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Slice of Life

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    Pick a fruit that gets almost no publicity, and you’d be hard-pressed to find one less represented than the fig.
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    Every family has a child who, while just as talented, beautiful and beloved as the rest of the brood, is overshadowed by the achievements of siblings. Such is the fate of the blackberry.
  • Know sugars to sweeten choices
    I’m standing in line at the local farmers market and what was obviously a grandparent watching an obviously overtired, overstimulated and downright cranky 2- or 3-year-old while the parents were debating the merits of a green vs. red vs.

Show your love with easy shakes

To anyone who has ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary, before you start swearing, don’t worry, all is not lost. I got your back on this one.

You can, of course, take your favorite birthday or anniversary person out to eat and stand in line to wait way too long because you forgot to make a reservation, or you can score some major points with a quick trip to the grocery store for ice cream (and flowers and gift certificates) to make shakes.

I’m not talking about a huge calorie-loaded, mega, gigantic extravaganza or even a recipe that calls for bunches of ingredients and lots of prep time. I’m suggesting recipes that call for three to five ingredients and can be made with frozen yogurt, the lactose free or non-dairy substitute and non-dairy “milks” if lactose intolerance or allergies are a worry.

The following milk shake recipes offer even the most cooking-impaired individuals a way to say “I love you” and give new meaning to sharing the love.

Lemon Strawberry Shake

1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 pound strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a blender combine the ice cream, lemon zest and milk and process until smooth. Divide between four glasses. Add the strawberries and lemon juice to blender and process until combined. Divide the strawberry mixture between the four glasses and gently swirl it into the milkshake. Makes 4.

Chocolate Bourbon Milkshake

1/2 cup hot fudge plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ounces bourbon

At the bottom of each glass, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of hot fudge. In a blender, combine the milk, ice cream, vanilla, bourbon and about 1/4 cup of hot fudge. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into 2 glasses and top off with tablespoon of hot fudge. Makes 2.

Banana Split Shake

4 tablespoons fudge sauce

1 banana, diced

1/4 cup chocolate ice cream

1/4 cup strawberry ice cream

1/4 cup vanilla ice cream

1 cup milk

Can of whipped cream (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans

2 maraschino cherries

Fudge sauce for garnish

In each of two tall glasses, place 2 tablespoons fudge sauce, half of the diced banana, two mini scoops chocolate ice cream and two mini scoops strawberry ice cream. In blender, combine vanilla ice cream and milk and blend until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to glasses; top each with whipped cream, nuts and a cherry; then drizzle with fudge sauce. Makes two, this recipe can be doubled.

– Modified from Good Housekeeping’s “Blend It!” cookbook

Caramel Banana Shake

1 cup milk

2 bananas

1 cup vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt)

A few dashes of cinnamon

A few splashes of rum

1 tablespoon caramel topping

Can of whipped cream, optional

Place all ingredients into a blender except the caramel and whipped cream. Process until smooth. Divide the mixture between two glasses. Drizzle the caramel topping over the top. Swirl gently and then top with whipped cream if desired. Makes 2.

– Submitted by Sari Michaels of Chicago

Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.