Summer Popsicles

You know those home popsicle molds that are most likely meant for children? I had wanted one for quite a while, I even tried making one myself but that ended…messily. When I finally bought one I was pretty excited and ready to try all these recipes. The first ones I tried were simple and successful, plain strawberry and a strawberry banana hybrid. Next I made these awful avocado things which completely destroyed my desire to make delicious popsicles and that was the end of that phase. However, my initial attempt was successful so here it is…Image-1

I really wanted to make a multicolored popsicle so I started off with a plain strawberry base. I blended strawberries, sugar, and some lemon juice until it was smooth. I froze a couple just like that and they were lovely. To my surprise, they weren’t like those store-bought popsicles where you suck out all the flavour at once and all you’re left with is essentially bland ice.

To get the second color, I decided to go with banana. I mashed some banana with Greek yoghurt (this would have been a little tastier with some added sugar, but taste it and then decide). Because of the weights, I put the banana on the bottom and topped it with the strawberry layer. I decided three layers would be slightly excessive.Image

That’s all, a simple summer treat that can be as healthy or unhealthy as you desire!

– S

Nutella Mousse Cups

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I went to Costco the other day, and came upon this gigantic jar of Nutella that cost $40! I know Costco is pretty much the land of giant-sized goods, but who really needs that much Nutella?? What would you even do with so much? Needless to say, I did not buy it, but I did have an insatiable craving for the sweet spread.

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I also happened to have some extra ricotta cheese at home, so I thought I would make sugar cookie cups and fill them with Nutella-flavoured cannoli filling. The filling is just a combination of Nutella and ricotta cheese, which I blended in my Magic Bullet. It is soooooo yummy! You could totally just eat it with a spoon, if you’re not in the mood to make the sugar cookie cups.

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This sugar cookie is a softer version of my favourite sugar cookie recipe, from Mel’s Sweet Treats blog. I rolled out the dough, and cut out fairly large circles, which I pressed into the cups of a muffin tin, and baked for 10-12 minutes. I then made the filling, and spooned it into the cooled cups, and sprinkled them with mini white chocolate chips. After I put them together, I stored them in the freezer until eating time, so the filling firms up a little bit.4

I’ve included the recipe below, but you can totally adapt it to your liking!

Have a great weekend!

-G

Soft Sugar Cookie Cups

Adapted from Mel’s Sweet Treats

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Using your mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla or your extract of choice and mix until well blended.
3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until the two are thoroughly blended.
4. Turn out dough onto work surface and roll out until about 1 cm thick, and cut out circles.

5. Fit dough circles into muffin tin cups, and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Nutella Cannoli Filling

½ cup Ricotta cheese

1/3 cup Nutella

Mix together either by hand or in blender, until fully combined.

Assembly:

Spoon some filling into cooled cups, and sprinkle with white chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve.

Lemon Blueberry Poundcake

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Do you guys remember watching Arthur, as kids? It was the greatest show of all time! Back in the days, my brother and I used to watch Arthur pretty much every single day, to a point where I can still sing the song. There was an episode where Arthur and D.W. (his little sister, for those of you who spent your childhood under a rock), wanted to bake a birthday cake for Grandma Thora. Of course, the two of them chose the most complicated cake in the recipe book, and they also decided that the middle of the night was the most ideal baking time.

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As would be expected, they messed up the cake, and also set off the smoke alarm, if I remember correctly. After all of these shenanigans, Mr. Read (their Dad) woke up, and baked a simple pound cake instead. The point of this story is that pound cakes are the easiest type of cake to bake, and require the smallest amount of effort for a very high taste payoff! So, as I was tight for time, I wanted to make a simple yet delicious cake, and chose this Lemon Blueberry Poundcake.

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As you can probably tell, I took those photos on my phone, and for that I apologize! The real camera’s battery ran out, and these are the consequences of bad planning. Back to the pound cake! The recipe includes two of our favourite things to bake with: blueberries and lemon. The lemon flavour is just fantastic, and the blueberries add a stunning colour to the loaf. I didn’t add the glaze that is included in the original recipe, but it was wonderfully sweet and moist without it. I’ve made it in past with half whole wheat flour and half white, but to be honest, it tastes best with white all purpose flour.

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The first time I made this, my discerning brother said that this was the greatest thing I had ever baked, so it must be fabulous!

Thanks for coming by and have super duper weekend!

-G

Lemon Blueberry Poundcake

Globe and Mail Newspaper

Makes: 2 Loaves

Loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

zest from two lemons

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

3 cups white sugar

5 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk (1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)

2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Glaze

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups icing sugar

Method

Loaf

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour two 9×5 loaf pans.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the lemon zest. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter on medium high, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the sugar a ½ cup at a time, and cream until fully incorporated. Add the eggs, one by one, making sure that they are fully mixed in before adding the next. Once all the eggs are incorporated, turn up the speed on your mixer and beat until fluffy (about 10 seconds). Return to medium speed and beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer back up for a few seconds to fluff it up again.

With the mixer on low speed, or with a large spoon, stir in ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by ½ cup of the buttermilk. Then stir in another ⅓ of the flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup of buttermilk. Add the final ⅓ of flour and gently mix until just incorporated. Fold in the blueberries.

Split the batter between two greased loaf pans. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 85 to 95 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack. Drizzle liberally with the glaze while still warm. Let cool before slicing. Makes two 9×5 loaves.

Glaze

Mix the lemon juice and buttermilk together. Gradually whisk in icing sugar until the glaze is sweetened to your liking (it should be a little bit tangy to compliment the sweet cake).