaking was not going to happen, but I figured that they did need some soaking. I thought that they would need the flavor of salt plus a soak in brine would help tenderize them. Ha! Still just faking all of this because I have never actually eaten stuffed grape leaves.

I went outside and cut off 30 grape leaves. Ideally they would have been all the same size, but there wasn’t 30 of all the same size. I started off with ones about the size of my hand, but ended up having to get larger ones. I also tried to get ones that look fairly new. I figured the newer leaves would be more tender and tasty.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDAfter I gathered the leaves I brought them inside and washed them thoroughly. Although, it was pretty cool because it had rained the day before so they were pretty clean to begin with. There was no dirt or bugs, but still, I washed them. I also cut off each stem as close to the leaf as possible. Then, I poured some salt into the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish then added some water. I put some of the grape leaves in the dish, then I poured some salt onto the leaves then added more water. I put the rest of the grape leaves in, then filled the dish with water. I used another dish to hold the leaves down. I let them soak about five hours.

Since I didn’t necessarily want them to be salty and I was hoping for some tenderization, I rinsed the leaves off before I blanched them.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDThen I stacked two piles totaling 15 leaves into the rinsed out 9X13 baking dish and poured boiling water over them. Instructions I had seen on blanching them said to leave them for two minutes. So I set my timer for two minutes or so I thought. I was doing something else and so I wasn’t paying attention but then it dawned on me that my timer had not gone off. So I took the leaves out of the hot water and stuck them in their ice bath. I don’t know how long they ended up being in the hot water. With the next batch I paid more attention to setting the timer and I actually did it. I took the leaves out after two minutes. By then I was fully immersed in making the stuffing AND my husband had come home so the surprise was out of the bag. We started talking about the books we were listening to and about what I was making and I didn’t really look at the second batch of leaves. I just took them out of the hot water and placed them into their ice bath after the timer had gone off.

I didn’t notice the difference in color between the two batches until I started stuffing them. I was concerned because the ones that I believed were in the hot water longer than two minutes were that drab color green – the same color as the jarred leaves, but the ones that were in the hot water for two minutes were still bright green. I was worried that they would not be tender enough and would taste too green. I asked my husband to pay attention while he was eating so that he could report to me so that I would be able to adjust the preparation in the future.

When I pulled the first group of leaves out of the ice bath I had just set them on a towel to dry. I did not separate them or even pat them dry to help them. I was more concerned at that point with getting the whole process underway because the stuffed leaves were going to take an hour to cook and it was getting late. We often eat late and I was trying to not let that be the case. So I wasn’t even thinking about taking the time to dry the leaves. I didn’t even think about drying the leaves until I was 18 into stuffing and rolling. Then it dawned on me. So I patted the last twelve dry.
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https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47960702646_a44e8757a6_o.jpgFresh-Off-The-Vine Grape Leaf Preparation

Grape Leaves
Water
Salt
Ice

Wash the leaves. Cut the stem off as close to the leaf as possible. Pour some salt into a dish/pan large enough to immerse all of the leaves. Put some water in the dish. Put half of the leaves in the dish, then pour more salt on top of the leaves. Then put the rest of the leaves in and fill the dish with water. Use another dish to keep the leaves complete submersed, if need be. Let the leaves soak for about five hours.

After a few hours at least (if not five), rinse the leaves. Rinse out the dish/pan, then put the leaves back in . . . (you can blanch all the leaves at once if you’d like or not. I didn’t because I didn’t have a dish large enough to hold water, the leaves, AND ice for the ice bath so that is why I did two batches).

Pour boiling water over the leaves. Let them set for at least 3 minutes.

Take the leaves out of the hot water and put them in an ice bath.

(Since I was blanching the leaves in two batches I left the cooling leaves in the ice bath until I was ready to put the other ones in.)

Take the leaves out of the ice bath and let them dry a bit. Use a towel or paper towels if you want to dry them. I would think that if you are going to let them dry you might need to separate them first. I don’t know for sure though. I just left them wet. When I did dry the remaining 12 I had separated them and was filling each one then folding each one.
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PLEASE NOTE: In looking at the pictures I see why the second batch of leaves did not blanch well. As I mentioned, I was distracted as my hubby had just come home and I was making this up as I went along – I had put ice in the dish I used to weight the leaves down, I had been making more room in the ice bath dish and didn’t want to put it in the sink to melt because I figured I could use it for the next ice bath. When I went to use the dish as a weight, I didn’t think about the ice I had put in it. I just grabbed it and put it on top of the leaves in the boiling water. DUH! Had to have taken some of the heat out of the boiling water.

This is part 2 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves

Here is the link to part 3 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 1 – The Idea

Posted by terrepruitt on May 27, 2019

It has been so long I can’t even remember if the grapevines were in the yard when we moved in or if my husband planted them. Either way I do know that for as long as we have lived here (over two decades) I have said, “Oh I should make something using our grape leaves.” And by something I meant stuffed grape leaves because I don’t know of anything else that one actually uses grape leaves for. The vines are very hearty. My husband trims them back and the next thing I know I am looking outside to see the vine latching onto the lemon tree again. A couple of weeks ago I happen to look outside and see the vines with beautiful green leaves washed clean by all the rain. I decided to surprise my hubby with some stuffed grape leaves. I googled it and glanced quickly at a recipe listing dill as an ingredient. So I went to the store and bought what I thought I needed to make them. Then I got cold feet when I realized I didn’t know how to prepare the leaves. I had originally been thinking I would just cut them off the vine and roll the stuffing up in them. But then I realized they probably needed some prep. In the middle of that revelation it dawned on me that perhaps stuffed grape leaves were actually meatless? Ya see, part of the issue with this whole endeavor was – I don’t eat them myself. I have never had one. My husband loves them (LOVES THEM!), but I have never even tried one. So it was kind of a challenge to figure out how to make them.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDOne would think you could just look up the recipe on the internet, but – ha! There doesn’t even seem to be a consensus on what they are called much less how to make them. Plus, when I post a recipe – for the most part – I want it to be at least MY version of it if not entirely “original.” In regards to what they are called, I have seen them called

dolma
dolmades
dolmadaki
dolmeh
dolmates
dolmathes
dolmathakia

and that is just the words starting with D. Seems like stuffed grape leaves are like “Swedish Meatballs” and every culture has their own version with its own name (of course).

When I did look it up I found recipes with cinnamon and pine nuts. Now, I know my hubby would eat and probably like whatever I made, but I was TRYING to surprise him and make something that he actually liked and was somewhat familiar. But with every recipe I found having different ingredients I decided to just try making something that was simple and somewhat familiar (I was hoping). When I researched further – after I had gone shopping, in addition to pine nuts and nutmeg I was finding recipes with MINT. Makes sense mint and lamb, but I had already bought dill so I was going to use that.

My research on how to prepare the grape leaves had me thinking I should have started the process DAYS before I was planning on actually making the recipe. The information I was seeing was that they needed to soak in a brine solution for days. There were some sites that said they could be blanched. But, again, I started thinking that in order to make this a treat and something he likes and is used to, I should have PURCHASED grape leaves. But then again, the whole reason I wanted to do this was to use our leaves. Sigh. All of this thinking and planning was probably over the course of ten days. It took so long because of my chickening-out-period!

As usual since I planned on posting about this I decided to just fly by the seat of my pants and make it up as I went along. I always feel funny posting other people’s recipes (but I have after making them) so I mostly try to make my own version. I will need a few posts to get it all documented. I started with the leaves.

This is part 1 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 1 – The Idea
Next:  Part 2 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves
Next:  Part 3 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves
Next:  Part 4 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 4 – Avgolemono Sauce

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Colorful Giraffe

Posted by terrepruitt on May 24, 2019

I have three photos left of other water colors not including this one. I check every week at the community center before I teach yoga to see if there are new ones. I would like to let the artists know that I have posted their pictures and give them credit but I don’t know how to get in touch with them. I especially like the ones like this one with the different colors making up the animal face.

This giraffe makes me go, “Awwww!” when I look at it. I thought I would share it with you for today’s Friday Photo.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD

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Always Have A Cover

Posted by terrepruitt on May 20, 2019

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDI will not use a phone without a case and cover.  In October when I got my new phone it sat at home while I waited for the case and cover to arrive. I continued to use my old phone because I refused to take my new one out of the house.  I always have a case and a screen cover.  There used to be plastic screen covers.  The place I order my cases from used to include a few screen covers in every case purchase.  So I had a handful.  They would get scratched and I would plan on putting a new one on, but it was kind of pain, I didn’t do it very often.  The iPhone 5 had a known issue of the sleep button failing, but for some reason my phone wasn’t covered in the free fix, so after about a year of not being able to sleep my phone I went to have it fixed.  They didn’t fix it properly the first time so when I went back the second time the owner threw in a new screen cover.  It was glass.  It was so pretty.  It made my screen look great.  Granted, I had needed a new one, but was going to change it after I had taken my phone in.  So the one that he replaced was all scratched and worn.  So just having a new one was a huge improvement, but the glass one was really great.  So when I got my new phone, I ordered some glass screen covers with my cases.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDI got my phone in October.  I have replaced the glass cover twice already.  The plastic ones didn’t break, they just got really scratched up.  I think I probably put on two or three the whole six years I had my 5.  But in seven months with this new phone, I am on my third one.  The first cover break scared me.  I was looking at my phone and the lower right corner was cracked.  My heart stopped.  I hadn’t even had the thing six months and it broke already?  But then I looked close and realized that it was the cover and not the screen that was cracked.  WHEW!  So I put a new one on.

This last one that broke I barely noticed it even though it was a much larger crack – all the way across the screen – it was just where it was, I guess.  This time I had faith that it was the cover that cracked.  But I looked close to see that the crack was just in the middle – where the cover is – and not all the way to the edges.  So that assured me that it was just the cover.  But it looked like an impact crack . . . which I couldn’t figure out.  There was a little spot near the side where it looked like something hit the screen then a crack going across the phone, a crack going up, a crack going down to the closest edge, and two separate cracks going across to the closest edge.  It was odd.

I am always so grateful that I have a case and a cover because I believe that both have saved my phone from actually breaking a multitude of times.  Besides the fact that I like to have a pretty cover.

Do you have a case and/or a screen cover for your phone?  Do you feel that they have help protect your phone?

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Gone All Too Soon

Posted by terrepruitt on May 17, 2019

Here is one of my hubby’s flowers from his mom.  It has bloomed and is gone already.  Such a gorgeous bloom for this Friday Photo.

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Herb Jar

Posted by terrepruitt on May 15, 2019

I have toyed with having an herb garden for a long time. There are always reasons that keep me from doing it. One reason is the only place to keep it is in the kitchen on one of the window sills and since the kitchen is the only room in the house that is not always all cluttered I hate to do that. Another reason is the cats. I don’t want them chewing on the various herbs. I just figure they would want to chew on them. And, as I said, the only place to grow the herbs is on the kitchen window sills that would mean the herbs would entice the cats onto the kitchen counters. The cats are not allowed on the kitchen counters, which is not to say they don’t get on them when we are not around.  But I don’t want things up there that entice them. I do always look at various little gardens and pots for growing herbs but decide against it. But recently I saw a self watering blue jar in a catalog I thought I would try it. The jars were for one individual herb. I WANTED sage because its leaves look the frilliest and I would love to have sage to make some sage butter, but the internet warned me off that (cats). I ordered basil.

Well, it turns out the jar is not blue it is green, oh well. I started growing the basil on May 2nd and here (see photo) on May 10th I spotted some little shoots. And today, May 15 they are twice the size. I am looking forward to having basil in the not too distant future.

Do you grow any herbs? What kind? Do you grow then inside or outside?

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD

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Beverage Kit

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2019

Last week in our produce delivery I received a beverage kit. It was a mistake. I either clicked on it accidentally or it was part of the original order and I did not take it off. But, because I didn’t know that I was getting it, I didn’t see the list of things included in it.  It is herbs and flowers to add to water, tea, lemonade, or something you want to add herb flavors too. All I can tell is that it had dill – but it was no longer usable so I had to wash it off of everything and throw it away – rosemary, mint, and a few flowers. I am not sure the flavor that the flowers add. In fact I am thinking they don’t add any flavor but they make it look pretty. The mint and rosemary are really nice. I do enjoy flavor infused water. I like cucumber in water. And now because I accidentally received this I know that I like mint and rosemary in water. It also looks like there might be an onion in there, but not sure. It is much stiffer than an onion. Whatever it is the whole combination is good.

We have mint in our yard that I could use for infusions. I wish we had rosemary growing in the yard. I thought I’ve heard it is very invasive, though. It would be nice to have fresh rosemary. I am glad I ended up getting this beverage kit. It is like the old days when I first started receiving a produce box. Part of the reason I got it was to try different things. I wish the dill hadn’t had turned bad. One thing with super fresh produce you have to eat it/use it right away. From Friday to Monday was too long for the dill.

Do you add herbs to your water? Do you add fruits?

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Watercolor Blue Bird

Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2019

I thought I had posted all the pictures I had taken of the watercolors at the Willow Glen Community Center where I teach yoga, so I snapped this one. I have not posted all of the ones I had taken, but I am posting this one. I will get to posting the other ones for my Friday Photo.

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Gotta Be Paranoid

Posted by terrepruitt on May 8, 2019

Recently I was reminded about how no matter what, you have to be diligent. It helped me feel better about my recent actions at the grocery store. I was at the grocery store and pulled my cart next to the produce I wanted to buy but then realized that the bags were across the aisle. It really was only about four or five steps away and I took one step toward the bags but then decided that as much as it was an annoyance I had better either take my purse or the whole cart. I felt foolish, but I pulled my cart over to the bag dispenser and grabbed a few bags. Sadly that is what we have to do in order to keep (adjective) thieves that see things as opportunities at bay. It only takes a second for a practiced pickpocket/thief/(adjective) to take your purse or your wallet out of your purse. And it only takes that one time for you to drop your guard and then you are stuck dealing with the aftermath. It can happen to anyone.

I won’t buy a purse that does not zip and it is not really because people can easily slip their hand into bags with one snap, it is more because I literally throw my purses around and I don’t like the stuff to fall out. It is just an extra added bonus that a zipped purse is more difficult to grab a wallet out of.

It is so unfortunate that we always have to be on the alert and on the defensive but there are experts (adjective) thieves out there that know how to use sleight of hand and distraction to take what they want. When they take what they want they leave a trail of waste. The violation they have done. They have taken what is yours and what you have worked for. They have taken your information and your sense of safety. It is just so awful.

I have often wanted to post about my habit when I go to the grocery store, because I think it might help someone. Then I convince myself that it is silly. But this past week has made me think that being cautious is not silly and while it may seem paranoid, if it saves us from having to deal with the aftermath of the (adjective) thieves then it is needed.

In addition to guarding my purse in my cart like a mother bear guards her cubs, my diligence doesn’t stop when I leave the store. I park my cart next to my car. I unlock my car and put my purse in my car then I LOCK my car. I want my purse locked in my car and not sitting in my cart while I am busy putting my groceries in my trunk. I want to make sure my car is locked so that someone can’t just walk by while I am bent over in my truck and grab my purse. Those cars that have all the doors unlock when one door is open are just asking for trouble. I make sure my purse is locked up.

That way if the “I need help” type of (adjective) thieves try to get my purse the door will be locked. One person trying to distract me while the other one gets my purse type of thing can’t happen.

Sadly, we just must be diligent. You can’t hang your purse on your chair and think it is ok. You can’t leave your purse in your cart and be a step away from it and think it is ok. You can’t have your purse in your unlocked car while you are right there getting gas and think it is ok. Thieves are *adjectives* so you have to guard against them.

I hope you all stay safe.

What savvy thing do you do to protect against adjective thieves? What advise do you have? What stories do you have to share?

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