How to “Pop” This Summer and Stay Cool
by Pamela Thorsch
Summer is here. As hot days shine upon us, it’s a time when “keeping cool” brings up childhood memories of selecting a flavored frozen water bar on a stick — yes, a scrumptious Popsicle — those ice blocks, which not only satisfied your need to be cool but also colored your tongue while indulging your sweet tooth. I’m talking about big sticks of red, white and blue, and also orange creamsicles.
Wait a minute, those memories are great, but let’s fast forward to what’s happening on the Popsicle scene today. Those little icy treats are still around; however, I just discovered one of the most “to die for” upscale versions of a Popsicle that I’ve ever had to indulge my inner child. Holy Paleta, 4230 Bonita Rd., Bonita, California, offers the Mexican version of a Popsicle.
A family-owned business, Holy Paleta, is the creation of Angelica Gonzalez who branched out of her Mexican eatery owned with her husband, Eat Lupes, to establish this sweet, handmade treat with fresh, natural ingredients. When you enter this tiny place, which usually has a waiting line out the door, you’ll find two refrigerated display cases — one with cream-based paletas, and the other with fresh fruit juice-based paletas. Once you select your flavor – which is nearly impossible, because there are so many delicious options, you have a choice to have it dipped in chocolate – white, dark, milk or matcha, and then drenched in a variety of toppings and nuts.
Holy Paleta has created its own specialty offerings too, such as: a banana paleta, stuffed with Nutella inside, drizzled in white chocolate matcha and topped with slivered almonds; a Cookie Monster consisting of cookies and cream, an Oreo cookie stuffed inside of it, drizzled with milk chocolate and sprinkled with Oreo and chocolate chip cookie crumbles. For a less decant pop offering you can select from flavors such as Jamaica (hibiscus), Tamarindo, Mango, Strawberry Mint, Key Lime or yogurt with fresh fruit and Cucumber Chilis. Since I couldn’t decide, I had one there and took home two to try later.
For a full list of popsicle offerings, check out their website at: holypaleta.com. You can find them open: Thurs: 11:30am-9:00pm and Fri-Sat: 11:30am-10:00pm
If traveling down towards the border is a little too far to go for a Popsicle, no matter how good they are, I’m offering an alternative, especially for all those who love the fruit of the vine.
Winesicles – the grown up treat
They are pretty easy to make, and you can customize your winesicle, featuring your favorite wine, or perhaps the left over wine in the open bottle from the party the night before. All you need is popsicle molds, a little imagination, and a freezer big enough to hold all the varieties you’ll end up making in your experimenting. Remember to follow the recipe below. Alcohol does not freeze well so if you use too much, you’ll end up with a slush and not a pop — so go for the flavor. A number of recipes can be found online, but let me share a few I’ve already tried and enjoyed.
Pinot Noir-Infused Blackberry Ice Pops
MAKES 10 ice pops
dark organic cane sugar
4 fluid ounces water
1-1/2 pounds fresh, ripe blackberries (about 5 cups), rinsed and dried
6 to 8 ounces Pinot Noir
To make a simple syrup, combine sugar and water in saucepan. Gently heat while stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
Lightly puree the blackberries with a blender or mash blackberries, resulting in about 16 ounces of puree.
Add 6 ounces of cooled simple syrup, 6 ounces of Pinot Noir, and taste. The sweet, lightly acidic blackberries highlight the natural fruit notes of the Pinot Noir, leaving a nice, slightly tannic finish. If stronger Pinot Noir flavor is desired, add remaining 2 ounces. Pour into molds with sticks and freeze until solid (about 4 to 6 hours).
Unmold and serve at once, or keep in mold until you are ready to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Kim Crawford Winery, New Zealand
Strawberry Prosecco Popsicles
Refreshing, perfect at any time, and you can enjoy the rest of the prosecco you don’t use making these pops. For those living in Southern California, fresh strawberries are available at so many farmers’ markets and other spots. If you live around San Diego, they can be picked at Kenny’s Strawberry Farm, 953 Rainbow Valley Blvd, Fallbrook, CA 92028, just off Highway 15. Visit kennysstrawberryfarm.com for hours.
There’s nothing like picking your own popsicle.
Prep time: 5 MINUTES
Cook time: 4 HOURS
Total time: 4 HOURS 5 MINUTES
2 cups strawberries, rinsed and sliced
3 Tablespoons honey
1 cup Prosecco white wine
1. Place the strawberries and honey in a blender or food processor and purée.
2. Add the Prosecco wine and stir to blend well.
3. Pour into each ice pop mold, up to the fill line. Place the lids on tightly and freeze overnight.
4. Before serving, run warm water over each ice pop mold for 10-15 seconds to release.
Recipe courtesy of FoodnService.com