03 September 2013

Eats: Easy-peasy sangria pops

Raise your hand if you always over-buy fruit.

Oh yes, ME. Me me me! Leftover fruit is the name of my game (see here and here).

It’s not entirely my fault, right? Like, it’s impossible to buy less than two bunches of grapes at a time. And here in the summertime, all the cartons of strawberries and blueberries are double-sized, even if I only wanted a small portion. If you buy fruit because company is coming to visit, you have no choice but to buy a lot of fruit. So because I had visitors this week, I automatically had leftover fruit.

Therefore it’s also not entirely my fault that I made boozy sangria popsicles. Other reasons to make sangria pops: it was entirely too hot outside this weekend, and my wine rack is overflowing. Did you hear that? I have too much wine. I did not even realize that could be a thing.

Clearly, sangria pops will solve all of our problems. Let’s gather all that fruit.

Well hello there, incredible early-morning light. It’s too bad the best light in my kitchen doesn’t correspond to the time I’d want to eat most of the recipes I’m photographing. Shrimp crostini at 7AM? No thanks.

Anyway. That’s more than enough fruit for four popsicles, and as you can see, it’s not that much – two strawberries, half a banana, small handfuls of blueberries and grapes. Still, it makes a dent, albeit a small one, in the superfluous fruit stash!

Now let’s dice it up.

I promise I didn’t add any more fruit. It’s your brain playing tricks on you because there’s more pieces. Sneaky brain!

Moving on. Fill up the molds with the fruit! I used store-bought popsicle molds, but Shawnda uses 3-oz paper cups and short, flat popsicle sticks, and her popsicles are way cuter than mine. Use whatever you’ve got!

Also, I read somewhere (in my perusal of a variety of sangria popsicle recipes) that you need to pack the fruit in the molds, or it’ll float to the top. I only loosely packed in the fruit, but because I used so much, I didn’t have any trouble with floating. I have seen other pops around the web, though, that looked like floating was an issue, because all the fruit is at the base. Just FYI: use enough fruit, or wedge it in, so your fruit can’t float!

Ok, thus far, we’ve commandeered leftover fruit for boozy popsicle purposes. No special fruit purchased for this project! So let’s keep it simple and use other on-hand ingredients: cheap wine and Mr. P’s favorite juice.

The wine was $5 a bottle at Trader Joe’s, and it’s tasty enough for drinking, as well. As for the juice, we always have juice. Mr. P is a regular Buster Bluth when it comes to juice. He was even annoyed that I used his juice for this recipe. When I told him that he wouldn’t miss just a quarter cup, he said, “Of course I’d miss it, I drink so much juice that I need all of it!”

Where was I? Oh right, a quarter-cup of juice. And three-quarters cup of wine! You can adjust the total amount if needed for your popsicle molds, but a ratio of 3 parts wine to 1 part juice works well. And although we all like a boozy popsicle, don’t be tempted to use only wine – the freezing point of alcohol is colder than your freezer. So, you need to cut the wine with a bit of juice for the pops to freeze properly, and so you can eat your boozy popsicle without it melting all over your hands. Trust me, I’m a scientist.

Finally: I really, really meant to add basil simple syrup to these, but I got distracted and totally forgot. But wouldn’t that be tasty? Go ahead, add a few tablespoons! It’d be delish!

All right. Fill ‘em up...

... and stick ‘em in your freezer for a few hours, until solid. I tested mine after three hours, and they weren’t done, so your best bet is to start early in the day or let them freeze overnight.

But oh, they’re worth the wait!

I didn’t take the time to take beautiful photos of these guys like others have. I had a boozy popsicle to eat! Sorry, but sangria pops take priority over pretty photographs.

These pops were deliciously boozy and perfectly suited for this awful late summer heat we’re having. And best of all? I have a new favorite use for leftover fruit. Enjoy!

Finally, here’s this week’s meal plan (a day late, but hopefully inspiring nonetheless):

Sunday: Leftovers, while Mr. P travelled

Monday: smoked sausage, roasted potatoes, asparagus, and fruit salad. Yup, MORE LEFTOVER FRUIT.

Tuesday: Cajun alfredo pasta with broccoli and sausage

Wednesday: chicken tikka masala over rice

Thursday: grilled pork chops with roasted asparagus and broccoli

Friday: Chinese pork and veggies with rice

Saturday: Leftovers

Have a great SHORT week, dear readers! Happy eating!