Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles

The hubs and I are preparing for a whirlwind of trips over the next couple weeks. Typical summer, I say. Lots of fun but…that means it’s time to clear out the fridge. We’ve been going through leftovers like you wouldn’t believe; frozen meals I prepared who knows how long ago, frozen produce {and fresh, of course – because I’m a crazy lady and buy it in droves every.single.week}, pantry items that are probably on their last leg…and then there was this yogurt. A large, unopened container of 2% Fage Greek yogurt. It had somehow ended up there, and thankfully I noticed it before it turned because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s wasting food! I know many of you agree with me on this : ) 

Standing there, with the door open and wasting precious energy, I began to contemplate what to do with it. I hardly ever buy the large containers, simply because we don’t go through them fast enough. Individual sizes are perfect for lunches, breakfast smoothies, or packing for a quick weekend hike. I knew I had to utilize it soon or it would meet the fate that I so hate. So when the thought of making a frozen dessert popped in my mind, I knew I had a winner. I didn’t have to worry about it going bad while we were gone, and BONUS! – fresh, delicious, healthy popsicles would be awaiting our return. Everyone wins!

IMG_7380 IMG_7381

IMG_7382

This recipe is extremely flexible to however you want it to be – I’ve simply outlined my method of preparation. Feel free to use whatever type of yogurt you prefer; the same goes for the fruit. I used a mixture of fresh and frozen, but anything will do. Let your imagination run wild! Your mouth will thank you on a particularly hot summer day, when cooling off needs to happen ASAP.

~~~

Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles 

Perfect for those boiling hot summer nights, these frozen treats are sure to cool off even those whose temperature runs the hottest! Made with creamy Greek yogurt and exploding with fresh fruit, you won’t feel guilty about indulging in these any time. 

Ingredients:

2 cups plain Greek yogurt {I prefer 2% when making desserts/sweeter things}

1 bag {10 ounces} frozen fruit of your choice *but make sure that it’s thawed before blending*

1 additional cup of fresh fruit {I opted for blueberries}

up to 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste, for sweetening the mixture

up to 1/4 cup milk of choice, to thin out the mixture for pouring purposes

To Prepare:

Place all of the ingredients, expect for the milk and maple syrup, into the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse a few times to mix up. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness with the maple syrup.

Pulse again until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Slowly add in the milk until the texture reaches an easily pourable consistency.

Using a large Pyrex container {or any pitcher with a pouring mouth}, carefully fill up your popsicle molds until full. I have these ones and I LOVE them! Seal tightly and freeze overnight.

To serve, simply run the container until warm water for a few seconds. This will help loosen the popsicle from the container, making pulling out a breeze.

IMG_7384

Enjoy!

sweet pea hummus

Like many, I tend to eat with my eyes first; taking in the different colors of the dish, its presentation on the plate, and what kinds of textures I can pick out with my naked eye.

IMG_6687

So when I finished plating this delightful dip, I could not wait to dive in. Just take one look at that photo, y’all – beautifully bright green with fresh basil and succulent sweet peas. We know we’re going to get a pop of bright citrus from the lemon garnish. And you can tell it’s going to have a beautiful mouth-feel because of how velvety and luscious it looks in the bowl.

I may need another moment, and another look.

IMG_6689

This dish practically screams “summer” to me. We’re utilizing so many fresh ingredients today, many of which you should be able to get from your local farmer’s market or co-op. Aside from the weather, I can safely say that preparing dishes with so many fresh and local flavors is one of the best parts of my summer. I look forward to it every year; seeing what I can create with what I can either grow in my backyard, or what my friends grow. It’s a fun challenge, but oh-so-rewarding; you can taste the freshness bursting forth! This hummus is no exception.

I prepared it for a graduation party, served alongside hearty dippables {crusty bread, chips, pretzels}. But I can just as easily see myself stirring it into pasta salads, smearing onto a sandwich, or heck…the base for a pizza! Let your imagination run wild – that’s how some of the best dishes come about.

IMG_6687 IMG_6685

~~~

Sweet Pea Hummus {adapted, minimally, from Food52}

Ingredients:

1 can of white northern beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

1-1/2 cups green peas {I used a frozen bag, and simply cooked and cooled slightly before assembling the dip}

2-3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

4 T. fresh herbs {I used basil}

To Prepare:

Place the beans, peas, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs into the base of a food processor and pulse to combine. Next, blend at a continuous speed until thoroughly emulsified {if the mixture is too thick for your liking, drizzle in a bit of olive oil or water}.

Taste the hummus, and add salt and pepper according to your preference.

Serve alongside crunchy vegetables, chips, or toasted baguettes.

IMG_6685

Enjoy!

thirsty thursday: cucumber martini

I almost forgot to write this post because I was preoccupied…enjoying this cocktail!

IMG_6682

…just kidding. kinda.

I know that the hubs and I have been slightly MIA with our “thirsty thursday” posts – blame that on a lot of activites/trips/visits over the past few months! {read: here, here, & here…whew!}

But fear not! We’ll be back in full force over the summer months; the time and weather is idyllic for evenings spent on the porch with a fun and festive cocktail. Watching the sun set and the cool breeze is one of the things I look forward to most about the summer months, and I thought today’s cocktail would be the perfect one to kick off the season.

Gin is the perfect summer liquor, in my opinion, because of the herbal notes and crisp flavor. I’ll take it one step further and say that it is my liquor of choice, just because I love that flavor so gosh darn much. It pairs so beautifully with an assortment of flavors; so when the hubs came up with this cocktail for me, on a total whim, not long ago, I knew I had found my new go-to for the summer. And perhaps, after your first sip, you just may have, too!

IMG_6684

~    ~     ~

Cucumber Martini {serves 1, can easily be mulitplied}

A fun and refreshing twist on one of the most classic drinks, this cucumber martini tastes like it is infused with all the goodness of summer – fresh cucumbers, herbal notes from gin, and just a dash of St. Germain rounds it out with bright, fruity notes. One sip and you’ll see why we will be sipping on this all summer long!

Ingredients:

2-1/2 ounces gin {we like Hendricks}

1 ounce St. Germain

5 slices of cucumber, plus one or two extra for garnish

5 ice cubes

To Prepare:

Muddle 5 cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker, making sure to really break them apart to release their juices.

Add in the gin, St. Germain, and ice cubes.

Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds or, until as the hubs says, “you’re hand is freezing”.

Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with additional cucumber slice{s} floating on top.

IMG_6683

Cheers!