Tag Archives: Citrus

Orange Rosemary Pork Chops

Orange Rosemary Pork Chops

Happy, happy MLK Day! Why does this particular MLK Day get an extra happy wish? Because it coincides with Secret Recipe Club reveal day, that’s why! This month I was assigned Rainstorms and Love Notes.

Ashley, like me, lives with her husband and three cats. (Seriously, I have three cats too!). Unlike me, Ashley is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Sorry, Ashley – can’t join you there; go Cowboys!! Anyways… 🙂

Orange Rosemary Pork Chops

Rainstorms and Love Notes is a wonderful blog of scrumptious recipes, lovely pictures, and I loved how Ashley wrote out the story of how she and her husband met. Read it here, it’s awesome.

Since it’s still January and I’m still trying to detox from all the excess cookies and alcohol that was the month of December, I went hunting for a healthy, wholesome recipe, which I happily found in these orange rosemary pork chops. Pork chops marinate for about four hours in a combination of delicious ingredients like orange zest and juice, dried rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and black pepper.

Orange Rosemary Pork Chops

The orange flavor really shines through in the end. All the flavors cooperate beautifully and the final product is a tender, yummy, healthy pork chop that could be a very easy weeknight dinner. It would be very easy to scale the recipe up to four servings too. I hope y’all enjoy this one, and do check out Rainstorms and Love Notes!

Orange Rosemary Pork Chops

{One Year Ago: Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas}
{Two Years Ago: Cotija Rice}

Source: slightly adapted from Rainstorms and Love Notes

2 bone-in pork chops
2 tsp orange zest
Juice from 1 large orange
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for the skillet
1 tbsp molasses
Pinch of kosher salt
A few, or many grinds of black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the orange zest, orange juice, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, molasses, salt, and pepper. Add the pork chops to a large, resealable plastic food storage bag. Pour the marinade into the bag, seal it, and squish it around to thoroughly coat the pork chops. Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Remove the bag from the refrigerator and allow the pork chops to come up to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 F. Preheat a small (10-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in a little bit of olive oil, and when it shimmers, carefully transfer the pork chops to the hot skillet.
Cook about 2 minutes per side, until nicely browned on both sides. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the chops. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the chops until the meat thermometer reads 160-165 F, about 6-8 minutes. Let the chops rest for about 5 minutes, then serve.

Summer Plum Gin Smash

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In the spirit of using up seasonal summer stone fruit while we still can, let’s have a cocktail! This drink…. I have no words. First of all, this cocktail contains gin. And may I just say, I don’t like gin. I rarely make a drink with it, you can’t pay me to order gin and tonics when I’m out on the town, and I firmly believe that doing a shot of gin is one of the circles of hell that Dante had fully intended to write about, before his publisher must have stopped him from doing so. (It’s the only explanation I can think of, anyway…).

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But you know what? This may be the best cocktail I’ve had all summer. Seriously. I don’t say that lightly. It has gin in it! Did I mention how much I dislike gin? I took one sip and simply didn’t care. This is beyond delicious.

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Fresh summer plums get muddled all to hell, then mixed with good gin and thyme, and lemon, and then the drink is strained into glasses where it sits all pretty and pink and out of this world fantastic. Did I mention I don’t like gin?

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So if you saw this and were tempted to pass because you too do not care for gin, then well, you don’t really have much excuse to not make this. It’s one of the best cocktails I’ve tasted, even with all that gin in there. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks}
{Two Years Ago: Spicy Coleslaw, Pulled Pork Sliders, Cherry Sorbet}

Source: slightly adapted from Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

3 cubes cane sugar
4 small summer plums, pitted and quartered
4 small sprigs of thyme (plus extra for garnish)
2 shots gin
½ shot fresh lemon juice

Add the cane sugar cubes, plums, and thyme sprigs to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
Add the gin, lemon juice, and ice to above the level of liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Strain the mixture into martini glasses, chilled if desired, and garnish with some thyme leaves or sprigs. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks.

Steamed Mussels with Lemon and Bay

Steamed Mussels with lemon and bay 042

Longtime readers here know that seafood wasn’t a big thing in my house growing up (save for catfish), and that I didn’t become a seafood fiend until after I married one in my mid-twenties. Upon thinking about what to write for this post, it occurred to me that I really and truly do not remember how Matt got me to try mollusks. I wish I did, but after thinking about it for several days, I’ll have to conclude that that memory has just flown the coop.

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All I do know is that he did convince me to try mussels and clams in the shell, and I fell head over heels in love. A big bowl of steamed mussels, a hunk of bread, (not forgetting to put out the kill bowl,) and some chilled white wine makes for one fine romantic evening. We try to have such an evening at least once a month or so. It’s good stuff. Enjoy!

Steamed Mussels with Lemon and Bay 034

{One Year Ago: Cherry Streusel Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Food and Wine

2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 tbs unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
Crusty bread, for serving

Heat a large pot. Add all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and bread and cook over high heat, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally, until the mussels open, about 7 minutes. Some mussels will open sooner than this, so keep an eye on them. When the early mussels open, quickly grab them with tongs and remove them to a large serving bowl. Once all the mussels have opened, immediately shut off the heat and pour the remaining contents of the pot into the bowl. Discard the bay leaves and serve right away with crusty bread.
Serves 2. Double the recipe exactly for 4 servings.

Balsamic Strawberry Lemonade

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Lemonade, especially pink lemonade, tends to remind everyone of childhood, even if you still legitimately enjoy it as an adult. I think we’d all agree that there are drinks out there that are universally considered kid-friendly, and making said drinks more adult-friendly usually involves alcohol.

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Not so with this lemonade! Not that you couldn’t spike it if you so desire – of course you could. But if you are looking for something non-alcoholic that isn’t too cloying that the kids might not enjoy, then this is where you can stop looking. This is a fresh pink lemonade with nothing artificial inside, with a wonderful tartness from the vinegar. Definitely not too sweet, but it also doesn’t scream balsamic vinegar at you like salad dressing does. It’s just there, in the background, mitigating the sometimes too-sweet nature of lemonade.

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I’m thinking this drink would be perfect to set out at a grown-ups-only outdoor shindig this summer. You could put bottles of your hard liquor of choice alongside and let people spike it or not as they pleased. One way or another, your pitcher would be empty soon enough.

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And the kids might like it – I personally don’t know as I did not test this one out on any children. But I can assure you it’s very adult friendly. And delicious. Enjoy!

Balsamic Strawberry lemonade 107

{One Year Ago: Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes}

Source: Look + Cook by Rachael Ray

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tbs good quality aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar
6 cups water
12 lemons
A few sprigs of mint

Place the strawberries and vinegar at the bottom of a glass pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to muddle them together. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the drink.
Add the sugar and 2/3 cup of the water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool a bit, then pour over the strawberries.
Juice the lemons into a bowl or measuring cup, then pour into the pitcher through a strainer to catch any seeds. Fill the pitcher with the remaining 5 1/3 cups water and stir. Chill or pour over ice into glasses (or both!) and garnish each glass with mint sprigs.

Mesa Grill Margarita

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Fact: Chef Bobby Flay’s first restaurant, Mesa Grill, closed its doors in NYC a few months ago.

Fact: Matt and I are spending this weekend in the Bahamas.

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Now, those probably sound like two completely unrelated statements, but I promise, they’re not. Mesa Grill was one of my favorite restaurants in New York, and I am extremely sad to see it go. However, it lives on in its other locations: Las Vegas, and …… Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Matt and I heavily debated dining at Mesa Grill this weekend, but in the end, decided it would be too much of a pain to get ourselves over there, seeing as our resort is not on the same island. Thankfully, Mesa Grill cuisine can live on in my kitchen, because I have (a signed copy of!!!) the Mesa Grill Cookbook!

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Last weekend I made the Mesa Grill Margarita, which is one of the best and most serious margaritas I’ve ever tasted. It’s not dumbed down in the least, it is STRONG, and you should not plan on driving after one of these. You should also not use bad tequila, because in this instance, you won’t get away with it. The tequila is front and center, so while it doesn’t have to be the most expensive bottle out there, it does need to be a respectable brand. I went with Cuervo 1800 for a less pricey option, but if you want to splurge for something like Patron, well, let’s just say it’s worth it.

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It felt right to share it today. This is a really serious, beautiful drink that will accompany any Mexican food meal so nicely. Or have it at cocktail hour, just because. That works too. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Doughnut Peaches in Bourbon with Sweetened Whipped Cream, Cumin-Cilantro Chicken Sliders, Banana Split Cheesecake Bars}

Source: The Mesa Grill Cookbook by Bobby Flay

2 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
Ice cubes
1 lime slice
Kosher salt

Pour the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Rub the rim of a glass, either a margarita, martini or rocks glass, with the lime slice, then gently dip in the plate of salt. Strain the mixture into your glass and garnish with the lime slice. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 drink.

Joanne Chang’s Perfect Waffles with a Lemony Twist

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My mom is a college professor, which means many different things, of course, but in particular it means that she goes to a lot of conferences. The vast majority of her conferences are not in Dallas, where she lives and teaches. So I’m always keeping tabs to find out where her next conference is, to see if it might happen to be in my neck of the woods.

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Wouldn’t you know, hardly any of them are. Over the years I’ve come to surmise that the East Coast is just not a popular locale for music theory collegiate conferences. Until last fall… when she had to attend a conference in Cambridge, MA! Of course I didn’t hesitate to jump a train to visit her for a few days.

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One thing I *had* to do while visiting Cambridge was to eat at Flour, Joanne Chang’s bakery made famous by Bobby Flay on “Throw Down” a few years back. I grabbed breakfast there while my mom was at a session, and was so impressed that I took her there for lunch. We dined on delicious salads for lunch, then treated ourselves to Flour’s outrageous Boston Cream Pie (when in Rome, am I right?)

It was such a fun trip and visit! Thank you so much Mom! And maybe you’ll have more conferences up here in the future…


So let’s chat about these waffles. When you read the ingredient list, you aren’t terribly blown away. It’s very interesting and somewhat baffling that such a simple ingredient list could yield such a ridiculous, insane, over-the-top, perfect waffle. Because these may just be the most perfect waffles I’ve ever tasted. I can’t really explain it, so you’ll just have to make them and see for yourself!

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{One Year Ago: Easy Adobo Chicken}

Source: slightly adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tbs packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup lemon or citrus flavored club soda, at room temperature
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Honey or maple syrup for serving

Preheat your waffle iron. You want it really hot to get the crispy exterior on these waffles.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, heavy cream, club soda, melted butter, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Using a whisk and a folding motion, gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until combined.
Grease the preheated waffle iron, then ladle the batter into the bottom of it. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the waffles to a plate and serve. I preferred honey on these, but maple syrup would be fine too. Enjoy!

Margarita Meringue Pie

margarita meringue pie

We continue MARGARITA WEEK with a sweet treat – pie! This pie is genius, it’s basically a play on lemon meringue pie, only the filling has no lemons; instead it has lime, orange, and tequila!! It’s messy, delicious, not at all cloying (you know I love that), and there’s a distinct bite from the tequila (though it won’t get you sloshed). It’s incredibly good and summery, which we all probably need right now.

Margarita Meringue Pie

And in very exciting news, my blog is the Featured Friday blog over on Momma’s Meals!!! Tammi, the lovely lady behind this great blog, is a #SundaySupper cohort, and every Friday she does a feature of one of the blogs she reads, and this week is yours truly! Tammi is so incredibly sweet, and I’m so honored to be featured on her blog.

Margarita Meringue Pie

Tammi is a stay-at-home mom to two adorable small kiddos, and her blog is not only a food blog but a mom blog as well. She posts mouth-watering recipes, of course, but also talks very honestly about what being a mom really is all about. All of you with kids, especially young ones, will want to check it out. Tammi made this dish, and she and her family loved it (whew! Lol!)

margarita meringue pie

Thank you so, so much, Tammi, for the feature and for the many kind words! I’m very honored. Oh, and enjoy this pie! Also, stay tuned, I’m posting tomorrow for National Margarita Day (yes, there is such a thing!), and it’s gonna be a great one!

Margarita meringue pie

{One year ago: Peanut Butter Fritters and Sloppy Joe Pot Pie}

Source: lightly adapted from The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, very cold
1 tbs silver tequila
2-5 tbs ice water

1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups water
5 tbs cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 tbs silver tequila
¼ tsp kosher salt
Zest of 1 lime
Freshly squeezed lime juice from 3 juicy limes
Zest of 1 small orange
2 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbs unsalted butter, cubed

1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
5 large egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar

First make the CRUST. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into pats and add it to the flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, work the butter into the flour until it’s the size of small peas. Add the tequila, then the water, 1 tbs at a time, and use a rubber spatula to stir in the liquid. When all the flour is moistened, use your hands to knead the dough together into a cohesive unit. Pat it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
On a large floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a greased 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Chill in the refrigerator about 1 hour, or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Prick the dough all over with a fork and lay a piece of parchment paper inside the pie plate. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the FILLING. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, water, cornstarch, egg yolks, tequila, and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook and whisk another 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Shut off the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, and butter. Stir until the butter melts completely.
Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight.
Make the MERINGUE. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. In a medium-sized bowl, add the egg whites and beat until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Now add the sugar and cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating continuously, until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the meringue on top of the pie and spread it to the edges. Cover the filling completely. Bake the pie until the meringue is lightly toasted, about 10-12 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack, then chill in the fridge 1 hour before serving.

Meyer Lemon Pudding Pops

Meyer Lemon Pudding Pops

So, today’s post is on a Sunday, yes, but it’s not part of #SundaySupper; just consider it a bonus post! Y’all know this past week our theme was Christmas Gift Week, where I highlighted some food/cooking related gifts I received from my family members.

Meyer lemon pudding pops

In actuality though, my original plan had been to do a Winter Citrus week, and make recipes using winter citrus like blood oranges, kumquats, Meyer lemons, and the like. Well, winter citrus arrived a little early up here, and I just plain missed it. At the start of the year, when I went looking for it, all that was left was some Meyer lemons. So I only made one winter citrus recipe this year, and it was too good not to share with you.

beautiful Meyer lemons

This recipe is supposed to just be a pudding. Which sounded just perfectly fine and dandy to me, so that was the original plan. On my first batch, I scrambled the eggs. I guess I had the heat too high. Oops. Fortunately I had enough ingredients to start over, so I did, but I think on the second try I had the heat too low, out of paranoia, and the mixture didn’t get thick enough. I stored it in the fridge for two days, and it never thickened into a proper pudding texture. Not one to throw in the towel, I simply poured the mixture into my ice pop maker and waited to see what would happen.

Meyer lemon pudding pops

Um, delicious, creamy, lemony pudding pops happened. Score! Seriously, make them this way! So good!! And if you don’t get Meyer lemons where you are, or missed them for the season, then you can use regular lemons, or use half lemon and half orange, both zest and juice, to approximate the Meyer lemon flavor and color. Enjoy!

Meyer Lemon pudding pops

{One year ago: Blood Orange Margaritas}

Source: adapted from The Galley Gourmet

6 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
1 ¼ cup half-and-half
2 large egg yolks
1 tbs freshly grated Meyer lemon zest
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

In a medium bowl, add the sugar, cornstarch, half-and-half, egg yolks, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan. Cook between medium and medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. It should coat the back of a spoon. This took me about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2-3 hours.
Once thoroughly chilled, pour into your ice pop molds and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Unmold, again according to manufacturer’s instructions, and serve.
Makes 6 ice pops

Guest Post – Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts

Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts

Well, today I’m getting my guest post on over at See Aimee Cook! Aimee is on vacation, hanging out with her mom at Disney, so I’m filling in. Y’all already know how much I love Aimee and her blog, so I’m very happy to posting over there today.

lemon buttermilk doughnuts, before baking

Since Aimee and her hubs are lemon fiends, I thought these lemony baked doughnuts were perfect. They are so light and moist, insanely lemony, and have the perfect amount of sweetness. And they’re baked – big plus there. I could have eaten the entire batch by myself!

lemon buttermilk doughnuts

Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts

Hop on over to Aimee’s for the recipe, and while you’re there definitely check out the rest of her fantastic blog!

Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts

lemon buttermilk doughnuts

{One year ago: Huevos Rancheros}

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

Sangria + Ice Pops = Oh Yes I Did.

This is the other (and final for the season) blackberry recipe I promised to share with you. And it’s a doozy of a good one, one that might make you a bit doozy if you eat too many of them. Haha!

blackberry sangria ice pop mix

Bad jokes aside, this one is a huge winner. As Matt said, “Wow. It’s sangria… in an ice pop!” No false advertising here, I assure you. And of course what I’m really sharing here is the method for transforming sangria into an ice pop – you can vary up the specific ingredients however you please.

instant ice pop maker

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

The only recipe note I have on this one is to please be careful pouring, as there are chunks of fruit in the liquid, and it will spatter all over if you pour too fast. And due to its rich, deep purple-red color, I’d advise having paper towels extremely handy when you are pouring into the ice pop molds. We all know how red wine can stain if not mopped up immediately. Oh, and if your ice pop molds don’t come with a spill guard, use an apple slice for that purpose (when you remove the frozen ice pops from the mold, quickly slip a slice of apple onto the stick at the base of the treat). Again, that deep purplish hue will stain like nobody’s business, so just something to watch out for. But, the good news is that the kids aren’t eating this one, so it’ll be easier to control for that! Enjoy!

Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops

{One year ago: Baba Ghanoush}

Source: adapted from Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski

2 oranges
1 (750-ml) bottle light red wine, such as Rioja
¼ cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar
1 small tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup fresh blackberries
Pinch of salt

Juice 1 orange into a measuring cup. You should have 1/3 cup. Cut the top and bottom from the remaining orange, then use a sharp knife to cut off the peel. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes between the sections. Let the sections fall into the bowl along with any juices. If your first orange didn’t give enough juice to make 1/3 cup, add any juice in the bowl to the measuring cup. Chop the orange segments into about a ½-inch dice and set aside.
Place the blackberries in the same bowl and mash with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Add the diced oranges and apples and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat level to low. Add the sugar, orange juice, bowl of fruit, and salt. Add 6 tbs of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.
If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, cover, and freeze until solid, about 4 hours, inserting the sticks according to manufacturer’s instructions. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze the pops (mine took 9 minutes). Unmold and enjoy!
Makes 12 to 14 ice pops.