A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Archive for February, 2012

Day 60 — S’mores Ice Pops

My husband suggested a few days ago that I make a s’mores pop:

Milk, cream, Ovaltine, marshmallows, graham crackers

For this pop, I went with the basic chocolate ice pop recipe. Rather than try to mix in the marshmallows, I cut them in half and used a knife to stick the pieces directly to the sides of the Zoku’s molds. I had to dot a little of the base onto each one to make them stay.

I have a confession — although my ingredient shot shows graham crackers, I actually used girl scout cookies in these pops because it turned out that my graham crackers had gone stale. I crushed them into large-ish pieces rather than crumbs, because I wanted them really to stand out. I layered them in as I poured the base.

These pops turned out really cute. They tasted good, too. I don’t normally like marshmallow unless they’re either gluing rice krispies together or are well toasted, but they turn out nice in the Zoku. They become a lot less mushy when they freeze.

Overall, this pop was a hit. Well worth a try.

Day 59 — Chocolate Pretzel Ice Pops

Chocolate covered pretzels are one of the world’s great treats. Salty, sweet and creamy; everything you’d want, really. So I decided to make them in ice pop form:

Instead of using my usual chocolate base, I decided to make a second pop using that great Philly chocolate stuff I’d posted about a while back. I went back to that post to remind myself of the proportions involved only to realize I hadn’t posted proportions. Oops.

Let’s fix that — 2 parts milk to one part of the chocolate spread. So, for three pops, I used a half cup of milk then enough of the chocolate to fill to the 3/4 cup line (so, 2 ounces). Then I crushed up seven small pretzels, which I layered into the molds with the base. I put rather a lot of pretzels into each pop, because I really wanted the pretzels to be the centerpiece of the pops, not just a minor inclusion.

The pretzels are hard to see from far away, so let’s go in for a closeup:

Mmm. Pretzels.

These pops were great. Putting lots of pretzels in was the right call, because it allowed their salt and crunch to shine through. Amazingly, just that addition made this pop taste completely different from the plain version I’d made the first time.  Definitely a worthy variation.

Day 58 — Tangerine Strawberry Ice Pops

I’ve mentioned before that I am a sucker for new things, so when I saw this new line of juices is the store, I had to try it in an ice pop:

It’s a line of juice blends from “Cuties” — the same brand that distributes clementines, my kids’ favorite fruit. The primary ingredient is tangerine juice, but unlike many other juice blends, the rest of the ingredients look pretty good, too:

30% tangerine juice, 20% peach puree, 8% banana puree, 5% strawberry puree.

They come in several flavors (including a kiwi one that looks great), but I chose the “red” one because I’m a sucker for anything peach flavored.

The juice is quite thick (the bottle actually bills it as a “smoothie) and very, very sweet. I’d never drink this stuff straight, but it’s a good medium for an ice pop.

The most dominant flavor in this pop is actually the banana puree. At least, that’s the only recognizable flavor. The rest kind of blend together for a flavor that’s both intensely sweet and very tart. As I was eating this pop, I went back and forth the whole time on whether I actually liked it. I think I do, but it’s not one I’m dying to run right out and try again.

Day 57 — Nutella Ice Pops

When I’m making ice pops, I usually really like to work out my own recipes. I can’t, of course, claim that all of the pops I make are my original ideas. But I do enjoy the trial-and-error process of making my own “recipes.”

Today’s pop is not my own recipe, however. I found it on Pinterest, which led me back to this site. The recipe I used is actually from “Julie’s” comment on that blog post — she called for 1/2 cup of milk and 1/6 cup of Nutella to make 3 ice pops. I stuck as closely as I could to these proportions without actually measuring my Nutella. I just used a big glob and assumed it was close enough.

It’s important to note that Nutella does not willingly play well with others. It did not want to dissolve smoothly into the milk. If I were a more patient and forward-thinking person, I’d have melted it in earlier in the day then chilled the mixture. But since I usually make my base mixtures moments before I freeze them, I didn’t want to warm it up too much. I just accepted the fact that my mixture wouldn’t be smooth.  It turned out not to matter in the finished pop.

Given the proportions here, I was rather shocked at how deep and rich these pops came out. The Nutella flavor really shines, and the texture is nice and soft. These are a definite hit, and I think they will lend themselves to all sorts of customization in the future.

On another note, the wonderful Domestic Diva, MD nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger” award, and I am both honored and grateful.  The rules of the award are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award on to 7 more bloggers that you enjoy.
  4. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated!

My Seven things:

1.  I am an identical twin.

2.  I love the idea of crafts, but am terrible at following through on projects.  Somewhere in my house are wonky, crooked, half-finished baby blankets for each of my kids.

3.  I grew up in New Jersey, but now that I live in North Carolina I can barely understand why everybody doesn’t live here.  Then I read about our legislature’s recent hijinks and I remember.

4.  I love to read. Sara Paretsky and Laurie R. King are among my favorite authors, because they write strong, smart, difficult women.

5.  I am constantly singing to my kids.

6.  I am a homebody.  Given the choice, I will almost always choose to stay at home and play board games with my husband rather than go out.

7.  Speaking of husbands, I’m pretty certain mine is the best one ever, for many reasons.  I kind of feel like I won the lottery the day I met him.

I am going to have to nominate my seven bloggers tomorrow, as it’s getting late and this post is already quite long.

The Bloggers I am nominating are:

1.  Savory Simple — I love her photos and the originality of her recipes.

2.  Obscure and Demure — Just plain fun.

3.  Trials in Food — I love her concept.

4.  Going Dutch and Loving It — One of the most interesting blogs I’ve seen in a while, with fantastic photography.

(I’m sorry, y’all.  I’m going to have to finish this post tomorrow night.  The baby just woke up and I need to get this posted).

Day 56 — Double Chocolate Ice Pops

If there’s a downside to writing this blog, it’s that sometimes I really want to repeat a pop. Today, for instance, I really just wanted a good ol’ chocolate ice pop. Nothing fancy or special, just chocolatey goodness. But while I never promised that I’d do a new pop every day, I have a hard time not doing something at least slightly different. And so:

This totally counts as a new ice pop. Really. Can't you see the chocolate chips?

I used my basic chocolate recipe (3 oz milk, 3 oz half & half, 2 heaping spoonfuls of Ovaltine), but when I poured my pops, I paused to layer the base mixture with mini chocolate chips.

See? Completely different from anything I've done before.

I wish I could say I’m sorry for making such a cop-out pop today, but I’m not. I really needed that hit of creamy chocolate. The chips also did manage to change the nature of the pop significantly, adding texture and a little extra shot of flavor. Plus, while these were freezing, I ended up thinking of several much more imaginative ways I can make double chocolate ice pops in the future. So it’s all to the best.

Day 55 — Ice Cream Soda Ice Pops

I don’t buy soda very often; usually when I do it’s for guests and it tends to languish in the pantry until we eventually throw it out. But today we were out and about and I was suddenly parched, and for some reason I bought a huge bottle of soda. I finished about half, and decided to use the rest in an ice pop:

I’ve actually meant to make a root beer float pop for some time. I’ve even bought the root beer flavoring to do it, but I never seem to find a good time. But the idea of an ice cream soda pop sounded good, so I decided to go ahead and use the cola.

One of the warnings that came with my Zoku was that you cannot use it for carbonated beverages (not sure why), so before I could make my pops I needed to flatten my soda. I shook the bottle up a couple of times, then left it out on the counter for about an hour. After that, it was quite flat and ready to go.

Now, normally when I make a filled pop, I just drink the liquid I suck out of the molds. I tried that with the first of these pops, which was a mistake. Turns out warm, flat Pepsi is nasty stuff. For the other two pops, I sucked up the middles, but discarded the liquid.

These pops came out interesting. They slid out of the molds very easily — I almost didn’t need to use the release tool — and left a fair amount of frozen soda behind. I assumed that would mean the pops would be soft, but they were firmly frozen.

These pops were kind of a dud. The soda layer was very sweet, but seemed to lose all of its cola flavor (which mystifies me, since frozen coke is so good). The middle layer tasted the same as it always does since it was the usual vanilla recipe. I can only think that the root beer pops will taste better. If I ever get around to making them.

Day 54 — Cookies & Cream Ice Pops

A while back, I made Oreo cheesecake pops, but I hadn’t actually ever made just a straight cookies & cream ice pop. That changes today:

No ingredients shot today, sorry. I just mixed the basic vanilla ingredients with crushed Oreos. The resulting pop was, of course, delicious. There’s a reason why cookies & cream ice cream is a perpetual favorite.

Sorry for the short post today — I spent a sleepless night, and can barely muster the energy to type. I hope to be back with more verve tomorrow.

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