root beer float popsicles

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Labor Day almost requires that our toes not leave the sand – summer can’t really be (almost) over, can it? Wimbledon, Fireworks and the Fourth of July had my attention just yesterday it seems. If you’re planning on celebrating and entertaining this weekend, try a fun and easy dessert that’s the epitome of summer and sunshine and kids running through the sprinklers. Below find two types of popsicles – a version for kids and adults (Root Beer float) and one for just the adults (fresh peach and Bellini). With the extra root beer, you can also make mini-root beer floats.

Mini root beer floats to go with the popsicles

Mini root beer floats to go with the popsicles

You can easily make these popsicles ahead to ease last minute rushing and preparation. Pass these popsicles around, kick your feet up and savor the last bites of summer.

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups A&W root beer
1/2 cup vanilla bean ice cream (softened)
1 Hershey’s milk chocolate bar
popsicle mold
cupcake liners

RootBeerFloatCollage

Directions
Slowly pour 4 1/2 cups of root beer into a large bowl. Once the fizzing has subsided, gently add 1/2 cup of softened vanilla bean ice cream to the bowl and stir slowly until melted into the root beer. Pour mixture into popsicle molds using a measuring cup with a spout (if possible).

The mixture will fizz a little bit more when poured into the molds due to the carbonation in the root beer. Once the fizzing has stopped, drop a few very small pieces of Hershey’s milk chocolate into each popsicle mold. The chocolate will float to the bottom and be in the first bite once these tasty treats are served.

Before removing frozen popsicles from their mold, cut a tiny hole in the bottom of the cupcake liners. Once the popsicles are out of the mold, push the popsicle stick through the cupcake liner to add a mini “drip tray.”

Arrange popsicles in a decorative ice bucket filled with ice and serve immediately. You can also place the popsicles on wax paper on a large dinner plate, stacking them into a few layers with wax paper between each layer and put into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

 

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Also easy to make ahead – scoop vanilla bean ice cream into small mason jars and freeze. Load them on a tray when ready to serve and add the root beer and whipped cream.

fresh peach and bellini popsicles

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Ingredients
2-3 large peaches, peeled and diced
2 cups+2Tb cranberry juice
1, 8 1/2 ounce bottle of prepared Bellini (find in your grocery store’s chilled spirits section)
fresh mint leaves
popsicle mold

A hint of mint

A hint of mint

Directions
Place peaches in a blender and add 1-2 Tb of cranberry juice. Blend until the peaches are pureed into a liquid – 30 seconds to one minute. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the 8 1/2 ounces of prepared Bellini and 2 cups of cranberry juice and mix with a large spoon.

Pour mixture into popsicle molds slowly using a measuring cup with a spout (if possible). Add a few fresh leaves of mint to every popsicle. The mint will float on the top but once the popsicle stick is inserted, the mint will be pushed further into the popsicle mold.

Freeze popsicles. Before removing frozen popsicles from their mold, cut a tiny hole in the bottom of cupcake liners. Once the popsicles are out of the mold, push the popsicle stick through the cupcake liner to add a mini “drip tray.”

Labor Day poolside dessert

Labor Day poolside dessert

Arrange popsicles in a decorative ice bucket filled with ice or pass around on a large tray with fresh mint leaves decorating the platter. Serve immediately. You can also place the popsicles on wax paper on a large dinner plate, stacking them into a few layers with wax paper between each layer and put into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh mint and serve on a large platter or in an ice bucket

Garnish with fresh mint and serve on a large platter or in an ice bucket

a patriotic paintbrush

Straight on view.BunkOne Decision Becomes Your Legacy. One Place Is Where It All Collides,
from “The Place Beyond The Pines.

I know a special person whose LEGACY is being shaped by his very DECISION to approach each day with a measured purpose. The place it all “collided” was a rugby field. He walked onto a rugby field one afternoon to play a game he loved, and hasn’t walked since. He says he knew instantly that life as he knew it was over. But he was positive his life was not over.

He is seven years removed from that collision. He misses teaching special education students and hopes to return to the classroom one day. He tutors once a week. He works on regaining movement. He is studying towards his Master’s degree in Art Education. And he pursues his craft – painting.

He paints beautiful paintings using ONLY his mouth. Let me repeat that…he paints beautiful paintings using only his mouth. The elegance and strength of his work must emanate from somewhere inside- from a place that refuses to acknowledge there are “no bad days,” a mantra he lives by.

There is unending support from friends, family, healthcare workers, students, colleagues and others who cross his path. Fox News ran an amazing segment on him (see clip below). But no one is surrounded all the time. And in those moments of solitude, maintaining a spirit for living, focusing talent to create beauty in the world, and constantly uplifting others is a rarity that few are capable of even in optimal circumstances. He does it naturally.

I have my own original piece of artwork that I bid on at his Annual Golf fundraiser a few years back. I waved that bid paddle frenetically, dodging the eye of my husband, knowing the value of the work.

Sideways view.Bunk

The painting is prominently displayed in our home and reminds me of him every day. It reflects possibility and potential. It commands me to be grateful and avoid pettiness. My plan is to add two more paintings to our collection; one for each of my children. When they grow up and leave home, I want them constantly reminded of this talented and inspiring man whose actions and work show that ALL things are possible no matter the adversity.

He started painting the American flag simply because it is the flag of his country. But what better symbol for him to paint than the American Flag – independent, proud, strong, courageous, captivating, unifying, constant; all of the qualities he embodies.

Bunk Signature

His name is Bunk Wurth. As we acknowledge and salute so many heroes on Labor Day weekend, keep this inspiring hero in your heart and in your toasts!
For more information, please go to Bunk’s official website.