Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Present

I sent out an email at the beginning of December requesting that people NOT buy us gifts for the holidays because we were only doing it for the kids in our life. Eh, I don't know. I'm getting older and think a lot of it is just a waste. Would rather spend time with people. And I certainly don't want people going out in the cold and stressing over what to get me. This year was the year we decided to stop the insanity. Having come out on the other side, I really like it. A lot less stress and I wasn't sewing dozens of buttons on handmade knit snowhats at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Fortunately, most people listened. I wasn't embarrassed when I showed up at various Christmas activities without gifts in hand. Only one person completely ignored me--my mom. I'm a mom, so I get that. I have plans to reciprocate when she is least expecting it, so all is good.

My absolute favorite thing that she bought me was the Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma. I had pointed it out to her in the catalog, after pointing out a cake pan she NEEDED to buy herself. She bought both items. :) Zoku was something I had seen a full page ad in Parents magazine for and was completely intrigued. The deal is that you can freeze popsicles from juice in 9 minutes. I am very impatient, so this seemed ideal for me. You can make easy layered pops or even cream filled pops...watch the video on the Williams Sonoma website if you want to know how. Basically, the base acts like an ice cream maker does. It's kept in the freezer at all times and only taken out to transfer the cold from the core to the liquid, making the liquid freeze super fast. It's not cheap--fifty smackeroos. But I've had it for two weeks now and I can tell you 1) it's totally worth it and 2) completely does everything it says it does.

We've been having popsicles almost every night. I like mixing vanilla soymilk and juice for more of a creamsicle. Hank has had buddies over for playdates and I've made popsicles for everybody. Matt comes up with some really weird layer popsicles that I won't even touch. Blueberry and carrot/orange? ICK. That's all him. Pay no attention to my husband with his iron clad tastebuds.

Only caveat is you need to use juice or liquid that has real sugar in it. No Crystal Lite or sugar free Koolaid. Supposedly the pops won't come out of the molds. Popsicles only have 1/4 cup of juice in them, so really, it isn't a lot of sugar even with the super sugary stuff. Not sweating it. No carbonated beverages either, although we have plans this summer to let the beer go flat and try freezing our favorite Beeragritas. Party at Erin's house!

Going to buy one for the cousins over in England. And maybe another one for myself. You get a discount on two and I can see myself needing to make more than 3 at a time over the summer.

Any who, thought I'd pass it on. Always fun for me to discover new things on other people's blogs, thought I'd return the favor.

As for the upcoming Valentine's Day, I'm making it my signature holiday. Doing it up right. Baking cookies and treats for everybody to make up for what I didn't do for Christmas. Just a lot LESS expected that time of year and therefore, more of a fun surprise. Not to mention, a thousand times less likely to end up in the trash due to sugar overload. William Somona is going to get another $20 from me for this cookie cutter set. Hello, I'm a stamper! This is perfect!!!

P.S....thanks for the new baby wishes! Ah, so exciting!


  1. Shawn Lantz (Frederick, MD)January 5, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    I made the same request this year to my family as far as gifts were concerned. I agree that the older you get it's not about the material things - the true gift is being able to spend time with your family.

    Thanks for the ZUKO info. I have a 3 y/o who's going to love these come summer time. Easier for him to handle than those foot long ice pops he wants. AND Congrats on the new addition!!

  2. Congrats on getting free of the Holiday frenzey. To me, adult gifts are sooooo hard to purchase/come up with the right gift that will actually be used!!! Should be all about the kids!!! And next year you get twice the fun!!!

    Wish that popcicle maker was around some 24 years ago.....

    Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

  3. That is cool! But you can't just use juice? Hmmm.

    My daughter likes pomegranate juice popsicles. When I was about 11 I once made a pickle juice popsicle, which seemed like a good idea at the time. I couldn't finish it.

  4. Love the Zuko info ....... that will work well with juicing ..... and the kids will like it more too!!! I am a WS girl ...... I will for sure have these cutters and they will be perfect for my German Hazelnut cookies ....... I bought too many hazelnuts at Christmas and now I need to make more cookies ..... and this is the perfect idea!!! Thanks ....... You should check out the Penguin at WS ....... it is a homemade seltzer maker !!! LOVE IT !!!!