Champagne, Blackberry, and Pomegranate Yogurt Popsicles.

There are so many star ingredients in these things that I had a hard time coming up with a name for them. I almost gave up and called them “Tom Petty pops.” Can you guess why? I’m not going to tell you. But I will show you through song (click here).

Okay fine, I’ll tell you. It’s because these popsicles are so pretty to mix, and smell so delicious, and are in general so easy to make….and then you have 4-6 hours of freezing time on the back end. Therefore, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Thanks, Tom Petty. QED.

My roommate and I made the long trek out to the northwest suburbs of Chicago on Saturday. We went allllll the way out there in order to ransack the gigantic and heavenly Ikea where all our budget-driven twenty-something decorating dreams come true. I just love that place! We managed to exercise some admirable self-control; one of the essential life necessities I made it out of there with was a cute little popsicle mold. As we drove back into the city (through awful I-90 traffic), I started to plan out all our popsicle adventures. These first ones are born of convenience – I had all this stuff at home already, and we just so happened to have a half-finished bottle of  champagne from last weekend in the fridge. It was a bit flat, but perfect for popsicle-making! This recipe is incredibly flexible, so if you make it, try switching out the fruits, the booze, whatever – just make sure, if you try hard liquor instead of champagne, to use a little less booze, and to let them freeze a little longer. De-lish.

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PS As someone who typically cooks/bakes, it was both frustrating and liberating to freeze something for once. I was impatient for the popsicles to be ready, but loved how I could just forget about them in the freezer!

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup blackberries, chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
heaping 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup
1/3 cup champagne

Just the Recipe link: Champagne, Blackberry, and Pomegranate Yogurt Popsicles 

DIRECTIONS

Stir the blackberries, pomegranate seeds, and maple syrup into the yogurt until combined. NOTE: The pomegranate seeds will turn into little juicy-seedy ice cubes when frozen. If you want the juice, but not the crunch of the seeds, just pop them in a blender for a few pulses or work them over with a mortar and pestle, and then strain the juice into the champagne, leaving the seeds out.

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Add the champagne and stir gently.

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Now fill your popsicle molds. Be careful not to jostle them too much once you’ve filled them; the berries are heavier than the liquid and will tend toward the bottom of the mold, so don’t give them any reason to sink further down than they already will.

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Pop in their sticks.

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And freeze for 4-6 hours, depending on the size of the mold and the type/amount of booze you use. I left mine overnight. Then slide them out of their molds and enjoy!

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See? Fruity goodness, all the way through.

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Hot Toddy.

Another recipe in preparation for my eagerly-awaited trip to Scotland. In one month, I’ll be hiking through the Scottish Highlands, wrapped up all toasty warm in a scarf and mittens and a new pair of boots. The days will be short this late in the year, and the weather will be cold but otherwise unpredictable. I’ve done a good bit of traveling so far in my life, and I don’t think I’ve been anywhere more romantic and almost eerily tranquil as Scotland in wintertime—I can’t wait to go back. I’m looking forward to indulging in a bit of Scottish cuisine (including haggis, eek!) and will do my best to appreciate Scotch whisky, though I know very little about it. If any of you, dear readers, have the knowledge and inclination to educate me on the ins and outs of Scotch, I would much appreciate it. For now, I’ll mix up a hot toddy before bed and drift off to sleep, dreaming of fog and heather.

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp honey
4 tbsp just-boiled water (or more—dilute as needed!)
3 tbsp whisky
1/2 cinnamon stick
tiny pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Squeeze honey into teacup. Add grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

Pour water over honey and add whisky and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the honey, and drink up.

Peach Gin Fizz.

A retro gin cocktail? Why yes, I did watch an episode or two of Mad Men this morning. I don’t make a lot of fun ‘n’ fancy cocktails at home because it’s too hard to keep all those ingredients around, but thanks to a generously huge bottle of gin from my godfather (which I’m slowly but surely making my way to the bottom of–thanks AJ!), I’ve always got the option of a stiff gin cocktail. Lucky me. So this morning on Mad Men, when Joan ordered a gin fizz with her dinner, I was all over it. This peach version is a perky pink take on the classic gin fizz that was daintily chugged by my advertising foremothers. A great way to say goodbye to warm weather!

Peach Gin Fizz | KellyintheKitchen | 4 shots of gin, 1/2 peach, 1 lime, tonic water, ice

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

4 shots of gin
1/2 peach, sliced
1 lime, juiced
tonic water (I used diet tonic water, whatever that is…)
ice

*I like to make these in mason jars. Besides being so cute, they also have the dual function of cocktail shaker and cocktail glass! It’s all about multi-tasking.

DIRECTIONS

Take two mason jars and place the peach slices inside. Pour two shots of gin into each one and add the lime juice. Screw the tops onto the jars and shake well. If you like, add a few ice cubes before shaking.

Throw in some ice cubes if you haven’t already and top it off with tonic water. Garnish with a little slice of peach and enjoy the last days of summer!