Pie is one of those special foods that always makes me remember my family, my grandma particularly. She is the queen of pies and always serves up a banquet of them at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Continue reading
What are some of your favorite foods to pair with chocolate? Peanut butter? Strawberries? Bananas? Cherries? Coffee? Those flavors all go very well with chocolate, but have you ever tried chocolate and ginger? Continue reading
Summer is in full swing in my home state of Indiana this week – in fact, the high there today is supposed to be 102! Here I am in Sydney complaining that it’s too cold, but my family in Indiana is complaining that it’s too hot! Well, my fellow Hoosiers, this recipe will cool you down a real treat. The flavors of matcha and strawberry (one of my all-time most favorite flavor combinations) combine into one amazing, refreshing and cooling popsicle.
I have not yet seen this flavor combination in popsicle form. Some inspiration lent itself from the matcha strawberry cupcakes I made for an Iron Cupcake: Earth competition in June 2009. Those cupcakes were out-of-this world delicious.
But these popsicles are even more amazing. The flavors of both the matcha and strawberry are strong and ice cold. The striped popsicles were lovely, but I wanted to get the matcha and strawberry in one single bite. So I filled some matcha popsicles with my strawberry mixture. As you do.
Yes, now that was perfect! Matcha on the outside, strawberry on the inside! Wondering how to do that clever little trick? It’s so easy. You’ll need a Zoku Quick Pop Maker though. Fill the molds with your outside flavor (in my case, matcha). Wait for 30 seconds-2 minutes, depending on how thick you want the outer layer to be and how quick your Zoku is freezing the liquid. Then, stick a straw to the very bottom of the mold (but don’t poke through the outer layer – be gentle!) and suck out the unfrozen liquid. If you have a thin sort of turkey baster thing you can use that too (or you can use the siphon tool in this set from Zoku). Then pour in the flavor you want on the inside and let it freeze. Easy.
I’ve also made strawberry popsicles with a yogurt filling. Those were very yummy too!
A quick note on the matcha popsicles – the longer you leave them in the freezer (we’re talking over one day), the darker the matcha will become. It doesn’t seem to affect the flavor, just the color. And why did I call them “matcha latte”? Because I made the matcha part of the popsicles with lots of milk and cream!
If you’re after a refreshing and cooling pick-me-up treat this summer, I guarantee that these matcha latte strawberry popsicles will do the trick!
Adapted from Zoku Quick Pops recipe book
Makes 6 popsicles (plus some leftover to drink!)
For the matcha latte layer:
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh matcha (it should be bright green), sifted
1/2 to 1 teaspoon warm water
1 1/3 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
Combine sifted matcha and warm water in a small bowl and stir until it forms a smooth paste. You may need more warm water. Set aside.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat (do not boil). Whisk in the matcha paste (you don’t have to add all the paste if you feel the matcha flavor is strong enough and the color is green enough) and the sugar. You’ll probably notice little lumps of undissolved matcha – that’s okay, mine didn’t dissolve fully either. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Place in the refrigerator until completely cool, stirring every so often.
For the strawberry layer:
8 1/2 ounces hulled, quartered strawberries
3 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Puree strawberries and milk in a blender until completely smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the strawberry seeds – you’ll need to use a spoon to help push the mixture through the sieve. Whisk in the cream, sugar and vanilla until incorporated and the sugar has dissolved.
Assembly: Freeze in alternate layers in your Zoku Quick Pop Maker (refer to freezing instructions that came with your Zoku if unsure), letting each layer freeze completely before adding the next layer. Or, fill molds with matcha latte layer, freeze for 30 seconds-2 minutes, depending on how thin or thick you want the outer layer to be. Stick a straw into the unfrozen liquid in the middle and suck it out. Fill the empty matcha shells with the strawberry layer and let freeze completely. Remove popsicles according to the Zoku instructions.
Oh no! I’m almost out of Biscoff spread! Er, well, I’m scraping the bottom of jar #1. I do still have one jar left, but I have a feeling it won’t last much longer. I’m saving it as long as I can, to try to think of a stunning recipe to make with it. Continue reading
When mobile phones were becoming popular, a bit over 10 years ago, I jumped right on the bandwagon and got a Nokia phone. It was very basic, no color screen or anything, couldn’t text or take pictures. But I did have a changeable faceplate kind of thing. I had two different colors for it – metallic silver and matte purple. The purple one was my favorite. I only had it for a year or so. Then I didn’t have a mobile phone until one year ago! Yes, that’s right, I survived all that time without a mobile phone. People were carrying around fancy iPhones all around me, but I was stuck with a pen and paper (if I was even lucky enough to have those in my bag!) and if I wanted to tell someone something, it had to wait until I saw them in person! What a terrible way to survive! Just kidding, really, it wasn’t terrible. I kind of took pride in the fact that I could still survive using traditional methods of communication.
But it was getting a bit out of control. These days, everyone who is anyone has a smartphone. When I got my first mobile phone in 10 years, about this time one year ago, it was yet another basic phone. It had a color screen, but no camera. I could text, but it took almost 10 minutes to punch out a single sentence using the keypad. My husband, on the other hand, was given an iPhone by his boss at work! Imagine how jealous I was when he whipped his iPhone out of his pocket and started checking his email or searching on the internet for something he was curious about! I was just beside myself with jealousy. See, I basically live through the internet; I check my email (and Facebook and Twitter) hundreds of times per day at our desktop computer. But I am just overwhelmed and fascinated at the thought of checking my email or tweeting in the car, or the train, at a restaurant, on the sofa or in bed in the middle of the night! Wow, how awesome!
Recently, a friend of mine I’ve known for years offered to give me her iPhone 3GS as she, of course, had a shiny new iPhone 4. I took her up on that offer and received my very first smartphone yesterday in the mail. My husband’s sorting out phone plans for it. I’m pretty much clueless when it comes to mobile phone plans because I haven’t had enough of them to understand what the plans even mean (poor me!). I’m super, super excited to finally move up in the world; maybe now I won’t feel so out of place. I’ll finally be able to tweet from anywhere I like, and take pictures of meaningless things with Instagram, just like everyone else.
Speaking of Instagram, I’ve had a crush on this for ages. Since I didn’t have my own smartphone to use Instagram with, I download Pixlr-o-Matic and started editing my photos in an Instagram-like fashion. Which brings me up to the real topic of this post – Zoku recipes! The pictures I took of these popsicles have been edited with Pixlr-o-Matic, so they don’t have the appearance of my usual photos. The original photos weren’t that great anyway, as I took them on gray, rainy days or later in the afternoon, when the natural lighting wasn’t so bright. They actually look better edited with Pixlr-o-Matic!
So let’s begin. This first recipe is from the Zoku Quick Pops Recipe Book, and therefore I won’t publish the recipe to avoid copyright issues! If you do have a Zoku and don’t have the recipe book, I highly recommend purchasing the book. The recipes are really top-notch.
These are fudge and banana popsicles with peanut butter quick shell. These are amazing! The chocolate part is super fudgey-ish and even though the bananas are sliced so thinly, the banana flavor is strong. I liked the peanut butter quick shell, but next time I probably wouldn’t add it to these pops. They tasted wonderful without the peanut butter. Side note on these, I used a 70% Lindt chocolate bar for these.
The next recipe is adapted from a recipe I’ve already posted about – Vietnamese coffee popsicles. They were just super strong coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk (and a little bit of cocoa powder, but I omitted that for these popsicles pictured below). Those were really good. But, what if I were to use dulce de leche instead of sweetened condensed milk? What would that taste like?
Well, it would taste pretty darn good! Unfortunately, most of this was actually drank (by myself) by the time I could freeze it all in the Zoku! Wow, these were just spectacular. I highly recommend these for hot days in summertime, when you want a coffee but prefer something colder. They’ll cool you down and give you that coffee hit, all at the same time! To make these popsicles, read the recipe at the bottom of this post.
Lastly comes the most outrageous popsicles – caramel popcorn! Can you make popsicles out of popcorn? Yes, you can. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so to speak, but if you love caramel popcorn, this one’s for you.
That’s my stripey daughter holding this dulce de leche-striped popcorm popsicle! The recipe comes from the Zoku blog. To sum up this recipe, you heat milk up on the stove with buttered popcorn and strain out the popcorn when the mixture is cool. After being frozen, drizzle the popsicles with dulce de leche, and, if desired, stick on some popcorn pieces.
The verdict on these was varied: I thought they were really good; my daughter only liked licking off the dulce de leche; my oldest son mostly hated the entire thing, especially the dulce de leche; when I asked my husband if he wanted a popcorn popsicle, his exact words were, “Oh, yuck!”; I didn’t even offer my 2-year-old one!
Find the recipe for caramel popcorn popsicles on the Zoku blog.
I hope you like my faux Instragram photos (and popsicles!). I promise I won’t start posting Instagram photos here though, as I do enjoy clear, sharp photos of food over Instagram ones. But if you are on Webstagram, I will start posting there all the time as soon as I’m able to (and figure out how to)!
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen, who adapted it from David Lebovitz
Makes 5 Zoku popsicles (if you don’t drink it all first!)
1 cup extra strong coffee or espresso, hot, but not boiling
1/3 cup dulce de leche
Scoop the dulce de leche into the coffee and stir until thoroughly combined and all the dulce de leche is melted. Taste the mixture to make sure it is to your liking. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Pour into molds, as per the instructions for the Zoku, and wait up to 10 minutes to freeze (or just simply pour into plain old popsicle molds and freeze overnight).
It’s been one year since I bought a Zoku Quick Pop Maker. It was the start of winter here in Sydney and here I was making popsicles. Crazy. Continue reading
My dear little baby is 6 weeks old now, can you believe it? Life with a fourth child hasn’t been quite as different, or difficult, as I had thought it might be. Continue reading
Almond butter is one of those things I’ve been meaning to try for ages but just never got around to. I did make my own peanut butter once, when I first got my Breville food processor, but I wasn’t very happy with it at the time. Continue reading
I did it – I had a fourth baby! As cute and fun as babies are (well, most of the time anyway), I do indeed hope that this is my last one! Continue reading
The time is getting close – I hit the 39-week mark today. This baby will be arriving any time now. Keep that in mind if you suddenly notice a decrease in new recipes here, as I’m obviously going to be quite busy for the first few weeks with the newborn and his 3 older siblings. Continue reading