Monday Musings: On chia, grammar and globalization.

Good Monday to you. I’m back on schedule with some of the random, wacky things on my mind this week. Even though it’s April Fool’s Day (Happy Birthday, Prink!), this is not a joke, promise.

I do have some levity for you, though. About seven months ago, my cousin posted this picture on Pinterest. It’s supposed to be just a picture of a creepy house. But then. I have it saved in my Joy board, because every single time I see it I laugh uncontrollably for at least 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. Even after seven months.

I have found a new obsession. It’s been awhile, but the familiar grip has taken over. I just can’t get enough of … chia seeds. Say what, now? But stay tuned over at Culinary Cousins, since I’ll be waxing philosophic about those soon. Like, maybe tomorrow.

I could write a whole book on my grammar pet peeves, but inappropriate use of apostrophes tops the list. You don’t make something plural by adding an apostrophe! I see it everywhere — like 1980’s instead of 1980s — but the one in the NY Times this week was the last straw. Apparently we “don’t have a history of dynasty’s in the U.S.” That sound you hear is my skin crawling.

I was eating a mango last week when something occurred to me. It’s sort of a miracle that I can drive to my local grocery store, buy a (pretty cheap) mango — a fruit native to South Asia —  and eat it at home in North Carolina. It felt so special and exotic. Score one for globalization, I guess.

Have a good week, all.

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Cooking Spree: Skinny Banana "Ice Cream"

Consider my mind blown.

A few weeks back, when I was still on the wagon and trying to eat sensibly, Stephanie told me about skinny banana ice cream. You just blend a frozen banana in a food processor, she said, and voila! You have a dessert-like treat with the consistency of soft serve. Nah, I doubted. There’s no way a measly frozen banana can trick my brain into believing I’m eating ice cream.

Then I tried it.

The result is everything she promised — smooth, creamy, sweet, icy. You totally feel like you’re eating banana ice cream, but with zero guilt.

I heard recently that bananas and mangoes are the only fruits that maintain a creamy consistency when frozen, so the science does make sense. And I suppose that means frozen mangoes are next on my shopping list.

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Skinny Banana “Ice Cream”

1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon milk
Honey or sugar, to taste (if you’d like)

Equipment: small food processor or blender

Peel a medium banana (or a few bananas) and place it in a large ziploc bag. Freeze for a couple of hours until solid.

Remove a banana from the plastic bag and, (carefully!) with a sharp knife, chop it into chunks.

Note: I stress again — be careful! The banana may be hard to chop while frozen. You could chop the banana before you freeze it but I didn’t because I wanted to easily see a one banana portion. You could portion banana slices into different bags or bowls before freezing, though. Hey, I’m lazy. 

Add the banana to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the milk. At this point, you could add sweetener — a touch of honey, sugar or sweetener packet, though I didn’t. I suppose you could also add some yogurt — plain, vanilla or Greek — but you do need the liquid of the milk to help the banana blend.

Blend the banana and milk in the food processor/blender for about a minute. The consistency will change and it will become smooth and soft, like frozen yogurt or soft-serve ice cream. Working quickly, pour the “ice cream” into a bowl and eat.