Lately, I've been thinking a lot about color. We've spent the better part of this past week painting the interior of the shop and, lame as it may sound, I've been completely amazed by what a few coats of fresh color can do for not only four walls, but for the entire atmosphere of a space.
This is likely not a major revelation for most people. However, I grew up in a house with white walls in every room (color was intended for things like art and throw pillows). As a result, I've kept white walls in every apartment I've ever lived in (save for the lonely yellow wall in our current kitchen, which I inform guests is an "accent wall,"despite my knowing that it is more a display of my laziness than my eye for design).
When the chef and I first stepped foot in the new 2nd Avenue space, the wainscoting was the color of eggshells, and the walls were the color of grease. The beautiful, yet terribly intimidating fifteen-foot ceilings aside, it went without saying that paint would be a non-negotiable aspect of our new shop decor.
I want to tell you that, during this past week, we've proven to be absolute pros at this whole painting thing; however, that would be a big fat lie. In truth, we did everything totally, completely, utterly backwards. We started by painting the wainscoting black, which seemed easy enough, before moving on to the walls, which we slapped with a few coats of white. Still seems easy, right?
Neither of us had the foresight to think to paint from top to bottom (I know, I know...it seems so obvious in retrospect), meaning that our fresh black paint became coated in creative drips of white, which we had to frantically wipe off with a wet sponge every, oh, thirty seconds or so and, in a few cases, repaint entirely. Such an amateur move. No joke, at one point, I made a tssk tssk sound at myself.
But once we tidied things up, all the (easily preventable) touch-ups aside, the place was looking pretty great. Which, naturally, is when we finally looked up and remembered that we'd need to paint the ceiling, too.
When the final paintbrush was washed clean (which was also precisely when our first pipe came loose from the flooring, creating a lazy river of sorts right there in the middle of what will soon be our kitchen), the new paint made the whole shop feel like a totally different space. The clean layers of color look fresh and crisp and, with nothing more than a hue change, the place is starting to feel a bit more like a reflection of the chef and I and our brand.
Today, I had the day to myself (an entire day!), and when I began to think about a fun, Fourth of July-inspired recipe, my mind kept wandering back to my thoughts about color and just how truly beautiful it can be.
These pops are like a grown-up, preservative-free version of my two favorite popsicles I used to get from the ice cream man when I was a kid: classic, icy rocket pops and rich, creamy coconut pops. The red and blue layers are made from blended, antioxidant-rich summer berries that have been sweetened with a bit of rosemary simple syrup. Sandwiched in between them is a thick serving of greek yogurt that has been blended with shredded coconut, giving it a texture that takes me right back to the suburban streets of my childhood and the post-pool afternoons when my mom had a few extra quarters to ration off to us kids (re: we could splurge on the $1.75 coconut pops as opposed to the $0.75 rocket pops so long as no one told our dad).
I hope your holiday is filled with cocktails, grilled meats, and plenty of sweet treats! Cheers all!
Rosemary & Yogurt Rocket Pops
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cold water (plus a few extra splashes)
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (divided into thirds)
Combine the rosemary sprigs, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Add the strawberries, raspberries, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, a splash of cold water, and 2 tablespoons of the cooled rosemary simple syrup to a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Thoroughly rinse blender and then add the blueberries, blackberries, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, a splash of cold water, and 2 tablespoons of the cooled rosemary simple syrup. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a new, separate bowl and set aside.
In another new, separate bowl, add the yogurt, the coconut, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the cooled rosemary simple syrup. Gently fold and set aside.
Carefully pour the red berry mixture into the popsicle molds, filling the molds 1/3 of the way. Place the molds into the freezer until the mixture begins to freeze, but is not yet entirely frozen, about 30 minutes. Remove the molds from the freezer and carefully pour the yogurt mixture on top of the red berry mixture, filling the molds 1/3 of the way. Place the molds back into the freezer until the mixture begins to freeze, but is not yet entirely frozen, about 30 minutes. Remove the molds from the freezer and carefully pour the blue berry mixture on top of the yogurt mixture until the mold is completely filled. Place popsicle sticks into the center of each pop and place the molds back into the freezer for about 4-5 hours, or until the pops are completely frozen.