I’ve done the math. I have approximately three loyal readers, which is just perfect, because my kitchen table seats four. Gather round now, friends, and let us talk about the snarky and the smooth.
You are fortunate, dear reader, for you do not have to live with me every day. When I write essays for Life, Love, and Food, I become my kindest, wisest, most gracious self. The act of writing transforms me. I am nicer on-screen than I am in real life. Just ask Daphna: she witnessed the act of snarkiness to which I am about to confess.
Several months ago, I found myself bewildered by the sheer volume of comments garnered by an essay written by a fellow food blogger. Bewildered, confused—and red-hot jealous. Like I said, I have three loyal readers (love you all!), and I should be grateful for my readers, but you know, sometimes a girl confuses quality with quantity. I want the former, but I become greedy when thinking about the latter: more more MORE! This attitude is altogether unhealthy—I may have to seek medical help if it continues—but the worst part of it is how the green-eyed monster within turns me into one downright snarky woman.
The essay in question was about, of all things, smoothies. I love smoothies. I’ve been making them for years. My mother even donated her blender (a wedding present! older than me! with a glass pitcher!) to my kitchen, knowing how much I love a good blended drink. I’ve written about a smoothie once before because it was just so delicious that I had to share my discovery with someone. But I’m not inclined to write about them often because I tend to think that if you own a blender, you can make a smoothie, no recipe required. It doesn’t take much: fruit, juice, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, whatever. Smoothies are lovably forgiving.
This other blog’s essay about smoothies garnered comments numbering in the double digits. High double digits—probably more comments than this blog has seen in its entire life. It was shocking and awe-inspiring. Except that I wasn’t impressed. I vented my jealous feelings to Daphna, who just laughed and rolled her eyes at me. And rightly so: I was being snarky and mean, getting my feathers all ruffled over the smallest, stupidest thing.
But I remain unimpressed. A simple recipe is wonderful. The catch, though, is that it has to be novel in some way. Inspiring. The subject of my smoothie post, Nigella’s Go Get ‘Em Smoothie, was new to me—banana+cocao+malt+iced latte—and the synergy between its ingredients is just lovely. Rich and smooth on the tongue, it satisfies a sleepy-eyed sweet tooth and her hunger pangs, no chewing required. That’s the real beauty of smoothies: the fun of drinking something through a straw and the satisfaction of providing your body with real, nourishing food.
Today I bring you another smoothie, but this one, I have decided, tastes rich and creamy enough to warrant the label milkshake. There’s no ice cream involved here. Instead, we will make good use of my tub of ricotta cheese, transforming a simple trio of banana, strawberry, and milk into something delicious, sweet, smooth, and utterly satisfying. I hope you’ll accept this recipe as a token of my gratitude for your loyal reading…and perhaps you’ll forgive me my snarky moments.
Strawberry-Banana Ricotta Milkshake
Serves 1 generously
Truly, I’m smitten by the presence of ricotta cheese in this shake. I know it’s an unusual choice, but I’m an unusual person, so it seems fitting. Ricotta adds a wonderful rich flavor and thick texture. Because ricotta cheese is not tart like yogurt, I don’t add any sugar or fruit juice to this drink—I feel that the sugar in the milk and the fruit makes it deliciously sweet. But feel free to eat some crunchy gingersnaps alongside your shake if you are feeling a little more decadent!
Dairy fat is a contentious subject. There are those who feel full-fat dairy is a necessity, and there are those who avoid dairy fat like the plague. I’m in the middle. For the record, I make this shake with 1% milk and low-fat ricotta cheese. It is, of course, up to you to decide how you feel about this issue, so I encourage you to use the dairy products that you like.
4 strawberries, stems trimmed
1 ripe banana, peeled and broken in half
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend for 20-30 seconds or until frothy and smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy. A straw is optional.