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Entries in popsicle (3)

Thursday
Jul112013

Frozen Strawberry Bars

Frozen Strawberry Bars

Last weekend I took time to do something I don't do nearly often enough—relax. I put away the computer, closed the textbooks, and spent some quality time with my family. While I did do some baking in the kitchen, most of the weekend was spent enjoying home cooked meals, conversing over the dinner table, and wandering about in the great outdoors. After a long, difficult month, the few days I spent recuperating have left me feeling like a brand new person. There's less stress, more laughter, and a better outlook on the months to come.

We need to remind ourselves to take breaks more often.

Frozen Strawberry Bars

This summer in particular, I've been feeling a little sun-starved. It's halfway into July and I haven't detected a trace of any of my traditional tan lines. While I only have a few more weeks before I wrap up my masters degree, I can't help but stare longingly out the window, wishing my textbooks would disappear and I could go outside and play. My inner camp counselor misses the day of running in the grass, having picnics in the sun, and listening to the silly stories of excited children.

One of my favorite parts of summer is eating popsicles when the weather feels like it can't get any warmer. The act becomes a competition as I try to lick up the frozen treat before the sun melts it into a puddle at my feet. Popsicles were a part of camp culture, the reward for a well-played game of capture the flag. The aftermath of sticky faces and bright colored tongues was a mess I would never wish away.

Frozen Strawberry Bars

Last weekend, during an overcast morning, I wanted to bring a little of that sunshine into my kitchen. With a pint of strawberries in the refrigerator, it took only a few minutes to transform the fruit into frozen treats. Once the sun found its way out from the clouds, I took one out from the freezer and enjoyed it on my balcony, savoring the feeling of the sun on my face and sweet berries on my lips.

A week later, I still have a few left, waiting for moments when I can take a break in the sun.

Frozen Strawberry Bars

Frozen Strawberry Bars are a delightful summer treat. Strawberries are macerated in sugar to sweeten and bring out the flavor of the fruit. Half of the berries are left sliced while the other half is pureed with orange juice. The fruit is layered in the popsicle molds with the puree, creating a frozen bar that has a great bite. These popsicles are refreshing for those hot summer afternoons.

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Thursday
Feb142013

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

This weekend brought about a furious blizzard, with flakes falling wildly from the heavens and a fierce wind blowing snow into drifts tall enough to bury cars beneath walls of snow. I spent Sunday with a cup of hot tea between my palms, watching Mother Nature roar outside my window. There is a peacefulness in being in the warmth of indoors, safe and snug, while the elements play outside, just out of reach. The world outside quietly shuts down and responsibilities are forgotten as the front door stays closed.

I think sometimes we all need a snow day.

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

Even though it goes against all reason, on the coldest days of the year I crave frozen treats. Throughout the winter season, it seems there is only so much tea that can be sipped and soup that can be ladled. In order to satisfy my cravings for something cool, I often beg family or friends to accompany me to the nearest frozen yogurt shop. Bundled up in winter jackets, scarves, and over-sized mittens, we trudge through the frosted doors and eat until our insides turn delightfully cold. When the cold ice cream finally brings about a case of the goosebumps, we wrap ourselves back up and head out into the winter air.

Though this small tradition may seem misunderstood, there is something restorative about spending time in an empty yogurt shop on a chilled February evening.

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

After the blizzard struck (and the obligatory mug of hot tea had been consumed), I found my taste for cold treats begin to seep into my bones. With no choice but to stay in the warmth and safety of the indoors, I decided to create my own winter delight with the food already in my kitchen. A few minutes on the stove is all it takes to whip up a quick cocoa. After I waited for it to cool down, I married it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips in a popsicle mold to produce a frozen treat that closely mimics its namesake.

While hot cocoa is a winter favorite, I have found that "cold" cocoa can be just as gratifying.

Hot Cocoa Popsicles

Hot Cocoa Popsicles combine the flavors of the beloved winter drink and turn it into a treat that can be enjoyed whether the weather is warm or cold. A rich hot cocoa is layered in a popsicle mold with mini chocolate chips and marshmallows. The popsicles are frozen in two parts to evenly spread out the mix-ins, which keeps all of the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom and all of the marshmallows from rising to the top. Once frozen, the popsicles can be enjoyed over the course of a couple weeks, reached for whenever a craving may strike.

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Sunday
Jul222012

Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles

Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles

We are in the midst of the dog days of summer. The days are long, the sun is bright, and the nights are cool and fresh. In the summer, I'm drawn to fresh foods, light dinners, and chilled treats. Though my usual desserts during the summer are ripe fruits, some days I just need something a little different. While ice cream can be oh so nice, sometimes it's just too rich to eat by the side of the pool.

I recently rediscovered popsicles after buying a popsicle mold. For the last few years I simply haven't found any hidden away in the freezer, but I can already tell it is going to get plenty of use (especially this summer).

Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles

When I was growing up, popsicles were part of the daily culture at daycare. After playing outside all afternoon under the hot sun, my daycare provider would show up in the backyard with a box of popsicles in half a dozen flavors. She'd watch as we carefully made our color selection, breaking up the arguments that popped up when everyone decided they wanted the same flavor. Back then, popsicles weren't about the flavors, they were all about the colors.

Blue was my favorite flavor simply because it would dye my lips and tongue a bright shade of the sea—a fun accessory for any seven year old.

Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles

Most days we'd eat them on the front steps, trying to eat them faster than they could melt, a respectable feat on the warmest of days. Other days we were foolish and we'd let our popsicles melt completely in the sun, in their little plastic tubes, until they had turned into a very expensive Kool-aid. We would down the sweet juice in seconds, curiously wishing we had more.

Nowadays I savor popsicles, licking them instead of biting, hoping they last into a little slice of forever.

Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles

These Mango Coconut Striped Popsicles have a bold and fresh taste. The popsicles alternate between flavors of mango, coconut, and orange; the variety is clean and energizing, which keeps your taste buds on their toes. The alternating stripes of flavor and color are fun. Though it does take a little longer to make these popsicles because of the freezing time between stripes, the final product is gorgeous and the flavors are lovely. This is a lovely treat to cool you down on a hot summer afternoon.

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