Monday, May 15, 2017

Healthy Chocolate-Mint Milkshake (and a give-away!)


I'm going to get to the milkshake in one second, I swear. But first! I have to gush about another book. And yes, suspiciously as always, this is the memoir of a friend of mine, a person whom I love who also happens to drive my kids to school three times a week. Also, I went to college with his editor at Flatiron. And you're like, "Why do I want to read Catherine's carpool-friend Lou's book?" And I'll tell you: because it is incredible. I knew it would be because the story is so good--it's about the year Lou was thirteen, and his parents' Playgirl-centerfold best friend came to live with them in Salem, MA, while everyone was (spoiler alert) swinging and also (spoiler) splitting up and (yes) smoking pot and cigarettes and feeling each other up out on the roof. I knew it would be zany and hilarious and brilliant, like Lou. But I hadn't realize that the writing was going to break my heart and blow me away. Which it did. I read it in one night.

Whose Rime-on-the-Ancient-Mariner reading glasses are those? Is it the same guy with the grizzled beard? It is.
And now Michael is reading it and loving it, and Michael is not so much a, how shall I put this, reading kind of person. He keeps reading passages out loud to me, and even though I just read the book myself, I'm still happy, because it is so good to hear it again. Anyhoo, buy this book immediately. Or comment below by Friday noon if you want to win it, because I've got one copy to give away!


Speaking of books given away, Roost Books sent me a copy of a new cookbook called Feeding a Family by Sarah Waldman, and it's just lovely. I haven't actually made anything from it except this one bastardized recipe I'm about to put down here, but I have a really good feeling about the book because it's kind of mostly vegetarian, which is how we eat, and everything is seasonal and appealing and tasty looking. Anyhoo, the Chocolate-Mint Milkshakes recipe spoke to me because our backyard is turning into a giant mint patch, and it's so lovely and fresh in the spring, before it gets all dried-out and hairy and worm-eaten.
No actual ice cream!
Plus, I'm kind of on one of my periodic no-refined-sugar kicks, because I'm tired of having headaches and acne and nonspecific crankiness and also my jeans are tight. 



"Mama said, No, Snapper! and put me on the floor, where I am sad and lonely for a milk shake."
This is the kind of recipe that hits all the right notes for me: it is frosty and thick and super-creamy (please use whole milk) and the chocolate flavor is deep and the mint flavor is fresh, and the shake is sweet from the dates but also bitter-edged from the cocoa. I've adapted it from 4 servings to 1, and also I don't use the banana that original recipe calls for because banana is such a fucking alpha-dog of a smoothie ingredient, pardon my French. But I bet it's sweeter and creamier with the banana, so feel free to add back half a frozen banana here.

Sorry, did you need an actual +food+ recipe? I made this recently, and it was divine. I used pinto beans and a mix of collards and kale, and swapped in some chipotle puree and liquid smoke so I could skip the bacon and keep it vegetarian. Truly extraordinarily simple and good. 
Healthy Chocolate-Mint Milkshake
Serves 1

Adapted from Feeding a Family by Sarah Waldman. If your blender is not very powerful and you're worried that the mint leaves are going to be more leafy than aromatic, swap in a few drops of mint extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup ice cubes
2 pitted dates
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder (or cacao pwodre)
The leaves from 2 healthy sprigs of mint

Blend everything in a blender until it's thick and frothy and has stopped making the ice-and-dates-banging-around noises that signal that there are still chunks. Serve right away.

54 comments:

  1. I want to win the book! I trust all your recommendations for food and books and holiday presents, even the glass salad dressing shaker that broke the first time we shook it and was subsequently recalled :)

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    1. Oh no!!!! I'm so sorry!

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    2. No one was hurt! Way crazier stuff happens in our kitchen all the time! We still use the metal ball part of the shaker, just in a plastic container. We love all the puzzles and games and knives and whittling tools and everything else :) Also all of your writing, always! Excited about the YA book!

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    3. What?! I bought that shaker bottle, too...but haven't used it yet. I have to look it up on amazon. Thanks for the warning!!

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  2. Me please mememememe....

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  3. I love everything about your writing, and everything about your recommendations too. So I'm sure I'd love the book!

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  4. I would love this book! Feeding a family of six, most meals from scratch, I need this in my life!

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  5. I totally want to read a book that enthralls and makes me want to read passages out loud to unsuspecting family members! Which is to say, please put me in the draw for the book! :)

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  6. I'm not going to comment because I already ordered the book.

    Oh wait--does that count as a comment??!!?

    oh well

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  7. also: "cacao pwodre" Ha!

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    1. I'll reply so it doesn't count as a comment, and to say - also my favorite part of the recipe!

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  8. dale in denver5:25 PM

    I'm not a huge reader - and my s.o. is once removed from that. We NEED some reading motivation and this one sure sounds fun.

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  9. Anonymous6:25 PM

    I like reading and am in need of fun reading lately.

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  10. Pick me, please. I am so in need of something that will make me and later hubby laugh out loud!

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  11. I would love to win the book!

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  12. I will be reading this book...that is for sure whether I win it or not! I just checked it out on Amazon & it sounds so so so good! I need a bit of reminiscing to growing up outside Boston in the late 70s--Lou's a couple years older than me. I loved Burt Reynolds back then so I know what Howie aka Mr. November was aiming for. I'd be so happy to win the book & would pass it on!

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  13. Giveaway entry! Looking for a literary pick me up after a long weekend of weekend type activities.

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  14. i'm gonna read that book one way or another and having my own copy would be great so i could share it around cuz otherwise i'll take it out from the library and then forget the title when i want to recommend it to someone. thx!

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  15. Allyson7:19 PM

    I would love to win this book, although I'll probably order it anyway. I always trust your recommendations!

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  16. Nicole F.7:36 PM

    Molly Whalen was my babysitter! I hope that grabbed your attention, because I would love to win Lou's book. Thank you for considering it.

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  17. Whoo hoo, sounds like a fun book!!

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  18. I definitely want to be considered for winning this book! #pleasepleasepleaseprettypleasewithmintsugarontop?? Thank you!!

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  19. This book sounds fantastic! Thanks for running a giveaway.

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  20. Please please please break me from this goddamn Pinterestt habit! Books! I need actual fucking books again!

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  21. I love your book recommendations! Thank you.

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  22. I totally want to win this book. I need to read something funny and heartbreaking while I drink this kick-ass yummy chocolate milk shake, which I make a lot (like almost every day, ahem), but I use my raw goat milk instead, or even coconut milk. It's awesome.

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  23. AnnRKey9:21 PM

    I like books and things that are funny, ergo I like funny books!

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  24. That book sounds amazing. I'm going through a tough life stage (GOOD GOD THE MID FORTIES CAN COOL IT ANY TIME NOW) and for whatever reason I can only deal with downbeat music (mostly the new Aimee Mann and old Iron & Wine) and memoirs that have a little - but not too much - sadness. This sounds right up my current alley.

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  25. In need of a good read for a vocation! Will be vacationing with my two daughters and one mother who, I hope, will entertain each other. Thank you.

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  26. Thank you for omitting the banana. Everyone is always "add frozen banana to your smoothies you barely taste it" but I don't really like it and it is definitely alpha dog.

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  27. I just finished the (terrifying) Handmaid's Tale and could use something that might be the complete opposite of that to cleanse my palate. Your friend's book sounds like a winner!

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  28. I don't know which to try first the book or the milkshake!

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  29. I think I would love this book!

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  30. Gave Catastrophic Happiness as Mother's Day gift to Sister in law who just quite her job to stay home with her 7 and 4 year old. She loves it. Thank you!

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  31. No I want a milkshake. Gotta go home and make one tonight.

    Also, the book sounds awesome :)

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  32. alison12:36 PM

    Sounds like a fun book to read!

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  33. Oh this books sounds interesting. I also need to create a mint patch so my daughter can make these for herself all summer. YUM!

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  34. Have already heard good things about this book. Would love to read and am totally making this smoothie!

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  35. Lying in bed with a miserable cold, this book sounds like it would hit the spot! Keeping my fingers crossed!

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  36. Banana IS a fucking alpha-dog of a smoothie ingredient. And I also want the book!

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  37. Hmmm...dates, mint, and chocolate. Sounds weird, but I'll give it a shot. I'm interested in the zany book, too!

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  38. I shall always now refer to my homemade smoothies as milkshakes. The indulgence! And the book sounds lovely.

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  39. "such a fucking alpha-dog of a smoothie ingredient" --that made me laugh out loud. I feel the same about bananas and avoid if possible but dates, YUM. I'd love the book (that sounds right up my twisted alley) but I'll be sure to check it out regardless. Keep the book reviews coming--I love them!

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  40. that book sounds like so much fun!

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  41. I'd love to win the book - looks awesome. And thanks for the smoothie recipe!

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  42. Oh I'm ordering that book no matter what! Also stopping at the store for dates. yum!!

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  43. That milkshake sounds great, as does the book!

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  44. I'm a teacher trying to build my summer reading stack; so far it's a stack of one. This book looks like an excellent addition and would give me a reason to live through these last few weeks of school!

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  45. This sounds like nothing I've ever read before, which is he perfect reason to read it! Have you let/encouraged Ben to read it? I have a 17 year old son desperate for fun (i.e. not school) reading.

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    1. Ben *is* planning to read it, and I think he'll love it! As long as all the drugs etc. are okay with you, it's definitely a great read.

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  46. The book and recipe sound lovely! I would have to use extract since I can't seem to grow any herbs and the organic bundle of mint at the store is $4 or $5.

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  47. The book sounds amazing and I must read it! And the milk shake is going to be made as soon as the kids get home from school-- my son was just asking to make something with all the mint we have growing along the side of the house. And I had just bought whole milk and dates too! Perfect!!!

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