Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops

Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
I recently just found out about Saigon cinnamon (aka Vietnamese cinnamon).  I know, where have I been?!  If you’re still in the dark like I was, Saigon cinnamon is more potent than regular cinnamon – both in scent and flavor. (Mr. Google has loads more info if ya need to know more!) Being a lover of cinnamon, I knew I had to try it immediately. I was able to find some at my local grocery store, but they also have it on Amazon if you can’t find any at a local store.  Of course my first use of it needed to include ice cream, because it’s still summer…and ice cream is my favorite.
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
I loved, loved it in this ice cream!  It’s definitely a strong cinnamon flavor and this creamy, spiced ice cream pairs so perfectly with chocolate!  This definitely should be on your to-make list!
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
Saigon Cinnamon Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons Saigon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks

In a large saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until very hot, but not boiling. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly, this gently warms the egg yolks (so they don’t become scrambled eggs!). Keep adding the milk slowly, constantly whisking, until you have about 1/2 of the hot milk mixture stirred into the eggs yolks. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture reaches 165-170ºF. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature (you can set the bowl in an ice bath to speed up the cool down process), cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Once mixture is completely chilled, churn the ice cream mixture in your ice cream maker. If making popsicles, pour into popsicle mold. Freeze for a few hours or until hard.
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
Homemade Magic Shell

1 cup chopped chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or coconut oil)

In a microwavable bowl, stir together the chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each cycle until smooth.
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
Assembly: Remove popsicles from mold (I run mine under warm water till they’re soft enough to pull out…just don’t get them too warm or they will start to melt!). Pour magic shell into a glass or container that’s slightly wider than the popsicles and a few inches taller (I used a drinking glass). Dip popsicles in, wait a minute for the shell to harden and enjoy! (If making a bunch at a time, it’s easiest to keep all the popsicles in the freezer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, then dip one at a time, placing the dipped ones back on the cookie sheet once the chocolate sets.)  Wrap extra popsicles in wax paper and place in a ziploc bag or airtight container in freezer.
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought
Of course if you don’t have a popsicle mold, dipped cones are always a good idea too…
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Cones @themerrythought
Saigon Cinnamon Chocolate Pops @themerrythought


A Day at the Falls

A Day at the Falls @themerrythought A Day at the Falls @themerrythought A Day at the Falls @themerrythought A Day at the Falls @themerrythought A Day at the Falls @themerrythoughtMy car pretty much bit the dust this weekend. It’s been my longest lasting car after being around for the past 3 years. Before that I was buying a new car every year! Seriously. So I’m very thankful that I had a decent car for quite a while but I’m dreading car shopping this week.

While I’ve been car-less this past week, I’ve been staying at my cousins’ house so I have cars to borrow. Luckily, this leaves me in the company of some folks that are always up for some hiking and swimming adventures. Yesterday afternoon we packed up and headed out to explore some nearby waterfalls. We visited Akron Falls, which I’ve been to a bunch of times, and then Indian Falls, which I had never been to before and it was incredible – definitely one of my favorites! We soaked up some sun, jumped off the falls, found a tiny turtle, chatted with some strangers, and ended our day with a nice little picnic. Making the most of these summer days and planning a few more day trips for the next few weeks!

Where are your favorite places to take a day trip to?

xo. Caitlin

DIY Agate Cabinet Pull

DIY Agate Cabinet Pull @themerrythoughtI bought an agate slice a few weeks ago and made it into a necklace. I’ve been wearing it nonstop since then! I loved it so much that I decided to buy another one and use to as a cabinet pull in my bathroom. This project is so simple to do and just lovely when it’s done.
DIY Agate Cabinet Pull @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Agate Slice (I bought both of mine from here!)
-Strong Glue (Like Gorilla Super Glue)
-Tee Nut (You can find smaller packs of these and the screws at Home Depot or Lowes.)
-Matching Machine Screw

How to make it:
Glue the flat side of your tee nut to the back of the agate. Let dry completely before attaching to the cabinet. Remove the current hardware. Slide the screw through the existing hole from the inside of the cabinet. Make sure that the amount of screw that is sticking out from the cabinet is not longer than the tee nut or else it will pop off or break the agate. Twist on the agate until tight.
DIY Agate Cabinet Pull @themerrythought DIY Agate Cabinet Pull @themerrythoughtIt’s getting there! Bathroom is ALMOST completed!

xo. Caitlin

Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade

Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade Recipe @themerrythoughtThis weekend I tried Starbucks’ Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade and I was a bit sad that there was sooo much ice in it because it ends up only lasting three long sips! I decided to stop at the store on the way home and pick up ingredients to make my own version! And it turned out amazingly… probably better than Starbucks (theirs, although very delicious, was a bit lacking in the mint and lemonade flavors).
Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade Recipe @themerrythought Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade

10 large mint leaves
4 bags green tea
4 cups water
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup blackberries
2 limes
3 lemons
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups cold water

-Bring mint leaves and green tea bags to a boil in 4 cups of water and then turn off heat and let it steep for 10 minutes then strain and let cool.
-Add blackberries and 3/4 cup water to food processor and process until you have a thin juice. Strain out juice.
-Mix green tea mixture, blackberry mixture and the juice of two limes.
-Combine 1/2 cup hot water with the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add juice of 3 lemons. Add 3 cups of cold water.
-Add lemonade mixture to the blackberry tea mixture and then chill. Shake or stir with ice before serving.

Blackberry Mojito Tea adapted from Mama Natural.

Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade Recipe @themerrythought Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade Recipe @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin

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