Thursday 22 August 2013

WHB Creamy strawberry icy poles, a party and surprises

It is a wet rainy evening but we were enjoying strawberry icy poles.  I made them on a whim after browsing magazines in our local newsagents yesterday.  I think my enthusiasm got away with me.  It probably wasn't the day for it with lots of other baking going on.  But the strawberries at the fruit and veg shop were cheap and tempting.  And pink things are very popular in our place.

Before telling you about the icy poles I will share a few more pink photos from my niece, Stella's first birthday party on the weekend.  My sister really knows how to plan an amazing party.  A BBQ outside and table heaving under sweet food inside.  A barbie doll cake and a cake of many layers.  A bouncy castle out the back.  Pin the tail on the unicorn game.  Then a strawberry shaped pinata.

Sylvia still gets starry eyed when she remembers the lollies raining from the pinata.  I on the other hand have a shiver of horror at the memory of the kids weilding a big stick to hit the pinata.

Let's not dwell on it.  Instead here are three moments that reminded me that the best laid plans don't always work out as we expect:
  • I know my way to Fran and John's place quite well.  Yet I wasn't concentrating and headed towards my parents' house instead.  Sylvia and I took the scenic route to the party and got there a little later than I intended.
  • Sylvia was quite excited about the party.  Yet when she arrived and saw all the people there she was stuck by shyness and it took her quite a while to warm up and enjoy bouncing up and down with the other kids, lollypops in mouths!
  • It was Stella's birthday yet she was fast asleep before all the games began.

Fran did heaps of baking for the party.  And as if that wasn't enough she made amazingly good gingerbread biscuits for the party bags for the kids to take home.  Stella might not remember it very clearly but it was an impressive do.

At home we also had a few unexpected moments yesterday:
  • We had a swim and left the car in the swimming carpark while we went to the newsagent and fruit and veg shop, stopping to talk to a few people we knew from swimming.  I was most displeased to get back to the car and have a parking ticket for overstaying the time limit by 20 minutes.  There are a few places in Melbourne that I am very wary of overstaying parking but not in our local area.
  • Sylvia lost a little and tiny castle my parents brought back from Denmark.  She moved lots of furniture around in the loungeroom in search of it.  We found the castle in her bedroom.
  • When Sylvia was searching for the castle, I was pleased to finally find some green shoes I had been searching for.  Unfortunately they had a huge hole in them and had to be thrown out.  Perhaps that is why I had shoved them in a corner in the first place.

Another little irony was that I ended up buying the BBC Vegetarian Good Food (Summer 2013) magazine where I found the recipe.  Yet it was so simple that I never even consulted the magazine again before making the icy poles.

The recipe that interested me because it combined the healthiness of lots of fresh fruit with the decadence of condensed milk.  Doesn't the drizzle of condensed milk look pretty in the above photo!  I was also interested because, having recently experimented with condensed milk in no churn ice cream recipes, I was aware that it makes a creamy ice cream.

It would also make a child happy if you just topped it up with milk and gave it to them in a cup.  I know this because I had a little of the mixture leftover after filling 10 icy pole moulds so I did just that.  Sylvia drank it in record time.

And how did the icy poles taste?  Amazing!  Very sweet but also slightly fruity.  (Perhaps lemon juice would take the sweet edge off it?)  Yes, I am afraid it is not the healthiest ice cream.  The condensed milk had its way over the fruit but the strawberries.  But only just.  I found the flavour reminded me of a strawberry ice cream or milkshake that I might have had in my childhood.  But better.  Sylvia demonstrated how much she loved it with her reluctance to share it. 

I have a busy September coming up with a holiday, Vegan Mofo and hosting Pasta Please.  I am trying to prepare as much as possible for it beforehand.  The rest of yesterday's baking will appear later.  This morning, I was pleased to be able to share a little of it with my lovely fellow bloggers Kari and Mel when we met for a coffee at Brunettis.  Now I just need to stew those apples!

I am sending this soup to Simona from Briciole for Weekend Herb Blogging #398, the weekly event coordinated by Haalo and founded by Kalyn.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: WSC chocolate cherry cookies
Two years ago: Potage St Germain
Three years ago: SOS Chickpea, lemon and mint soup
Four years ago: Potato boston bun
Five years ago: Shepherd’s Pie Traditions
Six years ago: Midweek Mock Fish

Creamy strawberry icy poles
Adapted from BBC Good Food's Strawberry Milk Pops
makes about 9-10 icy poles

400g strawberries
395g tin of condensed milk
100ml soy milk

Wash, hull and chop strawberries.  Use a blender to puree.  (As you will see in the photos, my food processor was otherwise engaged so I used my hand held blender in a large bowl.)  Add condensed milk and soy milk and blend til pureed.  Pour into icy pole moulds - leaving a little room at the top for the mixture to expand when frozen.  Freeze overnight.  To remove icy pole from mould, run under hot water until the icy pole comes away from mould easily.

On the Stereo:
Again: Alan Stivell


  1. what a gorgeous looking party!

    (hehe and I took the 'scenic' route to the shops yesterday...completely missed my turn off!

    1. Thanks Lisa - I meant to go to the shops the other day and found myself driving into my driveway before I realised I had missed the turn!

  2. I have a little shiver of horror at the thought of children bouncing up and down with lolly pops in their mouths! It sounds like an amazing party though - far more extensive and impressive than any I went to as a child. If I ever track down soy condensed milk, I will also be making these icy poles for sure.

    Also, I think it is safe to say that Mel and I were even more pleased to be able to share in your baking :D In fact, I'm having some of the muffins for breakfast, and they are delicious (I'm telling myself the chocolate is offset by the vegan low-sugar-ness!).

    1. Kari, I think I spotted tins of soy condensed milk in the PAWS store in Perth - might be worth a look if you are in the area. I had a similar breakfast yesterday too, the mini-muffins were great with a coffee.

    2. Thanks Kari - I am no fan of lollypops and not on bouncy castles. I have made my own soy condensed milk before but just simmering milk and sugar though am never sure of the right point to stop.

      And those muffins are definitely healthy - hey they even had vegetables in them :-)

      And Mel, I love how you have a good grasp of the perth health food stores in Perth - very impressive!

  3. I must admit that I love the combination of strawberries and milk or cream! And what an impressive party :o I don't remember having parties like this! :P

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I am sure we never had parties like this when I was a kid either - but there was never the online resources either - they are amazing!

  4. It all looks great and I had to laugh about your shoes, that's the sort of thing that goes on here. We can't find my son's full body ski suit, how on earth one loses such a big puffy hard-to-lose item is beyond me.

    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - what amazed me was that I have looked under the couch for stuff heaps of times and not realised there was a little blind corner that you could only find from a different angle. Hope that ski suit reappears but not in the middle of summer :-)

  5. I'm not surprised that Sylvia didn't want share - the icy poles look so pretty! Thanks again for the delicious baked goodies which are rapidly disappearing - was great to catch up with you and Kari!

    1. Thanks Mel - glad you are enjoying the baked goodies - the icy poles are pretty but goodness I wish I could photograph them like some of the pinterest photographers!

  6. Happy belated birthday to your niece! :) All the foods look just amazing - you can see that much love and effort were put into making them!

    The icy poles look delicious! I love icecream and have thought about ordering a batch of icy pole moulds so I can make icy poles with blended berries and almond milk.

    1. Thanks Kath - The party food was amazing - and I think it was really special for Fran because it was her daughter's first birthday even though she has thrown many amazing parties!

      I sometimes freeze smoothies to make easy healthy icy poles but I am a sucker for any condensed milk recipe

  7. What a party! I have read about using condensed milk in ice cream but never tried it. I had to smile when I read about Sylvia not wanting to share it. Thank you so much for contributing dessert to WHB this week.

    1. Thanks Simona - the condensed milk is great in ice cream - Sylvia does love these ice creams - today she let the last bit melt and ate it melted by the straw in the ice cream holder and a spoon :-)

  8. I am sooo jealous! Can you please host my 25th? I use a condensed milk quick mix for my emergency ice cream. It's so easy and it tastes like soft serve!

    1. thanks Cass - no I think you want my sister hosting your 25th - she is the party organiser extraordinaire - I make a cake, threw a packet of balloons in the room and tell kids to amuse themselves :-)


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