It's Summer in LA!! Which means a few things:
- It's about to get unbearably hot in the Valley.
- My A/C is probably going to break.
- I'm getting the heck out of here (again).
- It's #popsicleweek!
When I first moved to Los Angeles just under three years ago, I was not prepared for the unrelenting heat. Upon arrival at my tiny apartment it was about 3pm in the afternoon, in July, and all the windows had been sealed tight since the last occupants had moved out. I was floored by the warm air, and it took a long time to get used to. To make matters worse, I was under the impression that there was no a/c in the apartment, so I literally walked around naked most mornings as I adjusted to the heat (a deep apology to my room mate belongs here.) As I settled into my new life in LA I remember driving around the city, wondering if all the other apartments were as hot as mine. And I was seriously wondering if it was illegal to not provide central air when temperatures got so hot. I was being a real brat, tbh.
Being from the pacific northwest I was never much for heat, my body was used to cold, rainy days. Nothing like the sweltering dry heat of the San Fernando Valley, and I spent a good two weeks in essentially heat shock. After the first few days I noticed an old control unit for the central air in my apartment (only explanation as to why I missed it initially is that I was literally dying of heat stroke), all of the numbers and writing were rubbed off, so I made an educated guess and hoped for the best. Long story short, I ended up making the wrong choice and accidentally pumping heat through my apartment for about 1 week before I realized my mistake. Damn.
I'm much more used to the heat now, in fact I prefer it, but my a/c does routinely break right when the temperature starts to rise. Which means definitely no cooking/baking, and in turn makes for one sad little food blogger. So thankfully I'll be headed off on a work trip for the summer, where I'll be staying in a much nicer place that has brand new a/c units. I've got lots of recipes in the backlog for you, and I'm going to try and bake while I'm on the road as well. I'll also be active on my instagram! We'll make it through this summer!
Moving right along. Since I apparently can't seem to get out of my rut of making cinnamon/coffee flavored things, and also anything with a neutral/beige color palette, here's my offering for #popsicleweek2017. Coffeechata popsicles, as in, homemade horchata + (decaf) coffee. In the event that you live under a rock, Popsicle Week, (started by the hilarious Billy over at Wit & Vinegar) is the best time of year, the first full week of summer, where all my food blogging friends and I join together to make some bomb ass ice pops. This is my second year participating, and I'm happy to say I've upped my game a LOT since last year. I got a popsicle mold that's one million times cuter, and experimented with layers of flavors to really up the ante. I think one can only assume that next year I'll be incorporating glitter or literal unicorn dust into my popsicles.
This recipe is really only as hard as you make it, but if you're like me and don't know how to manage your own expectations, and insist on doing things the hardest way possible.. this recipe is going to be up your alley. It also comes with extra horchata so if anything, that's an incentive. It takes about two days to get all the right soaking done, but it's only about 20 minutes of actual "cooking" so it's not like it will wear you out. The result is a creamy layer of horchata, combined with a dark, roasted layer of coffee to balance it out. Yum.
Make sure you check out all the other popsicle recipes being shared over on the popsicle week main page, and check out Wit & Vinegar for lots of popsicle related tips, as well as his hilarious writing and funky food photography (seriously, it's so artsy and cool!)
Coffeechata Popsicles - Popsicle Week 2017
yields 10 + popsicles
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 oz evaporated coconut milk (optional) *
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 liter water
- 1 cup brewed coffee, refridgerated
In your large container, soak rice, almonds and cinnamon stick in water overnight in the fridge. Rice should be soft.
Use your nut milk bag, or other strainer, to strain soaking water from rice and almond mixture. Discard soaking water.
Blend mixture until smooth, adding in evaporated coconut milk if desired. Then add in milk and water and blend again.
Pour horchata into popsicle molds, filling up about 3/4 of the way. Insert popsicle sticks** and freeze for about 4 hours, before adding the final layer of coffee. Free for another 3-4 hours before enjoying. Coffeechata popsicles will last in the freezer for about 3 weeks.
horchata recipe adapted from My Latina Table
* Nature's Charm makes a great version.
** to keep popsicle sticks from bobbing around, soak them in water first
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