Turns out when your toddler starts walking and stops sleeping, you fall out of the habit of blogging pretty quickly. But of course, the holidays are rich with ice pop ideas. Here are some I’ve either made or contemplated.:
1. Pumpkin pie — mix equal parts pureed pumpkin (I used fresh, canned is fine), plain yogurt and powdered sugar, plus a generous dash of pumpkin pie spice. This is actually my favorite fall dip recipe, but I think it’d make a terrific pop. It’s first on my list to try.
2. Eggnog! Self-explanatory.
3. Apple Pie — Apple juice with pie spice. Or, in the alternative, apple cider with a splash of whipped vodka. I’ve been drinking these for the last month, in a glass rimmed with pie spice. Fantastic. If you’re new here, just remember that the proportion of alcohol in a Zoku pop needs to be quite low, or else you will have freezing trouble.
4. Candy Cane — this one I haven’t figured out a recipe for yet, but I’m noodling it out. I’ll post when I have a good one.
Sorry for the lack of photos and taste-tests (not to mention the four-month absence). I can’t promise I’ll be back every day, but it would be fun to finish the year strong.
Hey Y’all, I’m back! Sorry for the extended break — it’s almost frightening how easy it was to break a habit over six months in the making and to keep putting off new posts.
But I’m back now, with a fun treat:
I’ve actually had this ice pop planned for a very long time. I’ve never had Mexican hot chocolate before, but I’ve heard it’s great. So I picked up this Abuelita mix back in July. It comes as disks of chocolate that you melt together with milk. I did that this morning (1/4 disk per cup of milk), and then chilled some to use for my ice pops.
These pops were delicious. Since I used regular milk (rather than half & half), their texture was icier than I usually like, but the flavor was great. Although the ingredients list on the package cites only “natural flavors” and no specific spices, there’s definitely some cinnamon in there. The flavor is warm without being overpowering. They’re a nice change of pace from my usual chocolate ice pop recipe.
It’s funny, summer is prime ice pop season. But it’s also ice cream, watermelon, blueberry, peach and s’mores season. And also swimming, firefly-catching, firework-watching and staying-up-late season. That means that even when I have time for ice pops these days, I’m often too full of summer’s other treats to want one. I’m pretty sure that’s irony, at least by the Alanis Morrisette definition.
That’s why posting has been so sparse this week. I’m going to give myself the rest of July off to take one last road trip and to enjoy the laziness of summer. I’ll be back in August with new ice pop ideas. In the meantime, I hope the 180 or so pop ideas already here will keep you cool.
I wanted to try making a really pretty rainbow ice pop, even though it meant using artificial coloring. So today I did, and I learned a few things:
1. One drop of red food coloring makes lemonade pink, not red.
2. There are two tablespoons in an ounce, not three.
3. My tablespoon measure is wildly inaccurate.
As a result of all of these lessons, I came up with an ice pop that was really pretty, but not exactly a successful rainbow:
I think I need to try this one again. I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with making a pretty rainbow pop. I don’t think I can rest until I work it out.
Today’s pop is one I’ve been plotting since about 10 minutes after I got my Zoku. Gazpacho is one of my favorite summer treats, and I thought it’d be really great to have it extra-icy. So when I finally made my first batch of gazpacho for the season, I knew I had to make the pop.
I don’t have an ingredients shot, but gazpacho contains cucumbers, onions, garlic, green pepper, parsley, red wine vinegar, tomato juice, olive oil and salt. We use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, with some minor tweaks.
I like my gazpacho pretty smooth, so I didn’t process it any further for these ice pops. That was probably a mistake, since pouring it into the Zoku was a little tough. It all worked out, though, and no problems with sticking:
The first half of this ice pop was delightful. Cold, intense, interesting. About halfway through, though, the garlic started catching up with me and the pop went from delicious to somewhat tedious. I didn’t finish it. Much as I love gazpacho, I guess it’s better off eaten from a spoon instead of a stick.
Since I made those red, white & blue ice pops last week, I’ve been thinking about making a full-on rainbow ice pop. Trouble is, I don’t really like using artificial colors to make ice pops. I (and my kids) get enough of those in our daily allowance of Cheetos and there doesn’t seem to be much point to my adding more. So I decided that for my first try at a rainbow ice pop, I needed to at least try to make the majority of the colors come from actual juice. That means a lot of different juices:
Cherry juice for red, orange juice for obvious reasons, pineapple juice for yellow, green smoothie for green, lemonade and food coloring for blue, V-8 Fusion for purple. I decided y’all didn’t really need to see indigo.
You’ll note that there’s no blue juice there. For one thing, I ran out of the blueberry smoothie I had last week. For another, no fruit or fruit juice I”ve ever used actually comes close to the color blue I associate with the rainbow. So I abandoned my principles a little and used some blue food coloring. And while I was at it, I colored the V-8 juice for the purple, too. The actual juice, while purple-ish, had too much of a red tint for what I wanted.
The pop turned out pretty, though not as vibrant or clean as I’d wanted:
I wish the green had been a less muddy color, specifically. But still, not bad for a pop made mostly out of unsweetened fruit juices. One of these days, I’ll try it the artificial way just for comparison’s sake.
Sorry, y’all. I’m having a lack of inspiration/motivation. I actually have four or five pop ideas in mind; I just lack either the ingredients or drive to make them. I’ll try to be back in the swing tomorrow.
In the meantime, tell me about yourselves. Do you have a Zoku? What’s your favorite ice pop? What flavors/tricks/experiments would you like to see me try here?
I was really pleased at how cute the red, white and blue pops I made turned out, so I decided to try experimenting with other uses of food coloring in ice pops.
Lemonade, my old standby. Also food coloring.
I had this idea that I could achieve a cool tie-dyed effect in my pops by pouring the lemonade into empty molds, then dropping in some food coloring, swirling briefly with a chopstick, then placing the Zoku sticks in place. I hoped that the coloring wouldn’t dissipate quickly and would instead freeze as ribbons of color. It didn’t quite work that way:
The blue one has potential, I think.
Instead of the swirls I’d envisioned, these turned out as muddy messes. The food coloring blended into the lemonade all too quickly, except for the areas where it made nice little pools of artificial colors. They were definitely not appetizing enough to eat.
I think the coloring swirl needs to be more viscous to work. Maybe if I thicken it with cornstarch or something? But of course, then it would be even less appetizing. I’m going to have to ponder this.
We’re heading home from vacation first thing in the morning, so I’m all packed up. I’ll try to update this post tomorrow with an ice pop.
Sorry, y’all, for skipping yesterday. I have no real excuse except that we’re in the final days of a really fun, really busy vacation and I spent yesterday hanging out with my family rather than making an ice pop.
Plus also, I really wanted to make another stab at red, white and blue ice pops, but I kept forgetting to borrow or buy food coloring. It wasn’t until today that I managed to pick some up.
Generally, I object to using food coloring unless it’s absolutely necessary. I figure there’s enough fake stuff in the rest of the foods we eat that I don’t need to make more. But I tried these pops with fruit juice and the colors just weren’t right. They needed a little artificiality.
I used all lemonade for these popsicles. For each of the layers I used two ounces (distributed among three ice pop molds). I used one drop of blue food coloring in the blue layer, and two drops of red in the red layer.
They came out beautiful; almost nice enough to overcome my objection to using artificial colors in an ice pop: