Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cold Busting Pops

I had a fantastic weekend in LA. I got to attend an amazingly beautiful wedding of a blissfully happy (and strangely calm) couple surrounded by friends and gorgeous scenery. And then I woke up Sunday, with a cold. And then I had to fly home Monday, my poor little ears.

So I arrived home and spent much of Tuesday sleeping. I finally arose in the late afternoon, took another dose of Dayquil (bless you, Quils, both Day and Night). I started to feel better. Well, a little better. Better enough to whip up some Vitamin C rich pops to soothe my throat and boost my immunity.

Dr. Cornelius and I were at Whole Foods last week. The AC at his office was broken, it was 96 degrees and the man needed some relief. He bought some Whole Foods 365 Tropical Blend Fruit Bars. He loved them. Almost to the point where I was a little jealous of Whole Foods. Just a lil.

Inspired by jealousy and illness, I made my own TROPICAL BLEND fruit bars. I combined:

1/2 cup peaches
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup mango
1 orange, peeled

I set half the mixture aside and blended the remaining with 1/2 cup raspberries (I would have preferred strawberries for this blend but unfortunately I was out). I then alternated stripes of the two mixtures for visual effect.

The result? A delicious, all-fruit, cold-busting pop. A cure that leaves an excellent taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An apple a day...

Inspired by the incredible success of my other cake mix pops (Key Lime and Cake Batter), I decided to try APPLE CINNAMON pops. I combined:

4 tablespoons of Fiber One Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix
1 Granny Smith Apple
6 ounces Fage Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon

I have to say, these pops were a big disappointment. They look pretty unappetizing. They taste fair. They're not completely unpalatable, but there's some weird after-taste action. Dr. Cornelius really enjoyed his. But then again, the man never met a popsicle he didn't like...wokka wokka.

Crazy about Cranberries

I bought a bag of unsweetened frozen cranberries at Whole Foods last week. I first thought about making cosmopolitan pops, but I still have many mimosa and watermelon mojito pops hanging out in my freezer. They can't all be cocktail pops... can they?

I still had an orange leftover from the batch of mimosa pops. I decided to make CRANBERRY ORANGE pops. A delicious combo usually reserved for desserts and sauces, I thought it would translate well into pops.

1 orange, zested and peeled
1 tablespoon of Sicilian Orange Fruit Spread
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened frozen cranberries
1 tablespoon of agave syrup

Blend ingredients and pour into Zoku molds. 

I like the end result. They're quite tart. Clearly not a pop for everyone. I'm pretty sure Miss McNitt will hate them. Oh well, more for me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beat the Heat

Yes, talking about the weather is trite. Blah blah blah. I don't care. It is HOT out. A dense, stifling heat has engulfed Chicago. I must admit that I stayed out quite late and had more than a few cocktails last night. It's not my fault...I had to entertain my fans at karaoke with an amazingly Joplinesque rendition of Mercedes Benz. Stepping outside this morning (ok, it was about 2:00pm) was torturous.

So I devised a plan: concoct a supremely refreshing pop recipe to ease the pain of lethargic, schvitzy friends in need of a cool, quenching treat. I decided on WATERMELON CUCUMBER with hints of lime and mint.

1/8 watermelon, cubed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 small cucumber, peeled
2 tablespoons light agave syrup

Combine in blender and pour into molds. I added rum to the leftover mixture (after making 3 Zoku pops) and poured into regular ice pop molds.

I sampled one of the (virgin) pops and it was just as I, refreshing and flavorful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Batter Up!

CAKE BATTER POPS. Need I say more? Remember the forbidden, sticky deliciousness of running your finger around the rim of a batter bowl when mom was baking (or you were baking, if you were a nerdy, domestic child like yours truly)? These pops legitimize those memorable, finger-licking moments in beautiful, solid (not so sticky) grown-up pop. 

I'm trying to keep up with detailed recipes, so here goes....

6 ounces 0% Greek yogurt
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine ingredients in blender. Once mixed, pour in 1.5 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and swirl. Pour into molds. Pour sprinkles onto the bottom of the pop and press gently.

The chocolate syrup does not freeze thoroughly so the inside of the pop stays amazingly gooey. These pops are getting great reviews, try them yourself or come on over for a sample!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pops of Poetry

I don't often buy blackberries. Out of season they're fair at best. But I do love blackberries. I generally pair them with another berry: blue, rasp or straw. I bought a box last week. They're in season and they smelled divine. I keep opening the refrigerator, seeing the glossy dark berries, loitering and closing the refrigerator, uninspired. How can I be so ambivalent about the berry that's inspired great poets like Sylvia Plath; Blackberrying, Galway Kinnell; Blackberry Eating and Seamus Heaney; Blackberry Picking?

Well this evening I decided to finally forge forth into the world of blackberry. After all, they'll go bad in a few days. I considered a blackberry prosecco pop. But then I considered my freezer full of bellini pops. I decided to keep it simple:

1 box of Blackberries
4 oz Greek Yogurt
1 Tbls Raspberry Agave syrup

I just blended and poured! I'm trying to fulfill Miss Shaw and Miss North's request for more specific recipes. You're welcome, ladies. I love the seedy, berry texture of these pops. And look at the beautiful color!

Leftover Pops

These amazingly savory and sweet pops were made with my dinner leftovers. Yes, you heard me right. My (forever) NBF Miss Kovacs and I made wasabi tuna burgers and sweet potatoes. No, I did not make wasabi tuna pops, phew! But I did make SWEET POTATO POPS! 

We had several slices of sweet potato that did not fit on the cookie sheet, so I brought home the raw slices. I microwaved them for 3 minutes before blending them with a teaspoon of vanilla extract, cinnamon, Greek yogurt and about a tablespoon of agave. I put in about twice as much cinnamon as I instinctively deemed necessary. I thought they needed a flavor that would stand out and break free of the cold-dampening effect. I was right.

These are my new favorite pops. Sorry, Deacon Knorr. I adored our Lemon Poppy Seed pops, but these have trumped them. I can't wait to discover my next favorite.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chitty Chitty Chocolate Cherry

I purchased a bottle of chocolate syrup for the purposes of *pop* several weeks ago. So far, I've been making pretty healthy pops so I was reluctant to start poppin' in chocolate. At least it's organic....that made me feel ever so slightly better. No pesticides in my syrup! Anyway...I decided to finally break it out. CHOCOLATE CHERRY seemed to be a natural pairing.

I had some leftover tart cherry juice from the very successful Cherry Coke pops. I combined it with blended cherries (and a bit of water). The next stripe was purely chocolate syrup and the bottom was the cherry concoction again. You'll notice the outer stripes are slightly different in color. I strained the mixture before re-pouring, as some congealed cherry foam had formed at the top.  

When I told Miss McNitt of these pops, she began singing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for purposes of alliteration and the added bonus of greatly annoying me, as it took a full day to get the song out of my head (my apologies if I just inflicted the same pain upon you, reader). 

Gingerly Poppin'

Last week, when shopping with Deacon Knorr, I insisted that I could easily get in and out of Big Apple in under 6 minutes. I was wrong. I think it ended up being 8ish. Anyway, I was running around the store, grabbing interesting ingredients in a frenzy. One such ingredient is crystalized ginger.

What to do with crystalized ginger? I began thinking of trendy, fruity cocktails for inspiration. I immediately paired mango and ginger. These MANGO GINGER pops combine lime juice, mango and crystalized ginger. The bottom is a stripe of pure lime juice.

This weekend, after a medium sized walk in the dense Chicago humidity (although if you ask Dr. Cornelius, I made him walk 11 miles through the jungle), I was in desperate need of refreshment. These zesty, fruity, flavorful pops were just the trick.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I bought some vanilla beans at the store the other day. I always find it rather curious that vanilla beans don't look like beans at all, but rather like stalks. For something so tasty, they're quite ugly. Anyway, what to do with vanilla beans? Chocolate and vanilla seemed like a cheap cop out (although Miss McNitt just requested a batch of those and her wish is my command).

I decided on apricot. APRICOT & VANILLA BEAN. It sounds like the perfect summer dessert! I blended greek yogurt with half a vanilla bean and about a tablespoon of agave nectar and set some aside. Then I added an apricot to the remaining mixture and blended. I alternated stripes of the two mixtures.

They're pretty adorable, I must say. Sweet but not too sweet. And quite refreshing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Genteel Pops

For some reason, whenever my father says Key Lime Pie, he feels the need to do so in a strange, genteel Savannah-esque accent. Every time. So of course that is what runs through my head when I see a box of Krusteaz Key Lime Bar Mix in the baking aisle. That and...what an awesome idea for a pop!

After the incredible success of yesterday's Lemon Poppy Seed pops (see below) I was inspired to create more citrus baked pop form of course! Mr. Leavitt expertly zested and juiced a lime, to which I added a few tablespoons of the mix and some Greek yogurt.

They look and smell zesty and delicious. I have yet to try one. Come on over this weekend for a sample!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Poppy Pop

Feeling guilty over my recent indiscretion, I decided to spend some quality time with my Zoku. I had to think of a phenomenal pop. Nothing quick and dirty, something substantive and inventive to prove my (re)commitment.

I'm not sure how the thought initially occurred to me, but I decided on LEMON POPPY SEED. After gorging ourselves on sushi at Ponzu,  Deacon Knorr and I picked up some of the necessary ingredients. We decided on lemon greek yogurt with freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshy grated lemon zest and poppy seeds. We blended the concoction and poured it into the molds. There was some discussion of a mutual fear of over-citrusization. However, after sampling our pops, the Deacon and I were quite pleased! A triumphant return to the Zoku!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Infidelity in the Freezer


I cheated on my Zoku. I'm sorry, but it's true. I needed a regular mold for several reasons. Most importantly, making boozy pops. I perused the many choices on Amazon and settled on the Norpro. It's simple, makes attractive pops and has disposable sticks. I am a bit overprotective of my Zoku sticks and I think my friends will appreciate the nag-free portability.

My first boozy batch is PEACH/RASPBERRY BELLINI. I went for the classic bellini (champagne and peach) and added a layer of puréed raspberry at the bottom for a tart (and pretty) punch. The mold made 10 perfect pops in just a few hours. You'll notice my rookie mistake in the photo. I pushed the sticks too far into the pop, making the pop stout and difficult to grasp. Oh well, now I know.

What should my next boozy batch be?

Perfect Pearing

Feeling uninspired, I scanned my countertop for inspiration. Onion? Gross. Kiwi? Done it. Tomatoes? Slightly unappetizing (but stay tuned for a savory pop involving tomatoes planned for August). Pears? PEARS!

What to pair with a pear? I felt like stepping out of the *mold*. What's an unexpected pairing for a pear pop yet a classic flavor combination? Balsamic of course! PEAR BALSAMIC pops. I blended a fresh pear with a touch of agave nectar. I added thin (but in retrospect, not thin enough) stripes of balsamic. I adore these pops. The other two tasters had mixed reviews (one loved, one "meh"ed). Try them and judge for yourself!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Patriotic Pops!

By now I'm sure you can all tell that I adore alliteration (see what I did there?) These pops were no easy feat. The above pictured pop is sadly my best (visual) specimen. They are STRAWBERRY BLUEBERRY RHUBARB YOGURT. Whew, that's a mouthful!

The blended blueberry/rhubard, yogurt and strawberry/rhubarb mixtures were all quite thick, making for tricky, splashy pouring. The stars are pear, my best available white fruit. I initially tried using the rhubarb but it is too stringy for my puncturing needs. Unfortunately, the pear is rather porous and took on the color from the blueberry. Drat. I'll need to find a pear replacement. Perhaps the Asian Pear is firmer? Stay tuned for more holiday pops throughout the long weekend!