Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Boozy Lime, Honey, & Lemongrass Popsicles: And a Book Club



It certainly has been heating up here in Southern California, and there's nothing quite like frozen citrus juices to help cool you down and keep you feeling refreshed. Also, I've found boozy frozen citrus juices to be particularly helpful. So, I decided to try my hand at making some boozy popsicles and ended up with about a dozen of these tasty little guys. I used honey and water to create a simple syrup that I simmered a bit of lemon grass in to add another dimension of freshness to the dish. You may have had lemon grass before in Asian broths, stews, or curries, which is where it's most commonly used. Lemongrass has a very bright and clean flavor to it, slightly lemony but without the bitterness, almost like lemon zest, cucumber, and basil combined. It's a pretty amazing flavor, and when extracted into a simple syrup and combined with lime juice and tequila, it makes for an incredibly refreshing frozen treat.


Aside from the popsicles, I have another fun thing to share with you all today, and it begins by me saying that I'm slightly obsessed with nonfiction books. I'm not talking about the dry, boring, excessively wordy nonfiction books that scare many people away from the genre; I'm talking about the fascinating, enthralling, and moving stories of real-life events, histories, and foods that leave you amazed and enriched. Because I always find myself wanting to talk to people about the books I'm reading but don't know anyone who is reading the exact same books as myself, I have started a book club on Good Reads called Adventures in Literature, and I would love for you to join me. Moderating along with me will be Carey from Reclaiming Provincial, Izy from Top with Cinnamon, Brianne from Documenting Our Dinner, and Linda from The Tart Tart.


The first day of reading will begin June 11th and will end August 10th. We'll be reading 1 book every 6-12 weeks (once we pick a book we will estimate the reading time based on page length and denseness) and have group discussions about it on Good Reads. I've picked the first book we'll be reading, The Disappearing Spoon, but from here on out anyone can nominate books for the next round by joining the club on Good Reads and submitting books under the Book Nominations discussion board. The moderators will narrow down the submissions to 10 books to be polled, all members will vote on which one we'll read next, and the book with the most votes will be next on the docket. I would love to have you join in on our nonfiction adventures, just make sure to locate a copy of The Disappearing Spoon by June 11th! It's going to be a great way to stay on track with a book and share your thoughts and ideas about what you're reading along the way. Can't wait to start reading with all of you!



Note: Boozy popsicles are softer than their non-alcoholic friends, because of this I recommend wrapping your hand around the outside of each frozen popsicle mould for 10 seconds before pulling out the popsicle. This will help melt the outside of the popsicle just enough to loosen its grip on the mould so that it won't break when you try to pull it out.


Ingredients:

1 cup raw honey
2 cups water
1/2 stick lemon grass, cut into 1 inch long pieces with the layers separated
4 limes, juiced (about 1/2 cup of lime juice)
1/2 cup tequila
1/3 cup coconut milk


Bring the water and honey to a boil over medium high heat until the honey has dissolved into the water. Add the lemon grass, lower to a simmer, and allow the syrup to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, scoop the lemon grass out of the syrup, and set the syrup aside to cool to room temperature.


Once cooled, whisk together the syrup, tequila, lime juice, and coconut milk. Pour the liquid into popsicle moulds and place in the freezer. The coconut milk will separate and freeze in a creamy while layer at the top of the popsicle, while the cocktail mixture retains a lovely gold hue. Freeze overnight and serve the next day.


As stated in the recipe note, boozy popsicles are softer than their non-alcoholic friends, because of this I recommend wrapping your hand around the outside of each frozen popsicle mould for 10 seconds before pulling out the popsicle. This will help melt the outside of the popsicle just enough to loosen its grip on the mould so that it won't break when you try to pull it out.




42 comments:

  1. Mmmm, I've been waiting for you to put this up since I saw it on your IG! Looks so good!!

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    1. Thank you Natalie! They came out very tasty, a great way to beat the LA heat we've been experiencing :)

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  2. This looks soooo good!! Also, love that you guys have a book club going! So fun.

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    1. YAY! Just joined it! SO EXCITED to start this book! xo

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    2. So happy that you joined! :D Can't wait to start reading the book!

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  3. Gorgeous, Eva! And stunning food styling. The squished limes, that gorgeous striped-wood board, the lighting, the colors, mmmm, magazine-worthy!

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    1. Thank you so much Averie! That is very kind of you :)

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  4. Those are some seriously gorgeous popsicles. Your photos are as usual just incredible!

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    1. Awwww thank you! They are very tasty little guys :)

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    1. Dooooo it, it's going to be so much fun! :D

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    1. Thank you Sue! They came out nice and warm like the honey :)

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  7. Yummmm to everything in these! Summer means that it's totally time for tequila. And popsicles, too, of course. It's in the low 60s here, but we had a heat wave last weekend and hit the 80s...yikes! It's still in the 50s everyday back in Wisconsin...my dad is itching to get his garden in, but he's still getting frost advisories! I can't even believe that. How is your garden coming along? You know about my love for lemongrass, and I'm so stoked that you put it to such a fantastic use.

    And yay, book club! Can't wait to get started :)

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    1. Yeah it has cooled down today but man it was getting hot a week ago! I know it won't be too long until we're having 100+ degree days again though so I am enjoying the cloudy mornings :)

      The garden is doing great!! I finally had a chance to catch up on a bunch of yard work the weekend before last so everything is in good shape. I think my quinoa will be ready for harvest soon and I am soooo excited!! It is my first year growing quinoa, I hope it turns out well. I just started some more of them so that I can have another harvest at the end of summer. Also got my first cucumber this week, wahoo!!! How is yours going?

      And I am SO excited about the book club, too!!! I can't wait to get started, the Disappearing Spoon sounds super fascinating and it will be a fun read for the summer :)

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    2. You're growing quinoa?! That is rad. We planted our garden last weekend; since our summer is so short, we used seedlings and planted Brandywine and Sungold tomatoes, bell peppers, Serrano peppers, two Big Jim New Mexico chile plants (but one died), Swiss chard, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. We're anxious but hopeful to see how it all turns out!

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  8. Anything with tequila in has my vote!! Perfect for hot weather.

    FoodNerdx

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    1. Thank you so much!! Yes, these will be my version of AC once August comes 'round...

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  9. I just put my first set of ice lollies for summer this morning (hopefully there will be many more batches to come!) These sound much more interesting than mine though, they were just plain old apple juice!
    from Emily x

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    1. Frozen apple juice is super tasty, and much less time consuming haha :) I want to make some plain old mixed juice lollies, especially one with pineapple juice (one of my favorite juices ever!) I am thinking about beet juice, too, it has such a great and weirdly sweet flavor to it.

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  10. That sounds amazing!
    I absolutely love your blog, I discovered it only recently, and I've made a long list of all the recipes I want to try!

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    1. Thank you so much Maelia! I am so glad you found it :D

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  11. I LOVE the idea of lemongrass in a popsicle. (I've been kind of obsessing over it since you posted that pic to instagram last week.) The flavor is like nothing else, and I can imagine that it is beyond awesome in a boozy pop with lime and honey and coconut milk.

    I made boozy watermelon margarita popsicles for a friend's birthday last year, and accidentally went a little heavy on the tequila. (Also, I only put them together the morning before the party, when I really should have done it the night before.) I had a minor breakdown because they kept breaking when I was trying to get them out of the molds. I eventually got them to sort of cooperate, but there were some casualties.

    And yay book club!! :D

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    1. I looooove watermelon margaritas!!! I bet they still tasted good even though they were falling apart a bit :) Yeah I was worried about the alcohol ratio so I looked it up online and found that as long as the liquor makes up 20% or less of the total liquid, the popsicle will freeze. I was nervous mine wouldn't for some reason even though I calculated it out, but was so relieved when they froze just fine!

      And yessssss! So excited about the book club!!!

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  12. These look amazing! I love anything with Tequila and citrus, so I'm gonna have to give these a shot once it finally gets hot here.

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    1. Definitely give them a try, they are so tasty and the frozen lime juice is just amazing in the heat.

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  13. These scream summersummersummersummer. And Tequila just screams my name always, haha! I've yet to use liquors and booze in cooking, but I really need to start experimenting with it. So much potential. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Thank Irina! I am happy to share :) It is really fun experimenting with different alcohols in different foods. I don't like bourbon on its own but in desserts it adds a really wonderful warm flavor. Highly recommend giving it a shot in a cake!

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  14. look at all those lime carcasses! :)
    these are very professionally-made popsicles, eva--great grown-up treat!

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  15. first: your popsicles look amazing! I made my first round of pops a few weeks back (various strengths of strawberry lemonade) and this reminds me to get back to it. I love the color on these! so pretty.
    second: I feel like i want to join the book club! especially since, i mean, it's about the periodic table and....um...*ahem* right. :) so i'll go sign up. I just requested the book from our library, which means i'll have it in a few days. great idea!

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    1. Thank you Shannon! Homemade popsicles are great, there's so many more flavor options and you can really control the amount and type of sweeteners that go into them. Plus, they're super easy to make (my favorite part haha).

      And yes!! Definitely sign up for the club! It is going to be really fun and such a great way to share thoughts and ideas and digest the many amazing stories within nonfiction literature. I have a copy but am waiting until the 11th to get started reading it so that I stay on schedule and don't get too excited and hop ahead haha :)

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  16. i'm interested in the book and would like to join but i'm not sure how to do that. so sorry to ask such a simple question but how exactly do I sign up for the book club? I clicked through on the link and then hit the "join" button but I think perhaps that just enrolled me in Good reads vs the book club itself. I'm wondering that since when I then looked at the members my name wasn't included. Shouldn't it be or does it take some time to be added? Is there something i'm not doing? thanks for the help.

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    1. I'm so excited to have you join! So in order to join the club you need a Good Reads account (it's completely free, it's basically a social networking site for book enthusiasts) since that is where the discussions will be taking place. Once you sign up with Good Reads, click on the link in this post that takes you to the page for the Adventures in Literature Club, and then click on the "join group" button on the left hand side of the screen underneath the small picture. Once you click the button, you should be a member of the group :) Let me know if you have any difficulties with the process.

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  17. These look so gorgeous. I love the flavour combinations and love, love your photos! I really like the sound of the non-fiction book club too, am going to check that out :)

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    1. Thank you so much Rosie! Please join, the club is going to be so much fun! I am realllly looking forward to the first online discussion in a couple weeks :)

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  18. I could use one of these boozy lime popsicles everyday around 4 pm!!! These sound awesome!

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    1. Thank you so much Andrea! They are definitely an excellent refresher/refueler :)

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  19. I have SO many non-fiction science books (being a Biology university student and all) and this is one I have not yet read so joining the reading group will be the fun incentive I need to rekindle my love of science after the grueling exams I have just finished - fab idea!
    And the popsicles look.. oh my... so refreshing and tasty. the flavour combination is perfect! (and the popsicle booze form somehow brings the acceptable drinking time forward.. I like your thinking, don't mind if I do have myself a boozy popsicle at 2 pm!)

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  20. I am SO excited about your book club! I feel the same way about wanting to read non-fiction food books but then having no one to chat about them - can't wait to start on The Disappearing Spoon.

    Also, I use that tequila as well - the packaging intrigued me to try it and I haven't looked back since!

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  21. yay for grown up popsicles! I love using lemongrass in Asian inspired dished but never thought of making syrup with it. What a great idea!
    The photos are gorgeous, love the styling!

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