summer

Summer Recap

I know it’s been months since my last blog post, but between graduation and moving to New York City, I’ve had quite the summer. But yes, I’m back at Every Day with Rachael Ray, assisting with all online content and social media, and I’m finally settled in enough to have free time to blog. Well, here’s what I (and my stomach) have been up to:

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and Momofuku Cereal Milk Ice Cream

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and Magnum’s DIY Ice Cream Bar Stand at Bryant Park

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  • I ventured to Smorgasburg and tried some awesome pizza from Pizza Moto

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  • I went to the Vendy Awards and had some more awesome food truck treats

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Pictured: Carpe Donut‘s Apple Cider Donut, Odd Fellows’ PB&J and Cornbread Ice Creams and Bon Chovies Fried Anchovies

…. and many many more

  • I’ve gotten into the serious habit of packing my breakfast and lunch, including these fabulous recipes:

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Curry Egg Salad in Endive

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Check ’em out, and maybe you’ll be inspired to start packing your lunch again too! Got any other good lunch ideas? Let me know! Can’t wait to continue regularly maintaining my blog!

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Greek Cherry-Basil Pops

One of the best things about coming home from New York City was being able to actually experience a true, suburban summer. Hearing the birds chirp, smelling freshly cut lawn and actually being able to lay outside without hearing 14 ambulances drive by are just among the list of things I love about a suburban summer in Cleveland. While I’m still in the pre-back-to-school-summer mood, I wanted to create something that would capture summer in just one taste. Alas: the popsicle. A summer dessert icon- so sweet and frozen, with all the flavors you want compacted into one swift lick. I would make popsicles.

My mom bought me POPS! Icy Treats for Everyone, by Krystina Castella at the beginning of the summer, after I raved about Jeni’s Mango Lassi Pop. I was unable to utilize the cook book in New York but was determined to make at least one of the recipes while I was home for just 10 short days. I have tweaked the recipe a little to make it my own, but it was definitely inspired by this amazing book full of more popsicle recipes than you could ever make in your lifetime. Here is my recipe for Greek Cherry-Basil Pops (inspired by Bing Cherry and Vanilla Pops):

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 bunch basil leaves, roughly chopped

3 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

3/4 cup cherry juice

1 cup greek yogurt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Sweet Summer Cherries

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, sugar and basil to a light boil. Allow the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat and let cool before straining into a bowl. Discard the basil. This will be your basil simple syrup.

In the same saucepan, simmer the cherry juice, 1/4 cup basil simple syrup and cherries over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool, then add the yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir until the mixture is completely uniform in color. Pour into six 8-ounce popsicle molds and freeze for at least six hours.

Cherries in 3 beautiful shades of pink (from left): cherries in the pot, cherries with juice and syrup simmering, cherry mixture once yogurt and vanilla were added.

Let the pops stand at room temperature for about five minutes before removing from the molds. If they are still stuck, try running the molds under hot water for a few seconds, and they should slip right out! Your result: sweet summer in one swift lick- just what I intended.

So they didn’t come out perfectly, but tasted just as sweet!

Note: if you have extra mixture, like I did, you can pour it into small ramekins and freeze for a frozen yogurt-ice cream-like treat instead!