Category Archives: pineapple

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Focus on Local–Freezer Monkey Gourmet Frozen Treats

These Are Not Your Average Frozen Treats!  They are Gourmet!

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Meet Tiffany!

Tiffany grew up in Santa Barbara, and has always loved this area.  She went to art school in New York, but eventually ended up in San Francisco, where she found her true calling in culinary school.  She worked in restaurants for over 15 years as a pastry and dessert chef.  She got to develop recipes and see her creations bring joy to many patrons.
 
But life brought her back to Ventura County.  She decided that she wanted to branch out and do something on her own, so she took a 14-week course on how to start your own business through WEV–Women’s Economic Ventures.  (For more information on WEV, click here.)  She had to write a business plan, and thought that she might start her own bakery.  But those plans just didn’t seem right for her and her children.  In October 2011 a sweltering heat wave hit Thousand Oaks and she found herself making frozen treats for her kids.  They were a huge hit and the kids kept coming back for more.   It was a light-bulb moment.  She dug out her recipe collection, looking for sorbet and ice cream recipes.  Her business plan abruptly changed.  Soon she created several different flavors and launched the Blueberry Dessert Company.  Her son named the line of pops when he came in, asking for more of those “freezer monkeys!”

 

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Watch This!

Last week I got to follow Tiffany around as she made her Caramelized Pineapple Pops.  First, she caramelizes some sugar in a heavy pot.  (To learn how to do this yourself, see my post on candying pecans for a spinach/pear salad found here. )

 

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Tiffany poured the caramelized sugar over fresh pineapple pieces, 

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and then added a little red Hawaiian sea salt.

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Tiffany blended the pineapple, caramel and salt until pureed.  

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Once everything was pureed very fine, she strained the mixture to remove the tough solids. 

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After removing the foam (too much air for a pop!) Tiffany poured the strained puree into these amazing molds that she got from Brazil.

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The lid, with the sticks, went on last.  It clamped everything together.

 

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The mold was lowered into a container with propylene glycol, a food-grade liquid that has a very low freezing point.  The liquid was -15 degrees, and the pops were frozen in about 15 minutes!  (None of the propylene glycol gets into the pops–it just surrounds the mold.)

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Amazing!  The quick-freeze time reduces the opportunity for crystals to form in the treats, so the result is a smooth and creamy texture. 

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The treats were popped out of the molds, and they were ready for packaging.

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Tiffany stamps the date on every pop.  

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Lassen’s carries six Freezer Monkey flavors–all delicious!  Great for these hot days, but also for all throughout the year!  (No reason to stop eating frozen treats in California!)

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Next up for Tiffany?  Watch for her Bon-Bons, coming soon!  I tried the Vietnamese Coconut–it was amazing!

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There’s nothing like the fun of a frozen treat on a stick, and Tiffany’s Freezer Monkey Treats are more than just frozen colored sugar water!  They are made with real fruit and other natural ingredients!  You’ll love them! 

Love,
 
Lassen’s
kitchen+tips, how+to+cut+watermelon, how+to+cut+pineapple, cucumber+tuna+boats, patriotic+fruit+skewers, fun+with+fruit, party+skewers

Cool Kitchen Tips and a Fun Lunch

This is Something That Made Me Crazy for a Long Time

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While my family loved watermelon, I hated to get it.  Why?  I dreading cutting the darned thing.  The knife had slipped too many times and I was knife-shy!  How do you cut up a round thing without putting your fingers in mortal danger?  Every time I cut into a watermelon the thing would roll around and I would get nervous.

Someone Finally Showed Me How!

I was helping at a party, and someone had just the tips I needed!  So now, I share with you!

The First Cut is the Worst

You do have to make one dangerous cut–the first one.  But hold it firmly on the cutting board with one hand while you cut the melon in half.

 

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Flip it over on the cut side and then cut it in half again.

 

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Then you start cutting the rind off.  This is actually easier with a thinner knife, not a big butcher-style.

 

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You’ll end with a quarter circle of rind-free melon, which you then just slice into the size of chunks that you want!

 

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Slice one way…

 

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Then the other…

 

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Then into cubes…

 

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Done!  Right after I cut this melon I put it in front of a bunch of teenagers with forks and they were in heaven!  

Pineapple Cutting Tricks, too!

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We all love pineapple at my house.  I usually have one ripening in the fruit bowl, and when it smells just right, I cut pineapple in a similar fashion to the watermelon.

 

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First, cut off the top and the bottom.  Looks and smells delicious!

 

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Cut off the rind.  Don’t worry if there are some little pieces of the rind left–you can trim them afterwards with a small knife.

 

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Then cut the pineapple into fourths.

 

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Slice off the core of each…

 

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Put the flat sides on the cutting board, cut in half again, and then into chunks.  Done!

For a Fun Fourth of July Snack…

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Skewers some banana slices, chunks of watermelon, and blueberries for a patriotic snack!

 

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 Or sprinkle fresh red raspberries and blueberries into vanilla yogurt!

And Make a Fresh, Crunchy, Cool, Summer Lunch!

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Cucumber Tuna Boats!

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Make a couple of thick peels from the flattest side of a cucumber for the base (so it won’t roll around!)

 

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Take some thin peels from the sides (just to make it look nicer), and then cut a lengthwise wedge out of the top of the cucumber.  

 

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Scoop out the seedy inside of the cucumber.

 

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Discard the seeds, but chop the cucumber wedge and some green onions.  Slice some cherry tomatoes, and get some tuna salad ready (tuna, mayonnaise, salt and pepper) and then add the chopped cucumber and green onion to the tuna.

 

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Arrange the tomato slices and the tuna salad in the cucumber boat.

 

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Slice through the tuna, and enjoy your tuna-cucumber boat lunch, with fresh pineapple and patriotic flag fruit skewers!  Then have a little yogurt and berries for dessert!  Yum!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s