Did you miss me? All I have to say is: 38 more wake-ups and I'm done with this school year. I am at least grateful to hear that I am not the only one at my school counting down already... and some of the others are teachers that have been at the same school with the same subject matter for multiple years. That makes me feel a little better. Doesn't stop me from counting, though.
Not only am I counting down to not working like a demon 10-14 hours a day, but I am counting down to being able justify spending hours a day thinking about and playing in the kitchen. It's siren song calling to me. I have a stack of recipes four inches high to try!
In the meantime, I make do preparing my old standbys and quick meals (most of which I have already posted) and only occasionally venture into new ground for quick meals or snacks. I recently broke down and purchased a popsicle mold set I've had my eye on for some time. I guess it was the 89 degree day two weeks ago that prompted me to think about frozen goodness on a stick. I bought the set through Amazon and couldn't be happier. While I have tried two types of popsicles so far, the one I am going to share with you today is the quickest. I can put a batch together in less than 5 minutes and they are so delicious!
You can mix any combination of fruit and yogurt that you would like for these. I think the main issue is keeping the proportions about the same for the best texture. You can also make them without the guar gum, but it doesn't affect the flavor at all while giving a much creamier, less ice crystalline product.
All I did was mix together 2 cups of vanilla yogurt and 1 cup of macerated, sweetened fruit - in this case, strawberries. To this, I added 1/4 teaspoon of guar gum, mixed it together and placed it into the molds. You can use any molds you like, but I am a big fan of the new molds I purchased. After they are completely frozen, I remove the top and run warm water over the back of the molds until the popsicles slide out easily.
I then wrap each one individually in wax paper and tape it closed. They are then ready to hang out in the freezer to be called up to duty. The wax paper comes off cleanly, so it's a great way to package them.
Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
Yield: 9-10 popsicles
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup macerated, chopped and sweetened (to taste) strawberries
1/4 tsp guar gum
Mix the ingredients together and spoon evenly into molds. Do not fill the molds completely, as expansion will occur during the freezing process. Freeze at least five hours, or until hard. Remove the frozen popsicles from the molds by running the molds under warm water. Eat immediately or wrap each popsicle in a piece of wax paper and tape it shut. They keep for at least a couple of weeks.
NOTE: You can use any combination of fruit and yogurt you want for this recipe. If you use the mold set that I have, they recommend soaking the sticks before using to keep them from floating. I found that soaking them causes other issues because the water, which then freezes in the stick, causes it to swell enough that it becomes hard to slide the aluminum top off. I found clothes pins work much better. The picture below shows how I use them. I also find the clothespins help keep the depth of the stick constant, which is nice.