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!).
A Vitamix blender makes this smooth and creamy, but you can always use a little more liquid (and some elbow grease!) and mix by hand.
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.
Happy scooping! 🙂
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 Vitamix blender, milkshake spinner, 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.
15 Comments Add yours
What is a labor of love for you, is sheer joy for us – your dear followers and fellow crazed ice cream fanatics! The pictures are so spectacular that I’m wishing I lived closer and could have helped taste test during the process; or knew someone (let’s just call him Bingo) who could have brought one in in a properly chilled cooler. Keep up the spectacular pictures and enjoyable commentary, despite the agony they cause me as I eat my sensible greek yogurt.
Oh Sharon, many thank you’s for the kind words! It’s nice to feel appreciated 🙂 I also have Greek yogurt for breakfast, and let’s just say it is NOT pancakes 😦
We really need to whip Bingo into shape. How rude to not consider the needs of his dearest friends and colleagues!
Thanks for stopping by! Xoxo
I just wiped drool from my mouth
Haha YES! That’s exactly the reaction I hope for!
Oh dear lord.
First of all. I missed your (blog) birthday and I’ll never be able to forgive myself. I’m a bad blogger and a bad friend. Stupid real life getting in the way of my internet life. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve stopped by (your blog) for a visit, and how many posts I’ve missed in what seems like forever now, but seemed like such a short time while it was passing.
At least I’ve been ignoring my own blog just as much as yours, not that that should make me feel any better, but maybe it’ll make you feel better!!!
I don’t know how this keeps happening and it totally sounds like we’re both just a couple of broken records, but holy shit if we don’t lead parallel lives.
Terrible lighting has always plagued me when I’m trying to shoot my birthday posts.
This has happened on my blog birthdays and my actual birthdays (yet another excuse I use to torture myself with excruciatingly complicated over the top layer cake recipes)
I’ll sit and think and plan and lay awake late at night weighing the options for months and months and months, and just when I think I have the peeeeerfect plan for the most beautiful, delicious, celebratory, fancy ass cake Pinterest has ever laid eyes on, I wake up to grey overcast bullshit weather and have no choice but shoot in this crappy ass light because, well, I’ve already baked the damned cake and have no choice but to frost it and shoot it and jump up and down screaming and swearing.
But, also like you, I keep doing it, year after year, because in the end I love my weird stupid blog and I love torturing myself, and nothing in the world makes me happier than when a post actually works out the way I’d hoped. I think in the whole time I’ve been doing this I’ve only had one blog birthday post that worked out the way I was hoping (or at least the photos came out the way I’d hoped), but the experience still involved self doubt, a temper tantrum, some swearing, and a handful of tears. (https://brooklynhomemaker.com/2015/10/29/apple-cider-doughnut-cake/)
Annnnyways, we’re definitely both our own biggest critics, and 9 times out of 10 we’re both the only ones who can see any flaws in our work. To the rest of the world, the photos look great, the recipes sound amazing, and the comments are filled with nothing but praise.
Half the time the posts I’m least happy with are the ones my readers love the most.
So, lets try (just try, no promises) not to overcomplicate things next time. You try not to make brownies that require frosting AND ganache (and yes, ganaching is a word, at least according to me it is) and I’ll try not to make a cake with syrupy fruit fillings, weird sticky drizzles that never seem to reach the right consistency, and icings I’ve never worked with before that never quite firm up the way I wanted.
And after we break our promises to ourselves and each other, when we’re mid temper tantrum, let’s try to channel Stuart Smalley and tell ourselves, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
So, now that I’ve written you a small novel, I’m going to try to address this here heavenly milkshake from heaven.
This looks amazing. The brownies look amazing. The ice cream looks amazing. The hot fudge looks amazing. The milkshake looks amazing. The photos look amazing.
And you’re my freakin hero for posting a milkshake recipe that’s so thick it can barely come up through the straw.
I love how we traded lives for a bit – I feel like there was a period a few months ago when I went all zero dark thirty and you were posting often, and now it’s the opposite! At least we know the one will always be waiting for the other in the end 🙂 awwww, mushy mushy!!!
I think next year we should plan super typical, super inside-the-box birthday celebrations. You can make some sort of German nutty thing, and I’ll do like peanut butter cup or something, and we won’t tempt fate and everything will be SPLENDID! Haha
Thanks for being so nice about my brownies! And my milkshakes! I was inspired by those ones from Black Tap that are all over the place. Have you ever been? Or do like, “real” New York hipsters not frequent such common places? 😉
I’ll tell ya, I’m so glad we’re in this thing together! I really missed you and our parallel lives!