Friday, July 8, 2011

Piña Colada Popsicles because a girl can't be good all the time ...

This summer I’ve been trying to make easy, healthy recipes with lots of veggies. But a girl can’t be good all the time, you know. So this idea is for when it's too hot to cook anyway and you feel like a grown-up treat – as long as it’s tasty and almost effortless.

This is one of my favorite ideas from the only book I’ve ever written that contained recipes. My characters don’t know how to cope in a kitchen and probably wouldn’t anyway even if they had the skills. They’re just like that, although I have tried to help them out from time to time here in Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

But as I said, I did have one book that had a food theme and of all my books, it was the most fun to write. Too Hot to Handle is the story of Fiona Silk, failed romance writer and would-be divorcée. To pay her property taxes and under pressure from her agent, Fiona accepts a contract to write a sexy cookbook. The poor girl’s been in the news because of the awkward matter of the dead man in her four-poster, so the idea is that sales would be brisk. Still, this might have been a better idea if Fiona actually had a romantic life, or a working oven or could write to save her life. But never mind, while things catch fire and the bodies pile up, Fiona’s friends provide her with recipes of varying degrees of practicality. That’s what friends are for. This one is from Dr. Liz Prentiss. It is her only recipe. Usually she sticks to Courvoisier in a snifter.

Piña Colada Popsicles

The ultimate tropical drink.
· 2 ounces rum (light or dark – I used Bacardi)
· 5 ounces pineapple juice
· 2 ounces coconut cream - not coconut milk!

Pour the rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream into a blender and whir for several seconds until well mixed. Better yet, get someone else to do that for you. Pour mixture into popsicle forms overnight or until frozen. It could take longer depending on your freezer! This makes 4 small popsicles. You can easily double it or triple it. What are you going to do with that left over coconut cream and pineapple juice anyway? The only limit is the number of popsicle forms you own. I have to say that buying these two sets of new popsicle forms at Bed Bath and Beyond was a big part of the fun.

My friend Nancy was very keen to try this one straight from the freezer! She also gave me the hint that if they didn't come out right away to run a little hot water over the form for a couple of seconds. She was right!

You could also fill little sherbet glasses or martini glasses and freeze those. Top with a cherry or a paper umbrella. My neighbors have been seen working hard on a beautiful side deck and garden that improves the whole street, so I'm planning to drop by with these for them when they're finished.

And of course, I'm planning to relax on my own deck with my special popsicles and my husband. That's what summer's for.

I'd love to hear about other frozen drink treats, so share your secrets if you have them!

And if you'd like to find out more about Fiona, come by and see me at


  1. MJ, oh, yum, and what fun! Adults rule! (Don't tell the kids.)


  2. These will make tres delicious spiked ice cubes! :)

    ~ Cleo

  3. What a nice neighbor you are! It's hot and humid here. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love a little break with one of these.

    But I do have a question. What exactly is coconut cream? I've bought coconut milk and coconut oil, but I'm pulling a blank on coconut cream.

    ~ Krista

  4. Thanks, Krista. I have really terrific neighbors in this downtown area.

    Coconut cream is extracted from coconut milk (or vice versa) I think, Krista. It's grayish and viscous and not beautiful, but thicker than the milk. I found it in a can conveniently labeled Coconut Cream, right next to the coconut milk. That's all I know. I think I have done these with the milk too and ate then (or perhaps drank them).

  5. I think my most favorite part is that, if I make these, they get to be *my* popsicles! Because the kids eat all the regular ones. These would be MINE!! {Insert evil laugh}. And, okay...maybe my husband could have one, too. :) Thanks for this, MJ!

  6. Good to be a grown-up! Thanks, Elizabeth and thanks for the shout-out too!

  7. Do you use unsweetened coconut cream? Or do you use a sweetened coconut cream (like Coco Lopez - the stuff they sell by the cocktail mixes)? I've never been able to find the unsweetened stuff at my grocery store (which is a bummer, because I use it to make vegan ice cream).

    If the recipe uses the unsweetened kind and you cannot find it at your grocery store, you can put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight ... the water will separate from the cream. If you open the can carefully, you can pour off the water (or gently spoon off the cream).

    This sounds killer, MJ. Must, must try ...

  8. I'm pretty sure it was unsweetened, Wendy, but the can has been recylced. I'll check the next time I'm at the store. Thanks for the tip about making the cream.

  9. I love coconut...LOVE it! These pops might
    actually keep me sane in this AZ heat! Lovely, MJ!