Sundays at Home

If you’ve been on Pinterest recently, you’ve probably run across the beautiful photos of ice pops that have been making the rounds recently.  With fresh fruit popping out of the sides, they look healthy and delicious, so I started clicking to get some recipes.  Every one mentioned getting your our Zoku.  Since I’m always up on the latest cool gadgets, I Googled “What is a Zoku?” and found out it’s an “instant” ice pop maker.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m susceptible to advertising and beautiful pictures, so I immediately wanted one…. the I did the research.

Pictured - Left: Fruit Punch with bananas, grapes, and pear slices. Right: Strawberry Creamsicle with pear slices.

The single Zoku makes one ice pop in 8-10 minutes and cost about $26.  Now yes, that’s instantly frozen, so that’s quick, but I had visions of my 2 other kids screaming for the 8-10 minutes while I made theirs or me attempting to make a dozen to keep in the freezer.  It didn’t sound fun.  There’s also a Zoku duo ($36.99) and a Zoku ($49.95) that makes 3 ice pops at a time.  And then there is the tool kit ($19.99), extra sticks ($11.99), storage case ($19.99), and character kit ($14.99).  When all said and done, I figured the first three ice pops I made would be some pretty expensive ice pops and we all know I’m cheap frugal.  Now there is a less expensive version from Hamilton Beach for only $32, but it has horrible reviews across the internet.

I also found out that you can’t use the Zoku to make sugar-free ice pops.  And, even though it makes one ice pop in 8-10 minutes, you have to freeze the entire Zoku in your freezer for 24 hours before using it, plus refrozen between batches if you take too much time making them pretty.

I got it into my head that I could make those beautiful fruit ice pops without a Zoku.  The tricky part was getting the fruit to stick to the side of the ice pop mold and getting it to stay there while I poured in the juice, but I’m happy to say I succeeded!

My hodge podge of ingredients. I didn't use them all, but I wanted to see what I had to have some fun with, before I started.

What you’ll need:

  • Popsicle Molds
  • Cutting Board
  • Lemon Juice
  • Small Knifes and/or Cookie Cutters
  • Ingredients (juices, liquids, yogurt, pudding, honey, fresh fruit, etc…)

How to get started:

If you plan to use fruit, which is completely optional, the first thing you’ll need to do is pour a little water into each slot of the ice pop molds and then pour it out.  Next, set them on their side in the freezer while you cut the fruit.  Put the side you plan to put the fruit on down.

The goal here isn’t to get them soaked, but to create a very thin layer of ice along one wall that will act as an adhesive to the fruit.  Even if you can’t see the water, there are droplets that will work perfectly.

Make sure your final pieces will fit into your molds!

While your thin layer of ice freezes, start getting creative with your fruit.  Cut the fruit into thin (very thin) layers.  Use a cookie cutter or small knife to cut them into shapes for the ice pops.  Make sure to place them on the cutting board, since you’ll have to press hard on cookie cutters to cut through thicker fruits like pears.  Of course, help small children.  My 5 year old *thinks* she’s old enough to use a knife herself, but gets a bit too wild creative if not guided.

While you get creative, place the cut pieces of fruit in a small bowl of lemon juice to soak, so the don’t turn brown.  Plus, the lemon juice ads a light layer of liquid to the fruit to help it stick to the thin layer of ice currently freezing in the molds.

It’s time to get creative once again.  Pull the mold out of the freezer and place it on it’s side the same way you had it in the freezer.  Slide your fruit in the molds.  Lay them flat against the side that’s down.  You can create designs, like my daughter did, or simply lay them in there, like I did.  Put them back in the freezer, fruit-side down, while you whip up your ice pop bases.

Mixing up Cookies & Cream Ice Pops (They were AMAZING!)

Since this entire thing is really about creativity, it’s time to get creative again.  The best part about whipping up ice pop bases is that you get to taste them.  In fact, I encourage it, because the way they taste now is exactly the way they’ll taste when they are frozen, just a bit colder.  So, you can decide now if they need more vanilla or orange juice.  Remember, less is more.  You can always add more ingredients, but it’s a bit harder to fix if you add too much of one.

Here’s a few recipes we loved from our batch:

CLICK HERE to get the rest of this delicious recipe!

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Ready for the easiest and best recipe you’ll ever have?  I have a young boy toddler who loves yogurt, but can’t eat it without getting it into his hair, clothes, the table, the chairs, and pretty much everything within a 1/2 mile radius of where he eats it.  I know yogurt is healthy for breakfast and since he loves it and it’s so affordable, I’d love to let him eat it for every breakfast.  However, when we’re on the go, I have to either plan for a long clean up afterwards or skip it.

This is the perfect solution!  Not only that, but it also got my daughters eating more yogurt.  Even the Greek yogurt they couldn’t stand taste delicious as Yogurt Bites!

What you’ll need:

  1. (1) single-serving container of yogurt (any brand, flavor!)
  2. (1) sandwich baggie
  3. (1) cookie tray with Reynold’s wrap or wax paper covering it
  4. (1) freezer
  5. (1) container for storage

First, stir the yogurt up to blend it together and make it smooth.  Any yogurt will work, except whipped, so mix it up.  Try yogurt with fruit in it or the yogurt with the candy in it for a sweet treat.

Spoon the yogurt into the sandwich baggie and push the air out, then seal.  Cut one of the bottom corners off.  The closer to the tip you cut the sandwich baggie, the smaller the yogurt bites will be.  You can make them any size.  Just make sure they are bite-size or they’ll be messy to eat.

Squeeze all the yogurt to the end of the baggie towards the cut tip to make it look like you are piping icing.

Squeeze the bite-size drops onto the tray. Make sure they aren’t touching.  One container of yogurt makes about one tray of yogurt bites.  Next, place the entire tray uncovered into the freezer to freeze.

Since they are so small, they freeze quickly.   It may take up to 20 minutes or less.  Pull them out and you can easily lift the Reynold’s wrap or wax paper, then use your finger to pop off each one into a container for storage.

Enjoy them immediately, or place them into the freezer to enjoy later.  They store in the freezer for about 1-2 weeks.  Make sure your container is air tight to avoid freezer burn.  Give your young kids a few at a time, because unlike M&M’s these do melt in your mouth and your hands!  They are absolutely delicious!

Change it up!

Try dipping fruit in yogurt and freezing for a new and delicious taste!

Love this article? Read more like this:

Recipe Credit: Yogurt Bites found on Pinterest and Fruit Covered Yogurt on We Love It.

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When I saw this post at How About Orange, I knew I just had to try it! It’s a wonderful way to use all the extra newspapers we have laying around the house. So instead of the traditional standard basket, we are going to make EASTER BASKETS!!!! Really, when you think about it,  it makes sense to make your own baskets. They get used once a year and fall apart almost as soon as the kids are done collecting the candy and gifts out of them, so why not make it out of something we already have around the house?

So collect your supplies and lets get started. You will need:

  • Newspaper (2 should do the job)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler and Staples, glue dots, double sided tape…something sticky
  • 30 minutes where you won’t have to touch anything else….the ink gets ALL over your hands!

Click here to make your Easter Basket too!

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My daughter asked me the other day if she could have some gum, but after a look, I realized we were all out.  Her response was, “Let’s make some then.”

Typically, when we are out of something, we can make it ourselves like bread, crackers, and even hot dog buns, but I had no clue if you could make gum.  We went to the internet and after a quick search, we found that we could.   We didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so going out to buy gum would have probably been more productive, but not as much fun.

I’ll warn you.  Making gum is messy!  But, we had an absolute blast, so it’s a great way to entertain creative kids.

Before you get started, set the mood with some music! We highly recommend Icky, Sticky Bubble Gum by David Landau or our favorite, The Sticky Bubblegum Song by Carole Peterson.

CLICK HERE to see this recipe.

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