Sunday, July 22, 2012

more popsicles

Today was a typical Central Valley midsummer day: dry, still, 100plus-degree air. DH and I did not stain the fence like we'd planned. C did not go running. S opted out of a paintball game.

What we all did instead was cool off with popsicles. It would seem this is somewhat common around here. Popsicles are the perfect summer treat: cool, tasty and fun. I grew up in this very same valley with my mom's original milk popsicles. Though I never learned how to make them from her, I often blended up fruit and yogurt to make another version for the kids when they were small. Sometimes, like Jen, we started a particularly hot day with them.

You don't really need fancy molds for popsicles, and you definitely don't need recipes. Anything that tastes good in liquid form will make a good popsicle. This summer we've made:

strawberry-lime (a blenderful of strawberries, a splash of lime juice, a little sweetener)

berry mashup (blackberries, raspberries and grapes, if I remember correctly—no extra sweetener required)

and one night after a party, I poured the leftover sangria into molds and made:
It is DH's favorite on a day like today.

We tend to make popsicles with what we have on hand, but I wonder what else one might use. The kids' favorite Arnold Palmer concoctions? It's been done. A green smoothie for health? Check. Mint tea? Here it is.

Do you have any favorite popsicle combinations?

Friday, July 13, 2012

why i love cold brew coffee

I like coffee. So does DH. We usually have coffee together every morning, but we don't have the same coffee.
DH uses a French press and adds lots of milk.

I drink coffee black and make cold brew.

I won't go into all the hows and how-tos of cold brew. It can be found all over the web: here is one place, and here is another.

I have made my brew in different ways. Currently, because the cork for my Toddy (no affiliate connection) went missing, I am soaking my favorite coarse ground in the Vitamix pitcher overnight and straining the liquid into a carafe in the morning. A 12 oz bag of coffee makes concentrate for about 30 cups when diluted.

That's a full month...2 weeks...10 days...or so worth of coffee, depending on your consumption level.

Even in these baked July days, I still like my morning cup hot.
Though iced is good, too.
So is ice cream.
coffee ice cream 

1 pt whipping cream
1 c. milk
3/4 c. cold brew concentrate
sweetener of choice to taste

freeze in ice cream maker or as for homemade ice cream

And did I mention ice cream?
banana coffee ice cream

3 frozen bananas
1/2 c. half and half
1 c. cold brew concentrate
(no sweetener needed with the bananas)

blend in Vitamix or blender until creamy and partially frozen

As I look at the photos, I'm thinking I should add that chopped chocolate is a nice addition to coffee ice cream. Apparently.

coffee popsicles
1 c cold brew concentrate
2-1/2 c. milk
sweetener of choice to taste

stir ingredients together and pour into molds, adding stick when partially frozen

What else could you do use cold brew concentrate for? How about—

Any other ideas? I'm wide open.

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