Though I miss being on spring break in Las Vegas, it’s also nice to relax at home and make my usual Saturday morning smoothie. Though I didn’t have any smoothies in Vegas, this smoothie I made today is inspired by an experience my family had there.
It was hard for our family to agree on somewhere to eat dinner. Most of the restaurants in our hotel were overpriced and didn’t offer menu choices everyone was happy with. We went to the Sugar Factory our first night at the hotel. That was pretty much a disaster since the whole restaurant was basically a bar full of overexcited and slightly intoxicated tourists and underdressed bartender ladies. The music was also blasting really loud and we couldn’t hear each other speak. I wondered how the waiters and waitresses working there avoided permanent hearing damage! The veggie burger there was quite good, but it was not worth risking permanent deafness. So on our second night, my parents and I wandered around the hotel, searching for somewhere else to get dinner. My little brother was up in the room with a headache, so we were looking for someplace that would give us take-out boxes to bring back. My brother had requested a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So when we saw a cute little pizza and sandwich shop called JJ’s Boulangerie, we walked right in.
The menu did have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich called the “PB and JJ’s”, but it was served on a cinnamon raisin roll, and we knew that simply wouldn’t do. My brother’s a very traditional kid when it comes to food and wanted a plain old regular pb&j on two plain, non-fancy slices of bread.
So my mom asked the older ladies making sandwiches if they had any regular bread. They didn’t seem to speak English very well, and it took a few tries before they understood what she was saying. Then they got flustered and warned my mom very seriously, “we have toast but it is with egg.” My mom did not understand their words due to a combination of the loud music playing, their accent, and the words having pretty much no logical meaning. Was she thinking to spread peanut butter and jelly on some sort of toast with scrambled eggs dish? The lady serving us seemed annoyed, but she repeated her words several times. My parents and I were still kind of perplexed, so the one lady serving us ordered her assistant to fetch a piece of bread from the kitchen and show us what the cause of her anguish was. The assistant returned to show us a slice of yellow egg bread.
With the mystery solved, we readily agreed for the sandwich to be made on that bread, as that is one of the acceptable “plain” types of bread my brother would eat a sandwich on any day. We took the finished sandwich and all the rest of our dinners up to the room to eat with my brother. But apparently the gourmet chefs working at JJ’s Boulangerie were above making anything as ordinary as a classic peanut butter and jelly. When my brother unwrapped his sandwich, we found it was made with three pieces of egg bread. the bottom slice had a fistful of peanut butter and real peanuts concentrated in the center, then there was a slice on top of that with a glop of grape jelly in the center, and finally that was topped with the final slice of bread. The sandwich was made as if it was a culinary sin for peanut butter to touch jelly, when the whole point of a pb&j sandwich is the lovely mingling of those two flavors. I couldn’t blame my little brother for only eating half the sandwich; for one thing due to its elaborate construction it probably had about twice the calories of a regular pb&j. And for another, when I asked him, “how’s your sandwich?” he replied, “um… iffy.” It really was a weird sandwich. Why couldn’t the sandwich ladies just make something plain and boring for once?
That sandwich may have been “iffy”, but this smoothie sure isn’t. I didn’t exactly base it on the weird “PB & JJ’s” sandwich, but as I was drinking it I realized the medley of grape flavor with smooth peanut butter and crunchy peanuts was similar to the ingredients in that sandwich. The additional flavors of banana, peach, and white chocolate create a delicious, flavorful and rich smoothie. I used white chocolate peanut butter because I was afraid regular peanut butter would be too salty, but I think regular peanut butter would be just as good if you don’t want a smoothie that’s too sweet.
Fancy PB&J Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbls Peanut Butter & Co. brand White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, separated
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 10 frozen purple grapes (I froze my own grapes. You could probably also use fresh, but the smoothie wouldn’t be as cold.)
- 1 Weight Watcher’s brand peach flavor frozen yogurt bar
- 1 tbl roasted and salted peanuts
Place banana, milk, 1 tablespoon only of the white chocolate peanut butter, the vanilla, grapes, and fro-yo bar in blender. Blend until smooth, about one minute. Pour smoothie into a glass and pop it in the fridge to chill. Meanwhile, place the remaining tablespoon of white chocolate peanut butter on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for ten seconds or so, just long enough that it is easier to work with. Take smoothie out of the fridge and spoon the white chocolate peanut butter onto the surface of it, letting it sink in. This adds delicious texture and richness to the smoothie. Sprinkle the peanuts on top.
Get ready for the most gourmet smoothie you have ever tasted!
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