Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best Summer Purchase Everrrrr: Part Deux

Elias stealing one of his sister's cream pops.

Since I got those popsicle molds, sometimes that's all I wanna do: make popsicles. Unfortunately, most of the time we don't have what I want to make them. Most of the time, I don't wanna follow the rules and directions to do any of it…so I don't. Most of the time, that's ok.

It's been hot here in the East bay for the majority of July and right into mid-August. Triple digit temps. Gross. The only logical thing to do was bust out the handy dandy molds so all of the nuggets in my house could cool off. (Honestly, my crock pot has been doing the rest of the dirty work lately.)

I dubbed these "random crap" pops. Now, I'm very aware that the term "random crap" doesn't sound appetizing. I completely understand that. It's so fitting though. I don't know about your household, but people in my family really like to leave the very end of the carton of milk or the last few chips in the bag. They're freaking pros at it, actually. (My family is also good at leaving empty boxes of cereal, oatmeal packs, etc. in the pantry, too…::ahemThing1ahem::) I'm pretty sure it's their attempt at being considerate, but it actually just ruins my life. Anyway, about the term "random crap": the kids and I threw all of the little leftovers that they always leave…all of the random crap…into the cream pops! This means that each pop is not consistent in what it contains, which completely alters the flavor individually. The one I'm eating will not taste like the one you're eating. That breaks so many rules in the culinary world. Oh well! Thou shall not waste in my damn house.

Best part of these: no processed sugar added. I used raw honey and huckleberry honey!

Strawberry-Mango-Pineapple & Cream Pops
Yield: 8-12, depending on your molds, print recipe

3/4 c. strawberries, frozen
3/4 c. mango, frozen 
1/4 c. pineapple, frozen
1/2 c. cream (or half and half, though they won't be as creamy- that's what I had lyin' around)
1/2 c. ice cream (your choice, what's your flavor?)
1 tsp. vanilla

2 T   honey
2 T   huckleberry honey

Whatever odds and ends food that you find in your kitchen

I threw all of these in our new Ninja Master Prep Blender and let 'er rip. The honey stuck a bit because everything was hella cold, but we can't all be perfect.

What we had left this time.

I made vanilla-cinnamon ice cream the week before with my friend, Becky. We also made apricot jam! That's a whole other post though ;)

The contenders in tonight's Pop Battle

The tools!

Elias put chocolate covered blueberries, cherries, and coconut in his set. He later told me that he didn't even like coconut and didn't want to eat his own creation. Way to go, Kid.

Camryn added some huckleberry honey!

Mixed to a thick consistency, like soft serve.

Camryn said it sounded like someone was SCREAMING!!!!! (For ice cream?) (I had to. Don't judge me.)

Into the freezer we go. 4-6 hours, over night is best.

Things to remember: 

-Tip #1TASTE! Always taste your food as you go along. If it's not sweet enough, add more honey. If it's not creamy enough, ADD MORE CREAM! Use your dome and your taste buds, they won't steer you wrong.  
Tip #2: Layering. If you throw the bits of coconut or whatever you've got in, the stuff'll sink right to the bottom (which is really the top). Fill molds halfway, freeze for an hour. Add other stuff. Fill to the top. Freeze normally. 
Tip #3: After you've filled your molds, give them a few taps on the counter. Air bubbles will be released and you'll be able to get a few more spoonfuls in there.

Ice Ice Baby,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Foodie Penpal: What I Sent: From the Bay to LA

So, the way Foodie Penpal works is kinda funny, but very efficient. You sign up, you're paired up with two people: one person you will be receiving a package from, and one person you will be sending a package. In the previous post, I revealed the packaged that I received from Peggy. Now, I'm gonna show you a little of what I sent off to Monique!

Funnily enough, Monique grew up in San Francisco and currently resides in Beverly Hills. I'm from the Bay Area, as you know, and I've worked in Beverly Hills in the past. I knew instantly that Trader Joe's would be out of the question since those are pretty plentiful in California and probably one right down the street from where she lives. (My initial instinct was to hook her up with some Boudin bread, but I knew it wouldn't last, not in my house nor in the mail. It's pretty blasphemous to not eat it fresh, honestly.) A few things about Monique that I learned:

- She's Italian
- She is a baker more than a cook
- No allergies…right on. Not having to worry about killing somebody is always a plus.

Okay, I'll stop talking now. Here's what I sent:

Full contents! L-R: McCauley Olive Grove Corn Nuggets, Skyflakes/Rice Crackers (#1 strawberry basket), Knox Gelatine, Nagaraya BBQ cracker nuts,  Primo's Spinach Dip mix, local honey sticks, and a bonus gift: little melamine spoon measures. :)
Skyflakes: plain crackers, but they're so much more buttery than Saltines. Rice crackers: The perfect combination of sweet, salty, and all Asiany flavors. (Yeah, I said "Asiany", so?)

Contents of basket: Local items like olive oil (from the orchard down the street), Spinach dip mix (from Tracy, CA), local honey sticks, and the bonus gift: melamine measuring spoons!
McCauley Olive Grove Corn Nuggets: Super sweet, but like the note says, "…like a mix between caramel popcorn and corn pops." Sounds like a freaking awesome combination to me. I like these especially because there's not crap stuck in my teeth afterwards. Apparently, she thought they had a garlic flavor to them (oopsies?), but thank God that wasn't the case. That'd been so weird. lol
Gelatin envelopes and a recipe!
Last, but definitely not least: Nagaraya BBQ Cracker nuts
I used berry baskets to contain everything in a neat little package, and twine/index cards to attach my notes. This was really fun to put together, and by the looks of Monique's blog post, she had fun receiving it! 

What a great first Foodie Penpal experience. Can't wait to do it again!

The Lean Green Bean