Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Watermelon Win





It was love at first sight with these Dorot chopped basil cubes at Trader Joe's. Everything is adorable in miniature. And in addition to their inherent petite loveliness, they are quite convenient, too! I wanted to use them in a pop and decided on WATERMELON BASIL. I affixed a basil leaf to the side of each Zoku mold and then poured in a mixture of blended watermelon, basil (cubes) and fresh lime juice. They taste and smell phenomenal. Another watermelon winner!

Monday, June 27, 2011

PRIDE Pops!

In honor of this weekend's (historic) Pride Festival, I had to make some rainbow pops! I was pressed for time, it was quite the jam packed weekend. And while it was perfect pop consumption weather, it was not pop making weather. The sunshine was not conducive to staying inside blending, pureeing, measuing and the like! So I went for simple.

A RAINBOW LEMONADE pop. Easy, festive and fun. I hope everyone had a great weekend! I'm currently brainstorming some yummy red white and blue pops for next weekend, feel free to weigh in.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Art Inspired Pops


After taking in the beauty of Caitlin McGauley's *pop* art (below), I deemed her pops good enough to eat.  I decided to use her painting as aesthetic inspiration for some new pops. I started with the top left and decided to make KIWI LIMEADE. I used a combination of fresh squeezed lime (my citrus squeezer is by far my favorite kitchen gadget) and bottled lime juice. I thinly sliced the kiwis and affixed them to the sides of the Zoku mold (both front and back). Voila! Tangy, art-inspired pops.


Next I chose the black white and pink pop (second from the right, bottom row). I decided to make CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT RASPBERRY pops. The chocolate is pudding (reduced sugar) blended with a little water (so its pourable). I made the white from greek yogurt and hazelnut extract (the pop on the left has a chopped hazelnut layer). The raspberry layer is simply pureed raspberries (with a little water for blending). I am very pleased with my first attempt at a rich dessert pop. It's both healthy(ish) and beautiful! Which pop should I replicate next? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Watercolor Pops!

I ADORE this watercolor print by Caitlin McGauley featured today on the Lonny blog! I love Caitlin's fresh, bright illustrations and instantly recognized her work from Kate Spade.  Please leave links to any other *pop* art in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Frozen Florals




To be honest, edible flowers aren't terribly delectable, perhaps piquant at best (I apologize to my mother who detests the phrase "to be honest.") In fact, in perparing these pops I discovered that certain varietals smell of unnamed illicit substances. Clearly this batch of pops had purely aesthetic inspiration. But c'mon, they're adorable. These ORANGE AND BLUEBERRY YOGURT pops, despite their vain inspiration, are quite delicious! They're sweet and creamy and taste (almost) as good as they look.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lazy Pops

I adore frozen grapes. They're the perfect texture and the perfect amount of cold, refreshing sweetness. I remember washing and carefully removing all trace of vine before freezing them by the cupful. Unfortunately I also remember great animosity when my sister regularly stole the *fruits* of my labor. 

Here, I have SKEWERED RED AND GREEN GRAPES (in varied color patterns) for a virtually prep-free pop.

Savor the...savory.


I figured out what is missing in my repertoire of previous pops. They are sweet. Deliciously sweet, yes. But where is the diversity, where are the savory pops? 

I was a little nervous about my foray into the world of savory. I decided to start small. MANGO CHILI LIME came to mind. Still sweet and fruity but tempered with sour and spicy notes. My initial taste-test (pre-freeze) was unsatisfactory, way too heavy on the chili. But cold dampens flavor, right? So I went ahead and froze them anyway. Dr. Cornelius gave his tasting a rave review. We do have nearly identical palettes (except his inexplicable love of the banana bully and hatred of baby corn). So, I am reluctantly looking forward to tasting my own spicy, sweet sample.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Crawl Continues


After indulging in a delectable late lunch at Snack Taverna, I was rather full. But I put on a brave face, pushed through my satiety and made room for a popsicle. After all, I have a duty to inform my public. Or something. And I was eager to continue my NYC popsicle crawl following yesterday's über successful tasting at People's Pop.

My mother and I meandered our way through a few charming West Village side streets and arrived at our destination, popbar.

The popbar storefront, on the bustling corner of Carmine and 6th, is modern and sparse. There is little room to loiter and lick, as it were, much less stand in line. The storefront lacked the homey charm of People's Pop. Conversely, it felt corporate and impersonal.


I did enjoy the large selection of pops colorfully inhabiting the vast display case.  The pops fall into three categories: yogurt, sorbetto and gelato. There are also several add-ons called  "poppings". As someone who revels in her sprinkles (rainbow of course) more than the fro-yo they colorfully adorn, I understood the appeal.

I chose MANDARIN on the recommendation of the young woman at the register (I was having great difficulty deciding among grapefruit, mandarin and pineapple, all "sorbetto"). No poppings. In addition to being full, I was more interested in the essence of the pop, not the accoutrements.

The pop was good. Just good. I enjoyed the zesty mandarin flavor. The pop wasn't particularly firm, making it easier to bite into, a quality some might enjoy. I do not. Because then... it was gone, just like that. And I have to say, unlike yesterday's delightful, long-lasting strawberry rhubarb specimen, I didn't really miss it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The People have Spoken


Since I am spending the week galavanting around NYC, what seems to be a popsicle mecca as of late, I decided to sample some wares. After strolling around the Union Square Farmer's Market (love!) I decided to head over to the Chelsea Market outpost of People's Pops. Since it was a warm, sunny afternoon, I began to pick up the pace, the thought of an icy cold popsicle sounding increasingly desirable. I walked with such a determined stride that I had to *pop* into Old Navy for a pair of flip flops, lest I develop a blister.


My eager, overheated palette and I finally arrived. I plopped down on a bar stool and chatted up my pop server (popista?), a lovely fellow MSW who espoused on her theory relating the hipster phenomenon to Erikson's stage of Intimacy vs: Isolation. Very entertaining.


I asked for her expert flavor recommendation. She was partial to coffee. Tempting, as coffee has long been my favorite ice cream and gelato flavor. However, having recently given up caffeine, I opted for the "public's" favorite: STRAWBERRY RHUBARB. It was refreshing and flavorful, well worth the hot stroll over. Though I have no other pop(sicle) shops with which to compare (yet) I am confident in my glowing review of People's Pop.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mmmargarita


What screams summer louder than WATERMELON MARGARITA pops? I made roughly a dozen batches of these pops last summer. We enjoyed them at BBQs, hanging on the roof, at the pool...nary a situation was unimpoved by these delicious pops.  Needless to say, they were a huge hit! I also tried some peach and strawberry variations.

I found the recipe while reading Martha Stewart Living (pictured right) on an otherwise heinously boring plane ride. It was because of the incredible success of these pops than I was inspired to peruse Martha Stewart for further inspiration (see Boodelberries and POPs with a BANG). Try them and vary the recipe with various fruits (and even make a virgin batch for kiddos). Enjoy!

POPs with a BANG!

I know I'm jumping the gun here with red white and blue pops (STRAWBERRY, YOGURT AND BLUEBERRY), but I couldn't wait! I saw this picture of Martha Stewart's swirled firecracker pops and had to make them immediately. The recipe is very simple: layer stripes of greek yogurt, blueberry pureé and strawberry pureé. I added a dollop of agave to the yogurt. I quickly swirled the layers vertically with a fork before sticking (or forcing, rather) the sticks in the zoku. While I love the result, I think next time I'll swirl vertically AND horizontally to enhance the effect.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Toy

Zoku Storage Case

Sick of ziplocs full of pops carelessly tossed into my freezer, I broke down and bought the Zoku Storage Case. The sticks conveniently screw onto the base for stability. The plastic casing protects the pops from freezerburn or falling blueberries as the case may be (see "boodelberries" below). I don't know if my case will ever be filled with 6 different neon, beautiful pops as shown in the advertisment. But I'm happy with the organizational convenience and the portability. Pops at the beach, anyone?

Chica Cherry Cola

There's something very refreshing, very wholesome, very... Americana about Cherry Coke. It evokes images of Beaver Cleaver types ordering at the counter at an old fashioned drug store soda fountain. Something seems to get lost in the fountain to can translation. Maybe its the visceral experience of holding a glass, maybe its the ice, the grenadine? These CHERRY COKE pops, made from stripes of (diet) Coke and real cherry juice, taste more like the fountain original. At least I like to think they do.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Boodelaries

 
This latest batch of BLUEBERRY YOGURT pops is inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe. Last night, when I should have been tucked away in bed, I went searching for inspiration. Martha's website features a wealth of beautiful, relatively simple ice pop recipes. 

Earlier in the day, while speaking to my mother on the phone, I heard a yelp and a strange noise. She explained, "sorry, those were falling blueberries." Um, what? Apparently, they overindulged on blueberries (forever known as boodelaries, an adorable childhood misspeak, in our household) at the farmer's market and were forced to freeze bags full. One such bag apparently tumbled out of the freezer, hence the yelp.

Well, it was decided. It seemed I was fated to make these pops today. And they turned out beautifully. I didn't measure the ingredients according to the recipe and I also added a teeny bit of raspberry agave syrup since I purchased unsweeted blueberry juice. As you are probably starting to suspect, I'm not one for following recipes, at least not precisely. 

Now I need to order more Zoku sticks and traffic more friends in and out of my apartment to taste test (and make more room in the freezer for upcoming batches). Any volunteers?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Strawberry Lime Sublime





Last year in Cape Cod, I came across the cutest strawberry that ever existed anywhere (above). Ever. So of course I had to photograph it. And of course I had to add a lime for perspective. Looking through old pictures, I was inspired by this classic, tasty (and beautiful) combo. And with nostalgia I recalled the days when Jamba Juice would offer free smoothie mornings. We'd rush there before school, our car stuffed to the brim with excited teenagers. Berry Lime Sublime was always my poison...refreshing with a sour kick. This STRAWBERRY LIME popsicle is my homage to adorable strawberries everywhere and those exciting, frenzied early morning excursions.

Battle of the Banana

As some of you know, the banana and I do not always get along (and yes, I'm expecting sexual jokes in the comments section). I like the occasional banana. I do NOT like bananas tainting my desserts, smoothies and popsicles. The banana overpowers all other flavors. The banana is a BULLY. But apparently, I'm in the minority. Upon asking Dr. Cornelius to design his perfect pop (based on my limited ingredients) he opted for STRAWBERRY BANANA with a SLICE OF KIWI. I opted...out. I replaced the banana in my pop with a little tangy, refreshing pineapple. We were both thrilled with our results...but the good Dr.'s delight was not convincing enough to convert me...yet.

Drip, Drip, Pop!

These PINEAPPLE/MANGO STRAWEBERRY striped pops weren't terribly inspired. I had all the ingredients in my freezer...and I really wanted a popsicle. I also had a burning desire to conquer the fine art of the stripe (after my first contrastless debacle).  At first I was disappointed by the drips (caused by careless pouring). Since everything freezes to the Zoku on contact, pouring is a delicate process. However, after photographing this batch, (and enjoying a cool, flavorful specimen) I came around. The drips are crafty and adorably homemade in appearance. This is a recipe I will most certainly repeat!

I'm almost caught up with past pops. Please submit any ideas or requests for future popdeavors in the comment section!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PomPop


I feel a little hipster saying this but...I'm annoyed at the pomegranate. Don't get me wrong, I love pomegranates. But lately? It's EVERYWHERE. Like the Acai and Goji berries, the pomegranate has become über trendy. It's touted for its so-called magical antioxidant properties. Fine, ok. I like antioxidants as much as the next girl. But due to its recent market dominance in everything from supplements to ice cream and martinis, I'm beginning to resent my love of the pomegranate, despite its beautiful appearance (pictured in my glass of LaCroix) and robust flavor.

All that said, I had to make a pomegranate pop. The box of fresh pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe's was calling my name (yes, I hate seeding my own pomegranates). My first attempt was delicious, but the stripe of seeds instantly fell out, leaving a sad hole in the middle of the pop. I had a genius idea, float the seeds in sugar water. I'm embarassed to say, I did not have any white sugar (only brown and sugar-splenda combo). So I was forced to use my free sample of Sun-Drop to float the berries between layers of blended blueberry and blackberry. Not the aesthetic outcome I had in mind, but a delicious Blueberry/Blackberry Pomegranate pop.

High Class Problems

The second batch was inspired by Whole Foods' delicious all fruit pineapple pops (which sadly seem to have disappeared from the shelves). Having boasted to everyone I know about my new Zoku, I was repeatedly posed the same questions "can you add alcohol? can I have one?" Since we were hosting a Memorial Day bash, I decided to answer those questions with a resounding YES! PINEAPPLE KIWI BELLINI pops were born! I added champagne to the blended pineapple and added a kiwi tip and a slice of kiwi. Unfortunately, due to the alcohol, the pops took forever to freeze. I finally stuck them in the freezer, a HUGE Zoku no-no. But, an hour or so later, the pops were ready to be removed by Mr. Knorr, a Zoku expert having recently watched the full 10 minute tutorial on the William Sonoma website. Voila! Delicious pops with a punch!

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Batch

I excitedly opened the box, ready to make delicious, healthy popsicles with Martha Stewart quality aesthetics. The first step in the Zoku instructions? Freeze for 24 hours before beginning. Drat. So after another entire day of suspense, the first batch was blended STRAWBERRY AND PINK LEMONADE stripes. An amateur aesthetic attempt (no contrast between the stripes) but a delicious concoction nonetheless. I came away wiser, and eager to try again (with booze). If only I didn't need to wait another twenty four hours...

Inaugural Pop Post

After two weeks of joking about my nonexistant popsicle blog, the lovely Miss McNitt encouraged me to make it a reality. "You have to. So I can make fun of you." Thank you, dear. And you're welcome. For making your hoppy, libation induced request (on a hot, pop-perfect evening) a reality.