frozen

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops | tinyinklings.comI have to admit, we are such babies here on the Central Coast of California when it comes to actual weather.  If it drops below 50, people go crazy with the scarves and hats.  If it starts to rain, stay off the highway.  Seriously, people do not know how to drive in the rain.  And, perhaps, worst of all, when temperatures “soar” above 85, everyone starts to complain about the heat.  The trick is having a secret stash of tricks to beat the heat.  Mine include a fan, a sprinkler and bathing suit in the back yard, going to the beach, and ice pops.  Lots of ice pops.

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You guys know me, though.  I can’t just go out and buy popsicles.  Not only are the store bought ones often (not always), loaded with refined sugar and other unpronounceable ingredients, but it’s so easy to make your own, you’ll wonder why you never did.  This time around, I dug through my pantry and found a can of coconut milk, a jar of honey, and a jar of vanilla bean paste (graciously sent to me by the folks over at Singing Dog Vanilla).  I had two limes left from a party the previous weekend.  Perfect.  All these ingredients were just begging to be put together, so I obliged.  The result is a creamy, limey ice pop with a hint of vanilla.  Perfect for days when hot means 80°.  I know.  Wusses.

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops | tinyinklings.comCoconut Vanilla Lime Pops by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com

Coconut Vanilla Lime Pops
makes 4 ice pops

Ingredients

1 can full-fat coconut milk (organic if you can find it)
juice of 1/2 a large lime
zest of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste*
1 tsp. organic honey**

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour mixture into ice pop mold and Freeze until solid.  Enjoy on a hot day!

*If you can’t find vanilla bean paste, substitute 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste for 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded.  Increase honey to 2 tsp.

**Make it vegan and swap the honey for agave nectar!

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by Kayla on 07/08/2013

tagged as , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port | tinyinklings.com
In 2006, I spent a month after college graduation in a foreign immersion program in Paris. I didn’t know anyone going over, but I had high hopes that I’d learn some French, eat a lot of bread and cheese, and meet some new people. The day I arrived, I, and six other students in the program, were picked up by the program director via shuttle bus and taken into the city. I remember the bus driver pulling into a gas station to get fuel and coming out with a cheap bottle of champagne for us to share. A sort of welcome to Paris, if you will. On that bus ride, I met my friend, Joy. She hadn’t met anyone from the program yet, either, and after talking for maybe 15 minutes, we decided to be friends and go exploring the next day. Our classes didn’t start for a few days, so we had some free time to explore the city. We wandered up to Montmartre and saw the Sacre Cour. We took lots of pictures, and basically got lost in the city. It was fabulous.

Once classes started, I met some other friends: Val, Erik, Heather, and our instructor, Terri. Val and I quickly bonded over the excruciating heat (it was so hot that summer in Paris) and 3-4 boules (scoops) of glace (ice cream) a day. I remember one afternoon walking over to the Orangerie. We waned to check it out, but for some reason it was closed. It wasn’t Sunday, so what was up? I think it took us 10 minutes of standing and trying to decipher the sign before we realized that “fermée le Mardi” meant “closed on Tuesdays”. Duh. We decided to go get some peach sorbet in the Tuilerries instead. No bigs. We went back to check out the paintings another day.

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port | tinyinklings.com

Midway through our stay, our class took a trip up to the north coast of France to a little port town called Saint-Malo. There was a tall ships festival going on and sailors everywhere. This is when I remember meeting my friend Lauren. Perhaps we had hung out before, but I distinctly remember walking on top of the wall surrounding the city one evening, looking at the tall ships all lit up with twinkle lights, and watching the fireworks explode overhead.

It was in this tiny port town that I first had melon with port. Apparently, this is one of the ways the French eat it and let me tell you, they are genius. We were served half a small musk melon with the seeds scooped out so it resembled a small bowl. The servers then came around and poured a tablespoon or two of port into the melon bowl. You ate it with a spoon. A little melon. A little port.

On our last night in Paris, my friends and I took a picnic down to the Seine and feasted. There were cherries, figs stuffed with blue cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, saucisson-sec and sliced meats. Olives and bread. Cheese. And wine. Always wine. That summer was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. Perhaps it was just being in Paris, but I think it had more to do with the company that I was so fortunate to keep, the fact that we were all exploring the city together, and that we met under these extraordinary circumstances, which we knew would never be present in the same way again. And so we celebrated.

Cantaloupe sorbet with mint and port | tinyinklings.com

Cantaloupe sorbet by Kayla King | tinyinklings.com

This recipe is a riff on those musk melons with port that I ate in Saint-Malo and the “glace” all seven of us were obsessed with that summer. I urge you to try it with the wine, but the sorbet on its own is delicious as well.

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Ingredients

1/2 medium-sized cantaloupe or musk melon, seeds and rind removed, cubed.
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vodka (this keeps the sorbet from getting too icy in the freezer and gives it a nice soft and scoopable texture)

Preparation

Puree cantaloupe in a blender of food processor until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in honey and vodka. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Process in an ice cream maker. Scoop soft sorbet into a container and freeze until more solid, 3 hours or preferably overnight. Let sit at room temperature at least 10 minutes before serving.

To serve, pour a Tablespoon of port in the bottom of a small bowl. Place a scoop or two of the sorbet on top. Tear mint leaves and sprinkle them over the sorbet. Try and get a little bit of each flavor in each bite. Enjoy on a hot day.

 

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by Kayla on 05/28/2013

tagged as , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Cardamom plum and vanilla bean paletas | tinyinklings.com
Can I just be honest? I’ve watched the movie Pitch Perfect about 8 times in the past four weeks. It was one of those movies I wasn’t sure I was gong to like (probably coming off my Les Miserables fail), but I ended up LOVING.  Synchronized lady dancing to a Mariah Carey chart topper?  Yes.

I may or may not have made this song my ring tone.  Don’t judge.

Other things I’ve done in multiples this month?

Consumed too many Americanos.

Made these cookies.

Listened to Tegan and Sara’s new album Heartthrob.

Dreaded Mondays.

Made ice pops and ate them out back in the sunshine.

Cardamom plum and vanilla bean paletas | tinyinklings.comTruth be told, these paletas came about from a need to use up some plums that were looking questionably wrinkly.  While they hadn’t gone bad, there we’re a bit too unappetizing looking to eat fresh.  I could have thrown them to the chickens, but decided to make a quick plum jam instead.

In a pan went plums with lemon juice, honey, water, and a pinch of cardamom.  Had I not been making paletas, I would have sterilized some jars, made a double batch, and preserved this business.  The jam is fantastic on it’s own, but combined with cool and creamy Greek yogurt, it’s on a whole other level.

I used natural sweeteners here to keep this recipe a little cleaner, but feel free to use any sweetener you like.  Or shortcut it and straight-out buy vanilla Greek yogurt.  Make it yours. Recipe after the jump. [click to continue…]

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by Kayla on 05/20/2013

tagged as , , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

It’s a funny thing for me, strawberries. I like them raw, I like them as jam, but up until very recently, I didn’t like them in anything or masquerading as anything. Strawberry smoothies? Blech. Strawberry-banana anything? I think I just threw up in my mouth. Strawberry ice cream? No way, José. Maybe it’s because when I grew up, all that I ever tried was the strawberry part of Neopolitan ice cream and from that first taste, I decided I didn’t like it and that was that.

Now, there are really not a whole lot of foods that I won’t give a second shot (Except for beets. No thank you.), so this whole strawberry situation was nagging at me, especially when I have a husband who loves anything and everything strawberry. I’d tried this recipe a few months ago and really liked it, and although I think I would change a couple things next time around, it was still really great.

I also really love cheese, especially the goat variety, and I had remembered that I’d made a leek, goat cheese, and strawberry quesadilla awhile back and enjoyed the heck out of it. Do you see where this is going? It wasn’t until I saw this recipe that I decided to give the whole strawberry ice cream thing a second (third?) shot.

My strawberry and basil plants are going crazy right now, so I decided to combine a few things that I love together: strawberries, basil, and goat cheese. The ice cream is soft, and faintly tangy from the goat cheese, but tastes more like cheesecake. Pureed strawberries turn the custard a blush pink, and tiny green bits of basil dot the dessert like confetti. I think this would be fantastic with a sweet balsamic reduction drizzled over top, too. And you know what? I didn’t tell my husband that there was goat cheese in this (because he wouldn’t have tried it if he knew) and he quite enjoyed it. Victory! So go and enjoy, friends! I hear those strawberries calling your name…

Strawberry-Basil Goat Cheese Ice Cream

adapted from Hungry Girl por Vida

Ingredients:

For the ice cream base:

2 cups whole milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) cream cheese, softened

5 ounces soft, plain goat cheese (like chevre), softened

For the strawberry-basil puree:

2 containers of fresh strawberries, or about 2 mounded cups frozen strawberries, thawed.

1/2 cup basil, loosely packed

4 Tbsp. sugar

Preparation

In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch. Set the slurry aside. Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a large heatproof bowl, set aside.

In a food processor or blender, blend together half the strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Sieve over a bowl to strain out seeds. Repeat with remaining strawberries, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and basil leaves. Do not strain. Add to bowl with strawberry puree. Set aside. Yummy tip: Use the sieved pulp and seeds as a “jam” on a piece of toast. Yum!

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a low boil and quickly whisk in slurry. Continue whisking and bring the mixture to a boil, to thicken, continue to cook and whisk for an additional minute. Mixture should be thick enough to leave whisk tracks behind. Whisk a ladle full of the hot mixture into the cheeses to combine, pour in the rest of the hot mixture and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the strawberry-basil puree to combine well and cool over an ice bath. Once cooled, process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape into a container, cover, and freeze to set.

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by Kayla on 07/18/2012

tagged as , , , , , , in FOOD + DRINK