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smoothies (and margaritas)

i got the Ninja Kitchen System Pulse  for Christmas from my mother in law.
i asked for it because i thought it looked kind of cool.
i have wanted to try the cup system for our daily smoothies.
then…we didn’t use it over christmas break at all?!! (who are we?)
after school on monday annie got it out and OH.  MY.  GOODNESS!

we were totally amazed!
we geeked out completely.
it’s fast!  it’s easy! it’s so super rad!  it’s even fun to use!

then on tuesday i had her make a video to show the world how EASY it is to use!

how cute is my annie girl?!
no script even!
just preaching to the people about smoothie awesomeness.

this is what i got for christmas…
Ninja Kitchen System Pulse


so i checked all around and it’s the same price at Target & Walmart as it is on Amazon.
i love amazon.
i love target too (of course!!!) but Amazon is so darn easy to navigate!
and the returns through amazon have gotten so ridiculously easy that it blows my mind!
you just ask them to come and pick it up… AND THEY DO!
you don’t even have to tape the box shut?!  What the what?!
For reals.
Have you returned anything to them recently?
They are WINNING at customer service.

anyways… that was off topic.

back to the Niiiiiiiiinnn-jaaaaaa.   (say it like oprah would)

I got the big mama Ninja blender for my birthday over a year ago.
it’s technically called the “Ninja Professional Blender 1000
(they would probably sell more if they used my name…)
i didn’t know at the time that you could buy it with the cups… Ninja Professional Blender with Smoothie Cups
had i known…. i would’ve gotten it all at once.   🙂

i’ve used that big ninja blender almost everyday for smoothies the past year and a half.
and I’ve loved it.
It’s so powerful!
it’s kind of a pain to clean every single day but i did it because it worked so well!

i still love the BIG ninja.

craig makes pancake batter in it almost every saturday.
you can click here to see him making them with tiny little annie & talby.
this is the recipe his mom used to make pancakes for him!pancakes1
it’s genius to mix it in the blender because then you can just pour the batter onto the griddle!
only one thing to wash!


my most favey-favorite use for the Big Ninja is making Margaritas.
this is what we serve at Craft Weekend to welcome our new friends to the Craft House.
i got this recipe from my mom!
You need Tequila, Triple Sec, a can of frozen limeade mix and a beer.
and ice.
(oh yes i did just make margaritas on a thursday morning!  who needs coffee?!)

*also i used a Gluten Free beer because i am {{{trying}}} to get the wheat out of my diet.
you can use ANY beer you prefer…. any brand, any style, whatevs..

IMG_9936Fill the blender 3/4 with ice.

IMG_9937pour in the limeade mix.
Use the empty limeade can and fill 2/3 full with tequila.
Pour it in the blender.


IMG_9941Using the same can fill it 1/3 full with Triple Sec.

Blend until it sounds like all the ice is chopped.

IMG_9945add the 12 oz. beer.
IMG_9946can we all just admire the label of this beer for a second… such great colors!
good job New Grist.

Use the pulse setting to mix it not the number settings because it “may” explode all over from the foam in the beer.IMG_9948and pour into margarita glasses (or any cup!)

if you want it more icy/frozen we put it in the freezer to set up a little more.
just like 10 – 20 minutes will work.
when we have these at home… craig & i don’t usually finish a whole Ninja blender of margaritas in an evening.
so i pour what’s left into cups with lids and stick that in the freezer until the next time we want them.
you can just pull it from the freezer and they thaw out to perfect slushy frozen yumminess in about an hour.

and obviously you can buy it ALL together and get everything….Ninja Mega Kitchen System
but i like to do things the hard way and build my collection slowly  – HA!

i love the smoothie cups!
they are EASY to use… easy to clean…. and FAST.

Now…. i know a bunch of you are going to say “i have a vita-mix and it’s even more powerful and amazing!”
and i believe you.
but this is 1/3 of the price.
so there is no vitamix in my future.
not happening.
(did you ever see the SNL skit about the vitamix… it’s awkward & uncomfortable & very dry humor – which i love)

info-mercial is over.

i will go drink my margarita.
and try to figure out where to hang pictures on my walls….

IMG_9963i am crazy for family photos obviously.
but seeing annie’s hand with the frog (and probably from watching old videos of her recently too)
i want to add in more of those “life moments” kinds of pictures on the wall too.
not just faces.
even though i love their faces so stinkin’ much.
i want to grab their kissy cheeks and squish each one of them.
there are about…. 1296 more pictures i want to put on my walls… this poses a problem for me.



Julie Zull - Are those canvases? where do you print from?

Jen - Your Annie girl is hilarious…and adorable. And should probably be staring in Ninja commercials. I loved the video and my girls did, too!

s - I have the ninja system and do love the single serve option but the thing scares me – it is super loud and washing it is a test of keeping my fingers intact! I had the bigger spiral blade drying on the counter and sliced my hand when I accidentally brushed against it! Big mama ninja and I have a love hate relationship!!

lorelei eurto - Hmmmm Annie is cute as a button. And I think she’s got me convinced. I may just have to try one of these Niiiiiin-jaaaaaaahhhs out. 🙂

Beth F - I’ve got Celiac and trust me, New Grist may have a cute label but it’s not a great GF beer. If you like light, go Damn Daura, or New Planet. If you like craft, go Omission beer. I found Grist is okay in stews though. The Ninja sounds awesome.

Susanne - I got a Ninja Blender as well – not the one you did, just the blender itself and OMW! My life has been changed! It wasn’t on my Christmas list and I didn’t even know I wanted one, but I’ve had SO MUCH fun with it! I’ve been weirding all my co-workers out drinking green based drinks – from a ball canning jar – every single day. Not to mention just using it in general cooking – – love love love love it!!!

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - This is such a funny and happy post. Love it. Love you.

Becky - Ive been thinking Id ask for this for my birthday. Your post helped me make the decision.
Then! Ugh! Amazon had it for $169.00, I walked away and came back 2 hours later and it is $199!!!!!

Linda - are those pictures canvas? They look thicker than normal?

kelly - Annie’s demo is too cute!!! We had smoothies last night with our dinner, and my kids were pumped! (Really just trying to get in more fruits/veggies, but they felt it was a major treat!)

Ali - O.J. “It’s code for Orange Juice.” TOO CUTE!

Lori - Cheers to Thursday morning margaritas! Sounds like your Ninja is awesome 🙂

Jenna - Annie is hilarious! I loved the “oj – that is code for orange juice!” And I of course have Ninnnnjaaaa stuck in my head – thank you! 🙂

kathy - Thanks Annie, You inspired me to get out my Nutribullet, which is the same as the Ninja, that i paid $220 for and have only used approximately 3 times since i bought it in August!

I had all the stuff in the fridge, used frozen berries, real blueberries, a banana and milk. I added a bit of IKEA dark chocolate because I deserve it.

I think you have a career in TV.

Katie - Can’t wait to see where those pics end up!

Tanya H - I agree 100% on the photos problem. I shared two solutions in this post, haha…but my photos are not printed nearly as gorgeously as yours!

And also, I have a blendtec because my parents bought it for us, and I have used it 449 times since we got it a year ago. (I know because it has a counter) It is my favorite thing EVER and I am SO grateful I have it and that I DID NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. 😀

Beth - “Yes, the nut butter…” loved it!

Amy M - OMG, Annie is the cutest!

I have a Ninja that I bought back when I was on a smoothie kick, after I fried my cheapo blender. Haven’t used it much lately, except as a pseudo-food processor. But I got one of those for Christmas, so now I’m thinking it might be time for some margs!

Kristin S - Oh that pancake pic with bangs-Annie!

Super fun post.

I do have a Vitamix and I do love it but I travel a lot and that little Ninja would be perfect for that. Vitamix was a gift and cost more than my mortgage!

Tina - I have Christmas money burning a whole in my pocket for one of these! Thanks for the info!! Starting Sugar Detox with Marta next week and I’m super excited to get started and learn. Thanks for introducing us to Marta! Love Annie’s video!!

Rebecca - I can’t believe how grown up Annie is getting to be!!! And, she’s so beautiful!

Cassidy - YAY for gluten free! (:

Adrienne - Are those all canvases? and where do you print from?

Tracy - I know the beer is yummy in the margs but if you don’t have any (or don’t have any gluten free), try using Fresca or Diet sprite or 7up. Tastes great too!! Wish I was drinking a marg with you right now!!!

Kelly - Meg, thanks for the good laugh on this Thursday afternoon! I’m not sure why I’ve never seen that skit, but it is hillarious! We are a Ninja family too 🙂 (literally).

Carrie - niki, try adding a little more liquid to your smoothies. Mine don’t blend properly if I don’t have enough liquid in them, so I will keep adding until I see it all moving along in a little tornado through the whole blender. I also make sure to add all the soft stuff to the bottom first (yogurt, applesauce, juice, bananas, etc.) so that all the big chunky frozen stuff gets hit by the blades sooner, then I add more water or juice as needed through the pour spout as its blending. Love my ninja, pretty much only use it for smoothies, I would love a vitamix, but the price point (even at Costco) is just tooooo much! I should get some smoothie cups so I can get rid of my magic bullet, which I only use for six months or so when I am making baby foods….

Christy - I love my Ninja & I recommend it to everyone. Mine has the small & large blender atatchment, now I am coveting the smoothie cups (hello, eBay!).

Love the family photos & capturing the every day. 🙂

Nikki - I recently bought a Ninja because it’s big enough to make a smoothie for my whole family at once. I like it, but I get chunks of ice and things every time! I’ve yet to get a totally smooth smoothie. My $40 Oster used to have no problem with this at all, I’ve never had chunks, so what am I doing wrong? More ice, maybe?

Jessica Cornman - I would cover every inch of my walls with photos if I could! Photo canvases everywhere!

Sabrina - I also got a Ninja for Christmas. It’s the Mega Jumbo Everything System (that is my name for it!) I love it so much! I got rid of my blender and my Magic Bullet because the Ninja does everything so much better. I did keep my Cuisinart Food Processor though. Although the Ninja does a good job at processing some things, the blade on my Cuisinart is much lower to the bowl, so it gets everything chopped and processed way better. That is my only “complaint” about the Ninja processor. The blades are too high to get at the bottom of the bowl. Otherwise, this thing is a dream!!!

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