Spicy Cantaloupe & Cucumber Popsicles

 

I have spicy, fruity, cantaloupe-y, cucumber-y, popsicle-y, pops for you!

But, first, let’s get to the obvious.

As you can see, things look a little different around here. We are still working on (and by we, I mean mostly Sean) the new site design. There are old elements still in place because I really love them (the Kate Worum illustrations) but things are just a little bit updated. For those of you that are curious, I installed a new, more user friendly, theme so I could have a little more control over things without having a meltdown and waiting for Sean to come home from work to help me. We’re still working on a few more things–adding back my peachy social buttons, finishing up the much cuter recipe index, and such. While I would have loved to have this all roll out super cleanly and all at once, this is a DIY sitch so it’s going to take a few more evenings of Sean working out the kinks and me asking the googles lots of questions and both of us wrangling our child. Thanks for your patience!

Anyway, I brought popsicles to this Monday-party–cantaloupe and cucumber–and they spicy! Like, jalapeño spicy! These guys are totally refreshing with a nice peppery kick. The cantaloupe and cucumber really go nicely together. Sometimes I find cantaloupe to be a little sweet and a little aggressive in that musky, melony way, and the cucumber really chills it out. I love the play of the sweet and cool frozen pop with the background of spice from the jalapeño. It makes these refreshing pops fun and interesting, and we like fun and interesting on a Monday. PS, I’d totally endorse dunking these guys into a cocktail–maybe one with tequila.



5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Cantaloupe Cucumber Popsicles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
If you like less spice, remove the seeds and ribs of the jalapeño. If you like more, add more!
Author:
Serves: about 10 popsicles
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped cantaloupe flesh
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
  • ¼ of a jalapeño
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into popsicles molds, freeze for 1 hour, insert sticks, and freeze until solid.

Boozy Cherry-Pineapple & Mint Slushies

It’s Monday and even though the weekend is done, it’s a day for celebration. A celebration with a cupcake for the kid and maybe a boozy slushie for mom. My sweet, baby chicken turns 1 today! ONE! Cue the waterworks and the streaming-tears-emoji.

But srsly: Happy Birthday, Casper (aka Casper-Man, aka Crud Budley, aka Buddy, aka My Dude, aka, Baby Chicken)!! You’re just my favorite guy, ever. For real. Never forget it.

Honestly, I probably won’t celebrate with this slushie today–I’ll save it for the weekend when we have a proper party for Casper with some family and friends. Then, these suckers are probably going in the blender to be sipped merrily through straws while we make Casper wear a party hat and sing at him. I mean, what says 1st birthday better than a booze-laced sour cherry and fresh pineapple slushie sweetened with mint syrup? Probably a lot of things like balloons, cupcakes, and toys…which will certainly make a debut, but we adults are going to celebrate too.  Today though, I’m going to pick up a mini-cupcake for Casper from my favorite cupcake shop and we’re going to have a mini celebration this evening. We’re going to try to get him to blow out a candle and sing him a song and snuggle his stinky little face because he’s seriously the best there is.

Side Note: Maybe you noticed this is a Monday post and those don’t usually happen around these parts? Yes? No? Crickets? I’m going to give twice a week posting a go–we will see what happens and if I can keep up with it. This really just means I’ll need to get my shit together on Sundays or maybe Fridays (Saturdays are a lost cause) and just be a bit more organized and ahead of the game regarding making/shooting recipes. Somethings I need to be doing anyway. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, so I’m going to try it out–the worst that can happen is I’ll go back to a single post a week. Not really a BFD, so why not give it a go?[recipe]

Print Recipe

Boozy Cherry-Pineapple & Mint Slushies

Makes 2

I used fresh pineapple that I cut into chunks and then froze for this, already frozen pineapple would work AND make you smarter than me. Likewise with the cherries–I happened to buy frozen and pitted sour cherries, if you can find fresh ones–tell me your secrets! Dark, sweet cherries also work, just add a little extra lime and/or a little less syrup.

1 heaping cup frozen pineapple

1 heaping cup frozen sour cherries

1/4 cup mint syrup (recipe below)

1/4 cup vodka (if using)

2 tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice

1 heaping cup ice cubes

1/4 cup water

Mint Syrup:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Place all of the ingredients in a blender, cover with the lid, and blend until smooth–you may have to tamp down the ingredients a few times so everything hits the blades. Pour into glasses, pop in a straw, and garnish with fresh mint.

For the Mint Syrup:

In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar and heat over a medium-high flame. Cook until the sugar dissolves, add the mint leaves, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before straining out the mint leaves. You can make this in advance and store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for about 1 week. [/recipe]

 

 

PB & J Ice Cream

 

Thoughts on what to say about this ice cream have been swirling through my brain but really, nothing I come up with is doing it justice. I mean, it’s all the flavors of the much beloved PB&J in an ice cream: squishy white bread, tart jam, and wonderful peanut butter (team crunchy!). Peanut butter and jelly–though it’s always jam in my house, preferably raspberry–are childhood lunch memories sandwiched between two slices of bread. I have no doubt my love of this iconic sandwich has to do with the fact that as a child nothing felt more exciting than indulging my sweet tooth and a pb&j was basically a free pass to do exactly that and call it lunch.

I’ve steeped toasted Hokkaido Milk Bread (made from this genius recipe) in the milk–this bread is an Asian-style soft and lightly sweet pillow of a bread that is basically heaven on its own. Even though my choice of pb&j sandwiches would have untoasted bread, the bread here is toasted for maximum flavor. The milk gets turned into the ice cream base making this toast ice cream. Yes. Then it gets swirled with a fresh raspberry ripple–fresh, juicy raspberries and sugar–and a just snappy peanut butter ripple which gives the whole deal a little texture. I can’t even with these pictures–they’re making me wish we still had a pint left in the freezer, but that’s a total pipe dream because we devoured it, obvs.

 

[recipe]

Print Recipe

PB & J Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Makes about 2 pints.

Toast flavored ice cream with peanut butter and raspberry ripples! For the toast portion of the recipe, I like an enriched white bread–I used leftovers from a batch of Hokkaido Milk Bread–challah, brioche, or Hawaiian bread would all be great, as well. Be sure to toast the bread to a deep golden brown without burning it. The deeper toast makes for a more pronounced toast flavor in the ice cream.

For the Toast Ice Cream:

3 cups whole milk, divided

2 cups cubed white bread

4 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

For the Raspberry Ripple:

1 pint fresh raspberries (frozen works, too)

1/2 cup sugar

For the Peanut Butter Ripple:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until the bread cubes are deeply toasted. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Place 2 cups of the whole milk (reserve the additional cup for later) into a saucepan and heat to scalding (until small bubbles form around the edges of the milk). Add the toasted bread, stir, remove from the heat, and cover. Allow the milk and toast to sit for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt together. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons of the reserved 1 cup of milk to make a slurry.

Pour the milk soaked bread into a fine mesh sieve fit over a bowl and press out the liquid–you should yield about 1 cup of toast flavored milk. Discard the soaked toast. Add the remaining cup of milk (you may need more or less) to the toast flavored milk to yield a total of 2 cups. Add this milk back to the saucepan and with the cream, sugar and corn syrup. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, quickly whisk in the cornstarch-milk slurry and bring to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Whisk the mixture into the cream cheese mixture and either place into a gallon sized, zip-top bag and cool in an ice bath, or cover the top with plastic wrap–touching the surface of the ice cream base–and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

While the ice cream base chills, make the ripples. For the raspberry ripple, place the berries and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the berries break down and the sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently–about 5 minutes. Press the raspberry mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and set aside to cool–can be done a day in advance and stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator. For the peanut butter ripple, melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together in a heat safe bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.

Once the ice cream base has chilled, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Layer 1/3 of the ice cream base into a freezer container with some of the raspberry ripple and peanut butter ripple, repeat with the remaining ice cream base, raspberry ripple, and peanut butter ripple–you may have extra ripple, just refrigerate and use to top the ice cream later (the peanut butter ripple will need a quick turn (30-60seconds) in the microwave). Cover with a lid and freeze for several hours until the ice cream is firm. [/recipe]