Pineapple and Coconut Cream Creamsicles!!!

Pineapple and Coconut Cream Creamsicles

Pineapple and Coconut Cream Creamsicles

So it’s official, the Zoku Quick Pop Maker is my new favorite kitchen gadget! It has become my daughters favorite too.  Although I’m pretty sure that she is more a fan of what comes out of the quick pop maker than the actual quick pop maker.  We have been making all sorts of popsicles since we got it.  Page is a big fan of the creamsicle–she is her mother’s daughter after all, but she is also a fan of simple juice pop’s.  Pineapple is a favorite of hers, she just loves it.  I decided to pair it with coconut cream, and let me tell you—THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

1 cup of Pureed pineapple

1/2 cup of coconut cream

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of maple syrup or your favorite sugar

Directions: Add the cream, vanilla extract and maple syrup to a cup, mix well and set aside.  If using classic pop molds, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.  Divide mixture evenly among molds and freeze for 6-8 hours or until frozen solid. If you are using the Zoku Quick pop maker, Pour  the pineapple puree into the molds and allow to set for 2-3 minutes.  At the 2 minute mark siphon out the remaining unfrozen puree with a straw or a unused infant aspirator–I purchased one just for this.  Zoku sells a tool kit for $20 which includes a siphon tool, but the aspirator is $3 and does the job equally as well.  After you have removed all of the juice, pour cream into the molds, and allow to set for another 4-5 minutes, then follow the directions for removing the pops.  If you aren’t going to eat the pops right away, you can store them in sandwhich size zip lock bags and place them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.  These never last longer than a few hours in our house, so I can’t say how long you could store them that way.  If you like these, you’ll probably love my Orange creamsicle, and Strawberry Creamsicle recipes too.

Orange Creamsicles

How to make Homemade Orange Creamsicles–How to make Half and Half bars

Watch my How to Video above, there is a cameo appearance by my daughter Page

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Another favorite frozen treat of mine when I was a little girl was orange creamsicles. We used to call them half and half bars, because that’s exactly what they were, half juice pop and half cream center.  Whatever you call them, I think we can all agree that they are super delicious. Unfortunately creamsicles are not made the way they used to be made, they have a ton of ingredients in the boxed versions in the store, none of which contain real juice or cream. This recipe takes care of that.  I used freshly squeezed orange juice for these, but if you can find some fresh juice in the store that does not have added sugar and preservatives, then go for it.  If you decide to squeeze the juice yourself, just make sure that the oranges that you’re using are very sweet, that way you don’t have to add sugar to sweeten the juice.  If heavy cream isn’t your thing (my vegan friends) don’t fret, I’ve done these with coconut cream, and they are just as yummy if not more.  Lastly, I purchased the Zoku Quick Pop Maker to make these, it’s the only way to get a true half and half bar, with that creamy center filling, but if you don’t want to spend the $25 (for a single), $38( for the duo), or $50 (for the triple) pop maker, you can still make these, but you’ll have to blend the mixture, or just pour half juice and half cream into regular molds, ( I used Zoku Classic pop molds), you’ll get a verticle half and half bar–still delicious.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
1 cup of freshly squeezed organic orange juice
1 cup of heavy cream or coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
Directions: Add the cream, vanilla extract and maple syrup to a cup, mix well and set aside.  If using classic pop molds, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.  Divide mixture evenly among molds and freeze for 6-8 hours or until frozen solid.
If you are using the Quick pop maker, Pour the orange juice into the molds and allow to set for 2-3 minutes.  At the 3 minute mark siphon out the remaining unfrozen juice with a straw or a unused infant aspirator–I purchased one just for this.  Zoku sells a tool kit for $20 which includes a siphon tool, but the aspirator is $3 and does the job equally as well.  After you have removed all of the juice, pour cream into the molds, and allow to set for another 4-5 minutes, then follow the directions for removing the pops.
Orange Creamsicle

Orange Creamsicle

image If you aren’t going to eat the pops right away, you can store them in sandwich size zip lock bags and place them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.  These never last longer than a few hours in our house, so I can’t say how long you could store them that way. These are the Orange and Coconut Creamsicles that I made using the classic Zoku popsicle molds:  

Chicken Enchilada’s with Salsa Verde

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

 

Chicken enchilada’s are so easy to make. You can throw almost anything in enchiladas and not mess them up and they’re done in less than 30 minutes. A friend gave me some homemade salsa verde, and the moment I tasted it, I knew that it would make these enchiladas sing!  For the chicken in these I just threw a chopped onion and 1 pound of chicken thighs in my pressure cooker with enough water to cover, and cooked the chicken for 20 minutes–easy peasy.  But if you have leftover chicken you can use that.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of cooked chicken (shredded)

2 cups of cheddar cheese (grated)

2 cups of salsa verde

1/2 cup of black olives, sliced

10-12 corn tortilla’s

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Lightly greese a 9×11 baking dish, then line the bottom of  the baking dish with corn tortillas.  Top the tortillas with the shredded chicken, top the chicken with salsa verde, top the salsa verde with cheese, and  finally add a layer of  black olives.  Cover the olives with one more layer of corn tortillas, add a  layer of salsa verde, a layer of cheese and the last of the olives. image Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted, remove from the oven, serve and enjoy! image

Marinated Mushroom Steaks

Marinated Mushroom Steaks

Marinated Mushroom Steaks

 

I make an entire meatless meal at least once a week.  Going vegetarian, or vegan, even once a week is great for your health, excellent for your pocket book, and a very environmentally friendly thing to do.  One of my favorite and I mean FAVORITE vegetarian meals is faux steak, with beans, rice, salsa, and plantains.  It’s simple–yes! But so delicious, and it reminds me of the delicious dinners I had while in Puerto Rico.  I switch out the steaks for marinated, grilled mushrooms, and the result is perfection!

 

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Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 7-10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 large Portabello mushrooms, undersides and stem removed

1/2 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce (optional)

1 large garlic clove sliced thinly

1 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions: Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl.  Pour over Mushrooms and let marinade for 30 minutes.

 

Grill on a hot grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, remove from grill and serve!

Marinated Mushroom Steaks

Marinated Mushroom Steaks

Roasted Broccoli and Garlic

Roasted Broccoli and Garlic

Roasted Broccoli and Garlic

 

Trying to get my daughter to eat and love broccoli has not been easy.  This whole food texture thing she has is more trouble than I initially thought.  I mistakenly thought that since she loves roasted cauliflower then roasted broccoli would be a no-brainer—apparently not so with her.  Despite her refusal, this roasted broccoli and garlic dish has become a new favorite for my husband and I.  We both love it! Not only do we love it, but I served it to some friends, and they loved it too!  I’m just going to have to keep trying with my daughter, she has not been won over by a love of broccoli–yet!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of broccoli sliced

3 large cloves of garlic sliced thinly

Coconut oil spray or 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray it with coconut oil. Add broccoli, and sprinkle with sliced garlic.  Season with sea salt and black pepper then spray the broccoli generously with coconut oil spray.  If using olive oil, add broccoli to a bowl with olive oil and toss until broccoli is coated, then add it to the sheet pan, sprinkle sliced garlic, season with sea salt and black pepper.

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Place in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until broccoli starts to brown a bit.  Remove from oven, serve and enjoy.

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White Bean Salad with Lemon Cumin Vinaigrette

 

White Bean Salad With Lemon Cumin Dressing

White Bean Salad With Lemon Cumin Dressing

This salad represents all that this blog is about.  It’s lazy in every sense of the word lazy and it’s fresh and vibrantly flavorful.  I was talking to a girl friend  of mine the other day about food and little ones.  She was in need of some advice about healthy choices for her little one. We went through the list of what she currently feeds her little one.  On her list was a simple salad of canned white beans drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.  I thought it sounded delish, and I set out to make my own version of that salad.  I make a lentil salad that is similar to this, but I think this one is much better.  Pair this salad with a crusty piece of sourdough rubbed with a little garlic and grass-fed butter and you’ve got a rustic and delicious meal,which didn’t require you to turn on the stove.  Lazy–yes, absolutely! But it tastes anything but lazy–that counts right?;-)

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Ingredients:

15 ounce can of Organic White beans (drained and rinsed)

1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbled

1/2 cup of organic rainbow radish diced

1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes quartered

1/2  cup persian cucumbers diced

1/2 cup of red bell pepper diced

1 Tablespoon of fresh organic Thyme leaves

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Vinaigrette

5 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1 medium clove of garlic finely chopped

Sea salt to taste

Directions: Add all of the ingredients except for the sea salt to a large bowl and toss well.

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Add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a mason jar cover and shake until well combined.  If you don’t have a mason jar, just whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl, and set aside. Salt the salad ingredients just before serving, this will prevent the tomatoes and cucumbers from becoming soggy, toss, then drizzle with a generous amount of the vinaigrette, toss  again to combine, serve and enjoy!

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobos

 

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobs

Smokey Paprika and Lime Chicken Kabobs

I think that there is definitely an art to marinades. I’m still learning that particular art. I recently purchased the highly acclaimed Modernist Cuisine book set. It’s massive and filled with information–extremely useful information. I’m only on the second book about 1000 pages into this probably 7000 page set, and the information that I’ve learned has completely changed the way that I view cooking.  This set is amazing! If you’re interested in the how’s and why’s of cooking, from a scientific perspective—then you want this set. If you can save the $550 plus dollars it costs to buy this book set then I highly recommend it.  Or just stay tuned to my blog, lot’s of changes are coming.  Not to mention appliances. One is the immersion circulator that I’ve been wanting for years.  Another is a vacuum chamber sealer.  I returned my Food saver in preparation for this machine.  This machine makes marination super easy, and effective.  It sucks out all of the air in the chamber and compresses everything in it. Thus making pickles in a matter of minutes, and  infusing steak or chicken and fish with marinades in minutes. Long gone will be my days of marinating anything over night.  I’m really excited for my vacuum chamber to arrive. Not having my Food Saver or a vacuum machine has been torture, but life goes on.  This particular marinade is a mixture of dry and wet ingredients.  It’s really delicious, and so flavorful, that it doesn’t need more than a few minutes to flavor the chicken–gotta love a quick marinade with no fancy equipment.

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 lb of skinless boneless chicken thighs, cubed into one inch pieces

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions: Add the onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, olive oil and lime juice to a small bowl and mix well.

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Season the chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper, add it to a large bowl.  Add the marinade paste to the chicken then toss well to cover the chicken with the marinade.

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Place chicken on skewers and grill cooking until chicken is cooked through about 10-12 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

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Moroccan Spiced Grilled Lamb Kabobs

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Kabobs

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Kabobs

I don’t know where you live, but for the last week or so it’s been in the high 90’s here in Southern California.  When it’s hot like this, I resort to making my husband cook on the grill.  No one wants to cook in this kind of heat, but we must eat, so grilling it is. I love grilled meat period, but lamb was made to be grilled.  I remember several years back introducing my southern family to lamb grilled on the barbecue. I had invited them over for a cook out, and in addition to grilled chicken, I was serving grilled lamb.  When they found out that chicken and lamb were their only meat options, I had a family mutiny on my hands.  “Lamb?!!! We don’t eat lamb! You just wasted your money!” “Where is the real food? What happened to the ribs?!” Haha! I still laugh thinking about that day, because, after a bit of convincing, I got one of them to try it, and they all quickly fell in line! Ten seconds into them all trying it, they were fighting over who was going to get the last piece!  Now when we have a barbecue, lamb is on the menu, and I’m not the one bringing it, they are!  I’ve also converted several friends of mine who aren’t  fans of lamb into eating lamb by serving it to them grilled. I personally love lamb anyway you serve it. But there is just something about grilled lamb that speaks to everyone’s taste buds.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:

1 pound of lamb loin cubed

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of coriander

1 teaspoon of garlic paste

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1 Tablespoon of finely chopped mint

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

In a  small bowl mix the cumin, coriander, lemon juice, mint and olive oil together.

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Season lamb meat generously with sea salt and black pepper. Pour the marinade over the lamb and mix well.

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Add the seasoned lamb to skewers, then grill for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the lamb reaches your desired level of doneness–about 15 minutes for medium.  Serve with veggie skewers or this cucumber and tomato salad,  or this Cucumber with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette and  this Lemon Cauliflower Rice and enjoy!

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