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Horace/ Frank's Early Morning Smoothie
This recipe is designed for the half-awake or hung-over early riser. It requires no measuring and is virtually foolproof I should know. I was inspired to make smoothies by the cooks out on the set of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman They would greet me at 5:30 in the morning with a fresh smoothie. Since I'm not a coffee drinker their fantastic smoothies were my wake-up call.


A big glass of orange juice

A handful of frozen strawberries

A frozen banana (the one that got too ripe and you tossed in the freezer last week), remove the peel by zapping the frozen banana in the microwave for about 30 seconds

A big glop of plain yogurt (I prefer the tangy Armenian brands, none of that sweetened stuff)

Extras: You may throw in some of whatever squishy fruit you have on hand. I like pulpy orange juice so I sometimes toss in a couple of slices of orange. 1 also like kiwi, blueberries, mangoes, and papayas. Subtle­tasting fruits like honeydew don't seem to work. Forget about pears or apples, the blender can't handle them.

Put the yogurt in the blender first, and then add the orange juice. This is very important; if you slop the yogurt in after, you are likely to splatter juice all over your bathrobe (or whatever you wore to bed). If you or others are still asleep, place the blender in the closet or stash it in a cabinet before you start blending. No one likes being awakened by a snarling Mixmaster! Now make sure you have the lid on the blender. No one likes cleaning the ceiling. Hit the highest speed button and slowly add the frozen banana (did you peel it?) and frozen strawberries.

By using frozen fruit you avoid having to use ice cubes which are very noisy in a blender and add nothing to the taste. Overripe bananas are best because they have the most flavor and no one will eat them any other way. While the blender is blending, you can go find your glasses and hunt around for any extras you feel like adding. If you add enough fruit, you should get a really nice thick smoothie, which is, as all smoothie drinkers know, the best kind. Drink slowly to avoid brain freeze. Be sure to make extra because everyone who is awakened by the blender will ask for some of yours.

(from In the Kitchen with Elininor Donahue)