Tag Archives: Nanaimo Bars

My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

My previous roommates had a Magic Bullet, so I could kind of experiment with making shakes like the one in Jorge Cruise’s “Belly Fat Cure” book, but the Magic Bullet has a small capacity and really not a lot of power for some serious blending. Now that I’ve moved and got my own kitchen, I didn’t have a blender of any kind. And I really didn’t want to spend any money on one either.

At work, when we meet our customer service goals, they award us a bonus. The bonus used to be a quarterly cash bonus that maxed out at $200 but once taxed at the rate the government taxes bonuses, it was barely more than half the value. As part of a cost cutting measure last year due to the economy, the quarterly bonus opportunity was transitioned into a point program where the points could be saved and redeemed through an awards catalog online. The points can be redeemed for a wide variety of products and if that’s not quite enough for you, they even have a partnership with Amazon.com for supplying Music and DVD options to be redeemed for points.

When I logged in to look at what was available, I really wasn’t looking to purchase yet with the point I had available. But I just happened to look and not only did they have a variety of blenders available, they also had KitchenAid Blenders. I’m already familiar with KitchenAid quality thanks to my grandmother’s mixer being passed down to me. And I love a great deal, the mixers are normally 7,176 points, and they were on special for 3,915 points, essentially 45% off the usual “price” only thing was there’s only one choice of color, the “Willow Blue” model. Fortunately, it’s a nice color and since buying the blender for real money would be about $100, I felt it was a great deal and placed the order. Within in a couple days the blender arrived. Continue reading My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.

This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.

I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.

I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.

Continue reading Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Follow Up Interview With Jorge Cruise

Not only is today the day you can now buy Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure book in stores, I received a call from his office yesterday to ask if I would be available to come in today for a follow up video interview to the sugar experiment video. Fortunately I was free today so I agreed to stop by the office.

When I stop in, I like to bring some of my treats from my latest recipes so I unfortunately didn’t have any on hand as I left the last of my last batches at my parent’s house over Christmas. I made sure to leave work a little bit early so I could race down to the health food stores to pick up the supplies I needed to whip up a batch of Nanaimo Bars. Normally it’s best to make them a day ahead so they have time to properly chill in the refrigerator, but I didn’t have a chance to go to the store yesterday and so a few short hours in the freezer was going to have to make up for overnight in the refrigerator…hopefully.

I got all my ingredients ready, raced through the production of the Nanaimo Bars as quickly as possible and got them in the freezer while I got ready. They had asked me to bring a couple of solid colored shirts with no logos on them, which is a small problem for me, as the bulk of my non-work related wardrobe consists of printed t-shirts. If it’s got a funny saying or a logo I love to wear it. Plain stuff is just too boring to me, so I had to make a special trip to the store.

Continue reading Follow Up Interview With Jorge Cruise

Browsing My Early Copy of Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure Book

Belly Fat Cure - Title PageYesterday, I braved the heavy rains that hit San Diego to visit Kim Barry, the wonderful lady who has been my contact at Jorge Cruise‘s office since my very first day on the Belly Fat Cure program. She’s the one I’ve been in touch with on weekly basis during my time on the Costco 100 case study group and ever since that group ended I still keep in touch with Kim. Every time I try out a new recipe I always keep Kim in the loop and I always keep a sample of it for Kim to bring to her any chance I get.

Well I haven’t seen Kim in a while so I had a variety of samples to bring to her. Kim was out of town the last time I stopped by Jorge’s office on September 2nd to deliver some samples of my “Almost Sugar Free Black Forest Cake” and Nanaimo Bars. I wanted to make sure Kim had a chance to enjoy them too, so saved a slice of the cake for Kim and it’s been in the freezer since September. I would have given it to her sooner, except we couldn’t quite find a day where she would be in the office that would line up with when I had a chance to head into San Diego to stop by.

Continue reading Browsing My Early Copy of Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure Book

Thanksgiving At My Parents’ New Home

Mom's New HouseI got to have my first look the new house my parents moved into in Temecula, California on Thanksgiving. I was a little sad to see the old house in the process of being packed up and ready to go last week when stopped by. (Click here to read about that visit.) But I was excited to see the new house even though it’s considerably further away from where I’m currently living.

My first look at the house wasn’t actually when I drove up, when I got the e-mail from my mother with the new address, I checked it out on Google’s maps using the street view feature. The photo was not unlike the one I took that’s shown above. The house is definitely bigger than the older house and as my mom tells me, it’s approximately 1000 square feet bigger than the old house, but because lacks the same level of storage space of the old house. Understandable considering the old house, my folks had “California Closets” installed in all the closets to maximize the closet spaces and a full set of storage cabinets inside the garage. The new house has just the bar to hang clothes in the closets and from what my folks told me, the garage wasn’t even drywalled when the bought the house. So eventually the closets will get transformed into California Closets and cabinets added to the garage, but it’s not a priority.

Continue reading Thanksgiving At My Parents’ New Home

Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar Factory In My Kitchen

Nanaimo Bar FactoryYesterday, I took on the daunting task of making four batches of Nanaimo Bars using the Sugar Free recipe I developed earlier this year. (For those new to my blog and unfamiliar with my adventures developing my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar recipe, click here to see all my Nanaimo Bar entries. The recipe also appears below.) It was the first time I have made multiple batches in one day and it was certainly an interesting experience. As the dessert is a layered treat, I did all four sets of each layer before moving on to the next layer. It was definitely a big production and of course, I couldn’t do them all the same, so I did three batches as the regular version of the recipe and one batch in the peanut butter variation.

Part of the reason for doing so many batches at once is that I promised a batch to be a gift for a friend for his birthday, also I’m attending a couple of Thanksgiving events that I don’t want to arrive at empty handed. Also my roommates really liked the peanut butter variation when I first tried that variation of the recipe but I haven’t made a second batch of that one, until now.

I had to set up the kitchen into almost a factory setup with many little “stations” to handle the various preparation work. I had a food processor station, a mixer station, a boiler station, as well as a station to store the pans between batches. And I was jumping between the various stations often working on more than one batch at a time. In some cases I was putting butter into the double boiler to melt for the next batch while finishing the chopping and mixing for the previous batch. It definitely felt like quite like a factory production with various stations I set up in the kitchen to handle the specific preparations tasks. It definitely worked really well for getting the base layer made.

Continue reading Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar Factory In My Kitchen

Sugar Free Yellow Layer Cake With Sugar Free Mountain Berry Filling

Layered Yellow Cake WholeThis week is a holiday week with no class for Jorge Cruise’s 12 Week Belly Fat Cure coaching program due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Some of the folks in the 12 week coaching program have elected to use the “free” week as an opportunity to present a recipe exchange on our respective blogs and I was invited to participate in the exchange.

Rather than give my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars recipe yet another time, I thought maybe I’ll take a crack at something new. Even though my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars are arguably the most amazing dessert creation I’ve ever made, I’ve posted it several times here on my blog. And since I find desserts to be next to impossible to get Belly Fat Cure compliant versions in a store bought form, I will offer a dessert recipe. Sugar Free entrées and side dishes aren’t so difficult to find and since I don’t consider myself a cook, I usually just get store bought versions of those.

Continue reading Sugar Free Yellow Layer Cake With Sugar Free Mountain Berry Filling

Seeing Election For The First Time

ElectionLast night I got together with some friends for what we call “Economy DVD Night” where we get together at the host’s home in order to view a DVD of a preselected movie. It essentially serves as an excuse to get together more often by not always choosing to meet out at restaurants and having to spend a bunch of money just for the sake of getting together.

The rules of Economy DVD night are simple:
1. Everyone eats on their own beforehand… don’t bring anything.
2. Come as you are, even if you’re in work clothes or sweats.
3. The host will provide the basics: movie, drinks and a snack.
4. After the movie, everyone cleans-up after themselves (then gets out of the hosts’ hair!)

Last night’s host, my friend Jason Murillo, decided to feature the movie “Election” featuring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I had never seen the movie before. To be honest, when it was originally released, I thought the trailer looked the kind of movie I wouldn’t enjoy. Reese wasn’t yet the major star she is today, and it just looked like retreading high school memories which I certainly didn’t want to do at the time. And I don’t consider myself enough of a Matthew Broderick fan for his presence in a movie to get me to see it. But since Jason stated the movie is one of his all time favorite movies and it is a black comedy, I thought why not come check it out.

Continue reading Seeing Election For The First Time

Making Homemade Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding HomemadeWhen I recently stopped at Major Market in Escondido to check their prices on some flavored extracts for my sugar-free Nanaimo Bars, I took the opportunity to browse the whole store. Major Market carries a lot of International foods and they carry a large selection of British foods. It also happens to be where I has previously purchased the Bird’s Custard Powder that is an essential ingredient for my sugar free Nanaimo Bar recipe. I happened to browse the frozen food section and saw they had some bags of imported Aunt Bessie’s Frozen Yorkshire Pudding.

I’ve only had Yorkshire Pudding one time in my life and that was in the home of my good friends Sara and Paul Russell when I spent a week in the United Kingdom in 2006. I thought they were amazing and I really liked them. But I’ve not had them since. Seeing the bag of Yorkshire Pudding in the store, reminded me of those tasty Yorkshire Pudding pastries that Sara had made during my visit. While looking at the bag in the store, I decided to use my cell phone and look up recipes for Yorkshire pudding to see if it was going to be easy to make or if I should just buy the overpriced bag of imported frozen ones.

Continue reading Making Homemade Yorkshire Pudding

A Peanut Butter Variation of Nanaimo Bars

Peanut Butter Nanaimo BarsWhen I went searching on Google for images of Nanaimo Bars to help explain what they are to a friend of mine who didn’t know what they were, I came across a site that had some interesting suggestions for variations for making different kinds of Nanaimo Bars. I was most intrigued by the Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars variation and thought the next time I made some, I would give that a try. And of course, I would make my variation completely sugar-free so that it can be compliant with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program that I have been following.

The main changes to the basic Nanaimo Bar recipe is that I would replace the walnuts with peanuts and leave out the coconut out of the base layer. In the custard layer I would reduce the amount of butter used and replace it with peanut butter. In this case, I used Joseph’s Sugar Free Crunchy Peanut Butter, and the top layer would remain the same. So not too much different to try the variation. Fortunately I had some raw peanuts to use, and the sugar free peanut butter on hand to make it.

Continue reading A Peanut Butter Variation of Nanaimo Bars