Today, I am putting on my game face and mentally preparing for the week ahead. I’ve signed up to participate in ‘Eating Down the Fridge‘, a week-long effort to eat only from you fridge, pantry and dark corners of your cupboards. The event is hosted by Kim O’Donnel from the Washington Post’s A Mighty Appetite food blog. If you’re interested in participating, I believe today is the last day to sign up.
Since I typically go to the grocery store several times each week, it will be a shock to my system. I guess it means I’ll have more time in my day for Twittering though (the challenge will be tweeted using hashtag #EDFsum – so feel free to follow along).
Yesterday, I sipped on a cup of lukewarm coffee and pondered the upcoming challenge. I wasn’t in the mood for coffee and hadn’t finish my morning pot as normal. Instead of being wasteful and throwing it out, I considered how I could give the coffee new life with existing pantry ingredients.
After considering a few possibilities, I decided to keep it simple and explore making mocha popsicles, a perfect refreshing treat for our recent heat wave.
In our household, coffee is always served strong – I take mine black while Joe infuses his with heaps of sweetened condensed milk. Dinner guests always raise an eyebrow when they see the squeeze bottle of condensed milk on the counter and realize we won’t be offering them any form of creamer. So far, we haven’t had any complaints (to our faces).
For the mocha, I flavored it with sweetened condensed milk and a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder. You could also use milk and sugar along with a chocolate syrup. I used what I had on hand, adjusting the flavor to the sweetness and chocolate levels I desired.
You’ll notice a slightly white tip in the photo above. I attempted to give the illusion of a creamy whipped cream tip, however it didn’t work well due to my ever-persistent need to rush things. As you can imagine, I didn’t wait long enough for it to freeze before adding the mocha coffee to the molds. Drat. Only one or two popsicles had any hint of whiteness in the tip, the others blended into the mocha as soon as I poured it in.
Regardless, for those who have some amount of patience, I think it’s a good idea.
Vanilla ‘Whip’ Tip
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups strongly brewed coffee
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Pour about 1 tablespoon of the white tip mixture into each popsicle mold and freeze until solid.
When mixing the mocha ingredients, taste test it and adjust for sweetness or chocolate flavor. Add mocha mixture to the molds, filling to 1/2″ from the top or according to your popsicle mold directions. Freeze until solid. Makes 6 popsicles.
My molds are from Martha Stewart’s line, I think. However, there are many popsicle molds available, all shapes and sizes. Popsicles are so easy to make and economical – fill them with fruit puree and save yourself $$$ by not buying the expensive prepared juice bars! Last year, I made a delicious watermelon-mint popsicle.
While taking the photos of the popsicles, I wondered what it would be like to take the popsicles one step further and drizzle with condensed milk. I squeezed about a teaspoon at the tip and let it slide down the sides. Aside from looking mildly pornographic, the creamy sweetness running down the side tasted rather good.
Beginning tomorrow, you will likely find me making interesting concoctions for the challenge, so stay tuned to see what other craziness I end up making. Feel free to join the challenge or follow along on your own.