Better Boozy Pops

On account of the ungodly heat we’ve been experiencing (seriously, it makes me feel like THIS), I’ve been craving frozen treats like the chubby 12-year-old I really am. When we were little, my mom would make use popsicles out of various fruit juices and the molds she used were amazing. I think they were Tupperware and the sticks were yellow and had a little straw attached so as the popsicle melted you didn’t miss out on any of the drippy deliciousness. I, perhaps naively, assumed there would be a luscious bounty of popsicle molds in every grocery and convenience store below the Mason-Dixon but sadly there was not. I searched high and low – and by that I mean I want to Harris Teeter and Target – before deciding I would have to purchase my molds off the ole interwebs. I found these Tovolo molds on Amazon and was sold as soon as I read the reviews. Everyone loved them but complained that they are just too big. Seeing the considerable size as a pro and not a con, I ordered them post-haste.

After being disappointed by my first popsicle attempt – green tea, honey, cream, and blueberries – I decided to go with something more fun. I had cilantro and lime in the fridge for another recipe and decided to use it to make a flavored simple syrup and combine it with Vernor’s Ginger Ale and Gosling’s Dark Rum for a Dark ‘n Stormy-esque treat for the chubby 12-year-old inside who also may or may not be a lush.

My math is not what I would call “great” and certainly not what my engineer dad would call “accurate” so the measurements in the recipe that follows are close approximations at best. Each pop-mold holds about 1/2 cup of liquid so, keeping that in mind, I went with the following action:

Step 1: Cut a hole in a box.

Step 2: Heat the juice of a really juicy lime, a big handful of chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup tastes lime-y and cilantro-y to your liking.

Step 3: Combine 1 1/3 C Vernor’s Ginger Ale – NO OTHER KIND WILL DO, except maybe Gosling’s Ginger Beer, absolutely not some Seagrams or Canada Dry nonsense – 1/3 C cilantro-lime simple syrup and 1 T Goslings Dark Rum in a large measuring cup.

Step 4: Pour mixture into molds and freeze overnight.

This makes 4 pops because I also just happened to have some grapefruit italian soda and silver tequila lying around and I thought they might combine well with the cilantro-lime simple syrup for a Paloma-esque popsicle. Turns out I was right. The recipe for the Palomita Pops is exaclty the same as the recipe for the Dark ‘N Stormy-ish pops just substitute the Vernors for Grapefruit soda and the rum for silver tequila (I like THIS kind) and boom – delicious adult popsicles for a blazingly hot summer.

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Better Baking

My favorite desserts are always strawberry-related – especially in the Summer: strawberry shortcake, strawberry icecream, strawberries with honey and cream, strawberry popsicles, whatever. In high school, my then-boyfriend’s mother brought one of the most amazing strawberry-related desserts ever to a cook-out that was more than likely marching band related. It was cold and refreshing and had so many tasty components: frozen strawberries, jell-o, pudding, cool whip, and cake. Thankfully, she isn’t one of those Southern women who withhold recipes like they do affection and approval and she gave my mom a copy. Being that it has been oppressively hot for what feels like forever, I decided it would be the perfect dessert to bring to the Fourth of July party we went to on Wednesday. So, before getting down to business on my kick-ass American flag tank-top, I ran to the store to get the fixins for the cake and, while enjoying my morning coffee, got to baking.

Strawberry Ice Box Cake. The ingredients are simple:

For the cake:

  • 1 box white cake and everything it says you need on the box
  • 1 large (6oz) box strawberry Jell-O
  • 16 oz box frozen strawberries (chopped/halved/sliced/whatever)

For the Icing:

  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 medium Cool Whip (softened)

First, you bake the cake in a 9×13 pan according to the directions on the box using the 3 whole egg directions, not the bullshit 4 egg white directions. Meanwhile, mix the box of strawberry Jell-O with 2 cups of hot water until the Jell-O is dissolved. Add the frozen strawberries to the Jell-O and stir until melted/thawed. Once the cake is finished baking, poke holes all over it with a fork. I mean ALL OVER it – go nuts with the fork. Once you think you have poked enough holes, poke a few more just to be sure. Then, slowly pour the Jell-O mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in evenly. The strawberries will sit on top of the cake for the most part, but some will sink down into it over time. Like so:

Chill several hours, or over night. Make the icing by first mixing the box of pudding and the 2 cups cold milk then, using a hand-blender (or whisk if you’ve got the stamina), add the container of Cool Whip a big dollop at a time. Evenly spread over the chilled cake and serve cold. Like this:

I enjoyed a pretty sizable piece at the party (the above picture is merely the last bite – I was so engrossed in the cake I almost forgot to document it in all its glory) and then, foolishly, left the remaining half of the cake at the party so I was unable to enjoy it for breakfast the following morning when I was suffering from a hangover-related headache and icky-belly. I trust that it went to good use though. Before Summer is over, I plan on making it again using frozen peaches and peach Jell-O. I’ll report back with delicious results.