Funky Monkey Smoothie

The fun thing about smoothies is that they usually have fun names. So I just made up that name to describe one of my favorite smoothies involving peanut butter and bananas. Do monkeys even like peanut butter? The funky ones do!

Procedure:

Find a blender

(this is mine – a Kitchenaid – and it’s the best blender ever. I’m smiling just thinking about it.)

Then pour in some soy milk  (about 3/4 cup maybe?)

again, my preferred brand is Silk Original Light, but 8th Continent is pretty good too. Kroger brand has been disappointing lately, as it tends to separate too much resulting in an odd, grainy consistency.

Then add a banana.

Yay, bananas!

Ideally, your banana will be from your frozen stash, to add to the frothy/slushy consistency that we all love in our smoothies. But, today, I used a regular ol’ banana, non-frozen, and it worked just fine.

Toss in about a tablespoon of cocoa powder…

(I always have Hershey’s on hand in the pantry.)

…about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter…

…Dharma brand, if you have it…

…some honey…

…and, lastly, some ice, ice, baby.

Word to your motha’.

Blend it all up & pour into a big tall glass. Enjoy!

Acai Bowls and A Happy

Every morning while we were in Oahu on our honeymoon, Dave and I walked downstairs from our hotel (I feel relaxed just looking at their website and now desperately want to go back), to the little coffee shop next door, where we were greeted by the same workers who made us the same breakfast for 5 days straight: an acai bowl. I distinctly remember the other “regulars” in there – the man selling really crappy souvenir t-shirts (Dave bought one, eventually), and the cute Italian couple who also got the same breakfast every morning – two cappuccinos and a chocolate pastry of some sort. I remember thinking that I envied their Italian life, with their coffees & pastries & strange clothing, and how that would be one of the very next places we’d visit (hoping this is my summer!). And I distinctly remember falling completely, madly in love with the acai bowl: frozen acai mixed with a banana, granola, and drizzled with honey. Before we left, on the last day, I asked the workers their secret acai bowl recipe. Turns out, I could make them myself all the way back in Kennesaw. So, I do so, regularly. Like, at least once a week. Why? They’re tasty, loaded with antioxidants, the perfect post-workout snack, and they take me right back to our little piece of heaven on earth… Waikiki.

Acai Bowls

In a blender, combine the following ingredients, in this order:

light, plain soy milk – about 3/4 cup (I prefer Silk brand if I have a coupon, but Kroger brand works too)

about 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I prefer Stonyfield organic – organic dairy really does taste better)

Frozen acai (two options: Sambazon has pre-made smoothie packets available at Harry’s in Marietta and probably other places too, or you can do the cheaper route – what I do – and buy the acai juice in a large 1-liter container and freeze it into ice cube trays, using only as much as you need, only when you need it. Goes a little easier on the budget.)

half a frozen banana (or a non-frozen banana, if you don’t happen to keep frozen banana halves in your freezer like I do)

Blend it up as best you can. It should be pretty thick. Transfer to a bowl, top with granola and drizzle with honey. Enjoy.

The Happy

Why the post about Acai Bowls all of a sudden? I just took a survey that asked me to think about an experience that made me happy. Here’s what I wrote, verbatim. It reminded me of Hawaii, and that reminded me of my favorite food from Hawaii. Enjoy the random story.

For our honeymoon, my husband and I went to Hawaii. Not only did we go because we wanted to visit Oahu and the Big Island, but because we were (and still are) HUGE fans of the TV show LOST. Yes – part of our reason for going to Hawaii was so we could take a Lost Adventures Tour, where someone drove us around in a Hummer all over Oahu, taking us to many different locations at which Lost was filmed. We saw beautiful parts of the island, and went crazy seeing some of the most important and crucial sites in the show in person – the bridge where the Dharma sub was docked, the “house in the Dominican Republic” where Sayid ended up after he made it back home off the island, “Hurley’s Hill” where Hurley drove the Dharma van and he, Jin & Sawyer celebrated one of the only happy things to happen to them, the tower that held jughead, the atomic bomb, and the Dharma medical station. It was fun, and made us both happy… but the happiest part came later in the day, when the tour guide told us that for a real treat, we should drive out to Camp Erdman, a YMCA camp where all the Dharmaville scenes were filmed. It’s across from Army Beach, which is where the plane crash was filmed. Two bonus sites at the same time? Yes, please! So, after a quick lunch, we piled in our rented red Mustang convertible, drove in the warm Hawaiian sunshine for 2 hours out to the very northwestern tip of Oahu, in the middle of nowhere, until we saw them: those familiar mustard-yellow cottages that housed the Others and some of the Losties during their time travels. We couldn’t believe our eyes. Off to the right was the most beautiful, pristine beach we’d ever seen – the host to the most classic (fake) plane crash ever seen on national tv, and to the left, was where the Others lived!! We grabbed our camera, and started running around like idiots. We actually acted like we were hiding out from some of the Others trying to find us. Dorks, I know. It’s an active YMCA camp, so we actually ran into kids who were staying there, staring at us like we were nuts. But, we didn’t care. And at one point, my husband gasped, and said, “turn around and look up.” What I saw was the exact same geographic, mountainous profile that Ben and some of the Others saw when they looked up during the Oceanic Flight 815 crash. I felt like I was living a Lost moment, which I know sounds totally ridiculous and cheesy… but I was, at that moment, so incredibly happy. I’d just had the most awesome wedding, I was spending 2 weeks on an island with my husband, and we’d been to where they filmed Lost. To say I was “happy” is a severe understatement.