Trying to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies? Hide them in a delicious popsicle. I grew up making fruit juice popsicles, but I don’t know why we didn’t think to put fresh fruit in them. In Latin America paletas are made with many kinds of fruits usually pureed or blended a bit before freezing. In Mexico there are probably over a hundred versions of the paleta from strawberry to pineapple and on to more exotic flavors like maracuya and guayabana.

Max has enjoyed smoothies since he was a babe, and I have forever been sneaking bits of green or orange or red into his delicacies. The paleta above is simply a frozen smoothie containing banana, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, a handful of spinach and a splash of soymilk. I can’t keep enough of them in the freezer!


  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 6-8 frozen strawberries
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • soymilk
  • 1 handful fresh spinach


Blend together adding just enough soymilk to pull it all together. Pour out into popsicle trays and freeze. This recipe will make enough for eight popsicles.

Note: If you do not have popsicle trays, I have used paper cups with a plastic spoon inserted into the mixture.

Max and Kate’s Decadent Adventure

Today our dear friend, Kate invited Max over for an ice cream making adventure. I sent the camera along for the ride and in the end, got to enjoy ice cream sundaes! I’ve mentioned Kate in this blog before – she is an amazing cook who can whip up some mean Indian dishes. She’s inspired me to understand Indian spices, buy into a CSA and eat organic. If I had it my way, she would be my personal chef! Now, I am going to pass the reins off to her as today’s guest blogger!

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My two cents on the afternoon would be that Max was a huge help in making the ice cream and sauces, separating eggs like a pro, slicing the vanilla beans lengthwise to reveal the tiny seeds, assisting in the egg tempering by whisking as I poured the hot cream-milk mixture, dedicating himself to stirring the custard (which took a long time!), eyeballing the caramel to keep it from burning, and stirring, stirring, stirring some more.  He was an all around helpful co-ice cream chef!  He seemed quite curious and interested in the process – an absolute pleasure!

Here’s the Scoop – Sauces and Ice Cream Recipes

Hot Fudge Sauce-adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of the Silver Palate version – both New Yorkers!

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler, stirring frequently until combined. Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.  Sauce can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave or a pan of hot water.

Double French Vanilla Ice Cream -adapted from the Food Network Kitchens.

  • 8 large eggs yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 2 vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the yolks and half of the sugar. In a non-reactive saucepan combine the cream, 1 cup of the milk, the remaining sugar, and the salt.

Split the vanilla beans in half, lengthwise, to expose the tar-like seeds inside the pod. Scrape the seeds loose with a knife; add the bean and the seeds to the cream mixture along with the vanilla extract.

Heat the cream over medium-high heat until just at a boil. Remove from the heat. Gradually pour the hot liquid into the yolks, while whisking constantly. Return the cream-egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring the mixture constantly, with a wooden spoon in a figure-8 motion, until thickened, about 10 minutes. When the ice cream mixture is properly cooked it should coat the back of a spoon, be satiny thick, and be free of any bubbles on the surface. (If you taste the ice cream base it should have a slight egg-y taste.) When thickened, pour in the reserved milk to prevent the mixture from overcooking. Strain into a medium bowl. Add the cognac if desired.

Fill another bowl with ice. Set the bowl of ice cream base in the ice and stir until thoroughly chilled. Freeze the base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Take care not to over churn the ice cream or it will get a grainy texture.) Transfer the ice cream to the freezer to set up for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Caramel Sauce -slightly adapted from Ina Garten with the use of organic sugar.  We had a hard time gauging the readiness of the caramel because the sugar was already a chestnut brown.  The caramel ended up being on the light side making the color not so nice, with pretty mild flavor.

  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. Don’t worry – the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.