Cooks Exchange

Beat the heat with fruity homemade freezer treats

Looking for a tasty way to beat the heat? Here’s how to make 3 different flavors of gourmet ice pops

Omni Hotels & Resorts has a solution for anyone trying to beat the intense July heat: homemade, gourmet ice pops. Check out this video for step-by-step directions on how to make three delicious flavors: ginger peach, watermelon lemonade and pineap
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Omni Hotels & Resorts has a solution for anyone trying to beat the intense July heat: homemade, gourmet ice pops. Check out this video for step-by-step directions on how to make three delicious flavors: ginger peach, watermelon lemonade and pineap

Scoop up a snow or ice cream cone for a quick beat-the-heat treat.

It’s July and staying cool is the order of the day. With feels -like temperatures bursting 100 degrees, any beverage or treat cannot be beaten.

I keep frozen treat bars on hand, and I don’t know who likes them best — daughter or granddaughter. The store-bought treats are inexpensive enough, but I like to control the ingredients. If I make my own, I can use real fruit bits and juice instead of ones packed with sugar.

The frozen treat molds can be found from dollar stores to pricier versions from Tupperware or Pampered Chef. I prefer the heavy-duty ones that last longer, but the inexpensive versions work just fine. I am a kitchen gadget queen. In fact, I like the treat molds so well, I ordered another set. I keep ice pops in the freezer all the time. They also help soothe skinned elbows and knees.

If school-age kids or grandkids are running about, these homemade treats are healthy snack and easy to make. Simply mix, pour and freeze. For extra fun, let the children make their favorite flavors. That is the only way they learn to cook is by doing it. These can be done with milk or fruit juice or even yogurt.

When my granddad let me sit on the ice cream freezer that was packed with newspapers and towels, I thought I was really helping him. I loved it because I loved being with him.

Today, our ice cream freezer does it practically by itself. We mix the ice cream ingredients, pour them into the canister, put on the lid, clamp down the motor and plug in the freezer. Twenty-five minutes or so we have ice cream. Homemade is much better than even Blue Bell and being a native Texan that is saying a lot.

I offer some beat-the-heat pops and ice cream that are cool and easy.

French Connection memories

Reader Judy Moore doesn’t have the recipe for the grilled bacon-wrapped chicken that French Connection chef used to make, but she certainly remembers eating them there.

“I ordered it every time we went, which was often,” she said. “I would love to have that delicious recipe.”

Readers, if you have the recipe, please send it to me. I know the open-fire cooking method made the dish taste better. The smell enveloped the restaurant.


2 ounces fresh strawberries, cut in half

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 cup orange juice

Place the strawberries, water and honey into the food and process until pureed. Place a slice of strawberry against the walls of each well of the Quicksicle maker (Note: Pampered Chef calls its freezer molds Quicksicle) or other frozen treat maker. Pour the strawberry mixture into the wells and freeze until set.

Pour the orange juice into the wells and freeze until set. Yield: 3 servings.

Nutrients per serving: Calories 45, total fat 0 grams, saturated fat 0 grams, cholesterol 0 grams, sodium 0 milligrams, carbohydrate 11 grams, fiber 1 gram, sugars 9 grams, protein 1 gram

— From Pampered Chef


2 ripe Haas avocados

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted

Place avocado flesh in hand or electric food processor fitted with blade attachment to puree.

Add remaining ingredients and keep processing until no lumps remain and mixture is smooth.

Divide batter between each Lollitup (Tupperware calls its treat molds Lollitups) and tap against counter to eliminate air bubbles. Seal and place in freezer until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories,160; total fat, 10 grams; saturated fat, 6 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium: 45 milligrams; carbohydrates, 20 grams; fiber, 2 grams; sugar, 15 grams; protein, 1 grams; Vitamin D, 4 percent; calcium, 4 percent; iron, 4 percent; potassium, 4 percent.

— Recipe from Tupperware


(Touted as world’s easiest ice cream recipe)

(Makes 1 quart)

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 bunch fresh mint

4 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Green food coloring, optional

Infuse the ice cream: In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, add the mint and cover the saucepan. Let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.

Using a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium heat-safe bowl, strain the mixture, reserving the cream and discarding the mint. (Make sure to press hard on the mint leaves to get all the cream out of them.)

Transfer the cream to a shallow heat-safe dish (such as a 9-inch square baking pan) and chill in the refrigerator until it’s cold, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Make the chocolate chunks: While the cream chills, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together (either in a medium heat-safe bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water or in 15-second bursts in the microwave). Stir the mixture until it’s combined, then pour it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread it into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator to chill until the chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove the chilled chocolate from the fridge and roughly chop it to create chunks. Hold the chocolate chunks in the fridge until ready to use.

Make the ice cream: When the cream is cold, transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip it to medium peaks. Add the sweetened condensed milk in a slow, steady stream and whip until it’s incorporated. Beat in the peppermint extract and a few drops of food coloring, if using.

With a silicone spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chunks by hand, then pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and freeze until the ice cream is scoopable, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

— From

Andrea Yeager can be reached at and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.