We are finally moving to the properly hot part of summer, so, as such, it’s time to break out the ice cream and popsicle recipes! And hopefully, this will be the start of a series of recipes like the waffles have been. 

I’ve been super into key lime pie lately, so I went hell yes to the opportunity to make it in popsicle form. And plus, popsicle molds are something like $5 on Amazon, so I might actually need to get a few spare molds before the summer is out so I can have even more in rotation, or bigger batches. 

Key Lime Pie Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles, with a little extra leftover if you only have a set of 6 molds

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c milk
  • zest of 2 limes (about 2 t)
  • .75 c fresh lime juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • several vanilla wafers, crushed

Zest your limes till you have about 2 t lime zest (this should take about 2 limes), and then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the vanilla wafers, and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Then, pour into your molds, and let sit in the freezer for a mimimum of five hours, or until you’re ready to eat them. 

When you’re ready to eat them, crush some vanilla wafers in a bag with a hammer until you have good, even crushed crumbs. (Mine didn’t quite turn out quite perfect.) Take your popsicle, run it under warmish water to ease the mold off, and then dip each side in cookie crumbs, and enjoy your sweet, tart treat!

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This is something I threw together because the boyfriend really liked the sound of the recipe, and I had almost everything on hand, and what I didn’t was on sale. I accidentally used less honey than I should’ve on the glaze, so more of that will likely make the glaze cover better next time, and maybe use a bit less coconut on the coconut rice, but otherwise, this is a pretty solid dinner. And it’s also significantly quicker if you have an Asian marketplace (or a local producer) that does fried tofu. Getting everything to assembly is a long, involved process, and some of this was a bit out of my comfort range, but the boy really liked it, so that helped boost my confidence here a lot.

Mango Tofu Coconut Rice Bowls

Ingredients

Coconut Rice

  • 1.5 c uncooked rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • .75 t sea salt
  • 1 c water

Honey Lime Glaze

  • .25 c honey
  • .25 c fresh lime juice
  • 1 t lime zest, split
  • .5 T soy sauce
  • (you can use corn starch to thicken it, I passed on it)
  • 14 oz fried tofu

(note: I used packaged fried tofu here, so I’m skipping the instructions for the pan fried tofu; if you just have unfried tofu, click on the link above for the instructions/ingredients.)

Bowl Toppings

  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado, sliced (had one on hand but chose not to use it tonight)
  • red pepper flakes
  • (optional: green onions, cilantro)

First, take your ingredients for your coconut rice, throw it all in the rice cooker, and set it to cook on the sweet rice or white rice setting (depending on your preference, I used sweet rice here because it gets it the right kind of sticky). If not using a rice cooker, please click on the link above for stovetop instructions.

While your rice is cooking, cube your fried tofu, and your mango. 

Don’t know how to cube your mango? Here’s how! (If I was smart, I would’ve taken pictures of this process.) Take your mango, and your largest knife available (trust me, if you have a chef’s knife, you’re gonna need it), and cut your mango just slightly off center to avoid the flat seed. Do the same just to the other side of the center; you will now have two halves of mango meat. To cube your mango, score a checkerboard pattern into the fruit, being careful not to cut all the way through to the skin. Push up on the skin underneath to invert the mango, and now, all you have to do is slice at the base, and you have lovely mango cubes for use!

As soon as you’ve got these ready to go, whisk together your glaze ingredients (only use half of the lime zest), and transfer to a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and once it’s thickened, remove from heat, and toss your tofu and mango in it. (I ended up keeping it separate, and drizzling it over the tofu and mango once in the bowl.)

By this point, your rice will likely be done; take a bowl, scoop some rice out into it, add some tofu and mango, along with, if you should so choose, red pepper flakes, avocado and green onion slices, and bits of cilantro. And then, enjoy your lovely summery dish!

This? This is amazing. Especially if you live near a high concentration of Asian groceries and can find a bunch of these ingredients for cheap, and salmon goes on sale for the right price. A nice Thai riff on the classic salmon chowder, and makes the apartment smell amazing. 

Thai Style Salmon Chowder

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, outer layers removed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (you can get these for super cheap at Asian grocery stores, trust me)
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • 1 13 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 lb salmon, skin removed and cut into .5 inch pieces (save the skin)
  • .25 c fish sauce
  • .25 c fresh lime juice

Heat a large pot over high heat. Add the olive oil, and once it starts to shimmer, add your sliced shiitake, and sautee until deeply bronzed (about 7 to 10 minutes). Then, stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (a minute or so), followed by the tomato, bell pepper, lime leaves, and lemongrass, cooking until the tomatoes release juice and the bell pepper just barely starts to wilt. 

Add in the chicken stock and coconut milk and stir together, bringing to a simmer. Once steadily simmering, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 

While the soup simmers, heat a small pan with olive oil over medium high heat, add your salmon skin, and cook on each side for about three minutes, until crispy. (Mine didn’t quite work out that way due to the sheer amount, but I tried and got pretty close!  See pics 8 and 9). 

Once your salmon skin is ready, add the salmon chunks, fish sauce, and lime juice in, and cook another minute or two, until the salmon that you can see is cooked. (The residual heat will take care of cooking it the rest of the way.)

Taste and adjust to your tastes, add a bit of salmon skin for garnish to your bowl as you scoop it out, and enjoy your ridiculously good soup. 

I picked up a ham for cheap from my school’s butchery program recently, and was looking through my recipes to see if there was something else I could try besides my mainstay ham recipe. I came across this recipe in my Pinterest, and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought, meh, why not?  I chose to stud my ham with cloves for this, but the recipe does not require it.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham 
Depends on the size of your ham; 5 lb ham lasted about a week for me

Ingredients

  • ham 
  • cloves to stud ham, to preference
  • .75 c packed dark brown sugar
  • .5 c Dr. Pepper
  • 2 T lime juice (original called for orange juice, didn’t have any to hand)
  • 2 t dijon mustard

Preheat your oven to 250. Take your ham out of the packaging, stud it with cloves, put it in your roasting pan, and tent tightly with aluminum foil. (The pictures you see are after having removed the foil tent). Roast the ham for about 17 minutes per pound (this was a 5 lb ham, so it was roasted for about an hour and a half). Ideally you should have a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, but I didn’t, so I mainly just guessed.

When it gets down to the last ten minutes, combine the brown sugar, Dr. Pepper, lime juice, and dijon mustard in a pot, whisk together, bring to a simmer over medium high heat, and then simmer for about 8 minutes, until it reduces and thickens to a syrupy consistency. 

As soon as the syrup has thickened, take the foil off the ham, pour off any juices that have collected in the pan (if applicable) and brush the glaze over the ham. Return to the oven and bake for another half hour, until the glaze is sticky. Brush the collected glaze over the ham, let it rest for about a half hour to cool, and then enjoy your delicious labors!

Some nights you just need a quick, simple soup to throw on the stove, simmer, and then dig into. This definitely fits the bill. This has seven ingredients (six if you exclude one), and is done in fifteen minutes’ time. No dicing, no chopping, just pour it all in a pot, boil, simmer, and boom. Done. 

Additional ingredient notes: You can use homemade pumpkin puree if you like, but honestly, it’s easier and cheaper and saner just to find some cans at the store. The original recipe suggests adding peanut butter, and I added a cappuccino peanut butter that I think really added to the soup.

Thai Pumpkin Soup
Lasts 6 meals as a main

Ingredients

  • 2 T red curry paste
  • 2 c chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make vegetarian)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 15 oz (or 1 32 oz) cans pumpkin puree
  • 2 T soy sauce (can also use fish sauce)
  • 2 T lime juice 
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • .25 c peanut butter (optional)

Heat a pot over medium heat, take your red curry paste, and stir till fragrant (about a minute). Then, add all the rest of your ingredients, whisk together, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for five minutes.

And then, behold!  You have your soup!  Quick, simple, and no hassle.

As the weather takes it’s sweet ass time turning to spring, and as fresh fruit starts to come back into season, I cannot recommend this enough.  With fresh strawberries, and a good riesling (I used Pacific Rim this time, but Cupcake Winery and Kung Fu Girl have been past awesome rieslings to use with this), this is a wonderfully boozy taste of spring and a nice way to cool off besides.

Riesling Strawberry Slushies
Makes one blender’s worth of slushies, or enough to fill 3 pint glasses

Ingredients

  • one bottle Riesling wine (used the ‘10 Pacific Rim sweet riesling this time, have used Barefoot, Cupcake Winery, and Kung Fu Girl rieslings in the past and they’ve all worked wonderfully)
  • 2.5 c (appx 1 qt) strawberries, hulled
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 2.5 T sugar

Reserve one cup of your wine and put it in the fridge to chill.  Take all of our other ingredients and puree them together in your blender, until combined.  Pour the mixture into ice trays (I used two, one was Companion Cubes, the other was a normal sized ice tray), and freeze (this will usually take about 4 hours’ time, depending on your freezer’s setting).   

Once your strawberry riesling ice cubes are frozen, put them back in the blender with the reserved wine, and puree until you have a good, thick slushie. And then sip on it while watching Hannibal, to feel fancy and also to have something to scream into.