Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate Citrus Cooler

Chocolate Citrus Cooler

(I couldn't find this recipe on the Hershey's sites so I copied it as it is written in that glorious cook book we are exploring. Of course, that means there is no picture either... I'm sorry, I'll try to be better at taking pictures of our experiences before we devour them!)

1 ½ cups cold milk
¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons Hershey’s Syrup
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Crushed ice or additional ice cream (optional)

* In blender container, place milk, orange juice concentrate, syrup and 1 scoop ice cream. Cover; blend until smooth. Pour into glasses over ice or top with additional ice cream, if desired.
About three 8-ounce servings.

  Today for no reason whatsoever monster and I decided we needed to make a chocolate drink. So we hit The Book!  On page 172 we found it.
We had the ingredients (sorta),
We had technology (after a fashion),
and we had the craving!
So off we set…

  First thing was first. We didn’t have frozen organ juice concentrate, we had orange juice. So we poured some orange juice into our heart shaped cube trays and set them in the freezer while we did something else… which was make more ice cube, with water this time.  When we decided we really didn’t want to wait any longer (about 20 minus later) we checked them, they were slushy! Yippie!
  On we pressed!

Monster took the lead on this one. She found a pitcher that we usually use to make lemonade. In it she put the ingredients… she used a spoon to scoop out the slushee orange juice and put it in a measuring cup till it reached ¼ cup. 

Have you guessed by now that we do not have a blender? Nope. No blender. Haven’t had one in years.  Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was first married, my parents gave all the married kids an Oster Kitchen center. It was a food possessor, blender, mixer all in one, and it had a really good engine. I was able to mix and blend and slice all out of one machine and I never really thought to much about how incredible that one little kitchen appliance was…until it burned out. My kitchen has never been the same. I burned through more mixers then I can count and a handful of blenders, too. Never did get another food processor. That experience led me to the 3 pieces of equipment that every home kitchen needs.

  One is a bread machine. Warm fresh bread daily. No preservatives and adjusted each day to match every meal you are having. Spaghetti? Add garlic to the dough. Need a warm breakfast? Add cinnamon and eat as toast. Or add fruit yogurt and make special breads for the best French Toast you have had. The bread machine wants just a few minutes of your time and it will make you special breads to warm your heart and meal. I have a theory that even Fairies love bread machines, seeing as how much they love bread with honey and all kinds of pizza.

  The second is a crock-pot. This little darling will cook you your dinner to hot bubbly perfection each day and only wants a little time and thought from you. There are so many on the market and I am beginning to think more then one is not a bad idea. With more then one your cooking is cut even more. You can make your dessert, side dish , and main dish all at once. Heck with the right planning and recipes having your bread machine and crock-pots cook your meals every night is almost effortless! The best thing in the world to a busy house that believes in real food.

The third thing every kitchen needs is that Oster Kitchen Center I mentioned earlier. With it you can prepare all the ingredients you will be using in the crock-pot and bread machine (and everywhere else) very uniformly and efficiently, again saving time and making for better looking and tasting meals.

In this case I am missing the Oster Kitchen Canter or any blender substitute…except I did have a MagicWand. At least I think that is what the thing is called. I received it years ago as a white elephant gift. It took me a while to figure out how to use it as it had no instructions or attachments to it. I found out later they usually had attachment to make drinks and stuff. So I have always made due using it. The thing is rather dangerous though so don’t let the kids too close until you are really familiar with it. Yes, I did cut myself pretty badly on it once and that is why I am warning you.  It’s a handy little tool. I use it anytime I need a blender… like with crepe mix, or making breadcrumbs, or as in this case I need to blend a drink.
Unfortunately it just isn’t as good as an actual blender.

So, while Monster did an excellent job with the ingredients and the original blending of it went just fine I think the weak link in this drink was the crushed ice. We just could not get them as small and uniform as a good blender does. Like the ones I use when I was a barista. Now those things could really crush the ice!

The taste was really good! It was a subtle chocolate and orange flavor. In fact for the first few sips I thought it really needed more of both. But as the drink progressed I came to think the chocolate and orange where in a pretty good proportion. The texture is what got me. It was more like chocolate milk with a few chips of ice in it. I was really looking forward to a drink like the ones I made in the café. I think if I had a blender this would have knocked out the drinks from the café! Think of all the money you could save on frozen drinks if you just had a good blender. My favorite drink costs a minimum of $5 and that’s without any extra shots. And lets be truthful here, unless I am the one mixing it, they just don’t get it right!
In fact, I can see this drink making its way onto all the coffee shop/café menus. Which may just tick me off to no end.
But at least you and I will know the best one is still made at home!

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