- I’m poor. As much as I drool over shaved black truffle over any and every expensive gourmet cheese on the market, I just can’t afford these little luxuries. I splurge every so often (real Parmigiano-Reggiano = heaven) but much of my food bill is done on the cheap.
- I don’t have a $2,000 camera to snap photos that would make a NYC food stylist drool. I have a nice little Nikon but I don’t have a studio and lights. My pictures are decent. Take them or leave them.
- I simply don’t have the time. This is not a full time gig. Hell, blogging is not even supposed to be my full-time job- I’m supposed to be working on my book. I can’t spend the whole week repeating a recipe just to make it perfect. And I have a family. Yes, I cook every night, but it’s usually Rachel Ray-style – homemade in 30 minutes or less.
- I use packaged foods. It’s the kiss of death for a “real” foodie. Cake mix is my friend. The oven is not. Yes, homemade pasta is 5x better than cheapo from a box, but it just doesn’t fit into my life here and now. It’s a yearly (if we’re lucky) indulgence.
- But I love food. And I think create some pretty decent dishes. I don’t follow recipes; I generally read several and take bits and pieces of each to make my own creation. And I’ve been told my creations are pretty damn good, so I thought I’d be generous and share some of the love.
Summertime, and the livin’s easy…and hot…ridiculously hot. The never-ending heat wave is still gripping the country and local temperatures have been climbing to the upper ’90s every day. Five minutes outside and you are guaranteed to be dripping with sweat and lusting for an instant cool-down.
Nothing screams “heat wave treat” more than an icy popsicle…well, I suppose an icy frozen beverage could, but we are talking family treats here at the moment…
My Kiddo is obsessed with the neon freeze-ice tubes full of frozen chemicles. Whether they are sold as Otter Pops, Fla-Vor-Ice, or a generic name the concept is the same: high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and dye encased in cellophane. Yum.
Between the heat wave and orthodontic issues, Kiddo has been going through popsicles at an absolutely rate (faster than I go though wine!). In an attempt to get a pop with a semblance of nutritional value into him, I decided to try some fruit and yogart pops.
They may take more time and effort than simply opening a cardboard box and cutting through the cellophane wrapper but they were nutritious and a tasty hit. And the blueberries still gave Kiddo the crazy blue tongue (a favorite part of the tube pops) without pumping him full of mystery chemicals.
Triple-layer Fruit & Yogurt Pops
Note: Adapted from “Perfect Pops: The 50 Best Classic & Cool Treats,” by Charity Ferreira.
Prep: 30 minutes
Freeze: 6 to 8 hours
Makes: 6 pops
1 cup blueberries (about 6 ounces)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup low-fat yogurt (I used apple, but lemon or vanilla would also work well–just use your favorite flavor, okay?)
1 cup strawberries (about 6 ounces)
6 wooden popsicle sticks (or twigs, craft sticks, or whatever decorative stick you want)
- Puree the blueberries in a blender (or food processor) until smooth. With a sturdy spoon, press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Whisk in 1teaspoon of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the yogurt until well combined. Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds, dividing it evenly and filling each mold about one-third full. Freeze until set, 30 to 45 minutes. Wipe spillage off counter because blueberries stain.
- Meanwhile, repeat the process used for the blueberries, this time with the strawberries. Set aside in refrigerator.
- Divide the remaining yogurt (about 2/3 cup) evenly among the molds, placing it on top of the blueberry layer and filling each mold another third of the way full. Freeze until the yogurt layer is set, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Carefully spoon the strawberry mixture on top of the yogurt layer, dividing it evenly. Insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least four hours or up to one week.
- To release the pops, run hot water over the outside of the molds for a few seconds; gently pull the sticks.