Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Freeze boredom with cool treats


The Saucy Cook

By Mary Jo Spiegel
Enquirer contributor

School's out soon, which means the kids will be home all summer long. After the initial joy passes, panic sets in because ... the kids will be home all summer long.

Sure, they'll go swimming, maybe go to camp or take a trip. Let's see, that will take up what? Twelve days? Leaving only 76 or so hot, steamy days to fill (not that I'm counting).

Bring your own good humor home by making popsicles this summer. Sure, the grocery freezer's stocked with them, but this way the kids can spend all day peering into your home freezer to see if their treats are done.

You don't need fancy molds, just buy a six-pack of creamy style yogurt in 4-ounce containers, push craft sticks through the foil lids and freeze the yogurt overnight. Run briefly under warm water to release the treats, and then use the clean, empty yogurt cups with aluminum foil for covers to create your own frozen concoctions.

Freezing plain juice makes flavored ice, but adding simple syrup makes confections more like store-bought.

This first recipe makes extra syrup for popsicles all summer long (or for sweetening summer drinks). The second recipe, adapted from Chocolatier magazine, is a reminder that grown-ups like treats on a stick, too.

Any Flavor Popsicles

SIMPLE SYRUP

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

POPSICLE

1/2 cup simple syrup

3 1/3 cups juice or pureed fruit

Make simple syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil in small saucepan. Turn off heat, stir until sugar dissolves and let cool. Refrigerate extra syrup in covered container. Make popsicles by combining 1/2 cup simple syrup with juice or pureed fruit. Divide mixture evenly among popsicle molds or yogurt cups, cover, push in sticks and freeze at least 4 hours. Makes 10 2-ounce or five 4-ounce pops.

Pina Colada Pops

1/4 cup crushed pineapple

21/4 cups pineapple juice

1/4 cup cream of coconut

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon dark rum

Place all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth. Divide mixture evenly among popsicle molds or yogurt cups. Cover, push in sticks and freeze at least 4 hours. Makes 10 2-ounce or five 4-ounce pops.

E-mail maryjo@saucycook.com




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