A couple weekends ago, Chris and I were holed up in a Truckee hotel for a night during one of his mountain bike races. He was in the bathroom tending to one of his “it’s cool, I think a butterfly bandage should hold it together” injuries (ew) while I distracted myself with Food Network in the bedroom. Because that’s what married people do in swanky euro-mod hotel rooms. First aid and cable.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives was on, of course (is it not always?), and exclamations like BANGARANG and BOOYAH and TAKE ME TO FLAVORTOWN were shooting out of the TV like Cyclop’s laser beams.
HOLY CLAM, BATMAN.*
GIVE THAT BAD BOY A TASTE.
And that’s when it hit me.
Blind people probably think Guy Fieri is a porn star.
Is that an OK thing to have people believe?
I don’t think so. I think not at all is that OK.
So, Public Service Announcement: Guy Fieri is the host of a food show. Tell your blind friends.
In case you were wondering, I’m in 100% denial that summer is anywhere near over. I’m getting watermelons on the weekly from my CSA, tomatoes are going harder than hard and the evening air is still thick with the unmistakable aroma of white-hot coals. My afternoon Scandal break continues to be punctuated by the creepy jingle of ice cream
truck van. (When did that happen?) And the interwebs are full of froyos and ice teas and pretty marbled drinks with pineapple garnishes.
So yeah. Far as I’m concerned, summer is still here. Still a thing. And still inspiring super easy stuffs like these fruity ice pops, which you should most definitely put on your agenda if you feel like having a Mexican vacation happen in your mouth, because that’s amazing. Also amazing: these are pretty much every allergen-free — unless of course you’re allergic to watermelon, in which case these most definitely contain death and I’m so sad for you.
But yeah. No animal stuffs. No grainy stuffs. And instead of plain ol’ white shoogs, we’ve enhanced these guys with some real, earthy, ever-so-smoky maple syrup. A sticky point (bazinga), I realize, since some people who avoid the sucrose in refined sugar put maple syrup in the same camp, but forgive me this one sin…
They’re also pleasantly spiced without being blatantly spicy, so they’re kinda perfect for those moments when you’re jonesing for something sweet — or is it savory? Both thangs right hurr, friend. Yer welcome.
I like mine topped with an extra squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chile-salt like that Tajin stuff I fell in love with in Puerto Vallarta, but without those accoutrements, these are still suckin-on-summer-for-all-its-worth stellar.
* Actual quote. But really, THERE’S NO GUY FIERI IN PORN.
Chile-Lime Watermelon Paletas
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 5 mins + 6 hrs freezing | Makes about 20 pops (see note)
Note: This produced enough pop mix (what does one even call that?) to make at least two batches of 10 popsicles in this handy mold. However, my patience was thin, so rather than waiting for the first batch to freeze, releasing it, and then pouring the second batch, I just poured the remaining mix into a big pitcher, added a couple cups of coconut water, and pretended the whole shebang was a delightful twist on my fave agua fresca. And it was lovely. Oh look, two recipes in one. No need to thank me, though I do adore tulips.
- 1 personal watermelon, cut into rough chunks
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 T chili powder
- generous pinch sea salt
- extra lime juice (optional)
- extra chili powder or chile salt, such as Tajin seasoning (optional)
Combine watermelon, maple syrup, chili powder, lime juice and salt in blender. Whirl until liquified. Pour into popsicle mold(s) of your choosing. Freeze for about 1 – 1.5 hours, then insert sticks. Continue freezing until firm, about 5 hours or overnight. Dip mold into warm water for several seconds to loosen pops. Enjoy immediately (optionally) sprinkled with an extra squeeze of lime and a dash of chili powder or chile salt — or, if you’d like to store pops out of their mold, transfer released pops to a large zip-top freezer bag, separating the layers with parchment.
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