Crafting a New Home Life

After six months of shuttling back and forth between my home in San Francisco and my temporary home away from home in Cupertino with my cousin and his family, I’d finally found (really by chance) an apartment worth moving to Santa Clara for–a cute, bright one-bedroom, framed by trees, overlooking a pool, 3 (count ’em 3!) blessed minutes from work.

A (One Bed)room with a View
A (One Bed)room with a View

In one afternoon (well really a couple of hours), I’d stumble upon this gem that ticked off pretty much everything on my wish list–covered parking, a dishwasher, my own washer/dryer combo, a walk-in closet, a lovely balcony…and a bathtub!  About the only thing my new home doesn’t have is a gas stove, which for a chef is a major disappointment, especially when the oven hasn’t been calibrated (ever) and the thermostat is off by 50 degrees (and barely reaches 475!)  Needless to say baking a rustic loaf or even pizza has been a challenge.  I’m still trying to work around the limitations of my oven (despite having it “fixed” by maintenance).

The hot summer weather, however, has pretty much curtailed a lot of my baking–yeah I’m also trying to get used to living in a warmer climate (thank heavens for AC!). Consequently, I’ve refocused my energies on DIY projects that reflect my new lifestyle and home.  So, for example, when it’s 101 degrees outside and I’m craving something cool and refreshing, but don’t want to actually leave the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment, the solution is to make myself a batch of ice pops.  I happened to pick up a cheap set of little ice pop molds at IKEA during one of my many trips there to procure things to furnish my new apartment (my advice: stick to the store, DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM IKEA ONLINE!!)  What’s great about the molds is that they are small enough to tuck into even a jam-packed freezer and the ice pops take very little time to set up.

I wanted something creamy but light on the calories, so I rummaged through my frig and found a couple containers of mango and coconut Noosa yogurt–a thick Australian variety that’s similar to Greek-style only creamier in texture.  I mixed in a little of my homemade lemon-ginger syrup for a touch more sweetness to balance out the tartness of the yogurt (or you can also use honey or agave syrup), then carefully spooned the concoction into the molds, layering in some fresh raspberries for color and texture.

An hour later, I had some very tasty yogurt-berry ice pops!

IMG_0725More DIY projects to come…