It’s that time again, my friends.
Time for mint chocolate chip disasters, endless self-loathing, and massive emotional breakdowns.
Time for blog posts gone wrong, unreasonable hostility, and good old-fashioned hissy fits.
You guessed it – it’s time for another If the Spoon Fits birthday celebration!
My little blog turned THREE this month (can you believe it?!) and I couldn’t be prouder.
Or more frustrated.
And also a little exhausted.
On that fateful day in 2013 when I published my very first post, I promised myself that once a year on the blog’s birthday, I’d revisit my favorite childhood flavor: mint chocolate chip. But somehow (at least so far), each blog birthday has turned into a stunning disaster, resulting in anger, frustration, and desperate fast food choices, accompanied by the sweet and salty tears of overwhelming defeat.
Even though I am 100% aware that my culinary talents are limited to traditional ice cream and NOT all the cool things I see on Pinterest, the temptation of doing something big and grandiose that I’ve never done before is always too much to resist, especially on such a momentous occasion as a blog birthday. Then, when things don’t turn out the way I want them to, I experience such a remarkable sense of self-disgust that it eventually results in massive, teary-eyed meltdowns, typically mid-photoshoot or better yet, in the middle of the night when I should be thinking about terrorism, world hunger, bed bugs, or other real problems much bigger than my ice cream blog.
But not this year, I thought to myself.
This year, I’ll make a milkshake. But I won’t make just any milkshake. I’ll make THE MOST FANCIFUL milkshake the world has ever seen, and it will be delicious and boozy and the pictures will be awe-inspiring and magnificent to behold!!!
And..just to prove that I can be relaxed and have fun, I won’t even make the ice cream. I’ll just buy it, like a normal person. No eggs, no overnight freezing. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Right?!
First of all, a milkshake is different enough from my usual ice cream set up that it requires a more decisive strategic approach to styling than a plain ol’ scoop or cone. It requires finesse and an eye for garnish, two qualities that I generally lack when it comes to food.
Secondly, making fanciful wonderful milkshakes isn’t as easy as everyone out there in blogland (and Pinterest) makes it seem. But of course, just like with everything else in my life, I probably overanalyzed even this seemingly simple milkshake process in an effort to make it just perfectly right.
What started as a fun homage to my favorite childhood flavor turned into an overcomplicated mess of a dessert (albeit a delicious one).
I decided on a whim that I needed to incorporate crème de menthe into my shake, then this somehow spiraled into grasshopper brownies – something that I had never made before (but eaten plenty of, don’t you worry!).
Despite appearances, grasshopper brownies are way harder to make than regular brownies. It was a little more similar to baking a cake than I would have liked, because we know I am NOT the best at cakes. There was a layer of mint frosting and ganache, which was a little bit more than I could handle on that particular afternoon.
So, even though I didn’t make the ice cream for this messy shake, I spent what felt like an entire day baking, frosting, freezing, and ganaching (is that even a word?).
Once the brownies were finished, I moved on to my next disaster: my photoshoot.
I knew right away that the lighting wasn’t quite right, but I was cocky. “It’s my trusty blue background! My favorite props! What could go wrong?”
So I pressed onwards, but unfortunately the light never got better and I was already too frustrated to do anything productive about it. What resulted was one of the longest, messiest, and most laborious photo sessions I’ve had since…well, since the last blog birthday.
As much time as I spent on the photoshoot itself, I think I phoned it in a little. I went with my same stupid standard background, and the same stupid paper straws I’ve had forever because I forgot to order the green polka dot ones I saw on Amazon that would have matched perfectly and now MY LIFE IS IN SHAMBLES AND EVERYTHING IS WRONG.
As I started editing the photos, I hated them all. I stayed up late into the night, poking and prodding at myself, filing my mind with self-hatred. I fell asleep convinced I’d scrap the whole thing and spend my entire weekend re-doing it in exchange for my peace of mind.
But then the next morning I woke up, and thought, you know, these aren’t so bad.
And then, just like that, I decided to put on my big girl pants.
These pictures, although they aren’t my favorite, are just as much a part of the blog as the stuff that goes right, and they deserve their moment in the spotlight, too. You don’t put your heart and soul into something, then completely discount it because it didn’t turn out exactly how you wanted. Right?
For now, the blog is 3 going on 13, giving me sass from every angle. And just when I think I’m starting to get the hang of it, something happens to completely throw me for a loop.
But in the end, I always know it’s going to be okay, and do you know why? Because of you gorgeous people!
Through these blog posts I have revealed, little by little, that I am a complete and utter sociopath – the kind of person who picks fights over breakfast and sheds actual tears over ice cream cake. But yet, you my dear friends, keep coming back for more, validating my neuroses and giving me a cozy platform from which to vent about my stunningly dramatic, overblown, first-world blog problems.
I’m grateful for each and every one of you, and you’re all amazing.
Anyhow, enough with the mushy stuff and on to the milkshake!
As the creator of an ice cream blog, I actually find it somewhat blasphemous that it’s taken me three years to feature a milkshake recipe. However in my defense, I really view milkshakes as more of a beverage than a dessert (which is like…really really fat, I know). I love ordering them when we’re at a burger joint, then I get really gross and American about it and dip my fries directly into the shake. It’s heaven!
I love all kinds of milkshakes, but my preference is to make them so thick, you can barely get them up a straw. So for this recipe, I use about a ¼ cup whole milk to each 1 cup of ice cream. If you’d like a thinner shake, add more milk per cup of ice cream until it fits your fancy.
Everything else in the milkshake is purely optional; though you’ll never find me turning down booze, brownies, or whipped cream! Make the ice cream yourself (there’s even a recipe on this blog!), or use your favorite store-bought kind. For this recipe, I used Ohio fave Velvet Ice Cream, which makes stupid-good mint chocolate chip (and it’s the perfect shade of mint chip green, if I do say so myself!).
This milkshake was a lot of work, but if you strip away the brownies and the fanfare, what you have is a really delicious, rich and creamy milkshakes. Sort of like this blog. Take away all the hissy fits and the drama, and you’ve got..well, ice cream. And pictures. And me!
Thanks for putting up with me, everyone!
This one’s for you.
Mint Chocolate Chip Grasshopper Brownie Milkshake
Yield: 2 Milkshakes
Hot fudge, to garnish the glass (if desired)
¼ cup Andes mints, chopped
4 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream, store-bought or homemade
1 cup whole milk (you can use skim or 2%, but whole milk creates a thicker texture)
1 tablespoon crème de menthe, or to taste (Bailey’s works too!)
1 cup chopped grasshopper or regular brownies, plus extra to garnish
Whipped cream, to garnish
- If desired, prepare milkshake glasses by swirling hot fudge up the sides and around the tops of the glasses. Dip the tops of the glasses in the crushed Andes mints, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the finished milkshakes.
- In a blender, milkshake maker, or by hand, combine the mint chocolate chip ice cream, whole milk, and creme de menthe until well blended, or reaches your preferred consistency. Fold in the brownie pieces by hand for chunky texture, or add to blender to pulverize if you prefer a smoother milkshake.
- Add milkshake to prepared glasses. Garnish with full-size grasshopper brownies, whipped cream, and crushed Andes mints.