Ah, summer in Chicago really is a magical time. I remember spending the first summer in Chicago after moving into my very first big-girl apartment. It felt like one big playground. I thought it might be because I was in college and young and carefree and everything was just one big playground, but even now as a full-grown person, summer in Chicago is still magical. Work still exists, but everything feels slower. There are things to be done, but they’re just not as urgent. It seems that, for the last few weeks, I’ve been lounging my life away on restaurant patios and the toughest decision I’ve had to make has been picking out which sundress to wear. (I swear that’s not all I’ve done, and my friends with kids hate me when I say things like this, but that’s what it seems like.)
In addition, it’s been a real challenge to keep cool. We’re trying not to use the oven as much, so the grill has become our new best friend at dinner time. But obviously there is more to life than dinner. Obviously warm weather snacks are quite important, too. And let me tell you, I think I’ve found a good one.
Back in the winter months, when it was frigid and awful outside, my friends and I met up at the super-hip Sawada Coffee. I warmed up by ordering their famous military latte. A mix of espresso and matcha, it was everything that I needed to fend off the cold. But now it’s August. While I appreciate people who like warm drinks in the summer, I’m just not one of them. In fact, I’m one of those people who prefers cold drinks year-round. And, when it’s hot out, I really like popsicles, like any other respectable human being. To combine my passion for cold drinks, popsicles, and snacks that are both savory and sweet, I created one beautiful masterpiece that is sure to please.
To start, have you had matcha? It’s in right now. Like, so in. It’s the best color green and the taste is slightly grassy, in an amazing way. When you mix that with the slight bitterness of the espresso, you’re really on to something. Finally, when you mix it with some sweet cream, you have an delicious snack that will also keep you cool. Plus, you get a nice caffeine boost, so don’t eat too many before bed like I
Matcha Espresso Popsicles
1 tbsp matcha
1 tbsp instant espresso
2 tbsp, plus 2 tsp sugar
8 oz cream
8 oz milk
In a medium measuring cup, mix 1 tbsp matcha with 4 oz cream, 4 oz milk and 1 tbsp, plus 2 tsp sugar.
In a separate measuring cup, mix 1 tbsp instant espresso with 4 oz cream, 4 oz milk, and 1 tbsp sugar.
To get the layering effect shown here, you’ll freeze the popsicles in stages. Using popsicle molds, or dixie cups, pour either the matcha mixture, or the espresso mixture, into the bottom of your mold, about 1 1/2 cm. Freeze for 1 hour. Insert the popsicle sticks into the center. Freeze for 1 hour. Add the alternate mixture about 1 cm. Freeze for 1 hour. Add the same mixture as your first pour into the mold, leaving about 1/2 cm at the top. Freeze an additional 1 1/2 hours.
These really are the very best summer snack. They are a cinch to make and you can share them with friends. Or eat them all by yourself, watching Stranger Things, like I’m going to tonight. (I don’t binge-watch, so please, no spoilers. Let’s talk again in a month, when I’ve finally finished. I’ll bring popsicles.) Enjoy!