Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Slow Melt Strawberry-Peach Popsicles

Slow Melt Strawberry-Peach Popsicles

Being a mom of two little beautiful girls, like most moms out there I am always on the lookout for healthier options. Leah and Sara are obsessed with popsicles. They could eat five per day, whether it's summer or winter. When I first discovered Slow Melt Popsicles from Popsicle brand called "Mighty Minis" I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread :) They were small only at .5 oz each and they were slow melt meaning no messy hands and stains on every shirt. It was the perfect solution to a small treat... EXCEPT that they are made with high fructose corn syrup which every mom tries to avoid if possible. Well, there went my 'best thing since sliced bread popsicles" :) A few years ago, I found popsicle holders at a local craft store and picked some up. I immediately began making my own popsicles once in a while but the problem with that was they were too big in size for my little 1 years old at the time and also melted super quickly. I continued to buy those high fructose corn syrup popsicles feeling unsatisfied. The packaging says that they are slow melt due to a "touch of gelatin". I felt like my eyes were opened and that if I had just added a "touch of gelatin" to my own they would become slow melt as well! I was right! :) Here they are, Slow Melt Popsicles! I was also very lucky to find mini popsicle holders at TJ Maxx recently and can use those for small treats. Perfect for my almost 2 year old toddler. Here is a link if you are interested: . The amount that this recipe makes is a little hard. I was able to make 6  mini pops as well as 4 regular size popsicles. I would say if you have a popsicle mold that has 6 regular size popsicles molds the amount would be perfect but it is easily halved or doubled. Enough talking, right? Lets get to the recipe now.

 Oh, wait one more thing, these popsicles basically don't melt. It is so funny. I normally would give my youngest a small popsicle but for this experience gave her a big one which took her 35 minutes to eat. After 35 minutes not one drip. With one full packet of gelatin they become sort of like frozen jello and when they start to melt they don't drip, instead they become jiggly. The texture is definitely different from regular popsicles. I have tried using only 1/2 packet before but they melted, although definitely not as fast as those with a full packet. I hope you and your kids enjoy these!

You will need:

 1 cup frozen peaches 
 1 cup fresh strawberries (*any fruit would work)
1 cup  100% juice (see photo below of the fruit/veggie juice I used)
1/2 - 1 packet unflavored gelatin

 1.Rinse and roughly chop the fruit you will be using. It should total about 2 cups.
 2. Put it all in a blender or food processor, I used an immersion blender.
 3. Blend until all the fruit is fully blended.

 4. In microwave safe dish heat the juice for about 2 minutes until it is hot but not boiling. Have the gelatin ready.

 5. Sprinkle the gelatin into the hot juice and quickly mix until combined. This has to be done quickly or it will start to clump up. If that happens you can always drain it through a fine mesh sieve. As I mentioned before you can use as much or as little gelatin as you want. If you have older kids, you can make these without any gelatin at all.

 6. Mix the juice mixture into the blended fruit.

 7. Fill your popsicle molds with a ladle or a liquid measuring cup.

8. My large popsicle holder broke as you can see in the middle but they still work fine. Freeze 6-8 hours or overnight.

 9. As with any popsicles, before taking them out of the molds run them under hot water or hold in a cup with hot water for about 10 seconds so that it can release easily from the plastic holder.
 Finally, feed them to your children and feel good about it! :)
 It takes half as much time to actually make these as it probably was to read this post but I hope you enjoy them like we do!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

            It's hard to believe it has been so long. A time came when blogging wasn't my priority. I have to admit, looking at old photographs on this blog, it's a little embarrassing  They look worse than mobile pictures. :) Maybe my photography didn't improve extremely, but enough for me to see the difference and realize the difference. Last weekend I finally graduated college! Yay for me! My last semester was difficult, lets just say Cost Management isn't my favorite subject, but nevertheless, I also had the opportunity to take a photography class which inspired me to continue to take photographs and learn my camera a little better. My final project was obvious to many who know me well, food photography. I had an awesome professor who encouraged and inspired me. This led me to have the desire to go back to blogging, on a very part time basis. The bad thing is, I am no artist when it comes to food. I simply am good at following well written directions. This makes it hard to blog and share recipes about what has already been blogged about. There is simply no need for it when I can just as easily send  someone the link to the website I used. Rarely, there does come a time when I will adjust the recipe to my taste but very slightly. The reason maybe for this blog is to share recipes that mostly won't be mine, but that I promise to have made and loved, hoping you will too! I really hope you will enjoy some of my favorite foods and this blog.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

From King Arthur Flour
(With Adaptations from the Smitten Kitchen)

 Makes 12-18 muffins

These dark, moist muffins will keep well for several days. You don't even need to heat them up to enjoy them, which makes them a perfect breakfast, tea & and coffee accompaniment and of course a snack at any time of the day . The brown sugar sprinkled on top adds a crunchy touch, do not skimp on it as it is amazing. Yum! Even my husband who doesn't care much for muffins gobbled these down. The wheat flour makes is a little more healthy, I guess? If you don't have White Whole Wheat I bet you could just do 2 cups of unbleached instead.

You Will Need:

1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk (I used whole milk with a tablespoon of lemon instead)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 450F.

2. Grease and flour 12-18 (the original recipe is for 12 but I got 18) muffin cups or line with muffin liners and set aside.

3.Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.

5. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl

6.Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.)

7. Stir in the dry ingredients

8. Fold in the apple chunks.

9. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top.

10. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

11. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

12. Share with neighbors? :)