Category Archives: Tips

Initial Thoughts: Cuisinart Smart Stick 2 Speed Hand Blender

One of the things I had on my Christmas list this past holiday season was a hand (or immersion) blender. It’s one of those kitchen tools I’ve never owned but always thought would be handy.

I had forgotten it was even on my list but sure enough, at our last Christmas gathering, I unwrapped one. It was a Cuisinart Smart Stick Two Speed Hand Blender.

Having never made anything with a hand blender before I scoured the included book for recommended recipes and uses. I even talked to a good friend about how he uses his.

He was full of good tips. Including using it for everything from making shakes and protein drinks to mixing your scrambled eggs.

Tonight, with the help of my youngest, we gave it a try… making smoothies for the family. I ran the blender and she added the ingredients.

Adding honey to smoothies

Smoothie ready to blend

We had a pretty good system down and the smoothies turned out great!

Finished smoothies

So, what did I think of the Cuisinart Smart Stick Two Speed Hand Blender?

  • If you’re making just one smoothie it’s great but if you’re making more it’ll take more time than if you used a regular blender like a Ninja.
  • But… using the hand blender everyone can choose their own ingredients.
  • It would work better if you partially thawed the frozen fruit. I didn’t and we had some chunks that didn’t blend well. Not really a big deal but worth mentioning.
  • The hand blender is much easier to clean than a regular blender pitcher and lid.
  • The texture of the smoothie seemed to be more airy. This got me thinking about blending some warmed up milk and adding it to strong coffee to make a homemade latte.
  • I can’t wait give it a try on other things. Next up will be: scrambled eggs, blended soups, guacamole, and the previously mentioned latte.
Do you have a hand/immersion blender? Got any good tips for using it? Click To Tweet


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Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2015

Another year is coming to a close and as it does I thought I’d take a look at this blog’s stats and see what the top posts of 2015 were.  If you missed any of them the first time or want to read them again just click on the title.

Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2015

  1. Perfect Crockpot Potato Soup – Besides my chili recipe, this is our family’s favorite soup to make in the crock-pot.
  2. 10 More Iowa State Fair Tips – If you ever head to the Iowa State Fair these tips will help you out.
  3. Review: Lego Creativity Tour – I can usually tell whenever a Lego Creativity Tour makes a stop in another town because this post will get lots of views.  At last check if you google Lego Creativity Tour reviews this post is the first one listed. I thought that was pretty cool.
  4. Product Review: Yeti Rambler Colster – I love when my kids get involved with my blog.  This was a little experiment my oldest and I did.  It was fun working together to see what the results were.
  5. Donating Blood For The First Time – I’ve found an easy way to volunteer and give back.  I plan on donating as much blood as I can in 2016.
  6. Cheesy Crock-Pot Chicken Bacon Tator Tot Casserole – All the ingredients for this separately are great. Put them together in a crock-pot and awesomeness happens!
  7. Going Over The Edge For Special Olympics Iowa – I was fortunate to be able to participate in this event again. What an experience!
  8. Picking Your Parenting Battles – I didn’t use my parental veto powers on this shirt… and it all worked out.
  9. First Ever Family Applefest – What a fun day! I hope this becomes an annual event. I think the thing many people liked about this post was the making of the apple roses video in it.
  10. The Back-To-School Budget Experiment – This worked out so well we’ll do it again in 2016. May kids learned a little about the value of money and my wife and I learned that our kids can make wise choices when given the chance.
  11. Here’s a bonus one: Weekly Verse – Teens On A Mission – I’m always impressed when teenagers think more about others than they do themselves.  This was a great example!

What was your favorite Faith, Family, and Technology blog post from 2015?  I’d love to know! Feel free to leave a comment here or on the Facebook page.


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Be Smart: Use Calendar Reminders

Chances are you have a smart phone. Doesn’t matter whether it’s an Android or an iPhone it’s got a calendar app and you’re probably using it to keep track of important dates and appointments.

Computer and smartphone

How about using it to remind you of other things too? Here are some of the ways I’m using my smartphone calendar to keep me organized.

  1. I have it set to go off on MY birthday the year my drivers license expires. I’ll never forget to renew it. Made that mistake once. Never again.
  2. There’s a recurring entry for every 6 weeks to remind me to descale my Keurig.
  3. I’ve got a similar one to remind me of when to change our furnace filter. And one a week prior to that reminding me to buy a 20x20x1 furnance Filter.
  4. My calendar is also set up to remind me when enough time has passed that I can give blood again.
  5. There are reminders a week before my wife’s birthday and our anniversary. Gives me time to make sure I’m ready for the events.
  6. Each night at 10pm I get notification reminding me to say goodnight to our Elf on the Shelf, Fred. He’s with us for such a short time each year I’d hate to miss a night. 🙂

Do you have any tips on using your smartphone calendar?

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