At risk of providing too much personal information to all the dedicated smoothie makers out there, I begin by stating that my wife had surgery earlier this week, and that she recently (meaning yesterday) graduated from a clear liquid diet to a somewhat less-than-clear liquid diet (with the occasional slice of toast). Over the last two days, I have made more smoothies (but not cooked more toast) than I have in all my previous years' experience. I was twiddling my thumbs this morning while perusing the instructables website, and this contest was just too good to pass up right now! I've created several variations of the smoothie, but this has been one of my wife's favorites.
Now, to keep the peace here at home, I should also explain that I did not make the smoothie shown in this instructable myself - My wife made it while I took pictures. I should also explain that I didn't invent this recipe - She did that one too. I didn't slice the strawberries, or even plug in the blender - All her.
There. Now I still get to sleep in the bedroom.
Moving on from personal matters into the real meat of this 'ible,' the ingredients you will need for this smoothie are:
-10 fresh strawberries
-1.5 cups of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, in this case). This is about 2/3 of a 16 oz. package of frozen mixed berries.
-3 large scoops of pineapple sherbet (Probably about two cups, but if you're getting out measuring cups to measure ice cream, I think you're being too particular)
-2 tsp. vanilla extract (Or imitation vanilla, unless you're a purist. I'm not.)
-1/8 cup of sugar
-3/4 cup milk
You probably won't need the ketchup for this one. It's just there to check if you were paying attention.
Another note on ingredients: I wouldn't highly recommend putting all your ingredients in fancy glass dishes in pre-measured amounts before you make your smoothie. Unless you work for a cooking show or you are trying to win an instructables contest, it just isn't necessary.
The following tools/equipment are necessary for this smoothie:
-Ice Cream Scoop
Again, the 5/8" socket wrench isn't necessary to make a perfectly smooth smoothie. Just checking if you were paying attention again.
I usually spend most of my time over in the section of the instructables website that deals with high voltages or power tools. Over there, it's customary to include some notes about safety after the materials and tools sections. That doesn't seem to be quite as typical in the areas dealing with food, but I still have a driving urge to say something about it. I'll be brief.
1. Don't stick your finger, tongue, fork, socket wrench, etc., in an electric outlet.
2. Don't stick your finger, tongue, fork, socket wrench, etc., in an operating blender. It has a way of eating those things up.
3. Don't stick a knife or any other sharp object in your finger, tongue, etc.
Step 1: Prepare Ingredients
Most of the ingredient preparation is relatively simple for this smoothie. However, a few ingredients require special attention.
Strawberries: Rinse the strawberries with clean water. Never trust anything directly from the grocery store. Using the paring knife, remove the stems, green leaves, and any mushy spots from your strawberries.
Banana: Peel it. If you need help, ask a monkey.
All other ingredients can be used in their raw form.
Be sure to plug in the blender. The next step will be pretty embarrassing if you don't.
Step 2: Add Ingredients and Blend
Add all the ingredients to the blender. The order in which you add the ingredients isn't terribly important (it will all work out in the end), but I wouldn't recommend putting the sherbet in first. It has a way of clogging up the blender blades and preventing anything else from mixing together.
After you've got the ingredients all in the blender, put on the lid and fire it up. (This is where it could be embarrassing if you don't have the blender plugged in.) Start out with the "pulse" button until you get the berries chopped up a bit. From there, you can move on to "Blend," "Puree," "Chop," "Smoothify," or whatever else your blender manufacturer chose to name the buttons.
If you have mixing problems (meaning the stuff on the top of the pile doesn't want to play nice with the stuff on the bottom), turn the blender off (all the way off), and use a spoon to mix the ingredients together a bit. Don't try this with the blender on. You'll mess up the spoon, mess up the blender, or make a big mess on the counter when the blender throws the spoon out. You may do all three. You may also hurt yourself. Just turn it off.
When the mixture appears smooth and creamy, you're done!
Step 3: Enjoy
Pour your smoothie into a nice, tall glass and enjoy! If you're trying to make your sick wife feel better (as I was), or if you are trying to win a contest based partly on how nice your photos look (which I was also doing), add a decorative strawberry to the rim of the glass.