Liquid Lunch Week

I know there are still a couple of months remaining, but I'm guessing today's post will take the Most Misleading Title of 2013 award, whenever they give those things out. February? It used to be March, but everything got moved back for some reason. First off, I didn't use any of the following recipes to actually replace meals. More like they replaced my afternoon handful of chocolate chips. Or even more like they accompanied my afternoon handful of chocolate chips. Second, I can't think of an image further removed from a table full of empty martini glasses in a dark, smoky restaurant than me standing in my kitchen in yoga pants and a sweatshirt measuring out "five raw almonds" into my blender.

So why did I decide to make every smoothie on my Pinterest board this week? Good question. When it was posed by my husband, my response was to shrug and make that "I don't know" noise that only consists of the letter m. My guess is that I was feeling run down and subconsciously wanted an influx of easily-digestible vitamins and/or to stop expending so much energy chewing. What I discovered is that when a smoothie recipe claims anything beyond "this tastes exactly like you would think this combination of ingredients would taste," it is lying.

1. Velvety Butternut Cinnamon Date Smoothie For Two. Dubious recipe claim: this is "downright dreamy." Way I screwed it up: I used canned pumpkin instead of roasting a butternut squash because I really really dislike dealing with butternut squash NO REGRETS. Reality: this is like drinking not-very-sweet pumpkin pie filling. It's not bad, but it is certainly...squash.

This was the gourdiest of the contestants.

2. Harley Pasternak's Breakfast Smoothie. Dubious recipe claim: "It's almost like having apple pie in a glass." Way I screwed it up: brought some negative energy to the proceedings because five raw almonds. Reality: this tasted the most like what I think of when I think of smoothies. Which is nothing like apple pie.

Still good, though. Fruit, dairy. Infuriatingly tiny hint of almond.

3. Carrot Cake Smoothie. Dubious recipe claim: proximity of the word "cake" to this concoction. Way I screwed it up: I own a regular, non-mortgage-payment-costing blender. Reality: using a regular, non-mortgage-payment-costing blender results in a substance that is distressingly chewy.

Seriously, it was like some misguidedly thoughtful roommate pre-chewed a bunch of carrots and then put them back in the fridge. Which is actually a little bit heartwarming? I would probably make it again.

4. A Seriously Delicious "Green" Smoothie. Dubious recipe claim: "You'd never know that there's a salad's worth of spinach in the recipe." Way I screwed it up: actually, I think I followed these directions! It happens. Reality: spinach is 100% the first thing I tasted. But the raspberries and orange were close behind and my sad pedestrian blender got a nice texture out of these ingredients.

This is probably the best overwhelmingly spinach-tasting drink I've had.

5. Pink Power Detox Smoothie. Dubious recipe claim: "surprisingly delicious." Way I screwed it up: used non-virgin coconut oil. Reality: whoa boy this is a drink that has beets, avocado, and celery in it. Yes indeed. I think the bright pink color itself is misleading, but really she sells it pretty straight, throwing the word "detox" right in the title as a warning, so it's not like you don't know what you're getting into.


6. Coffee Banana Smoothie (pictured below, bottom left). Dubious recipe claim: "get your meal and your caffeine all in a single glass." Way I screwed it up: used cold-brewed coffee instead of espresso. Reality: for some reason this didn't taste like I thought it should. Not banana-y enough? Wrong kind of coffee? I imagined this was an ideal world and there was peanut butter in it when in fact there is not? In any case, if this constitutes an entire meal for you, you are a far daintier eater than I am. Here are five raw almonds to tide you over until lunch.

7. Virgin Bloody Mary (pictured above, bottom right, note that the absence of vodka is making the celery slump over sadly). Dubious reason for including it on this list: can be consumed through a straw. Reality: this is neither a smoothie nor a cocktail, despite being my entry for Cookbook #94: The Little Black Book of Cocktails (Virginia Reynolds and Kerren Barbas, 2003). Provenance: Christmas present from friends. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Reason for wasting my cocktail recipe book in this egregious manner: I'm off the sauce for a while. The celery knows. The celery gets me.

Verdict: this was probably my favorite of all the drinks this week because I like my fluid nutrition to be salty. Recommended for: people who want a reference on the basics, people who aren't sure what to do with their Sambuca, people who like for their scotch over ice to have a name because they are fancy (Scotch Mist).

With Ivy's two-year check-up fast approaching, I'm trying to make note of any milestones they may ask about. Today I got to check off "Can clearly express feelings of exasperation regarding sibling's television selection."

It seems like Anna had nailed down exasperation by 18 months, but I don't think it's productive to compare them like that.