Saturday, January 24, 2009

bye bye 1st l♥ve... it's time 4 something BETTER!!

Hello, my name is Melissa and I'm a smoothieholic. As I sit typing this my outside temp in the Chicago burbs is -2 degrees and windchill is around -17 but ALAS I'm sipping a mocha frap I made right here at home all for probably less than 10 cents and 54 calories. It's a weight watcher dream.

Let me just start by saying that my sister had moved briefly out of state in the early 90's. This was right about the time that smoothies were the "new thing" on the west coast. She came home, told me about them and then showed me how to make them. This was something NEW to me and so was born my smoothie and anything smoothie like obsession. My obsession of course leads to other obsessions. Finding the perfect fruits, yogurts, mixes, powders, ice, spices to make the perfect tasting smoothies.. but it doesn't end there.. in the obsession has also been the hunt to find the perfect smoothie making machine.

My poor mother, I can't tell you how many blenders we've been through since smoothies came to Chi-town via my sister. It's been more than a few I'd say, and since I've been married and living on my own over 10 years now it's been a few more in our house as well. My house is where blenders come to die, some commit suicide even before the box is opened. Every person who "thinks" they have a great blender is usually proven wrong when I hit them up for some "girlie" drinks or a smoothie.

Anyyyyywhooo so this brings me to my current dilemma... the last few weeks I've been having to "speed blend" my smoothies because my very favorite Back to Basics ORIGINAL smoothie maker has been leaking AND not chopping ice very well.

As you can see with this model there is a spicket however no lip at the top to pour from. The spicket is set higher than the blades, therefore, there is always a good 4-8oz of smoothie left on the bottom. Once you try to turn the container upside down it never comes out neatly. Also, my model doesn't even have a handle on the back to hold it. I'm pretty sure I have their FIRST model they made. I can only remember that we got it at Service Merchandise and I stole it fair and square once I moved out.

My mom has since gone out and bought this Back to Basics smoothie maker. When it came out a few years ago it was a little pricier. I can't find the exact model my mom got, but you can see Back to Basics and other brands that jumped on the smoothie blender band wagon have learned from the original mistakes. They've moved the spicket down, added a lip/spout, and added a handle. Also I've noticed that the stick for mixing on my mom's newer model actually is shorter. My original model they made too long and if you weren't careful you would wind up with chunks of plastic in your food. Not fun or yummy.

Okay.. so we all stay up late and watch infomercials.. and we all dream that every infomercial product is the ANSWER to our prayers.. the steamer is going to clean everything perfectly, my house is going to be spotless and germless. You have to use the steamer in order for any of that to happen.. just bringing one into ones home doesn't render said house spotless or germless, however, through the magic of tv you don't get to see how much a pain it is to use this or that product. Setting it up, cleaning it, you can't feel the weight of it, or how cheaply made it is.. blah blah blah.. soooo I think you all know where I'm going.. what other infomercial has ANYTHING to do with blender.. ahhhh of course Magic Bullet.

Of course, I remember a few months back there was Magic Bullet's on sale/clearance at Walgreens for like $5 or some insanely cheap price and of course I never once checked any of my stores. No clue why. All I know is that this week I started looking into them and finding out, price wise I just couldn't give in. They are over $60.

Last night I went to pick up my bra's from JcPenney I had ordered (all clearance of course $11.99 each plus I used a coupon code, picked them up myself to avoid shipping fees and used mrrebates to get 3% back) and on my way out from JcPenney I grabbed a few of their small catalogs. This morning I started browsing through them and the first thing I noticed was this set.

It was in the catalog for $29.99. I tried to order it on line and get some coupon codes but nothing was working. Instead Tim and I had errands to run and a new JcPenney store just opened in our area so I figured we could stop in and grab it. I grabbed one and went to scan to make sure it was priced at $29.99 in the store, NOPE $39.99 what??? so I go to the checkout, explain the situation and they tell me to go back to the catalog service desk to get checked out. I wasn't in the mood, I was hot and tired (I've been sick this week) but I drudged back there and the catalog lady was awesome, gave it to me for the $29.99 price and even let me PHYSICALLY twist her arm joking around with me. (hardyyy har har)Happy Smileys

So we stopped for a quick Panera yummmy dinner and came home and I wanted some dessert. But what else.. a mocha frap! lol! Let's give this thing a TEST RUN. OOOHhh myyyyy, I don't know how I lived WITHOUT this piece of heaven in my home up until this day. Of course, the blades are new and sharp, the pieces are all new and right on my counter BUT here is what I've noticed already that I love about this. I NOW know why they sell the Magic Bullets in sets of two because I want one for work.

Set up is a breeze. It's super tiny and living in a townhome with not the biggest cabinets I could keep this on the counter without taking up too much space OR easily put this away each time. I've already mentally taken my smoothie maker and my blender out of my kitchen. I won't be needing EITHER of them after today.

I was able to take the actual glass I'd be drinking my frap from and make it IN THE GLASS. #1 I don't have to do a ton of dishes!!! the container, the glass, the lid, the blade, the blending stick, and the rubber stopper all had to be cleaned each time I made anything. Not to mention the spicket should be cleaned out as well because honestly how knows what could be lurking in there. #2 NO GUESS WORK. I usually stand there trying to figure out just how much the current ingredients that are in the bottom of my smoothie maker will make. Will it fill the glass I want it to fill? Will it not be enough? This time, I poured my Almond Breeze in the bottom, added ice, powder creamer, splenda, sugar free choc syrup then threw the blade on, twisted and put it on the base. It blended itself in about 20 seconds.

Once I was done, I took the blade off, rinsed it off under hot water and left it on a towel to dry. No taking apart the whole assembly, no wiping the counter down from the spicket leaking or the rubber seal leaking from underneath. This will also not be taking up 1/4 of my dishwasher space either. I usually clean it out myself but each time I wash a load I throw the entire assembly in there for a deep clean. I'm not using the little lip rings that cover the top only because I always grab a straw to drink them from and I figure it's just another dish I don't need to wash.

Okay so since I got home I realized not only can I get rid of my 2 big blenders, but also my hand stick mixer set, my old quesadilla maker (I got the new George Foreman 360 for Chrismas) which also means I can get rid of my old George Foreman grill that the plates don't come out from and is impossible to clean!! This mixer is so great it's even cleaned out my cabinets, I can't say that about the steamer we bought though!
Love Smileys
....and for your listening enjoyment... IS THIS LOVE?


Frances said...

Thanks for the great review! My husband eyeballs the Magic Bullet everytime he comes near one. Thanks for the great review! Maybe he will get on for the next gift giving occasion.

My Cuisinart blender died recently. Maybe this would be a good replacement.

Frugal Felicia said...

I also love smoothies and would like to know how to make the mocha fraps. I am on weightwatchers and need that craving satisfied with as few points as possible=)