A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Archive for June, 2012

Day 182 – MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!!!

The popmistress had a rough day, houseguests, three sick kids (two of hers, one houseguest) and an encroaching cold of her own. As a result, she went to bed early, and we decided to appoint ourselves the “MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!!!”

After much hemming and hawing, several really bad ideas (and probably some good ones), the MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!!! finally arrived at an ingredients list. The among the many discarded ingredients: peanut butter, vinegar, pickle juice, and pinto beans.

Here were the winners… (picture an Iron Chef style reveal)

Watermelon, Basil, Cucumber, Strawberry!

The MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!!! didn’t want to risk waking any of the many sleeping children (or the popmistress herself), so it was decided no power implements could be used (i.e. a blender). Instead, improvisation ruled the day and a manual crushing system was derived.

You really have to get your hand inside the crusher cup to make it work…

Finally we fish out the cucumbers, really their essence is all we were looking for (plus they didn’t crush well).  The popmistress always adds a little sugar (for freezability?), so we did too.  About a teaspoon.

Then we took out the Zoku and the fun began!!! The mixture poured ok, though it was a little gloppy.

Now to wait.  Not really sure how long, in the meantime a couple kids woke up, a temperature or two was taken, medicine was delivered as appropriate, etc…

After what seemed like must certainly be enough time, the pops were pulled!

Overall, the pops were pretty darn tasty, fresh, clean, fruity.  The spiciness of the basil makes it more interesting than a simple fruit pop, and the combination of fresh, spicy and fruity flavors “makes you think of a garden scene while eating it.” (And who doesn’t need to to think of a garden scene with so many sick kids in the house?).  And oh yes, the cucumber actually comes through.

One pop for tasting, one pop so the popmistress can taste the inspired creation of tonight’s MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!!!!

Until next time.

Sincerely yours,

THE MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!!!

Day 181 — Grape Lemonade Ice Pops

Those of you in the US are probably painfully aware that there’s a heatwave going on here. Pretty much the entire country is roasting, with temperatures climbing over 100 degrees where I am. So of course the AC chooses today to give up. It’s currently 83 degrees in my house and climbing, and it’s supposed to be even hotter out tomorrow.

If ever a situation called for ice pops, this is it.

I had originally planned to make a chocolate pop today, but in light of the thermostat, I wanted something cold and icy and in no way rich. Grape juice and lemonade seemed to fit the bill:

I decided to try a slanty pop again, since it had been a while. I didn’t measure (as you can tell), just kept switching the orientation of the Zoku as I poured my layers freehand. Still, they turned out nice enough:

You can see how hot it is in here — mere seconds out of the Zoku and already melting.

And they were cold. Blissfully cold. Today, that’s all I really wanted.

Day 180 — Tulsi Ginger Ice Pops

Sorry I skipped yesterday’s pop. We have family in town, and I ended up too tired from hanging out with everyone to make an ice pop. But I’m back today.

Even better, my sister-in-law came bearing ice pop fodder gifts, in the form of really interesting tea from India:


What is tulsi, you ask?  Good question.  I didn’t know either.  Luckily, the package had some information:

In case you can’t read this, Tulsi is a kind of basil, known in India for its healing properties.

 

I brewed up a cup of tea and squeezed in a good tablespoon of honey, let it cool and poured my pops.  They turned out a very nice honey color (go figure).

These were by far my favorite of the tea-based ice pops I’ve made.  They were a little on the sweet side, but the honey gave them a nice consistency.  And the tea itself had just enough of the spice of ginger to make them interesting.  I didn’t really taste any flavor that I could identify as the tulsi, but still it was a really nice ice pop.  A second round of these might be just the thing we need when the temperature hits 104 degrees tomorrow.

Day 178 — Dark Chocolate Ice Pops

Since I’ve made ice pops out of two of those Philly chocolate cream cheese flavors, I figured I might as well finish off the trio:

I’ll be honest, I tried the dark chocolate flavor with some Nilla Wafers, and I really didn’t like it. It was too aggressively bitter tasting. But I figured diluted with some milk, it stood a chance at being good.

I mixed about a tablespoon of the cream cheese with about 5 ounces of milk, which made enough for three ice pops.

In ice pop form, this stuff is indeed delicious. Rich without being too much and flavorful without being bitter, they were fun to eat. I’ll be they’d be fantastic with some of those Nilla Wafers crushed up into them. (Yay! New pop idea!)

Day 177 — White Chocolate Ice Pop

Today I finally decided to try the other flavors of that Philly cream cheese dessert spread.  I have made several pops out of the milk chocolate flavor, and have really liked them (and the spread in general).  So I was curious to see how the other kinds tasted:

I blended equal parts of the cream cheese and milk, then poured my pop.  To be honest, my expectations were low.  This stuff tastes ok, but isn’t nearly as delicious as the milk chocolate version.  But the ice pop mixture smelled exactly like a Chick-fil-a vanilla milkshake, so I knew it would be at least decent tasting.

The finished pop exceeded my expectations.  It had no cream cheese flavor at all, but the flavor of white chocolate really did come through, even more than in the spread alone.  Still not as good as the milk chocolate flavor, but not bad, either.

Day 176 — Pop Called on Account of Exhaustion

Sorry, y’all. The baby caught his sisters’ cold, and the last two days have been a blur of nursing, rocking, pacing and praying for sleep. I’m as tired as I have ever been, and last night I couldn’t even put him down long enough to make an ice pop. I will make one tonight, though.

Day 175 — Whipped Pineapple Ice Pops

I know I talk about alcohol kind of a lot on this blog, but honestly I don’t drink all that much these days. Maybe one or two drinks a week on a heavy week, so our household stash of alcohol doesn’t need refreshing often.

I think that’s why walking into the ABC store last week (to get rum for Sangria) felt a little overwhelming. Since when does vodka come in four frillion flavors? And since when is “whipped” a flavor? The woman at the checkout assured me that whipped vodka is the best thing since sliced bread (I half expect, by the way, to see a “sliced bread” flavored vodka at the store any day now). So today I decided to give it a try.

The stuff is indeed yummy. And just perfect for ice pops, I thought:

I used a half an ounce of the vodka to 1.5 ounces of pineapple juice. The pop took a long time to freeze It never froze hard, remaining instead a very firm slush. But the finished pop also came out out with this amazing pattern on it:

It reminded me of looking at diatoms through a microscope in high school. I’m sure there’s some scientific explanation as to why the pop would freeze like this, but I don’t remember enough of 10th grade chemistry to tell you what that explanation is.

Anyway, this pop tasted great. The whipped vodka is a very assertive flavor, so it outshone the pineapple, but not in a bad way. To my surprise, this ice pop also packed a whallop rather disproportionate to the amount of liquor it actually contained. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it actually got me a little tipsy.

Day 174 — Raspberry Lemonade Ice Pops

We have fresh raspberries again today (well, had, anyway. Raspberries do not tend to last in a house with three kids). Anyway, I managed to hide a few from the kids for a second attempt at making an ice pop with fresh raspberries:

Since I hadn’t liked the berries in last week’s chocolate raspberry ice pop, I decided to try something a little different today. Instead of using just plain raspberries, I crushed them first with a little sugar. I didn’t want to puree them because I wanted to maintain that chunky, fresh-fruit texture. But crushing worked nicely. I used all of the raspberries you see in the photo above and probably 1.5 teaspoons of sugar to make one ice pop.

I like how the berries stained the lemonade pink but also kept their own integrity. However, I think I put a little too much sugar in the raspberries. The popsicle was a little too sweet. Still, the crushed berry/sugar mixture was much nicer than just plain raspberries. I think I’m on the right track.

Day 173 — Nutella Brownie Cheesecake Chunk Ice Pops

I still have some of those brownie cheesecake bars that I made for Father’s Day, so I figured I’d use them in one more ice pop before I got rid of the rest of them (they’re really good, I swear, they’re just really rich and can only be eaten in small quantities).

Anyway, I decided to mix them with Nutella because it’s been a long time since I’ve made a Nutella ice pop:

I blended a tablespoon or so of Nutella with about five ounces of milk. Then I filled the molds with cheesecake/brownie chunks and poured the Nutella mixture.

These were, predictably, delicious, though the cheesecake went better with the chocolate base I used earlier this week. Still, a Nutella pop is never not going to be good.

Day 172 — Peach-Mango Koolaid Ice Pops

I had hoped that the onset of summer would finally finish the seemingly endless parade of illness we’ve had this year. No such luck, though. All three kids currently have summer colds. I swear, my 3 year old has been sick more often than she’s been well this year.

Anyway, today was all about taking it easy and making sure they stay hydrated. To that end, I gave the kids a rare treat — Kool Aid. I never buy the stuff, but we received some sample packets when I bought a pitcher last week, so I figured we’d try it out. And ice pops are a great way to sneak extra water into sick kids, so we made a round of Kool Aid popsicles. They were quite icy since I’d only put in a quarter of the sugar the packet called for (the kids didn’t notice), but the kids ate them just the same.

Of course, I didn’t manage to take pictures. They weren’t visually interesting, anyway.

Here’s hoping that all three kids make speedy and miraculous recoveries overnight, and that this turns out to be the last cold until fall.

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