Recipes

Strawberry Balsamic Basil Pops

A mouthful in word and flavor!

This time of year we’re all blessed with the bounty of glorious juicy naturally sweet seasonal fruits exploding from the gardens. Blessed with a basket of fragrant strawberries…plenty enough to make my ‘current’ favorite jam, Strawberry Rosemary. I still had plenty left.

What to do with the rest?

Make a strawberry pie, muffins, my new ‘current’ favorite Strawberry Cake, my grandmother’s strawberry shortcake, more of my new favorite jam (cause I never have enough)…..hmm, what shall I do?

Then I remembered my new pop sickle molds! I googled strawberry pops! I had no idea the number of results that would come up. Apparently strawberry pairs with a lot , even black pepper which I’ll try next time around.

Sooooo many combinations. Adding ice cream or yogurt, sugar, no sugar or sugar substitute, no dairy, straight fruit, water, lemon or lime juice…they’re all good.

A food processor, blender, or hand blender…strawberries (or any fruit really) some liquid (you choose what and amount…regardless they’ll freeze) ice cream or yogurt if you choose and herbs, if you choose.

Blend

Pour in molds

Freeze

Yum

Most of all I want to impress upon you….these are sooooo easy and I think a yummy refreshing treat to have around! The molds are inexpensive. And if you prefer really healthy they are so adaptable…again, everything freezes!

Start with about a pint of Strawberries. Remove stems. Throw in the blender or food processor. Add sugar, 1 Tablespoon to 1/3 Cup depending on your desired sweetness. Add about 2 cups of liquid or dairy or combination of. Blend. If you don’t want texture in your pops, blend alot…if you do want texture…don’t. If your adding herbs I like to wait until everything else is the consistency I want and then add the herb, blend just enough to have tiny bits throughout

If you’d rather specific directions to refer to…My favorite so far is Strawberry Balsamic and Basil…I just added about 1- 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar about 3/4 cup water and 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice to the strawberries and sugar and threw in freshly torn basil leaves at the end. Each brand of pop sickle molds hold different amounts of liquid so you might have too much liquid. I adjusted my water and lime juice. More then once I’ve had extra liquid. The pops go fast so I cover and save the liquid in the fridge and when one pop disappears I refill and freeze!

Easy Peasy

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Collard Salad

Collard Salad

When I saw this recipe for collard salad the northerner in me was apprehensive. Did I say NORTHERNER? Don’t worry or get confused that this shepherd living and farming in the south is not the person you thought you knew… I am not a true northern but a confused mix of both. Most of my rearing took place in the south. I was after all born in the south. Alas I cannot get too far away from the fact that both my parents were northerners and I spent a lot of my youth in the north. Growing up we ate like northerners most of the time. My mom was a northerner so that’s how we ate. My mom also was adventurous and would be the first to honor any culture so we did eat southern foods from time to time but mostly like a northern transplant might. She DID as so many northern folk do, put sugar in her cornbread, not much but enough to know she could not be a southerner. I have one of her old cookbooks and my story is evidenced by her handwritten “cornbread” recipe on the back cover. Yep, sugar! So in my round about way I’m saying collards are not and never were a common item on any menu in my house. I eat them and enjoy them once a year, New years day.

On one particular Saturday in May at our weekly farmers market I was gifted a bundle of collard greens. Grateful yes. Unsure what I could do; so true. Unable to waste anything =challenged.

Who better to help with this deeply southern food group then Vivian Howard. I luckily own her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots. I journeyed through several of the recipes when I first got the cookbook, everything I tried was good. Her deviled eggs with buttah, blueberry BBQ sauce, and her Party Magnet Cheese ball (as featured in Garden & Gun Mag) all were hits. Anywho, gifted with a bundle of collards I decided to try one of the recipes and ended up choosing the collard salad. What a surprise, what a treat. I usually ALWAYS commit to making a recipe exactly as written the first time but I just did not have pineapple on hand. I did have collards though! The heated dressing wilts and tenderizes and the overnight marinade brings out the wonderful flavors. The greens keep a “green” texture which allows it to be considered a salad I suppose. I honestly say the pineapple was not missed and the idea of it has me a bit confused. Alas, out of my desire to respect all recipes as written I shall try the pineapple next time.