Virgin Mojita Popsicles

Recipes in this PostVirgin Mojita Popsicle

When you live in the Northern hemisphere, it gets hot in the summer. When you live in Los Angeles, even though were having a historically long drought, it gets humid, too. Hot and humid is uncomfortable to say the least, and one of the best ways to beat the heat is to have something icy.

I happened to have had a bunch of limes and some mint in my refrigerator, and a set of new Popsicle molds. Mojitas are fun, even without the liquor. So, I made these Popsicles for Spane and I. Let me tell you, they were great. If you decide to make these and want to use rum, please understand that alcohol has a much lower freezing temperature than water, so you will have to make sure that your freezer is capable and you leave them in for a sufficient amount of time, over night would probably be good.

Virgin Mojita Popsicles
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cuban
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • 6 whole mint leaves
Instructions
  1. You will find it easier to juice the limes if you rub them on the counter first. Set the juice aside.
  2. Put the min leaves into a pestle. Add two tablespoons of the sugar and crush the mint well with a mortar.
  3. Put a mint leaf in each mold.
  4. Bring the water and remaining sugar together to a boil. Boil until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  5. Put the lime juice into a large measuring cup or other container with a spout. Add the sugar-water. Add the sugar mint and stir well to combine.
  6. Pour into the molds, leaving a little head room for expansion. Place the tops of the molds on.
  7. Carefully place the molds in a flat place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Run the mold under hot water for a few seconds to loosen.
  9. Enjoy!
Notes
You could add rum, but you would have to have a very cold freezer and would have to let them freeze for at least 24 hours.

 

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Apple Streusel Microwave Mayonnaise Coffee Cake

Apple Streusel Microwave Mayonnaise Coffee CakeRecipes in this Post

Too Hot to Handle!

It’s the middle of July here in Glendale, California, and it was 88 degrees in my house. My house is pretty cool because I face north, and there is a nice awning over the windows, so it doesn’t get that hot inside. Our kitchen has the stove tucked in a corner, with no ventilation except the regular fan. The heat does not dissipate, and once the oven is turned on, it stays hot in there for hours. That’s great in the winter, but not when it’s 92 outside. What do you do when you want to have cake and it’s just to darned hot? You use the microwave.

This was my first time baking in the microwave, too, but armed with toothpicks, I was able to tell right away when the cake was finished. The texture is not quite the same as a regular cake, it is very dense, but actually quite good.

Mayonnaise is your Friend

I know you think that sounds yucky to put mayonnaise in a cake, but it truly keeps it nice and moist, after all, when you look up the ingredients in your head, you will see that it is mostly eggs and oil, both of which make cakes moist. Egg whites also bring airiness to the table. So, it’s a good thing.

This is my first mayonnaise cake. I looked around for recipes, and they all had chocolate, but I wanted coffee cake, and the landlord gave me apples from his tree, so chocolate was out. I followed standard recipes, omitting the chocolate, and it turned out just fine.

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Squares

Recipes in This PostRuby Red Grapefruit Squares

Cravings

Lately, I have been craving lemon squares. It’s hot at the start of July in California, and I really didn’t want to turn on my oven. One of the markets I occasionally go to has lemon squares, but, of course, when I really wanted them, they’re out. So, I had to make my own. When I made them back in 2011, my lemon squares were just the way I liked them, but I still didn’t want to turn on the oven.

When I went to the local store, they had some lovely ruby red grapefruits on sale, just as you walked in the door. How could I resist? I love grapefruit, and it’s beneficial to your health. As much as I enjoy grapefruit, I decided that even though it was hot, I could turn my oven on to make Ruby Red Grapefruit Squares.

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Strawberry Tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu Recipes in this Post

This is one of my favorite desserts. I haven’t made it in quite a while, because I have a minor child, and A) don’t want to share with him, and B) don’t want to eat the whole thing myself. So when Easter came, and I knew people were coming over, it was a perfect opportunity.

We have a wonderful Persian bakery, Flor De Cafe, in Glendale, and that was where I was finally able to find real lady fingers. Real lady fingers are crisp and readily absorb liquids. The stuff at the supermarket that comes out in Strawberry season is spongy and will not absorb the liquids correctly for this classic dessert. Ergo, another reason I have made this in a long time.

I was able to find Mascarpone, a wonderful Italian cheese with a texture reminiscent of cream cheese. Mascarpone is slightly sweet, and has a silky texture. It is made from cream and some kind of citric acid. It’s expensive, another reason I don’t make this dessert very often. Well, I found some at my local Armenian store, from the wonderful folks at Sadaf, and it was great. As I was writing this, I came across a method for making homemade Mascarpone, so I will be doing that from now on.

We have a wonderful Farmer’s Market in Glendale on Thursdays, and I was able to get some big, lovely, organic strawberries form my Tiramisu. It made it very special.

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Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Coconut Pineapple Upside Down CakeRecipes in this Post

My mother used to make this cake, and I loved it. After my mother died when I was 15, I really missed her, and the cake, so I made one, but I added coconut and I used a yellow cake mix in the box. I remember my grandmother was quite impressed at how well it turned out.

I didn’t think about that cake until recently when I was at a Von’s and they had one for sale. I remembered how much I liked it, and bought one so Spane could try it, too. It was delicious, and then I was on a pineapple upside down cake craze!

I fully intended to make my own, but before I could, one was on sale at the local Ralph’s, and I bought it. Oh my goodness, it was AWFUL! The store’s recipe used cornstarch and pineapple FLAVORING which was bitter and tasted like chemicals. I knew I could do a lot better than that.

I had intended on making this cake many times, and would buy maraschino cherries, only to start my mis en place and find that Spane had already eaten the cherries. No cake without cherries, I say. Well, the next time I bought them, I put them way up in the top of the pantry, behind a can of coffee. I also had left over coconut from making the Fantasy Island Bars, so I could make the cake I hadn’t made since I was 15 years old. The only difference was I made my own yellow cake and added crushed pineapple to the batter. It was delicious!

Please understand, if you are going to make this, it is not for those on a diet. This cake is very, very rich, and although is sized at 12, will probably feed quite a bit more.

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Fantasy Island Bars

Fantasy Island Bars

Recipes in this Post

It’s time for me to go to a high school reunion, where we will sit around and talk about all the good things that we remember for that time. One of the things I remember is going to one of my classmates homes over Easter vacation, and her mother had left a pan of Magic Cookie Bars in the refrigerator. As I was perusing the pantry this morning, I realized I had everything I need to make them.

I took out the stuff that I needed, and then it occurred to me that perhaps instead of making something that everyone might remember, I could make something that everyone will remember from here on out. It occurred to me that I could make some kind of tropical bar, considering I have coconut. Tropical bars led me to thinking about Pacific Islands, and the most famous Pacific Island of them all, Fantasy Island!

Fantasy Island was a television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company network from 1977 to 1984. It was on at 10:00 pm on Sunday nights right after Love Boat. It stared Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, and Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize. Popular film and television personalities guest starred on the show. The premise of the show was that guests would come to the island to live out some kind of fantasy, aided by Mr. Roarke who would often warn them of the danger of some fantasies.

Well, there is no danger in these Fantasy Island Bars, unless you eat too many of them!

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