The 2012 Ice Pop Project: Milk and Cookies

This is going to sound totally crazy, but I never tried the classic milk and cookies combo until just a few weeks ago. As an overly mature kid, I dipped rich tea biscuits in my coffee. But never cookies in milk. Man, I have been missing out!

I was explaining this to the boyfriend and ex-roomie as we were eating my last batch of ice pops on the balcony one night. Then it came to me. Milk. Cookies. Ice pops. It was happening.

I’m a total psycho and baked my own batch of cookies from scratch to make these, but feel free to get store-bought chocolate chip cookies, or experiment with other cookies. (Milk and Oreo ice pops?!) But here it is. A super simple ice pop for my fellow cookie addicts.

Milk and Cookies Ice Pops
Makes 4 servings
About 200 calories

2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
4-8 chocolate chip cookies depending on size, roughly torn into large chunks

Warm the milk in a small pot over a low flame. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Drop a few pieces of cookie chunks into your ice pop molds and fill them up half way with sweetened milk. Add a few more cookie chunks into each mold and fill the molds to the top with milk.

Chill in freezer for at least 4 hours.

Health and Nutrition

How Nutritious Are Your Leafy Greens?

I’m not into salads like 70% of the year. Cooked veggies are awesome. And if you know me well enough you know I DESPISE iceberg lettuce. But when those hot, hot, hot summer days roll around I am all about the salads. If I happen to be in the mood for solid food that is, as opposed to ice pops and Jamba Juice. But no iceberg lettuce salads, of course. Hell to the no.

I’ve always assumed there wasn’t too much going on nutrition-wise in salad greens, except for my beloved spinach, which is my go-to one. My boyfriend recently sent me a Lifehacker post about leafy greens with this cool chart. Who knew romaine had it going on? This makes me feel better about what I used to think was a weak excuse for vegetable servings!

What are your favorite salad greens? Iceberg lettuce–yay or nay?


The 2012 Ice Pop Project: Coconut Milk and Roasted Strawberries

My friends said this photo looks like it’s from the Dexter opening credits. Aside from the serial killer vibes, I’m happy to hear that ’cause it is hard thinking of new ways to photograph an ice pop!

Anyway, ice pop #2 is from The Year in Food’s Roasted Strawberry Coconut Milk recipe. It would have been interesting to see how it would taste with cardamom. I didn’t have any, but it tasted delicious and exotic nonetheless. The coconut milk part wasn’t overly sweet, but every couple of bites you’d get that candy-like roasted strawberry. Yum.

Growing Food

My Apartment Garden: Eating My First Home Grown Zucchini

Time for yet another update! We’re in mid-July now and I’m still not seeing any tomatoes. The plant is looking healthy and big (see above), but no sign of the fruit. A friend’s dad just told me he’s had no luck with the Topsy Turvy. Getting worried.

The upside is that my zucchini is doing well. Look at how big this guy is, high up in the sky!

I didn’t get to eat my very first zucchini. I left it to grow big and somehow it rotted on the plant and was floppy…ew. So out of fear, I followed my gardening book’s suggestion of picking them when they’re the size of your fingers. I did so, but didn’t really know what to do with these baby zucchinis so I just had them raw. Not bad, but not great.

I finally did get two decent size zucchinis that did not rot. I kept it simple and turned them into soup with garlic, onions and chicken stock. It tasted especially good knowing that I grew them all by myself, yay. Also, I just found out you can eat the flowers on the plant. I’ve heard of squash blossoms but didn’t put two and two together. Won’t be throwing them away next time!


The 2012 Ice Pop Project: Frozen Margarita

Last summer was when I started getting interested in cooking. My skills were still very basic but I found that a fun and easy thing to make were ice pops and decided that I’d try to have unique homemade frozen treats in the freezer all summer long to share with guests and my roomies. I made some awesome ice pops (see above) and due last year’s success, I’m bringing the ice pop project back. Here is the first treat of Summer 2012:

I’m not really a cocktail kinda gal, and certainly not a fan of cheesy ones. But in March I went to Miami with a girlfriend and after trying my first frozen margarita, suddenly it’s all I ever want to drink on a hot day. So I got really excited when I saw these DIY Margarita Popsicles. Sweet, tangy, boozy…and condensed milk makes pretty much anything taste amazing. A great start to the summer, I must say.


The Raw Vegan Chocolate Truffle: A Real Dessert or No?

You know I take pride in being a healthy food-loving omnivore cook. So when my raw vegan dessert-making friend came to stay over at my place, I got a very interesting and different kind of “cooking” lesson. She taught me how to make something I would never make otherwise: raw vegan chocolate truffles. I don’t have the exact recipe for you, but we basically mixed ground cashews with cocoa powder, melted cocoa butter, and agave nectar, with a little sea salt and vanilla extract. We made little balls out of the thick paste, and then rolled each ball in coarsely ground cocoa nibs. DASSIT. Quick and simple.

The verdict: they were tasty! But here’s the catch. Let’s be real–they’re not chocolate truffles. They reminded me of a cocoa-flavored Larabar. While I love Larabars, I think of them as more of a snack than a dessert. Like with my issue with some vegan recipes, I prefer raw food when it’s supposed to be raw (fruit, nuts, certain veggies), and not when it’s a raw adaptation of something that’s meant to be cooked. I grew up on Leonidas’s chocolate pralines and truffles. So I know these guys ain’t chocolate truffles.

It’s mainly a labeling issue. These treats are indeed tasty, fairly healthy, and pretty to look at. But if not a chocolate truffle, what to call them? My friend who taught me how to make them referred to them as raw vegan BALLS, which sounds totally unappetizing but more accurate than truffles I guess!

Do you ever eat raw vegan desserts? Which are your favorites?

Cooking Skills and Tools

Rebelling Against the Cookbook Extinction

Ever since I discovered food blogs, I’ve pretty much neglected my cookbooks. With so many exciting and creative recipes that are on the internet for free, I’d never run out of things to make. While cookbooks remain static, food blogs keep with the times with trendy recipes. Some people think cookbooks will go extinct, and when you think about our technology, it sounds very likely.

There’s still something alluring about a physical cookbook, though. I’ve decided to start making better use of my small, haphazard collection. Some I bought very intentionally, some I randomly bought on a whim, and some were gifts. I’d say my current favorites are the Joy the Baker Cookbook and In the Small Kitchen (my Amazon affiliate program links)–two books very well suited for the 20 or 30-something cook. I also have two Barefoot Contessa books that I go back to time and time again. Ina Garten doesn’t play games. Either way, I’m going to try pick a recipe from my tangible recipe collection each week and fight the cookbook extinction!

Do you use cookbooks, or do you think they’re a thing of the past? What are your go-to cookbooks? (p.s. I’m in search of the perfect clean eating omnivore cookbook! Know one?)

Party Food

Any Excuse to Use Sriracha Sauce!

I love Sriracha. Never mind that I have the wimpiest tolerance to heat and spice, I find any excuse to use that stuff. I’m not usually a bean dip type of girl, but when I saw this recipe for Spicy Sriracha White Bean Dip, I was all over it. It’s super quick and easy to make, and pretty clean too. So next time you need a little healthy snack or are too lazy to cook a real meal, whip up some Sriracha bean dip! Scoop it up with homemade baked tortilla chips or veggies. Yum.