4th feast

The 4th of July is a pretty anticlimactic day in my life.

That's fine.

Yet, there is a part of me that loves it since I like any excuse to get outside, grill something, and chill with friends or family. I'm down with that (and the having a day off work part).

It's just most of the time, I don't make any effort. Nevertheless, this year was a little bit different.

My parents arrived at the beginning of last week to help the Baker's pack up their things. Up until that Thursday (the 4th) Mom and Leah had been taking care of all the suppers and I would just show up after work and eat. (It was awesome). But on Thursday, it was time for me to take the reigns as Mom packed up the kitchen over there. It just so happened to be the 4th of July and it just so happened to be a day I decided would be great for grilling.

On the menu: Greek chicken and mushroom kabobs*, yogurt sauce, basil and feta couscous, green beans (from my garden), applesauce and a tomato from the farmer's market.

*I did not take a picture of these so I am just linking the recipe. I upped the spices (and added cumin) and cut down on the yogurt by a little bit. I also threw mushrooms into the marinade.

That was my 4th feast. But the real star of the show was the surprise dessert I made in honor of my sister, who had been wanting to make (or wanting me to make them, that is) these for the past 2 summers: homemade popsicles.

I recently found this post on BuzzFeed that listed all these delicious sounding popsicles and new that my freshly purchased popsicle molds would surely not go to waste.

This time around, Levent and I made Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles.


They definitely trump the first batch I made a few weeks ago and have, most likely, found their home in the "thing Anna makes all the time in the summer," category (which, so far, the only thing in that category is gallons of ice tea). They are so refreshing and perfectly sweet. Plus, I made them with decaf coffee so we could enjoy them in the evenings too.
I didn't quite wait until the top part was slushy (see directions) so my picture does not look like the one from the blog post. Oh well. 
Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

2 cups very strong coffee (preferably made with a French press or an stove top expresso maker)
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c cream
1 t vanilla

Place 2/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk in a bowl. Add hot coffee. Mix well.

Carefully pour coffee mix into popsicle molds until they are 2/3- 3/4 full. Place in freezer until they are slightly slushy (about 1 1/2 hours).

Mix cream with the rest of the sweetened condensed milk and add vanilla. When popsicles are slushy, pour cream over the top and add popsicle stick.

Return to freezer and freeze until hard.

These babies were the perfect ending to our 4th feast. That, and going to watch the Newton fireworks with Levent and his friends.

Happy holiday.