Staying Cool with Fruit Slushies

It’s hot. Really hot.

And humid.

So hot and humid that an extensive heat advisory is old news.

waters

So hot and humid that your glasses fog up when you walk out of the house.

So hot and humid that you fight over who gets to wash the dishes so you don’t have to go out and spread mulch in the garden.

dump

So hot that you just dump the water gun on yourself, rather than wait for a sibling to hit you with a spray of water.

Slushe

It’s so hot that it’s time for Fruit Slushies.

Back in the days when we lived in the hovel with no AC – we would try to “celebrate the heat” with special cool treats in the afternoon.

These Fruit Slushies were always a favorite!

We’ve discovered that they are still a treat – even with the air on!

The recipe couldn’t be more simple – or more versatile.

Fruit Slushies

Blend together in a blender:   (I blend these in batches because my blender isn’t big enough for everything at once.)

1 can fruit cocktail
1 can apricots
1 can peaches
1 can pears
4 medium bananas
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate

Pour into a plastic container and freeze. ( I use an ice cream bucket.)

To serve – let the fruit mixture sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Using an ice cream scoop, place scoops of the mixture into a glass and fill it with lemon-lime pop. (We’ve used 7 Up, Sprite, and even store brand – it’s all good!)

I have substituted almost any canned fruit in this recipe and it’s always worked. It doesn’t matter what size cans you use – whatever is in the pantry or on sale will work. Make sure you use the juice and the fruit -just dump it all in!

It’s an inexpensive and fun way to celebrate the  last days of summer.

Stay cool!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam,  Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

The Smoothie Follies

Smoothie FailIt all started back in October when I was grocery shopping. There – sitting in the produce aisle – was an entire banana box full of bananas for $8.00.

An entire banana box!

Yes, they were getting ripe fast – but still it was a great  deal!

I bought them and we ate them – quickly.

The last few we peeled and threw in the freezer.

A few weeks later I saw the same deal. Only this time the kids weren’t so thrilled with eating that many bananas. More went in the freezer.

Then my husband brought one home. Even more went in the freezer.

This went on well into November before we realized that none of us even wanted to look at a banana again!

Last week I cleaned out the freezer and realized that we had many, many bags of frozen bananas – and there were starting to impart a banana flavor in the homemade rolls and even the frozen french fries they shared the freezer space with.

Major banana fail.

It was time to use them up. The problem was, we are banana’d out. We’ve had banana bread, banana muffins, banana cake…you name it, we ate it, until we can’t stand to look at it again!

Then I thought of smoothies.

I taught the kids the basics, gave them a few ideas ideas – and set them loose. The only rules were they had to use a frozen banana AND they had to eat what they created.

Boy – were they creative!

Some were actually good.

Dagmar’s peanut butter, yogurt, banana and chocolate syrup was yummy. As was the blueberry, raspberry, banana and yogurt combination.

Pedro did not do as well.  His banana, chocolate syrup, raspberry syrup, and a carrot stick combo was not very tasty. It was edible, however. But in his zeal to out-do his siblings he added barbecue sauce.

Words can not describe.

He sat and tried to drink it for over an hour (remember rule #2!) until I showed him mercy and grace, allowing him to feed it to the chickens. Such relief on his face! (I did hear him tell his brother at lunch that he could still taste it several hours later!)

The kids continue to enjoy smoothies for breakfast and snack – but are more cautious about their choice of ingredients!

Little by little the massive banana pile in the freezer is slowly dwindling – one smoothie at a time.

And when I go grocery shopping – I walk right by those cheap bananas!

PS: I’ve linked this post up with my friend Myra over at My Blessed Life for her Friday Fails fun!

Chunky Blonde Brownies & Chocolate Cream Soda

Chunky Blonde Brownies Chocolate Cream SodaOnce again my Mom steps in as guest blogger with these two chocolate treats…

I needed to make a batch of cookies to serve at an evening Bible Study. We always make Decaf coffee so thought I’d rather not make Chocolate Brownies.

Instead, I did the next best–Blonde Brownies. I did not have vanilla chips, but did find some white chocolate chips on the shelf. Good substitute!

Papa and I enjoyed them for “tea time” with a glass of Chocolate Cream Soda. (We had to do a taste-test of course!)

Chunky Blonde Brownies
From Taste of Home

½ Cup Butter or Margarine, softened
¾ Cup White Sugar
¾ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Vanilla Chips
1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chunks
¾ Cup Nuts(macadamia, blanched almonds, walnuts or pecans)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add the eggs & vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder & salt; add to creamed mixture & mix well. Stir in chips, chunks & half of nuts. Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 2 dozen

Chocolate Cream Soda
From Everyday Meals

In a tall glass stir together ¼ Cup Half & Half and 2 Tbs. Chocolate Syrup.

Add 2/3 Cup Seltzer

Stir to make foam on top!

(Could substitute whole milk for less calories or softened ice cream for more calories!)

Until next time,

Nana

Staying Cool with Homemade Chocolate Shakes

It’s still hot at my house. The afternoons get long and tempers get short in the heat and humidity.

So I tried a trick my mom used to do, I made a cool treat mid-afternoon to sweeten everybody up and cool everybody down!

Today’s treat was Homemade Chocolate Shakes.

I pulled out the blender and threw in a few scoops of ice cream, poured in a little milk and some chocolate ice cream syrup.

If it looked too thick, I would add more milk.

If it looked to thin, I would add more ice cream.

If it looked just right I poured it into a cup with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Served with a spoon and a straw, this was one treat that soothed the savage beasts (oops…I mean my hot and tired children!)

And yes, Mom enjoyed it, too!

Hot Chocolate for a Crowd (or at least a large family!)

Homemade Hot ChocolateIt is cold.

Try -20 degrees last night – breaking the record set in 1914 – and that was just air temperature!

Factor in the wind chill and it’s much worse.

I decided the children needed something warm for breakfast this morning to get them ready for the day. So we enjoyed a family favorite, Breakfast Hot Chocolate.

I discovered this recipe a few years ago in my vintage Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and have adapted it many times to adjust to what I had on hand.

I have used fresh goat’s milk, raw cow’s milk, good old 2 % milk, skim milk and even dry milk. I think this recipe has a richer chocolate flavor than the powdered kind and my children love it! Here’s the recipe:

Breakfast Hot Chocolate:

Traditional recipe:
Mix together with a wire whisk: 1 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar, dash salt. Add one cup boiling water, stirring. Then add 7 cups of milk and heat to the boiling point, but don’t boil. Stir well before serving.

Or my shortcut version:
Mix together with a wire whisk: 1 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar, dash salt and 2 2/3 cup dry milk. Stir in 8 cups of boiling water and stir well. Serve immediately.

Either version is great garnished with whipped cream or marshmallows. I personally love a scoop of ice cream in mine with an Andees mint or two melted inside. Around Christmas we love to use candy canes to stir the hot chocolate and have even drowned an unsuspecting marshmallow Peep on a cold Easter week-end.

However and whenever you serve it, hot chocolate is a warm and inviting family tradition!