Posts tagged ‘milkshake’

Recovery Milkshake

My family has an odd tradition. Okay, so maybe we have a lot of odd traditions… but what family doesn’t? To share one: in my family, the best way to recover from surgery is a chocolate milkshake. Any will do, but the tradition is rooted in the McDonald’s classic. Let’s rewind a bit to see where this came from…

I mentioned in a recent post that I was born with a cleft palate and several craniofacial clefts. I am very open about sharing what I have been through, and in fact have even enjoyed researching and learning more about embryological development in med school. While a cleft palate is common, the other facial clefts are not, and so I was immediately transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I was blessed to meet some of the most talented plastic surgeons, opthamologists, orthodontists, and other specialists, who were brave enough to push the envelope with new techniques and procedures, allowing me a very normal life. I have had seventeen reconstructive surgeries so far, beginning at the age of three months and spanning through March of this past year, and seem to be done for at least the near future!

At CHOP, the only food option besides the hospital cafeteria is McDonald’s, and so the chocolate milkshake tradition began. I would always request a chocolate milkshake as a reward for being good on a doctor’s visit or for making it through another surgery (and post-surgery hospital Jell-o… yuck!), and my parents would usually oblige! This treat carried me through all of my procedures, and stuck with my mom and sister as they have recently faced the OR as well.


My friend recently went under the knife for the first time, and the least I could do to aid in her recovery was share the chocolate milkshake tradition. Now that I am older, wiser, and a lot less fond of McDonald’s, I decided to experiment with my own version of CCK’s chocolate shake for a healthier recovery milkshake! Whether you are in recovery or just want an excuse for a healthier shake, give this a try!

Question: What is a strange tradition in your family?


Healthier Chocolate Milkshake

1 frozen banana

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp Nutella

6 milk ice cubes

3/4-1 cup milk

2 tbsp cocoa powder

The night or a few hours before, pour milk into an ice cube tray to form frozen milk ice cubes. When ready, combine all ingredients in a blender. Start with 3/4 cup of milk, and then use the last 1/4 cup to adjust consistency. Stir and enjoy!


October 11, 2011 at 7:00 am 6 comments

Homemade Peanut Butter

Costco may have won with the fresh figs, but disappointed me when I couldn’t find any natural peanut butter! Don’t get me wrong, I love the classic, crunchy kid-stuff as much as the next girl, but when buying in bulk I don’t want to buy all of that added sugar! So I paced the condiments aisle debating what to do: let my cheapness outweigh my food philosophies, since the grocery trip was my mom’s treat? Or get a little creative…


What do you do when Costco stops selling natural peanut butter? You buy bulk peanuts and make your own! Nut and seed butters are really easy to make on your own, with really great results. All that is needed – a semi-decent food processor. And understanding neighbors, since my food processor is pretty noisy after running for 5-10 minutes. Peanut butter should literally just be peanuts, oil, and salt. No sugar, no fillers, no strange chemicals… just the good stuff. (Watch for low fat peanut butter! They are often full of sugar and additives to maintain the taste, but the natural fat in peanut butter is better than all the stuff they add back to keep the flavor!) Natural peanut butter is good. Homemade, of course, is better! I love that the homemade peanut butter has a little extra crunch to it!


What do you do when you have a ton of homemade peanut butter on your hands? You make some of Katie’s most recent peanut butter recipes! I tried out her peanut butter milkshake, so good! Surprisingly light for a peanut butter drink, and much prettier in Katie’s picture. My roommate was confused when she saw me drinking this, since I had just made the peanut butter in a similar mason jar. “Are you drinking peanut butter?!” I love it, but not that much!


Oh wait, maybe I do… thanks to these peanut butter cookie dough balls. Just 4 ingredients, easy, healthy, and fun! Since I used salted peanuts, I omitted the salt and they worked perfectly! I also rolled them in some finely ground peanuts, just so that they are a little easier to store and handle. Reminds me of when I was a kid and made peanut butter cookies with my mom and sister! I have kept these in the fridge and enjoy them as a pick-me-up whenever I am getting the study blues throughout the day. I can memorize a few more diseases if I know one of these babies is my reward!


Question: What is your favorite use for peanut butter?

Homemade Peanut Butter

yields 1 1/2 cups

2 cups peanuts (I used roasted and salted)

2 tbsp canola oil

Add 1 cup of the peanuts to the food processor and blend for about 5 minutes. A thick paste should form. Add half of the oil, and the rest of the peanuts. Continue to process for another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the oil. Process until smooth for another minute or two. If you like crunchy peanut butter, add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped peanuts. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

September 12, 2011 at 9:00 am 13 comments

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