Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Popsicles

I figure now that the first day of fall is literally around the corner, I might as well share the summer recipes I’ve been sitting on for, oh, months.

I’ve had a pretty excellent summer, all things considered (pandemic, political unrest, a consistently hefty workload)! Some highlights since we’ve last chatted: Driving with my best friend to my summer cabin in Wisconsin for the best socially-distant 10 days with my family; re-doing my bedroom decor; spending every opportunity by the pool with a good book; slumber parties; a socially-distant weekend trip to the beach; getting a bike; FaceTiming with friends that are far away that I can’t visit; lots of hikes; a week-long stay at a beach house on Figure 8 Island which was technically work but felt like a girl’s trip because I’m so freakin’ lucky. I mean, not bad right?!

So obviously I was busy livin’ and not too worried about writing and I’m not sorry about it! Just like I’m not sorry for sharing a popsicle recipe in the middle of September. It may be in the 60’s this weekend in North Carolina (and my apartment may be decorated for Halloween already) but we all know it will be back up to the 80’s next week so let’s just accept what we have here.

So there’s this fast food chain here called Cook Out – it’s like elite fast food. Better than anything except for maaaybe Shake Shack (but only the Shake Shack on 72nd street in NYC) Yeah, I said what I said. Anyway, they have all these specialty milkshake flavors like “banana pudding” and “orange push-up” but my favorite is their raspberry cheesecake. So obviously I recreated it in popsicle form.

I mean, how precious are these?! That marble effect! And they taste even better than they look. Honestly you should just make them in general but they’d be perfect to serve for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day so file these away for next summer for sure!

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Ingredients:

RASPBERRY SAUCE:
12 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Juice from 1 lime

ICE CREAM BASE:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz graham cracker crumbs

Directions
1. First make the raspberry sauce by combining the raspberries, sugar, and lime juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Cook until the berries have softened and the sugar has dissolved completely. Then remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool.
2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree. Then strain the puree over a large bowl to remove any seeds. Toss the seeds and chill the sauce completely in the fridge.
3. While the sauce chills, make the ice cream. In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth and creamy.
4. Add the milk and heavy cream to the cream cheese and mix until well combined. Put the mixture in the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer the cream mixture to your ice cream machine and follow manufacturer instructions. Don’t add the raspberry sauce during the churning process!
6. Once the ice cream is finished churning, it should be milkshake-like consistency.
7. Pull the raspberry sauce from the fridge and find your popsicle molds.
8. Fill the popsicle molds about 1/4th of the way with ice cream, then add a tablespoon of raspberry sauce, and continue to alternate between the two until the popsicle molds are filled.
9. Add popsicle sticks to the molds, cover them, and place the molds in the freezer to allow everything to freeze for a few hours at least (but ideally overnight)
10. Once ready, remove a popsicle slowly and carefully from the mold and enjoy!

Star Shaped Raspberry Hand Pies

As I write this, I’m on day 20 of a whole 30. I figured that with quarantine, it was kind of the perfect time to complete a whole 30 for the year since I didn’t finish the one I attempted in January. Without the usual temptations from work, social gatherings, networking events, etc. it’s been nice and easy so far!

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With that being said, I made sure to make a festive Memorial Day themed treat before I started the 30 days. Would you expect anything less of me?

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These star-shaped hand pies have the most delicious raspberry jam filling and super flakey, buttery crust. They’re drizzled with white icing (an allusion to the “stripes” part of “stars and stripes”!) They’re the perfect size to curb your sweet tooth without overloading on pie (although, is that even possible?) and the best part is you don’t have to use anything other than your hands to eat them. Wahoo!

Star Shaped Raspberry Jam Hand Pies

ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup butter, chilled and cubed

1/3 cup crisco, chilled cubed

~ 7 tablespoons ice water

raspberry jam

1 egg, for egg wash

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

a few drops of water (or lemon juice)

directions:

Process the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the cold butter and the shortening. Gradually add the water to the mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the crust holds together.

Flatten the crust into two rounds, wrap them in parchment paper, and let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

When ready, roll out the dough disks and, using a cookie cutter, cut out the star shapes. Place whatever dough you’re not working with in the refrigerator, to keep cool. Assemble half the stars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the other half of the stars in the fridge.

Add a 1/2 tablespoon of jam to the center of each star. Cover these with the remaining star cut-outs. Use the back of a fork to press down all around the perimeter of each hand pie, this will seal the edges to prevent seepage, as well as create the crimping effect.

Use a small, sharp knife to cut a little cross in the center of each star so as to allow for venting.

Brush each assembled hand pie with the egg wash. Place all of the assembled hand pies in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Transfer the hand pies to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the hand pies cool, make the icing drizzle by combining the powdered sugar and a few drops of water (more or less, depending on desired consistency.) 

Once the hand pies are cooled, quickly drizzle the icing over the hand pies. The icing will harden quickly, then your pies are ready to enjoy!

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So, Memorial Day 2020. No real plans as of yet except I demand to be outside, weather permitting. I got some new kindle books delivered so at the very least, you can find me in the park on a picnic blanket. Have a good one, friends!

 

 

Summer Greek Pitas w/ Lamb Meatballs & Marinated Vegetables

Yesterday was the first day of fall which means it’s officially time to share my final summer recipe!

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. It’s freakin’ good, don’t get me wrong, but every time I’ve sat down to write lately I’ve just ended up watching an episode of Jane the Virgin. Call it writers block? Or maybe I’m just burnt out from writing essay after essay of how I’d be a good candidate for vet school.

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Anyway, this summer I craved mediterranean food a lot. I found myself stopping by my local CAVA pretty often for lunch breaks. If you don’t know, CAVA is basically the mediterranean sweetgreen/chipotle. They do a pretty bang up job and their spicy lamb meatballs are totally worth the $1.50 extra. But after I noticed my tenth CAVA charge on my card this summer, I figured it was time to figure out how to recreate my order at home.

And then I saw this recipe on Bon Appétit. Those guys always save the day!

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So here’s the breakdown of this dish: You take a warm flatbread, spread some herby tzatziki on top, add fresh marinated vegetables, and top with lamb meatballs. It’s a great lunch and even better option for an al fresco dinner. You know, for those of us who are still getting summer weather.

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Summer Greek Pitas w/ Lamb Meatballs & Marinated Vegetables

for the lamb meatballs

ingredients: 

1 large egg
½ cup panko crumbs
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. ground lamb

 

directions:

preheat the oven to 425.

combine the egg, panko crumbs, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, parsley, olive oil, salt, and garlic into a large bowl. add the lamb and mix everything together.

gently roll the lamb mixture into small balls. then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. bake the meatballs for 9 minutes.

for the tzatziki sauce

ingredients:

3 persian cucumbers, sliced and quartered
2 pinches of salt
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
1/4 cup chopped mint

 

directions:

toss cucumber slices with salt and let rest in a bowl for ~5 minutes. drain the excess liquid.

mix cucumbers, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a fresh bowl. let this mixture sit at room temp for 15 minutes, then discard the crushed garlic piece. stir in mint.

for the vegetables

ingredients:

2 persian cucumbers, sliced
1 large cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4th red onion, thinly sliced
handful of chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped dill

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard

directions:

combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and herbs in a bowl.

in a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard together. pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and toss to combine. let this sit for about 30 minutes.

to assemble, toast the flatbread. spread a heaping spoonful of tzatziki sauce on the bread. add the vegetables, then a few meatballs. enjoy immediately!

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