Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Archive for June, 2020

Small Appliances To The Rescue

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2020

You may know from previous posts here that my oven is out of commission. My husband did all he could . . . the normal things like replacing the elements. He even purchased a thermostat, but the oven has to come out for that. The repairman determined it was the circuit board, something that the company no longer makes so we couldn’t order a new one. But my husband found a company that repairs them so our oven part is off at the electronic hospital :-). The company wanted a whole portion of the unit, but my husband knew that shipping that portion would be more risky for damage so he just sent the actual part that needs fixing. And in doing that he was able to put the stove controls back on. My oven is a stove and oven combination, if he would have shipped the whole thing they wanted I wouldn’t have had a stove. It is nice to have both a stove and an oven, but when you don’t have one, you kinda need the other. But when we were going through the process of elimination as to the issue with the oven, at one point I didn’t have a working stove (in addition to a non-working oven). So, I pulled out some of my other appliances. When we had our kitchen re-done years ago I was without a kitchen for four months. Yes, four months. So I was able to use other things like an electric skillet and an electric grill/panini press.

I don’t use them that often so this was a great opportunity. The electric skillet is amazing with how fast it heats up. I am assuming that if I cooked on it more frequently I would be better at knowing what heat to use, but now when I use it I turn the heat up and down . But it is not like a pan on the stove, it heats up very fast! Something I have to remember when I use it.

It’s lid can also serve as a baking dish, which is kinda cool, but at the same time it makes it somewhat challenging to take the lid off when cooking because it doesn’t have a handle on top.

Also I was reminded I love paninis. I love the grilled bread. It is nicer than just a pan toasted sandwich. The panini I cooked on it recently, I have to say . . . it was perfect. It was delicious. My appliance has changeable plates. I can use the griddle type of flat plate or the grill kind that makes the fancy lines on the food. It can open all the way up and form two griddles or close it like a press.

I am still without an oven for a bit . . . . until the part comes back . . . and hopefully it will work. (Or you will be seeing me post about getting a new oven . . . and possibly a little tiny kitchen work done.) But in the meantime I am looking for “how tos” for my electric skillet.

Do you have a panini press/grill? Do you have an electric skillet? What do you use them for? Do you have any “How tos”/recipes for an electric skillet?

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Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Mark It With Some Bling

Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2020

Recently I talked to a friend who was sharing that someone in the household couldn’t find their earbuds and she was saying, “That is why you mark them!” And I think that they had been marked but the mark wore off. I took this picture to send to her because she inspired me a long time ago to mark my accessories. It is much easier to spot them and know whose is who’s. And in some cases (like in the case of at least one of these power cords) it helps me know instantly which way it needs to be plugged in. Plus it adds BLUE and sparkles to things (if you use blue tape and/or blue sparkles)!

I decided to use it as my Friday Photo and ask . . . do you mark your stuff?

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Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Deflated By My Technology Struggles

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 2020

Wow. My day did not go as I had planned. How about you? I am teaching classes via Zoom and I am borrowing an amazing microphone from my husband’s office, it is great. It picks up sound incredibly well. But as the days continue to be so hot, I cannot function without a fan blowing directly on me. That is one of the things I miss (aside from my students!) when teaching from home – AIR CONDITIONING! Whew! It is hot. There is no way I can teach without a fan. I think the way Zoom is and the way the microphone is, it picks up the fan noise, but not so much the motor noise from the fan, but the air. I think they both work to keep that noise from transmitting and so it cuts out. So while I am instructing, my voice cuts out. When we are dancing the music cuts outs. It makes it difficult for students to follow. So, I broke down and bought a wireless headset mic.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exerciseI was taking a class from a friend and she was using a wireless headset mic and she told me what it was so I did some research. I researched for a few days and then with free returns available, I decided to get it and try it. It arrived Friday evening and I played with it all weekend.

I did tests, of all types, on Zoom – tests with music, without music, with speakers, with iTunes, with CDs, with fans, without fans . . . just all types of tests.  It worked great. I was fully prepared and so excited to teach Nia today.

My students “arrived” and we said hello and then I pressed play and my sound kept cutting out. Now, to me it is very important for my students to have good sound, that is why I am doing all this – and they did, but if I don’t have sound, I have nothing to teach too . . . . or worse, my sound was out of sync – to them . . . so I was instructing “off music”. It is very difficult to dance with instruction that is “off”. Sigh.

It was so bad, we restarted and I ditched my new toy for the old way.

I have not given up yet, but I was pretty deflated today. I had been so excited, I had done so many tests, I had spent so much time, I was ready to wow my students and make it great and so (insert sound of air being pushed out of a balloon). But, my students are very kind and understanding, they always have been. So their kindness made me feel a lot better.

As I said, I have not given up. I think I may have found a way to keep my sound from cutting out, but we will see.

I just thought I would share a portion of my day with you because I know that sometimes I can write it out and it helps.  I typed this out, then “sat on it” debating about posting it . . . people like positive and people certainly don’t want to hear that a class they are being asked to pay for has sound problems.  But, I also feel it is ok to be “real” and share struggles.  And . . . I can get “over” it with the combination of sharing and my students being so understanding.  Also, this is not to say everything is bad, this is just me sharing a bump in my journey in this odd new reality.

How was your day? What did you do?  Care to share, whatever it was?

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Crock-Pot Banana Bread

Posted by terrepruitt on June 22, 2020

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exerciseSo the past couple of weeks if my husband was not working he has been trying to fix our oven. Three Saturdays ago right after I put the pork chops in the oven the element arced and broke. On Sunday morning – first thing, hubby was shopping for an element. There is a lot to the story between then and us having an appointment for a repair man to come in on Tuesday, including a segment when the oven was making a scary buzzing noise so we turned the power off to the whole thing (it is a set in stove and oven unit). So for almost a week we were without an oven AND a stove. But again, not the point – exactly – of this post. The point is that we have a lot of bananas that turned into “banana bread” bananas really fast so I needed to make banana bread. I thought about trying to use the toaster oven to make cookies or little breads, but that sounded too daunting. So I asked Google if I could make banana bread in a crock-pot . . . and, of course I can! But as per my usual I didn’t read the recipe, I skimmed it. I skimmed two actually and both talked about putting the loaf pan IN the crock-pot. I assumed they were talking about a metal loaf pan; I don’t have a metal loaf pan. I also assumed they were talking about a BIG crock-pot, if you could fit a loaf pan in it! I don’t have a big crock-pot. Mine is small and round. One of the recipes did say that with a small crock-pot you could just line the crock-pot with parchment paper so that was my plan.

I was thinking I could just use my banana bread recipe, line the crock-pot, and “bake” away. I vacillated between being very leery and very confident. So while I was mixing the ingredients I looked up some recipes again trying to determine the cooking time and while I was scrolling through the kabillion advertisements on all of the postings, I had noticed the recipes call for baking POWDER (in addition to baking SODA). I don’t put baking powder in my banana bread. I happened to be texting with a friend while I was mixing and I asked her if the recipe she uses calls for baking powder and she said no. So we decided it was probably needed when “baking” banana bread in a crock-pot. So I just added a 1/2 teaspoon.

While I was looking up my banana bread recipe I also remembered I had one that I LOVED and it was in my notes on my phone. So I don’t know why I have a different one posted on my blog. AND I haven’t even been following that one. It seemed too plain the last time I made it. I might actually end up writing ANOTHER post when I go to make this again because I might use my “note recipe” as opposed to what I did.

Anyway . . . the banana bread came out GREAT. Better than when I bake it in the oven. I left it in the pot too long, but that was because I was leery, but now I know better. I had taken the insert out of the heating portion of the appliance, but I left the bread IN the pot. I will take it out next time and it will be perfect . . . well, maybe not because I will probably use a different recipe, but who knows. Here is what I did this time:

________________________________________________

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3 ripe bananas
Heavy sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon (white) sugar

1/2 cup butter (one cube – softened)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Butter for greasing the parchment paper
Parchment paper

(It is going to cook on high for 3 hours)

Put the peeled bananas in a bowl. Use a fork to smash the bananas to baby food-like consistency – with a few chunks. Sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon on the bananas and a sprinkle of nutmeg (next time I will measure, sorry), add the white sugar. Mix it up.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add the eggs. Mix it up. Then add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture a little at a time.

Line the crock-pot with parchment paper. (I used two pieces, one going one way and the other going the other way, like a plus sign.) Press the paper into the pot as much as you can. Remember you are going to have ROUND banana bread and the edges might have “wrinkles” in them from the paper. Cut off the excess paper that sticks out of the top so that your lid will fit on properly. Butter the paper where the bread mixture will be. Then pour/scoop the mixture into the crock-pot. Turn it on high and set your timer for 2 1/2 hours. Check on the bread if you want or just let it go for another 30 minutes.

Carefully take the lid off . . . . you might not want all the condensation to drip onto the top of your bread.

Then you simply pull the bread out by the paper. If you want let it cool before you slice into it.

________________________________________________

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I had NOT planned on writing a recipe because I thought I was going to just use the one I have posted in my “Banana Bread” post, but I changed it enough that I thought I would post the recipe. I was just going to post pictures of the bread, that is why I don’t have pictures of ingredients . . . but you all know what they look like. You just needed someone to say . . . “Hey, I made banana bread in my (old) crock-pot.”

I specify “old” crock-pot because it is NOT one of those fancy ones where you know the temperature and can set a time. Mine has Off/Lo/High. I cooked it for three hours on high. I checked it at 2 and I thought, “Okay, I am gonna have to have faith this is going to cook.” Because it was nowhere near cooked after 2 hours.

It was so good, I don’t think I will use my oven to bake banana bread again!

So . . . do you think you will try making banana bread in your crock-pot?

 

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Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Too Much Time On Her Hands

Posted by terrepruitt on June 19, 2020

One day I looked up and saw this. It took me a second to realize she was staring at the moving second hand. She sometimes watches TV and often stares at my iPad or phone. Funny Girl.

Nessa staring at the clock is today’s Friday Photo.

How are you? Feel like that clock is moving slow lately? Or maybe it is moving too fast?

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Posted in Cats, Friday Photo, Teagan and Nessa | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Painted Candle Holders – Christmas 2019

Posted by terrepruitt on June 17, 2020

You may surmise from my posts about my craft projects that I have made things for people for Christmas. My most recent post shows the two bottles I painted for two friends for Christmas. I enjoyed painting so much that I got an idea to paint bottles for a dozen friends and family members for Christmas gifts the following year.  There are so many pictures of those bottles that it will take a long time to go through to figure out what to post. I have been putting that off for a long time, but the conversation with another blogger about crafts has motivated me to post the pictures of my projects. Originally I thought I would post as a project, but just like when I am cooking, I get so into what I am doing I forget to take pictures of the process. In regards to the multiple bottle project I will probably end up with fewer pictures then the first bottle post because I didn’t take very good pictures. Last year what I decided to paint was candle jars. We buy a lot of candles in jars and the glass is such high quality I can’t throw it out. I really enjoy painting (although I am NOT an artist) on glass so I decided to recycle the jars. As you can see my designs are very simple since I don’t paint well. It is more of a “something that brings me joy” than a “something that results in a beautiful object”.

Not only am I not a great painter I am not a great photographer so I didn’t capture all the sparkles very well, but ALL of the candle holders have glitter on them. Many of the designs were inspired by the recipients and, with one, the shape of the jar.

I have many more jars and bottles to paint. I hope to get some painting in this year.

Do you like to paint? Do you like to take pictures? Is crafting “your thing”?

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Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Painted Bottles – Christmas 2016

Posted by terrepruitt on June 15, 2020

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, Yin Yoga, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yogaI was reading a blog recently and one of the posts was showing the blogger’s beautifully organized crafting area. I explained that my crafting area was my dining room table. Most crafts I have created have taken longer than just an afternoon . . . in fact most of my projects take weeks – and I get frustrated having my entire dining area littered with crafting material. It is pretty much the only spot in the house that is generally always clutter free so when I am doing a project and it is cluttered it tends to take away from the joy of crafting. Anyway . . . what led me to this post was her asking me what I did. My current crafty thing is painting glass. I recycle glass bottles and jars. I have done three projects and since we were talking about them I decided to share pictures. Originally (back in 2016) I had thought I would share them as a craft to-do type of post, but just like when I am cooking, I never think to take the pictures while I am doing. So I will just do three separate posts showing the finished projects.

The first glass painting project I did was inspired by some wine glasses we have that I love.  I also was inspired by the bottles themselves. Although the one bottle (the St-Germain bottle) I think is beautiful all on its own, I did not do it justice at all. I was pretty much at a loss as to how to paint it and . . . well, I have more I would like to paint now. So one day . . .

I have a couple of dozen bottles I would still like to paint. I had thought I would get that done during our shelter-in-place, but I ended up teaching a few classes and that takes up my creative time and energy . . . so we will see.

Even though there are over a dozen pictures there are only two bottles, but I was documenting the way I painted them and how they looked with the lights on and off and the various sides.

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Oh drat, now that I have labelled everything tequila, it might have been a premade peach drink a friend bought from Costco. I don’t remember, but I do remember that I gifted the bottle back to her.

Do you do any type of crafting?  What do you do?

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Green Love

Posted by terrepruitt on June 12, 2020

One of the silly pictures I have wanted to post. It makes me smile because these plastic beaded necklaces sat on our counter for months (I seem to remember) and we used to make them into different shapes. I really am feeling the need for more love in the world lately. I thought it would be a good time to post this. Not that posting a picture of plastic green hearts will actually GET more love out in the world, but . . . it will make me smile. Perhaps the bit of silliness will make you smile, too.

Green hearts for today’s Friday Photo.

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What do you think?

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What Have YOU Been Reading

Posted by terrepruitt on June 8, 2020

With the continuation of having to be sheltered-in-place and not being able to see students and friends in person, with all that goes along with that and everything that is going on, I have not been wanting to listen or watch my “normal” fare. I have been really needing just the easy, breezy, kinda cheesy type of stuff. There are a few books I listened to that fit that bill.

I finished the Gallagher Series. I was holding off on reading (listening to) it because it was the last book and I really loved that series. But, it was not the best one in the series. Not sure what it was about it, but it actually did not leave me wanting more like all the other books did. Maybe she did that good of a job at finishing the series that I don’t need another Cammie Morgan story? Not sure, but I enjoyed all the other books in the series more than that last one. I can see myself listening to a few of them again, but not that last one.

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I received Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for Ultrahuman Protection as one of the free books because for the last two months (or maybe it has been the last three months . . . I can’t remember . . . it all has bled together) Audible has been allowing members to get all of their “monthly originals” and not just two. Normally with your paid membership you choose two out of a monthly selection of books to get for free, but they have been allowing members to get ALL ten books for free. And Alexander C. Kane’s first Andrea Vernon book was included in the May selection. I didn’t even finish listening to it and I was buying the second one. It is funny. Again, we are not talking literary greatness, we are talking easy, breezy, cheesy, silly, laughable entertainment. It is FUNNY! Even though it is not literary greatness, but it is comical greatness.

I liked the first book better than the second book, Andrea Vernon and the Superhero Industrial Complex, but they are both funny and entertaining. I listened to the first book twice. I had been working my way through the May freebies, but needed a break (wanting easy, breezy, kinda cheesy) so I started to listen to the second book again, but the new choices for June came out so we grabbed all of them and I listened to a couple. I am in the middle of a third and will probably “take a break” by going back to the Andrea Vernon book two (AV2).

I am excited for AV3 to come out, I really, really, really hope that Bahni Turpin reads it because she IS Andrea Vernon and she is awesome.

So what are you listening to? Reading?

(Not all pictured fit the bill of easy, breezy, kinda cheesy type of stuff.  These are just some of what I have listened to while in Quarantine.)

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Finding The Beauty

Posted by terrepruitt on June 5, 2020

Whew!  I know it is out there, but sometimes you have to look for it.  When there is so much going on sometimes it is the little things, the ordinary things where I can find the beauty.  I actually took this in February when I looked out my door and saw this.  Around that time our neighbors new to the area said there were no cherry trees around.  We were able to put out the one right in the neighborhood.  In order to not be overwhelmed by it all . . . . I continue to need to find the beauty.

Here is a cherry tree for today’s Friday Photo.  Do you find the PINK of a cherry tree amazing?

- http://www.HelpYouWell.com - www.TerrePruitt.com - Nia Teacher, yoga teacher, group exercise instructor, Zoom classes, online exercise classes

Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »