Not at all refreshing

This is undoubtedly one of the least comfortable summers I can remember in the long time, ad when I’m not hugging the AC vent I’m wiping water rings off the tables when my drink glasses have sweat themselves to room temperature or swatting at one of the amazon mosquitoes that have sent up tents in the yard. Popsicles nearly always sound good these days, except for this one:



The Consumerist writes:


Beat the heat with this cheap and cool treat, the beer popsicle, aka “The Hopsicle.”

The Diablo Royale Este saloon in New York takes a Tecate, inject it with simple syrup and lime juice, then jam a wooden stick in the can hole and freeze it. Four days later, they pull it out the freezer and saw it open with a serrated steak knife. Sounds awesome! I look forward to soon saying, “I make my own beer popsicles at home.”

Can you imagine the cross between a hangover and brain freeze??

Almost too good to eat

I’m a big fan of cakewrecks and the disasters that some paid bakers pass off as cakes – which is why I am that much more impressed when Professional decorators do things well.  Check out these finds from

Well done, Talented and Creative Bakers! Admire their work, and then check out all the ways Cakewrecks found to screw this cute guy up here.

Do you know what I could do with $231

It does not involve a stroller that keeps my watermelon cold. Are refrigerators going out of style?


So far as we can tell, this here watermelon cart (priced at ¥19,950, or a whopping $231) serves to keep your voluptuous fruit cool when being transported from market to mouth, but everything beyond that is lost in translation.

Pickle Sickles? Really?

Don’t miss the full report  on the next best thing to come out of Texas (but still a far second to Shiner beer, in my opinion), the Frozen Pickle Pop. Yes, some entrepreneur has juiced and frozen the salty snack for consumption.




From Fox News:


“Bob’s Pickle Pops,” made from pressed pickles and pickle juice, is a dream-come-true for those who prefer their frozen treats sour and salty to sweet and sugary. Loving pickles is the only prerequisite. Howard created them at his “Outerskate Rollerink” in Seguin, a town 35 miles east of San Antonio that dates back to the days of the Republic. Texans, he says, have a long-standing and cherished relationship with pickles and the juices they’re pickled in: “There are pickle juice Sno-Cones at fairs and carnivals all over Texas.”


Pickle juice, whose main ingredient is vinegar, with added water, salt, sugar and spices like dill, garlic, onion, coriander seeds and cloves, has ardent and inventive fans. They put it in tuna and potato salads, add it to sauces and dips, and blend it with oil for homemade salad dressing. They marinate soft cheeses and hard-boiled eggs in it. They braise, steam and poach with it. They swear it cures hangovers. The greatest ideas always seem to be the most obvious, so it’s hard to believe that Howard and his brother-in-law, David Millar, were the only ones who thought about freezing and packaging this versatile elixir.

limoncello poundcake

This tasted like spring!

The sun is finally shining in Chicago, just enough to melt the icicles off the  side of my house and clear the blacktop driveway. It doesn’t matter to anyone that it’s still cold enough to safely store groceries in the back of your care for long periods of time; we are all just thrilled to have enough daylight to find our keys at the end of the work day.

This bright yellow lemony pound cake seemed to further my feeling that spring is on its way!

limon cello poundcake

The cake was moist and buttery, with just the right amount of lemon flavor. But the liquor (my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made their own a few summers ago, and it is still wonderful) kept the cake from being too sweet to eat for breakfast, lunch, while I was cooking dinner, and then again before I went to bed. IT didn’t last too long in my house, and I’m thinking another loaf will find its way to my freezer before this baby is born and I’m too pooped to bake.

I’m so glad to have found it online! You can find the recipe here, at

Holiday Baking

Thank goodness it’s over!  I really enjoy baking, but when my one-woman kitchen begins to resemble the Tollhouse Factory assembly line I tend to get a wee bit crabby.  I have to figure out a way to attack things better next year.

sour cream cake

I made peppermint bark, and snickerdoodle blossoms, and peanut butter fudge, and Tollhouse pan cookies, and toffee bars (at least, that what we’ve always called them – it’s more of a butter cookie with melted Hershey bars on top), and spiced almonds, and mock turtles, and sour cream cherry coffee cake.  All good, but SO. MANY. DISHES. TO. WASH. And then I had to get it all wrapped up and divvied up and off my dining room table in time to set the table for Christmas Eve dinner.  AACK.

But, dinner was lovely, and ended with Dorie’s All in One Holiday Bundt Cake.  I’ve made this before, but I still loved it just as much the second time around. The cake is surprisingly light considering all the stuff it has to hold (cranberries, nuts and apples), and it absolutely doesn’t need the maple icing Dorie suggests.

All in One holiday bundt

We devoured it after a big pasta dinner, and the leftovers were in great demand for Christmas breakfast. Thanks to The Nitty Bitty for picking it back in November!

Web find: guiltless orange dessert

Hungry Girl calls this dessert Scoopable Creamsicle Crush Pie, but since I turned it into parfaits, I’m not really sure that the name still applies. But it tastes darn good. You can find the recipe at her site in celebration of National Creamsicle Day (Aug. 14).

frozen orange

Two things appealed to me about this recipe: 1) it uses Nilla Wafers, which I love, and 2) it doesn’t mandate anything I din’t usually have in the house – most especially, no mass quantities of Splenda. I made the creamy filing with instant pudding mix, yogurt, Cool Whip and the juice from a can of mandarin oranges, and then layered it with whole orange slices and cookies that she recommended you break up.  I think my way was much better, if only because it dictated single servings in the cute parfait glasses I got at a second hand store for 25 cents a piece.

Plus, I could eat them with the excuse that Baby needed fruit and calcium and maintain some truth to my story – the ingredients are that real. Life is good.

(Alas, the dessert would be far cuter if I had a can of cool whip to spray on top, but that would have mandated another trip to the grocery store, most likely in my pajamas, and nobody wanted that.)

$250 burning a hole in my imagination

A blog I occasionally read asks today, “what would you do with a $250 grocery story gift card?”  I think that’s easy: stock the freezer. Ground meat, chicken breasts and thin cut pork chops. Heat and eat veggies. Lots of plastic tubs filled with my own spaghetti sauce and pesto sauce and casseroles. Bagels and waffles for my bleary-eyed husband to nosh before he dutifully marches off to work. And ice cream – ooooohhhhh the ice cream.

I’m thinkin’ I’m gonna need it all when this baby arrives in March and I’m too a) sleepy, b) disheveled, c) hypnotized-in-love with the baby, or d) cash-strapped to get to the grocery story and make us the dinner we both need. Or maybe there will be 6″ of snow falling in Chicago (since it’s not safe to put the snow shovels away until after Memorial Day).

What else should I stock up on for a March baby?