MacGourmet Recipe Batch: Smoothies

Recently, I discovered something about myself.

I am a recipe hoarder.

No point in denying it anymore. I blame MacGourmet for enabling this behavior.

Yes, you read correctly: I have 3673 recipes. I told you I have a problem and you didn't believe me, did you?

Yes, you read correctly: I have 3673 recipes. I told you I have a problem and you didn’t believe me, did you?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. I once told one of my best friends that I had thousands of recipes collected and organized. He shrugged and said, “Sounds about right.”

There you have it. This is the kind of person I am.

I’ve been using MacGourmet for years now–I don’t remember when I first got it, only that I’ve written about it basically on every single blog I’ve created. I recommend it to everyone. Everyone! And I don’t even get paid for it. Ridiculous, am I right? I just do it out of all the love in my heart. It’s very noble of me, I know.

Here are the abridged reasons why I love MacGourmet, because if you’re my friend and you’ve followed the various incarnations of my blog, you’ve probably read something similar already. The fact that you put up with this is also very noble of you. If you don’t care about any of this and/or you already have MacGourmet so you don’t need me to tell you about its awesomeness, skip to the end. I promise it’ll be worth it.

MacGourmet is basically iTunes for food: intuitive layout, powerful tagging, and smart list features for the organization-obsessed like me. You can flag recipes, mark them prepared, rate them, then make a smart list from all your 5-star dishes. You can also add beer, wine, and cheese (I record all of the new favorites I discover).

MacGourmet Deluxe comes with a built-in mealplan calendar (which syncs with iCal) and shopping cart. (It also has a nutritional calculator, which I only use when I make something ridiculous for my parents like cheesecake or cookies and my dad wants to calculate the damage.) Here’s how I do my meal planning:

  1. I look through my smart lists for beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian meals.
  2. I put one recipe from each for every week (add sides or salads if necessary), sometimes planning my weeks months in advance.
  3. When I go grocery shopping, I create a shopping list from the recipes for that week, automatically adding all the ingredients I need.
  4. I skim through the list and delete items I already know I have at home, then sync my shopping list with the iPhone MacGourmet app.
  5. I take my list with me to the store and check it off as I go, like a boss.

Bam. Like cake.

I’ve spend many hours over the years organizing and adding to my collection of recipes, so many hours I don’t ever want to know the actual number, because that would be depressing. Most of the recipes are from the web: blogs I follow and love, Google search results, Pinterest links. Recently, on two consecutive football Sundays, I parked myself in front of the TV and went through all 3000+ entries, deleting ones I would never make. (I run a tight operation around here.) I deleted 600 of them. And then I added 600 new ones in their place. So, yes, I actually think that one day I might have cause to make every single one of these 3673 recipes I have left over.

So far I’ve prepared 359 of them… almost 10%. It’s not that far fetched, okay?

The point I’m trying to get to here is how all of this benefits YOU. That’s right. I thought, this is a lot of work and time spent for just me to reap the benefits. So I decided to export my recipe collection in batches (with minimal overlap so there aren’t duplicates) and share them with you as a series here on my blog. For free, obviously.

I still have another 1000 recipes in my bookmarks at which I’m slowly chipping away, and I’ve decided not to add any more to that number. So now if I stumble on anything new on my RSS or Pinterest feed, I take the time to put it directly into MacGourmet instead of bookmarking it to add it later. But, I did go on a bit of a smoothie kick last month, so I prioritized adding smoothies to my collection.

And I’m sharing all 48 of those smoothie recipes with you!

I never claimed my food photography skills were pro, okay?

I never claimed my food photography skills were pro, okay?

Smoothie Recipe Batch for MacGourmetSmoothie Recipe Batch for MacGourmet
File size: 20.4 MB. Last updated: March 8, 2014.
48 smoothie recipes collected from around the web, organized, with photos, and exported for MacGourmet.

Recipes included in this collection:

Notes about recipe credit, use, and formatting:

All recipes are sourced in the MacGourmet file and linked to the original recipe on the web. If not a web recipe, the name of the person or book is sourced. I don’t claim any of the recipes or images included in the batch as my own, unless my name is written as the recipe source. (I do have a few credits to my name, but not many.) If you are the owner of one of the recipes included in this batch and would like your recipe removed, please email me and I will do so. Recipes in this format are intended for personal use with the MacGourmet software, and I receive no compensation for any of this.

I like to cook with natural, healthy, homemade ingredients as much as possible, and this is reflected in the recipes I have in my collection.

As I enter the recipes into MacGourmet, I edit them in minor ways, mostly for organizational purposes. One of the biggest motivations is to streamline the ingredients so that they work better with the shopping list aspect of the software. For example, “freshly ground black pepper,” “freshly grated black pepper,” “pepper,” or other variations I put in as “black pepper” on all recipes. I assume all produce is fresh unless noted otherwise: for example, “thyme” assumes fresh thyme, unless the ingredient reads “dried thyme,” etc. If you need clarification with any of the ingredients as they are entered into the software, please consult the link to the original recipe!

Takeaways from 2013

2013 was a year of transition for me, and a year of some accomplishment.

I didn’t accomplish everything, though. The big one: I wanted to have self-published my book by the end of the year, and that didn’t happen.

What did I accomplish in my writing? Over the course of the year I wrote approximately 110,000 words, split into two separate drafts of the same work. Some months were better than others. I’m a slower writer than I’d like to be, and it’s something I have to work on. I spent way too many hours editing instead of moving forward. Ideally, I’d like to produce between 5-10k words per week. That’s a leap, but it’s something to work for. In my most productive weeks, those numbers weren’t too much of a reach.

I retreated into my own head a lot in 2013 when I came to my writing. I need to find my way back out of it, to break free of the cycle of fear and doubt.

In 2013 I became single, for the first time in a long time. In 2013, I began to date again. I met a new group of friends and reconnected with old ones. Toward the end of 2013, I found a part-time job doing something else I like, a position flexible enough to leave me enough time to write. All in all, 2013 was a climb uphill; it wasn’t the easiest trek at some points, but I ended up in a place better than where I started.

My biggest accomplishment in 2013 was, by far, physical.

My friends recommended a type of workout class I’d never heard of before, and in April I decided to give it a shot. I was a hot mess at the beginning. I could barely finish 10 push-ups on my knees. I used modified forms just to keep up, like lunging flat-footed instead of on my toes. Cardio sequences regularly made me feel like keeling over, and I had to take breaks in between the barre sequences so I wouldn’t pass out. I’d take arm-focused classes and drop my weights halfway through to finish my reps.

But something changed in June, and I upped my classes from once to three times per week. I began to look forward to scheduling my classes weeks in advance. I stopped dreading the barre. Weight loss wasn’t the point; I only lost five pounds over those six months, but I felt stronger, leaner, more capable, powerful and confident. I loved it.

My workouts are a massive part of what kept me sane through most of 2013, the longest I’ve stuck with a regimen like this. So I’mma take a second to brag here, because it took a lot of sweat and I’ve never felt this rad before in my life:

- I can now do 20 push-ups on my toes, in a row, like a boss.

- I used to watch in envious awe the classmates who continued where I dropped my weights. Now I’m one of them.

- I can now keep up with the the endless jumping jacks and lunges at the barre like it’s no thang. (Actually, it’s still really hard. But I don’t feel like passing out anymore!) And I can do 2/3 sets of lunges on my toes instead of flat-footed.

- I might actually be developing abs for the first time in my life. Also, I might flex my biceps for you, totally unprompted. I regret nothing.

2013 was definitely a year of healing. I think 2014 will be the year of striding ahead.

Things my first draft taught me, part one.

Seeing as I’m still learning about my own creative process, this is by no means an instructional list. Rather, these are observations I’ve made on issues I’ve encountered as I’ve transitioned from the first to the second draft of my novel.

1. If something is tedious to write, it’s probably going to be tedious to read. (See also: what I call the Breaking Bad kick in the pants.)

If I spend an entire day trudging through a scene and I’m not finished by dinnertime, that’s usually a sign that I’ll be cutting significant portions of it in my next edit, or taking it in an entirely new direction. If I’m having trouble getting started at all, I take a step back and consider why this particular scene seems like such a chore.

That’s where Breaking Bad comes in. I remember the shock of watching the first few episodes for the first time: it was like being punched in the face in rapid succession. One issue would get resolved as three others hung in the air, meanwhile the plot would ripple with a new development; devastating, outrageous, utterly relevant.

So I take a tip from the Breaking Bad rulebook and think: how can I kick this scene, this series of events, up a notch? Sometimes this involves adding action, upping the emotional ante, pitting the characters against a deadline, setting an inevitable course for disaster. Sometimes it involves skipping the mundane, condensing hours or days of filler into a few words and pushing forward. Most importantly, it is an exercise in being ruthless, trimming everything but the vibrant, lean meat that makes the substance of the story. It forces me to work harder, to seek out potential beyond the ordinary. If I’m not invigorated by what’s happening, why would a reader ever be?

2. Don’t summarize; just write.

Sometimes a scene hits me and I know exactly the way I want it to play out. I know where I want my characters to start and where I want them to end up—I’ve even got a decent sketch on how I want them to get from point A to point B. In my hurry to pin down my ideas, I “download” my thoughts onto the page as they occur to me, concepts tumbling one after the another. Next thing I know, I’ve got 900 words, except what I’ve written isn’t even first draft material; it’s notes, meaningless to anyone but me. There’s no dialogue, no action, just an explanation for what I should write later.

At first I saw no problem with this, which is why I had my entire first draft outlined, down to each scene—everything from details to overarching themes—long before I’d even gotten around to writing half of it. “I’ve got my entire draft outlined!” I’d say, as if I’d already done all the work. “All I have to do now is fill in the blanks!”

Except the work isn’t in the ideas; it’s in the labor of sentences, laying words like bricks. Ideas are fun, dynamic, exciting; labor can be just as rewarding, but it requires a bit of suffering. I’d stripped the fun and left myself the suffering, doubled—since mentally I was restarting work I’d already finished. All I had to do was fill in the blanks, indeed, but I’d forgotten just how much of a joyless, tedious activity that is.

In my second draft, I learned to prioritize productivity above braindumping. Even if I feel the momentum to describe an entire scene in one frenzied sitting, I force myself to slow down and write it out instead, and jot down whatever’s left as points to hit as I continue. That way, I convey everything I wanted to, but I’ve got a draft-worthy scene I can present for my troubles. Which leads me to my next point…

3. Don’t worry so much about forgetting ideas before writing them down.

This is what drives a lot of point number 2: the need to record everything before it slips my mind. One idea leads to another, and I have to catch them all before they flit away. The next thing I know I’m typing a stream of consciousness for the entire afternoon. I thought ideas were wily things, ready to sneak away the moment I turned my back, never to be seen again. What if I lost sight of a great one?

I realized that throughout this process, I’ve yet to forget a worthwhile idea before I’ve gotten a chance to note it in some way. Now I take my time, give my thoughts a longer lead, let them process a bit on their own. And if I do happen to forget one or two, maybe they weren’t that great, anyway. Maybe they made room for something better.

4. On that note… Leave room for the organic.

I framed my first draft in a collection of goals: a daily word count, and a project word count. They’d change, depending on how things were going. Sometimes I’d set a project deadline and psych myself out and watch the numbers pile up every day I fell short.

I imagine I’m 25% of the way through my second draft, but I’m not sure what the final tally will be. Maybe 60,000 words, maybe 80,000. I’ve decided not to stress about the numbers, but to let the story breathe. It’s allowed me to be more flexible and my work more dynamic; whenever I want to make changes, big or small, the process isn’t nearly as daunting as it used to be, and I can focus on writing instead of maneuvering.

Just keep swimming.5. Dory proves to be a fountain of inspiration, time and time again.

Let’s face it. Stephen King’s got some great advice in his memoir On Writing, but this fish has nailed the mantra to inspire a generation. Just keep swimming.

Deadline, New Deadline

So remember that time I said I wanted to finish my first draft by the end of March? Yeah, me too. In fact, I believe it’s the post preceding this one (now, the end of April).

Basically, I did a fine job of completely psyching myself out. It always starts so innocuously, too. There I am, browsing Goodreads, nodding along to reviews of books that have absolutely nothing to do with mine, stuffing my mouth with baguette and cheese and tea. And then suddenly, I realize that: 1) none of the good things said in these reviews will apply to my book; and 2) all of the bad things will. Never mind that these reviews address the breadth of genre and literature and quality.

Deep down, I know I can do this. Deep down, I see a life for myself where I make this work, and I love it. I can’t imagine anything better. I examine my life in retrospect, the turns I’ve taken that didn’t always make sense, and I can see now how they’ve brought me here. I suppose this would qualify as my dream, though I’ve never thought of it in such terms. There is beauty in language, in crafting a sentence that is just so. Put simply, when all the other voices quiet down, when I forget all the advice I’ve received, when I find that place where self-doubt can’t touch me, there is real joy.

And it’s within my reach. Time to buck up and take it.

Not to mention, I’m a little in love with the cover I designed (if I’m allowed to say so), and I can’t use it until the book is actually, you know, complete. Details (sigh).

The Home Stretch

I’m kind of there. At least, I’m desperately trying to convince myself I’m there.

I use Scrivener to write, and it rocks. One of its awesome features is the ability to set a word count or—even better—a word count with a target date, and it will automatically calculate how many words you need to write each day to hit your deadline. And then! When you hit your daily word count like a boss, a notification will pop up and pat you on the back and cheer and hand you a beer and declare you the man, basically.

Of course, there is a downside. Obviously, if you don’t meet your word count one day and you’re on a deadline, the next day your word count will increase. And the next. And the next. And… the next. Until you’re terrified to even check because you know you’re going to be buried under a mountain of WORDS, SO MANY WORDS, MY GOD.

That’s where I am now. I want to finish my first draft by the end of this month. 17 days. You know what happens when you have to write several ten thousands of words and you have only 17 days to do so? Math, man. Sometimes, it really sucks.

I have to write at least 3,000 words per day to hit my deadline. And I really want to hit it, just for the action! Editing (I love editing—in fact, I love it so much I’m thinking of dedicating a post to how much I love it; I know, there are wild things coming up on the horizon for this blog), professional editing (terrifying and exciting; I’m clutching my pearls just thinking about it!), ramped up marketing, beta readers, launch dates, ebook formatting! SO MANY FUN THINGS. I want to do them.

Seventeen days. Can I do it? I want to say “please don’t judge me if I don’t,” but I think that might be admitting defeat before I’ve even begun, and that seems kind of lame. So instead I’ll stick with two of my mom’s favorite cheers from my childhood (I say childhood but it’s entirely possibly I’ve heard one or both of these phrases sometime in the last month): go get them, tiger! And: go ninja, go ninja, go!

Creative Paralysis

I have it. Actually, I’ve had it for over a week. I have so many different forms of creative output I could pursue, too! Allow me my moment of whining drivel here: I could write, but I’ve decided that I hate my story and everything that happens in it and that everything I write is dumb. I could draw, but I haven’t drawn in years and staring down a blank sketchbook page is actually kind of terrifying. I could practice the piano, but I haven’t practiced in months and I’d have to start with boring scales to get back into it, then I’m just going to give up halfway through relearning one of my old pieces. I could post on my blog, but what of value could I possibly have to contribute to the internet, which is already saturated with too much of everything? I mean, I’m seriously planning on turning my Instagram feed into a wheaten terriergram feed (I couldn’t think of anything more clever than that, I’m sorry, but at least now you’ve been warned that you shouldn’t come here expecting any cleverness from me), for god’s sake, man.

There. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, we can all move on with our lives. Although, I think the paragraph above only serves to prove my point that I have nothing worthwhile, interesting, and/or original to say here. I’m sure you’re all jumping at the bit to subscribe to my RSS feed after that enlightening experience.

I know what I have to do. I have to bite the bullet and just keep swimming. Or, in this case, just keep writing. Because damn it, I’m 45,811 words in and there’s no going back now!(!) And then I need to take some time out to draw some really awful drawings, because they’re guaranteed to be awful and that’s just a fact, then I need to celebrate in their awfulness. And then I need to sit down in my chair and write blog posts like this, because that’s who I am and what I feel like writing about, and lord knows the internet could do without another post re: “6 best writing habits” or “10 little known tricks to increase your web presence” or “25 ways to make your blog more interesting” (since—who am I kidding?—I don’t have it in me to pretend to be interesting, therefore I hardly qualify as the premier authority to speak on the matter).

So on this foggy Monday—as I drive my poor dog insane by listening to nothing but Mumford & Sons on repeat for the nth day in a row (a fitting revenge, I suppose, since I walked her all over the neighborhood this morning and she refused to do her business and she actually psyched me out, yes, really, she squatted like, oh hey, I’m totally going to do my business now, then she was like PSYCH! just practicing)—I move forward!

5 Notable Reads of 2012

Throughout college and especially law school, I neglected reading for pleasure. In 2010 I got an iPad for my birthday, and promptly fell in love with ebooks. This may be sacrilege, but I have no particular attachment to the physical act of holding a book to read. The smell of books is a delight for sure, but paperbacks and hardcovers take up space. They weigh a lot. And they take time to ship. Ebooks I keep in my own personal library, all the time. Wherever I take my iPad I take with me all the books I haven’t read yet, plus old favorites to reread whenever I like.

I loved the ability to read books the moment I fancied them. I dove into the wealth of reviews and recommendations on Goodreads. Soon I reverted to my middle school self, the girl who tied her best friend with the most books read each grade year. I was a bloodthirsty bookworm on a rampage, and it was glorious. I read a handful of classics (though this year I pledge to read more), some fantasy (always a favorite), and a whole lot of romance, which I had never read before. At one point I think I overdosed on historical romance, saturated up to my ears in it, but I couldn’t resist and plowed on. I discovered new genres of paranormal romance—I devoured the Fever series—and young adult, which turned out to be hit or miss for me. All in all, I read over 100 books, some challenging, most purely for entertainment. Looking back on the year, I’ve picked five books that left an impression on me for one reason or another.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre kind of blew my mind. After finishing it, I just stared into space for a while. I didn’t love the ending, and there were many imperfections, but still I loved the experience. I reread sections of it immediately after turning the last page. It was the first book in 2012 that stopped me in my tracks; for weeks afterwards I read nothing else, until the spell wore off. Fortunately, a remake of Jane Eyre came out in 2011, so I indulged, and crushed on Michael Fassbender.

Atonement

Atonement
There’s not much I have to say about Atonement other than love, love, love. Most of all, I loved the prose, especially at the beginning, when the strange inner monologue of childhood is painted with devastating accuracy. At points it made me despair and think, why bother writing at all when something like this already exists? This was another case in which I watched the movie after reading the book, and oh, the tears.

Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy
Terrible title aside, Sugar Daddy is one of my favorite contemporary romances. I developed a love for Lisa Kleypas through her historical romances. I’ve tried many other historical romance authors since, but none of them have come close to the magic of Kleypas’s stories and characters. Sugar Daddy is not a straight up romance; it follows the story of Liberty Jones from childhood onward, through significant struggles, and the romance comes into play halfway through. Sometimes I wish that part of the book received more attention, because the hero is one of my absolute favorites, but it’s a very satisfying read regardless.

Mind GamesMind Games
The Disillusionists Trilogy, starting with Mind Games, is a unique urban fantasy series, which follows a group of crime fighters who take down criminals by projecting their neuroticism onto their targets. Justine, the main character, is a hard core hypochondriac. Other characters include a compulsive gambler, and a perpetual pessimist with the power to strip life of all its beauty. I’m sure everyone can relate to the anxiety of obsessive compulsive thoughts to some degree, and this series takes an amusing and interesting look on how individuals cope with these thoughts. There is a love triangle, which becomes even more pronounced in the second and third books, but this is one case where a love triangle is handled very well, and actually adds to the story and character development.

Daughter of Smoke and BoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
is my favorite young adult book of 2012. It’s somewhat of an urban fantasy, with strange creatures, mysterious teeth, angels at war, and star-crossed lovers. The world is original, and the descriptions of Prague really bring the city to life. Though the second half doesn’t have quite the spark as the first, it’s a very enjoyable read. It ends on a cliffhanger, but fortunately the second book has come out, so you don’t have to wait in suspense for long.