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.
I love a good lava flow. Cocktail that is. Okay, perhaps witnessing an actual lava flow (from afar) is pretty cool too. Years back we took a cruise to Hawaii. NCL cruise line does a Hawaii cruise and it’s pretty darn fun. The ship cruised around the Hawaiian islands and at night our ship was strolling past the big island (I think it was the big island) when we saw the actual lava flowing into the sea. Now, I’ve never seen The Husband get so excited before. Who knew it took molten hot lava. He was like a little kid when he saw that red orange hot lava flowing over the cliff edges into the cool sea. I’m getting just as excited to think these little puppies are sitting in my freezer box as we speak. So whenever you’ve had a bad week; take some time to whip these little pops up and sit back, close your eyes and pretend you are sitting in Hawaii. No lava needed…
Lava Flow Cocktail Pops
yield: ~ 6-8 pops depending on size of your molds
1/2 lb. (about 8 or 9) fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
2 Tbsp. sugar
10 oz. can Bacardi Frozen Pina Cola Mix, thawed
6-10 oz. Coconut milk
4 oz. Light Rum (optional)
In a blender combine the thawed pina colada mix and 10 oz. of coconut milk, blend to combine. Pour into a 2 cup measuring container. Set aside and rinse the blender. Combine the strawberries and sugar in blender until pureed. Strain the seeds either through cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer. Place the pureed strawberry mixture into a 1 cup measuring cup and set aside.
For original version with alcohol: Follow instructions as above except use 4 oz. of rum and 6 oz. of coconut milk instead of the 10 oz. of milk.
To create Ice Pops:
Pour about 1 Tbsp. to 1 1/2 Tbsp. of strawberry mixture into bottom of ice pop molds. Take the mold and hold it in your hand at a 45 degree angle and carefully pour the prepared pina colada mix along the side of the molds until mold is full. Hold the mold up straight, and take chopstick or table knife and insert to hit bottom, and drag the strawberry mixture along the sides of the mold in 3-4 places from the bottom upwards to create a flowing effect. Freeze the molds for about 40 minutes and insert wooden sticks and continue to freeze until mixture is completely frozen. To remove pops run mold(s) under hot water for a few seconds to release.
Which type of coconut person are you? Are you a COCONUT LOVER or not? I know when it comes to coconut people seem to really love it or not…. Guess which one I am? Yep, COCONUT LOVER. I’m kookoo for coconut. My favorite popsicle or ice pop is coconut cream.
My Mom was a tupperware lady when I was growing up and we had beaucoup tupperware. Cupboards of the stuff. One of the things we had was a popsicle maker. My Mom used to make us homemade popsicles and fudgesicles when we were growing up. Now a days you have so many choices in the stores when it comes to buying popsicles and there are ones that are certainly more healthy than others that do not contain a lot of sugar. I like both types of popsicles; healthy and ones not so healthy…..The thing is; there is no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a good popsicle. Decide which type of flavor is your favorite and go from there. The possibilities are endless.
Coconut-Lime Ice Pops
Coconut-Lime Ice Pops
(recipe adapted from Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski)
yield: makes 10-12 ice pops
1 Cup Heavy cream
3/4 Cup superfine sugar
1 can regular (not light) coconut milk
1/2 Cup sweetened shredded coconut
grated zest of 3 limes
1/2 Cup whole milk
In a chilled bowl combine the heavy cream and the sugar on high speed beat until thickened and reach soft peaks; about 90 seconds.
In a blender combine coconut milk and coconut until mostly smooth. Stir in the lime zest. Transfer to a 4 cup meauring cup with a pour spout. Stir in the whole milk. Gently whisk in the whipped cream.
Divide the mixture evenly in ice pop molds. If using wooden sticks; wait about 50 minutes before inserting sticks and continue to freeze until solid; about 4 hours.