Right after Nick and I went on our juice diet (in a word: don’t), I began to add dessert back into my daily regimen as soon as my stomach could handle it. One of the juicing websites I’d been looking at had a recipe for a yummy (enough) sounding smoothie using a banana, ice, almond butter, almond milk, and some cocoa powder – basically all of which were “good” ingredients: no dairy, no grains… Nothing to make anyone jealous, in other words, but basically nirvana after five-plus days consuming only liquified vegetables.
It was delicious, and not just because I was going through chocolate withdrawals. No, actually really tasty – so tasty, I began making these smoothies for dessert on a fairly regular basis. (If you frequent Pinterest, you might notice them called a “healthy” Wendy’s Frosty. They don’t really taste like a Frosty, but I don’t have the heart to tell anyone that.) I have a thing for snacking after dinner (pretzels and a bowl of ice cream and some almonds and cheese puffs and a handful of dark chocolate? Don’t mind if I do!), so I’ve been trying to hold off the bingeing in favor of these frothy beverages. My blender and I are real tight.
For reasons I don’t quite understand, the stupid juice diet kind of ruined breakfast for me, by which I mean that if I consume anything more than a small piece of fruit in the mornings, I feel ridiculously, uncomfortably full until well past lunchtime and then my blood pressure drops and I’m like a foraging truffle pig by mid-afternoon. So I still juice each night and then Nick and I drink up in the mornings (although I no longer even consider “green” juices because that stuff is nasty, man).
One night several weeks ago, I had just finished creating my veggie-fruit masterpieces and was about to pour them into our juice glasses when I somehow lost control of the glass pitcher (who, me?) and accidentally tapped the side of the cup as I added the liquid. Meaning, naturally, that the glass now had a large crack running all along its side and needed to be thrown away.
Don’t mind the orange-y funk. That’s what happens when carrots get pulverized.
After filling new glasses and getting on with the rest of my evening, I was taking out the ingredients for my nightly smoothie when the almond butter… slipped… and knocked into the container of the blender, sending it toppling to the kitchen floor. In a feat of contortionism far beyond my abilities, I attempted to catch it mid-fall (which, I’m sure, looked as comical as it felt), but I wasn’t in time.
Have you ever dropped the top part of a heavy glass blender onto a tile floor? If not, let me save you the trouble of guessing what it looks like: INSANITY. Tiny glass bead-lets everywhere, under appliances, in crevices ten feet across the room, on top of furniture (wtf?). The poor dogs didn’t know what on earth was going on (GET BACK! LEAVE IT! GO LIE DOWN! DON’T! FOR GOD’S SAKE, KENNEL – KENNEL!!) and it took me at least thirty minutes of sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping to feel that the floor was finally safe again.
Without a functional blender, you might think that my smoothie dreams were over… Ah, but then, you’ve got another think coming. In no time at all I’d hauled the Cuisinart onto the counter – if it can chop salsa and essentially liquify salad dressing, surely it could make quick work of a banana-chocolate-almond smoothie!
Quick work, kind of.
Effective work, not really.
Ridiculously messy work: OH HELL YES.
See, apparently a Cuisinart isn’t really meant to hold lots of liquid at a time, and as a result, nearly as much of the smoothie wound up on the counter (and cabinets. And coffee maker. And toaster) as remained inside the machine.
I have no idea what the spatula is for. Perhaps to scrape bits of smoothie off the counter?
And so you might, logically, think that this would have stopped me from drinking said smoothie that night. YET AGAIN, YOU WOULD BE WRONG. After all that work, there was no way in hell I was going to let everything go to waste. I drank that damn smoothie, all right… except, I kind of chewed the damn smoothie because I guess Cuisinarts and ice don’t really get along so well.
Strike… Oh, forget it, I’m already out.
Knowing that I wouldn’t last long without the ability to blend things (and seeing that the Cuisinart was clearly not up to the job), I immediately went on Amazon to search for a blender… with a plastic container, because obviously, with my track record, I’d be destroying the new one before I’d even removed it from the box. This one seemed to have the best reviews and was nicely affordable, so if I did happen to, you know… slip up… it wouldn’t have cost me too dearly.
Plus also: it’s name is Ninja. ‘Nuff said.
(Side note: I ordered these pub glasses at the same time because Annie just might have broken another of our original ones the day before, making our glass “collection” look a little like something you might find at a flea market. I prefer to look like a well-stocked bar.)
My Ninja Prep Master arrived two days later (Amazan Prime, holla!), and – whaddya know – it rocks. This thing blends like nobody’s business, pulverizing my smoothies into delicious silky goodness as quietly and swiftly as, well, a ninja. If a ninja blended things. I was immediately smitten and have been using it nightly ever since.
Mine isn’t quite this clean, nor have I made guacamole with it yet, but I’m in love nevertheless.
This past long weekend, we’d planned to go to the lake on Saturday and Sunday nights, but, at the last minute, Nick suggested that we head down on Friday instead. I was hesitant – Ella had a birthday party to attend that night, the girls needed to wash their hair, and we wouldn’t even be at the lake for twelve hours before returning for Annie’s soccer game in the morning. We also needed to do some cleaning and yard work before just heading off for the weekend.
The girls were – naturally – totally psyched to go, and Nick seemed ready to take on the mayhem, but I wasn’t convinced. I hemmed. I hawed. I grudgingly gave my “okay.” But I didn’t really want to go. It was then that Nick – perhaps not entirely seriously – informed me, “You know, you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. I can just take the girls by myself.”
There was a time when I would have said absolutely not. A time when I wanted to be there, both to spend the time with the girls and Nick, and also because maybe I like to be in control just a bit. Besides… staying in the house overnight all by myself?
But the more I thought about it, the more the glorious possibility stretched out before me: I could stay overnight in the house ALL BY MYSELF. No one needing to be read to. No one needing mid-night checkings-on. No one waking up at ungodly hours and tromping downstairs to play “Let It Go” on the piano. No one snoring next to me (well, Jambi snores, but that’s different). No one to help make breakfast for in the morning.
THE HOUSE ALL TO MYSELF. ALL NIGHT LONG.
Sign me up!
The girls were a little concerned (for me) that I wasn’t going with them. Would I be okay? Did I mind staying alone? I assured them that I did not mind staying alone (with three dogs, you’re never really “alone” anyway) and that I would be very, very okay… and off they went. And so I did what any part-time stay-at-home, part-time working, full-time mom would do when faced with twelve hours to herself: I spread mulch. I ran an errand at The Home Depot. I made my juice for the morning. I tidied up.
Okay, okay. And then I curled up with Pinterest and several episodes of “Modern Family” and my ubiquitous, Ninja-made smoothie… except, this time, I added Kahlua. And Bailey’s. Yes, both. Together. And, oh my sweet baby Jesus, if that wasn’t the very smoothest, creamiest, most amazing beverage I have had in a very, very long time.
This time, I didn’t even break the glass.
Looks like a milkshake. Tastes like awesome.