Posts tagged popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Ah, September. September is that awkward month where EVERYONE is coming down from a high of Labor Day Weekend and have pumpkin spice lattes pumping through their veins… but I’m over here still making popsicles and cold noodle salads because summer is actually just starting in the Bay Area. Hopefully… I’m looking out my window right now the sky is pretty grey and I’m looking for my sweater. I bet you a pudding pop that the Sun will come out and I’ll be all sweaty after my grocery store run this afternoon.

Before I rant about how I’ll be cooking recipes in a seasonal limbo this month, tell me how your LDW was! Reuben and I rarely plan to leave town during holiday weekends because we have a fear of holiday traffic and large groups of people trying to do the same thing… BUT we actually booked a weekend away without realizing that it was in fact Labor Day Weekend. Silly us. It worked out for us because it turns out not that many people know about Placerville, CA! We were looking for nature-y Airbnbs with a pool or access to water without the Lake Tahoe price tag or mass of people. So we found this lovely spot called Reverie Retreat complete with an insane pool, an edible garden, and some yurts! We stayed in the cottage though because I’m too much of a wuss to stay in a yurt right now.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. The mountains and views were like a Bob Ross painting, the pool was crisp, the rivers were chilly but refreshing and not too far, and the closest city was quirky and weird. We swam every day, got a little tan, watched a Reggae Dance Hall show and a Folky Bluegrass concert without even trying, ate the best coconut shrimp and hush puppies, and consumed enough chips and beer cheese for the rest of the year. I would say it was an A+++ weekend! We started looking at property around the area and day dreaming about having our own land with yurts and a garden. Could you imagine a mountain dumpling workshop?!!!! We will see…

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Let’s get back to these pudding pops! These Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops are going to help me transition during this weird season of Summer/Fall flip flopping. Popsicles are summery for obvious chilly reasons, but I feel like pudding pops are a great medium for bolder and deeper flavors. The creamy milky consistency is just calling for some spices to cut through the richness of the milk!

Hojicha is a roasted green tea. I love it so much! It’s nutty, smokey, toasty, and a little caramel-y. For people who say that tea is just not their thing and they must have coffee in the morning, I recommend giving hojicha a shot. It has a similar deep richness as a cup of coffee, especially if you brew it strong! When you add in a dash of cinnamon and cloves elevates all those cozy flavors even more!

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

How To Make Hojicha Pudding Pops

I’ve historically been a icy popsicle person because those recipes require almost no effort at all. But when I first started making pudding pops I realized that pretty much all popsicles are super easy to make! Pudding pops require maybe 1 extra step of cooking the milk to thicken the consistency, but that step only takes a few extra minutes! I also forgot how satisfying having creamy popsicle can be!

The step in making these Hojicha Pudding pops is infusing the tea with the milk. I use this method in all my tea based recipes. All you do is simmer the milk with the tea leaves to extract as much tea flavor as you can. In this case, we simmer the tea and milk for 5-7 minutes. The milk will have a nice caramel color to it. You then strain out the tea leaves and place the milk back in the pot to continue cooking with some cornstarch (as the thickener), some spices, and sugar. Once the mixture is thick you pour it into the molds and freeze until solid. THAT’S IT.

If you want to be extra fancy, you can drizzle on some chocolate and add a sprinkle of sea salt. I highly recommend this extra step because the bites with a big salt chuck are just soooooooo good!

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

These popsicles can keep in the freezer for a few weeks! Until freezer smell starts to creep in or until you invite some friends over and they disappear in a few minutes! I’m having some ladies come over tonight so the few pudding pops left in my freezer might be gone by tomorrow. I’m going to bake my first pumpkin thing today because I’m not a monster. I really do love Fall, I just wish our weather wasn’t so silly and crazy! Happy Fall and transitional popsicle making, friends!

Also! Below are some snaps from our sunny weekend : )

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops

makes 10 - 3oz popsicles

materials:

3 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup loose leaf hojicha tea leaves
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup dark chocolate - optional
1 tsp coconut oil - optional
flakey sea salt - optional

steps:

  1. Add milk and tea leaves to sauce pan or medium pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Watch the milk because it has a tendency to boil over. Turn off the heat and pour the milk and tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a heat proof container. Discard the tea leaves.

  2. Add the tea infused milk back into the pot. Turn the heat onto medium low - barely simmering. Whisk together cornstarch and water and pour into the milk while continually whisking. Add spices and sugar. Whisk for an additional 3-4 minutes until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

  3. Pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup and allow to slightly cool for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid - about 4 hours.

optional decoration step:

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler until smooth. Or melt in the microwave in 15 second increments, mixing in between. It’s important to only microwave in 15 second increments so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

  2. Remove the pudding pops out of the molds and place on a parchment paper line baking tray.

  3. Drizzle the chocolate over the pudding pops and sprinkle with flakey sea salt. Place pudding pops back in the freezer to firm up or until ready to enjoy.


Labor+Day+Weekend+2019+-+Eat+Cho+Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

The very first popsicle I ever made was in the early 90s, when I was a walking bowl cut on a stick. Here is the exact recipe I followed...

  1. Pour 1 can of Sunkist Orange Soda into a ice cube tray.

  2. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and stick a toothpick into each ice cube.

  3. Freeze until solid.

  4. Enjoy while watching Pokemon with your brother.

Gosh, I loved those orange soda popsicles. I was always an orange soda kid. Grape soda was and still is disgusting. I’m not sure if I saw a kid on public access tv make them or if it was a pre-Eat Cho Food original creation. Childhood summers were so blissfully simple. My brother and I would spend our summer days at the restaurant when we were little, watching TV, flying kites in the back parking lot with my grandpa, making play dough characters, and roller blading in the dining room if there weren’t any customers around. When we got a little older we were able to stay home by ourselves. We still watched a lot of TV, made snacks, played with our backyard neighborhood friends, and made up silly game to entertain ourselves. Oh and we consumed lots of popsicles, Rita’s Ice, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and Apple Cart soft serve! I’m going home again in August and I’m sooooo looking forward to it actually feeling like summer and eating all the ice cream.

In the meantime SF it is a consistent 65 degrees, which is that weird in between weather where it’s chilly enough to enjoy a bowl of noodle soup but also warm enough to have a popsicle in the afternoon. It’s sort of like my current outfit of shorts and a pullover sweater. I didn’t say I was a fashion blogger…

ANYWAYS. I like knowing that I have these frozen treats waiting for me in the freezer just in case a 100+ degree day pops back up again! Similar to my orange soda popsicles, these Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles are incredibly easy to make. I trust that my 6 year old self would have been able to make these! I just might have needed the help from a trusted adult to open the can of lychees.

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

If you want to use fresh lychees you could totally do that. But the beauty of using canned lychee is that you already have a delicious lychee simple syrup waiting for you and you didn’t have to do anything except buy it! It’s a little too sugary sweet on it’s own for my own taste, so I dilute the syrup with a little bit of water. The popsicle molds are filled wth lychee and raspberries and if you’re using a standard popsicle mold, the fruit should stay in place due to friction. Pour the syrup mixture over the fruit, stick some popsicle sticks in and let them freeze for a few hours until they're solid. I love the color and appearance of the popsicles once they are frozen solid. The raspberry juice bleeds just a little to give the popsicles a light blush color. You could use any berry you have on hand instead of raspberries, but what I love about the combination of raspberries and lychees is that the berries are tart and bright to balance the simply sweet flavor of the lychee.

Don’t be fooled by the addition of lychee in the recipe. These popsicles are so simple and take almost no time to make. That way you have more time to go play outside, fly kites, or watch Pokemon with your sibling!


Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

makes 10 popsicles

materials:

1 20oz can of lychees in syrup
4 oz raspberries
1 cup water

popsicle sticks

steps:

  1. Remove lychees from the syrup and set aside.

  2. Pour remaining lychee syrup into a large measuring cup. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Add 1 cup of water to the syrup and give it a quick mix. Set aside.

  3. Add a few lychees and raspberries into your popsicle molds. Cut lychees and berries in half if needed. Fill each mold with the lychee syrup mixture. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until solid.

  4. Once solid, run the popsicle mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Enjoy!

Hong Kong Milk Tea Popsicles
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Hong Kong Milk Tea Popsicles
Hong Kong Milk Tea Popsicles

It seems like the rest of the country is rejoicing in 65 degree weather, chunky sweaters, and pumpkin flavored everything. While here in typically-foggy San Francisco, our weird Indian Summer is just starting. It was 106 degrees over the weekend. 106 freaking degrees!!!!! Gah. It makes me hot just thinking about. It was the hottest it had ever been in the city EVER. Friday and Saturday were absolutely miserable. Your only options were:

A. Sit around your apartment in your underwear with the fan blowing on you while covered in ice packs.

B. Go to the mall or the movies.

C. Perish.

We opted for A and B. We made it to about 1pm on Saturday until we started to get delirious. So we reluctantly put some clothes on, rented a Zipcar with AC, and drove out of the city to do basic suburban things, like go to Target, walk around the mall, and stand in the freezer section of Whole Foods. It was wonderful and made my inner soccer mom very happy! It has thankfully cooled down quite a bit since then. It looks like it's going to be in the 70s for the next week or so. Which in theory sounds great... I just need to get some more summer duds into my cardigan and sweater heavy wardrobe. Hi arms! Nice to see you guys again!

The moment the temperature started to creep into the high 70s I was thinking of popsicles. There was no way I would have survived this hot-as-balls weekend without these Hong Kong Milk Tea Popsicles. They were air conditioning on a stick basically. I grew up drinking Hong Kong Milk Tea, either the store bought canned/juice box versions or the real deal panty hose strained versions in Hong Kong. It is a simple combo of strong black tea (preferably ceylon tea) with condensed milk or evaporated milk. It's seriously the easiest thing to make. Also, guess people also call it "pantyhose milk tea" because they strain the tea leaves through pantyhose to get it's characteristically super smooth texture. I don't own or wear pantyhose so I'm just going to stick to the more conventional tea bag method. 

One of my absolute favorite things to do in Hong Kong is getting lunch at a loud Chinese diner. I order a simple fried egg sandwich on fluffy milk bread and an iced milk tea, maybe some noodles too. It's so simple and so good. Then I would probably run around for a little until I'm hungry again and find some dumplings or and egg waffle. The flavors of these popsicles made me want to go back to Hong Kong so bad! Reuben and I are trying to plan our next international trip for next year and I'm pushing for Japan and/or Hong Kong real hard. Reuben wants to go to Italy... not a terrible option. But flights to HK are so affordable and easy from San Francisco! I'm just going to continue making Reuben my favorite Hong Kong favorites and brainwash him into wanting to go to Asia. Heh heh heh. Think about all the noodles and dim sum, Reuby!

Anyways, if you're still burning up on the West Coast you better make a batch of these, stat! Even if the temperature is cooling down where you are, summer is not technically over. It's still totally socially acceptable to make popsicles! Enjoy the rest of the week, peeps!


Hong Kong Milk Tea Popsicles

makes 10 popsicles

Materials:

2 ceylon tea bags

2 cups hot water - almost boiling

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup half and half

1/2 tsp vanilla

Steps:

1. Pour hot water over tea bags in a heat proof vessel and allow to steep for 4-5 minutes. I like my tea a little dark so I let it steep on the longer side.

2. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk until evenly incorporated into the tea. You can add more or less depending on personal taste preference.

3. Pour milk tea into popsicle molds, leaving about 1/2" at the top of the mold. Place in the freezer and allow them to set up for 1 hour.

4. Whisk together half and half with vanilla. Pour half and half into the remaining portion of the popsicle molds. Use a popsicle stick to gentle mix up the half and half with paritially frozen milk tea. Place popsicle sticks into the mold and place popsicles back into the freezer for at least another 4 hours to set up.

5. Enjoy!