My farmer's market is
one of my favorite
places to shop, so when
I saw anew mystery series
featuring a farmer's
market, I was delighted.
The first book in the series
FARM FRESH MURDER hit
the extended New York Times
best seller's list and small
wonder -- it is terrific. I can't
wait for the next one.
Now without further ado, here's Paige!
It has been so darn hot in
kind-of-cold to really hot in a matter of a few days. Our springs and
falls seem way too short.
This year something fun has happened because of the heat, though. Even
before I started writing the farmers’ market series, I loved shopping at my
local market. I always buy way too much for our family of three. I do freeze
some of the fruits and use them later, but the unbearable heat a couple weeks
ago gave us an idea: what if we blend up some of these fruits and turn them into
something that tastes good and helps cool us down – smoothies were an idea,
but we went further. How about popsicles?!
The idea took off from there and we’ve been playing with recipes and
mixtures. There have been some successes and some amazing failures.
I was shocked at how awful some combinations can taste. We’ve found
the simpler the better, and the following recipes are our favorites. You’ll
see that I like blending in ice cubes. Though it might seem redundant to
blend ice into something you’re going to freeze, I think it makes the final
texture more appealing. Please note that not all of the following ingredients
can be purchased at farmers’ markets.
Molds – Mine are from Bed,
Tupperware molds that she bought years ago and still uses. Paper cups
and sticks work, too.
Each of my molds holds four ½ cup popsicles, so ½ cup is the
recipes’ serving size.
Named for Becca, the protagonist in the farmers’ market books.
She grows strawberries and pumpkins and makes and sells preserves
and jams at Bailey’s Farmers’ Market. I’m working on a pumpkin popsicle,
but I don’t have anything, yet.
5 large strawberries
1 rounded teaspoon sugar
½ cup whole milk
1 heaping cup of ice cubes
Directions: Blend strawberries with milk on low until smooth. Add ice cubes
and blend on high for about a minute. Add sugar and blend on high for another
minute or so, until slushy and smooth. Pour into molds and freeze for at least
4 hours. Makes 4 to 5 servings.
Happy Halloween Caramel Apple
Lesson learned – I saw some homemade caramel sauce at our market last year.
I was excited to track it down this year and use it for this recipe, but it’s nowhere
to be found. I wish I’d saved the vendor information. Now, if I find something I like
or something I might want to try in the future, I write down every bit of the vendor’s
information and ask if they have an email.
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut up into chunks (use your favorite kind)
½ cup apple juice concentrate
5 teaspoons caramel ice cream topping
8 – 10 ice cubes
Directions: Excluding ice cubes, blend all ingredients on low until smooth.
Add ice cubes and blend on high until frosty. Pour into molds and freeze for
a good 6 hours. Makes about 4 servings.
Elvis loved peanut butter and banana! Originally, this was only supposed to
be a recipe for banana popsicles, but as I was blending the bananas I spied the
box of cereal that still hadn’t been put away – I couldn’t resist, and this is my
3 medium bananas, peeled and cut into fourths
12 ice cubes
1 cup Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal
Directions: Blend bananas on low until smooth. Add ice cubes and blend on
high until smooth and slightly frosty. With a spoon, gently stir in the cereal and
immediately spoon mixture into molds and freeze for about 4 hours. Makes
about 4 servings.
I love the taste combination and the surprise crunch of the cereal.
I’m sure I’ll keep playing with recipes and combinations – and that’s probably
half the fun. I know I won’t stop until I at least come up with something
pumpkin-y and delicious.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Happy summer, everyone, and stay cool . . .
Paige Shelton is the author of the
Farmers’ Market Mystery series.
FARM FRESH MURDER is on
the shelves now. The second in the
series, FRUIT OF ALL EVIL,
publishes March 2011.