Plum sorbet popsicles

 
Plum sorbet popsicles
 

Hey friends, it's that time of year again! It's Popsicle Week. Hosted by Wit & Vinegar every year, it's an online celebration for the best summer treat, the popsicle. I was stoked to participate in my first ever Popsicle Week last year with my peachy yogurt popsicles (recipe here), and I'm back once again with another stone-fruit inspired treat.

Plums are so special because their season is so short! It's especially short for those perfect little prune plums that are typically only around in the fall. That's why it's fun to take advantage of when plums are in season, and try to make everything you can with them.

Oh, and duh, these plum sorbet popsicles live up to their name. It's like taking bites of plum sorbet, but no ice cream maker is necessary and you won't even need a blender! First you'll slice up your plums, then you'll cook them down with plenty of lime juice, sugar and a touch of honey. I like adding basil at the end for fun and flavor, of course. Once the mixture is cool you're free to fill up some popsicle molds, or an ice cube tray, and freeze away. They're sweet and very tart, and easy to make, of course.

Follow the recipe below, and check out all other Popsicle Week recipes over here!

Plum sorbet popsicles

For 10-15 large popsicles

  • 2.5 lbs. black plums, pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Stir the plums, water, lime juice, sugar, and honey in a large pot. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low until the plums are mostly broken down. This should take around 20 minutes total.

Take the pot off the heat and stir in the fresh basil. Allow the plum mixture to cool completely, then remove the basil leaves.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, add in those popsicle sticks, and then freeze them overnight before enjoying.

Save any extra plum mixture for pouring over ice cream or stirring into whipped cream. It's delicious!

plum sorbet popsicles

Whiskey pineapple cocktail

 
Whiskey pineapple cocktail
 

Whiskey pineapple cocktail

Is anyone else down for a whiskey pineapple cocktail situation this summer? Order up!

This cocktail is inspired by one I had a hometown joint, the Yonkers Whiskey House. This place really turned me onto whiskey cocktails, but specifically the combo of whiskey and pineapple together. It's a great fit for drinkers that want something strong, but prefer some sweetness, so it's the perfect summer sipper. If you want to take it up a notch, sub the ginger ale for a super tart ginger beer.

  • 6 oz. can pineapple juice
  • 3 oz. bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 8 oz. ginger ale

In a cocktail shaker combine the pineapple juice, bourbon whiskey, and lemon juice with some ice. Shake hard, and split the mixture between two glasses filled with ice. Top off each glass with the ginger ale and a thin lemon slice.

Makes 2 cocktails

Chicken pomodoro

 
Chicken pomodoro
 

Chicken pomodoro

Can we chat about tomatoes for a second? I am currently obsessed with those mini multi-colored ones that are cropping up everywhere. They're sweet and all sorts of beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and of course, red. I've been using them in everything from a simple cucumber/tomato salad to this dish right here.

This chicken pomodoro recipe is golden brown chicken breasts cooked in a homemade tomato sauce served with delicious topping like ricotta cheese and fresh basil. It's fresh and savory, and a great go to dish for everyday luxury this summer.

Here's a tip, patience when cooking chicken is definitely needed especially if yours are really thick like mine were. I like to pound them down a bit by placing them in a gallon ziplock bag and using something heavy to pound away. Also, you don't need a meat pounder to get it done! Use the back of a wooden spoon or a heavy pan, instead. Just watch out for your fingers!

  • 3 cups dried medium shell pasta
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup boxed diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • To serve: fresh basil and ricotta cheese

Start by cooking your pasta according to the package’s instructions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain and set the pasta aside.

To prepare the chicken, pound the chicken breast down a bit and then cut it in half. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the base of the pan. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden and mostly cooked through. This can take some time depending on the thickness of your chicken, so you can definitely cut through one of the chicken breasts to check for doneness. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and set them aside on a plate. Keep the pan on the heat.

Reduce the heat to low. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, the sliced onion, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté until the onions are softened. Stir in the diced tomatoes and the reserved pasta water. 

Add the chicken (and any juices) back into the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken won’t be submerged in the sauce, so you may need to flip it once. If the liquid reduces before the chicken is cooked, feel free to add more water or diced tomatoes, but it should reduce for another 10-15 minutes or so.

Add the halved cherry tomatoes and simmer for 1 minute more to warm them through.

Serve each chicken breast with a generous scoop of pasta and the sauce. Top each serving with fresh basil and spoonfuls of ricotta cheese.

Serves 2

Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs

 
Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs
 

Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs

I'm a fan of a one pan wonder, a dinner that only requires one pan to cook everything in. Now let me introduce you to the sheet pan wonder, a dinner that only requires a sheet pan to cook multiple ingredients at once. I love a good sheet pan chicken situation, and this one is a pleaser.

Lots of us grew up dipping our carrot sticks into ranch dressing, but marinading our chicken in ranch? Ok, that's new! Trust me, it's delicious and slightly tangy, and makes the easiest marinade ever.

Ranch dressing typically contains herbs like parsley and plenty of garlic, so I added a bit more fresh parsley and garlic for even more punch. I chose cauliflower because I love a roasted cauliflower situation, plus I think it does a great job at absorbing all of that ranch flavor. 

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus more for serving)
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl combine the chicken thighs with the chopped fresh parsley, ranch dressing, and garlic. Set aside for 15 minutes or so to marinate the chicken.

Spray a foil-lined pan with cooking spray. Lay the cauliflower florets in a layer, then add the chicken thighs. Any leftover ranch or parsley used as the marinade can be added on top of the chicken thighs, or discarded. 

Bake the chicken and cauliflower in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the cauliflower softens and the chicken begins to brown.

Serve the chicken and cauliflower with a sprinkle of salt and more fresh parsley on top.

Sheet pan ranch chicken thighs

Roasted brussels sprout salad

 
Roasted brussels sprout salad
 

Roasted brussels sprout salad

Spring is in the air in New York, but of course we've bypasses spring straight into summer. And to make matters worse, your girl doesn't have AC installed quite yet. So I'm currently using a pint of ice cream to cool down my entire body, and then consuming said pint of ice cream.

I know what people say about using the oven in the summer, just don't do it. But can I convince you to turn it on once a week to roast delicious vegetables? If you do, this is the salad to make.

Roasted brussels sprouts were my favorite this winter, and I'm easily taking them with me into warmer weather days in this cool, crispy salad. The clementines, cucumber, and tomatoes are all cooling and you can't beat how easy this lemon mustard dressing is to whisk together.

Recipe is below for you to make. While you pre-heat the oven, I'll be off to eat more ice cream.

  • ~ 9oz. fresh brussels sprouts
  • 3 packed cups baby kale
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  • Optional: Clementines, grated cheese, walnuts

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Wash and quarter the brussels sprouts. Arrange them in a greased pan and drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Roast the brussels sprouts in the oven for ~35 minutes until crispy on the edges and softened. Once roasted, remove them from the oven and let cool.

Prep the rest of the ingredients by washing the baby kale and chopping the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add clementine segments, grated cheese, and walnuts, if using.

To make the dressing, first juice half a lemon. Then whisk together the lemon juice with olive oil, rice vinegar, mustard, and garlic.

Toss the salad in the dressing and enjoy right away.

Roasted brussels sprout salad