This time of year when the weather turns hot but you still want to entertain, the key is to keep things simple. You don’t want a heavy dessert. This frozen treat is very refreshing after a spicy meal or quite frankly just on a hot summer night. For an extra glamorous effect, freeze some pretty or decorative glasses to create a frosted effect. Right before serving, scoop the granita into the glasses, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt (the contrast of tang is amazing) and a mint sprig. Beautiful.
Note: For my Weight Watchers Friends, one serving equals 3 Points Plus
Honeydew Mint Granita
yield: about 6-7 servings
1 medium honeydew melon, seeded and chopped into cubes (about 4-5 Cups)
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup fresh lime juice
12 fresh mint leaves
Opitonal: Fresh mint leaves and Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain flavor)
1. In a food processor place the cubed honeydew melon, sugar, and lime juice. Puree until smooth. Add the mint and pulse until you can visibly see small flecks. Pour mixture into a square pan and place in the freezer. Once the mixture starts to freeze slightly, rake the mixture every 30 minutes with a fork until mixture is granular in appearance. Serve in glasses with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a mint sprig.
Soon you can “legally” wear white pants. Memorial Day is looming…You don’t really follow that silly rule, do you? Nor do you know you can only enjoy a popsicle that you purchase in a frozen store case. The world is yours to discover. Break out the Vitamix, blender, or food processor and start making your own frozen pops. Start with your favorite fruit or two and add a little yogurt or extra jam for flavor. Pick a fruit that is in season and remember that anything frozen looses a little sweetness when it’s at frozen state, so if adding any sugar this helps to gauge before you make your final pour into your pop molds. Enjoy~
Cherry Vanilla Yogurt Pops
1 1/2 Cups vanilla low fat yogurt
1/2 Cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted
1/3 Cup cherry jam
In a blender, food processor or Vitamix in this order; place the yogurt and jam. Process/pulse until mixture is smooth. Add the fresh pitted cherries and pulse until the cherries are small pieces; if you like your pops a little more chunky, then so be it. Once processed to your liking pour into clean pop molds and if using wooden sticks, wait for about 15 minutes to place sticks. Freeze until firm.
Summer makes me lazy. Makes me so lazy that I’d much rather prefer eating an ice pop than scooping ice cream into a bowl. But summer was made for being lazy, right? Lazy pseudo naps in the hammock, lazy nights relaxing on the porch catching random breezes. No loading dirty bowls into the dish washer. Just fling the pop stick into the garbage. Lazy. Embrace it. You can totally blame it on me…
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pops
recipe: adapted from Southern Living
yield: 8-12 ice pops depending on size of molds
1 pint fresh, clean blueberries
3/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
In a small sauce pan bring contents to boil and then turn down to simmer until mixture thickens. Let cool completely then place in refrigerator to chill until needed.
Cheesecake Ice Cream Base
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 1/2 Cups half and half
1/2 Cup buttermilk
3/4 Cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1. Process ingredients in a blender until smooth; about 1 minute. Pour into a freezable container and place in the freezer. Freeze for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
2. Stir 3/4 cup blueberry swirl into the ice cream base and continue to freeze again for another 20 minutes; saving the rest of the blueberry swirl to layer ice pops with.
3. Layer blueberry ice cream into ice pops molds and freeze about 20 minutes. Spoon a thin layer of blueberry swirl, then freeze for 10 minutes. Spoon another layer of ice cream over swirl- freeze for 20 minutes, and continue once more with swirl and freeze as indicated before topping off with ice cream. After 15 minutes insert popsicle sticks into ice pops and continue to freeze until firm.
p.s. If you don’t want to layer the ice pops with a stripe- you can mix in all of the swirl into the base and spoon the mixture into the molds-wait about an hour until firm enough to insert the pop sticks.
You may also use the base recipe and process in your ice cream maker and once done churning, layer the base with the blueberry swirl in a square shaped ice cream container.
You know I’m cuckoo for coconut, right? I love this recipe because it makes just enough of sorbet (so you can’t get into too much trouble) from one can of coconut milk. I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW SUBLIME THE TASTE OF THIS IS! Sorry for screaming–it is so amazingly good, creamy, and so easy to make. For all my coconut lovers out there–(And you know who you are) I beg of you to make this. If you want to take it to another level you could top it off with a little chocolate syrup drizzle and chopped almonds if you want an almond joy type of taste. This recipe would also make great ice pops; just double the recipe.
yield: ~ (4 servings)
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 Cup caster sugar
3 Tbsp. desiccated (unsweetened) coconut
1/4 Cup coconut cream (aka cream of coconut-such as Coco Lopez)
1/2 lemon squeezed
1 egg white
1. Bring coconut milk, castor sugar, and desiccated coconut to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut cream, and lemon juice. Allow mixture to chill for about 15 minutes, then in a bowl whisk egg white to soft peaks and stir into coconut mixture. Chill mixture until cold then process in ice cream maker.
For churnless method: pour completed mixture into a plastic container and place in the freezer (uncovered) and stir every 30 minutes for total of 3 hours. Continue to freeze until firm.
First of all, I want to thank all my readers for coming back each week to read my blog. Second, I want to inform my wonderful blog family that I (We- The Husband, Son and thee) have moved. MOVED as in FAR AWAY from California. We moved to the “beautiful island” of Formosa known as Taiwan.
Taiwan is my husband’s birthplace-just so you know I’m not totally
crazy baked moving to a foreign country (only half crazy baked). I will continue to post my treats and you might notice a slight tropical or Asian flare sometimes with the choices I bring to my recipes, but American style treats will continue to be a large presence on my blog.
By request from my friends and family-I am also going to try to post more pictures (other than just food porn), so you can enjoy my discovery of Taipei/Taiwan along with me. I am having such a blast discovering all the amazing food and especially the fruit here in Taiwan. I cannot get enough of the fruit. To kick off my most recent fascination of mangos, I chose this recipe from Donna Hay.
Last week I bought some ripe mangos at the out-door market here in my neighborhood and they were so amazingly sweet I had to go back for more this week. Did I mention I love the fruit here?! I keep telling my friends back in the States that the fruit here in Taiwan is so freaking amazing, and I have to admit I never had a mango that tasted so good until I moved here. The mangos here have a flesh that is soft and silky and not fibrous at all. The bananas in this recipe are there more for the creamy texture that they bring to the party rather than the taste, so restrain yourself from using bananas that are overripe as that is not what is required in this recipe.
Banana-Mango Frozen Yogurt
recipe: Donna Hay
yield: 4-6 servings
1 Cup thick plain yogurt, cold
2 ripe (not overipe) bananas
3 ripe mangos
1. Cut the bananas and mangos and place in ziplock bags. Freeze until firm-about 3 hours.
2. Place the yogurt first in a Vitamix or blender. Top with the frozen fruit and process until smooth. You may serve at that point which will give you a more soft serve texture. To continue until firm, place the finished frozen yogurt in an air-tight freezer safe container and freeze until firm.
Before you know it, the dog days of summer will be here, (WOOF!) and everything will seem unbearably hot. In the next instant– you will be scratching your head wondering where the summer went as you cover your plants to prevent frost. Does it not happen that fast?
The day the mercury reaches 90 is when you realize you do not have a tank top (silly you for waiting until July) and you will head to the mall to find winter coats on display. What- you were not aware you passed into that parallel universe of seasons?
Sitting on the porch, with your heels kicked up, the music playing a soft Marvin Gaye in the background…The kids are at the movie theatre with their friends, the husband is out playing golf and it’s just you and the dog staring at each other. Woof.
Yes, I hate to tell you, but you are panting just like the dog. Woof. That’s why he’s staring…
Pull this ice pop out of the freezer, kick back, close your eyes and enjoy the solitude, and try to forget you were too late in buying a tank top, ’cause it doesn’t really matter…relaxing is what matters.
Tank top be damned.
Pineapple Mint Ice Pops
yield: ~ 6-9 pops (depending on size of molds)
one pineapple (rind removed, cored) cut into chunks + it’s own juice OR one 20 oz. can chunk pineapple packed in juice
Sugar (to taste-1/4 Cup to 1/3 Cup)
8-10 mint leaves, washed
In a blender place the pineapple including all the juice, and the sugar and blend until smooth. Add the mint and pulse the blender until mint is the size of very small flecks (about 3 pulses). Let the mixture sit about 10 minutes (bubbles will float to the surface). Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and tap the molds on the counter to release any bubbles. Freeze for 40 minutes and insert wooden popsicle sticks. Continue to freeze until firm.