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Our Summertime hot weather has finally arrived here in Phoenix. We really enjoyed the longer Spring this year, but now it is time to find ways to keep cool!
When my son and his family were living with us, I was reminiscing about the snow cones we used to get at the snack bar of all of the Little League games my kids played in. And then, I found a Snow Cone Machine on clearance at our local grocery store for about $7.00! I decided it would be perfect to keep my grandchildren cooled off and happy and a great treat for when they were playing out in the backyard wading pool. I was even able to find the syrups on sale as well! I later found out that the company (Jelly Belly) had discontinued the model I purchased and came out with another one. But, you can still purchase the one similar to the one I have on Amazon.
It is surprising how well this little machine shaves the ice for snow cones! I just use regular ice cubes from my freezer and this little thing goes to town, shaving the ice fairly quickly. No one has to wait their turn very long. When I bought the machine, it came with little pointy snow cone cups, but we used those up quickly and now I use paper cups instead. They are easier to find and just a little sturdier for little hands I think.
There are quite a few different models of snow cone or shaved ice machines out there. But, the hands down most popular and best value for your money is this one. I think it is so cool looking and would be awesome to have for a pool party with any age of kids.
Now, let's talk snow cone syrups. I think that you can still find the Jelly Belly syrups in the store, and they are pretty good, depending on the flavor. We had a root beer flavor that lasted about 2 days. The cherry is pretty good as well. I am not to sold on the tangerine. If you are having a big party, you can get this set on Amazon for a great price and it has really great reviews on the taste. The nice thing is that it comes with the flavor bottles that come with the tips to pour the syrup right out of the bottles, as well as 50 spoon straws and 50 cups!
Another, more cost saving alternative is to make your own syrup! It is super easy and only takes 3 ingredients and you can make it any flavor you want. Here is how you do it:
Snow Cone Syrup
In a small saucepan, mix together 1 cup of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Cook and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Allow to simmer at least 3 minutes, or longer to make it thicker.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1 package of unsweetened Kool Aid or other powdered drink mix.
Alternatively, you may add an extract, such as root beer extract or lemon, to taste.
Allow the syrup to cool then pour it into a squirt bottle to use on your snow cones.
I made a grape flavored syrup! Maddy was my taste tester and she said that it tastes great!
You will be the favorite parent on the block when you start handing out snow cones to all of your child's friends! They are the perfect, inexpensive treat at a water party. Be sure to have lots of flavors because when I helped at the snack stand at the Little League games, rainbow flavors were always the first choice!
Have a fun weekend!
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. But, all opinions expressed are my own.
Hi everyone! Welcome to Fun Friday! Today we are thinking about an upcoming weekend, Memorial Day! Do you have house guests coming for the long weekend? Or, is this a just a great weekend to spend enjoying your kids and family? Whatever your situation, this Pancake Sundae Station will be a big hit with everyone.
We have about a billion pancake recipes on the blog here. Just peruse through our breakfast section and you will find them! Today we chose to make Root Beer Pancakes for you. I posted this recipe in the early days of the blog. (When you go to it for the recipe, you will be able to tell that it was the early days of the blog.) I did update the recipe for you because I don't know if Root Beer is just less strong than it used to be or what, but I find that my pancakes don't have the strong root beer flavor that I want from these pancakes. So, I added a tsp of root beer extract to kick them up a bit.
Not only did I add the extract, today I was making this for Maddy who is vegan. So, instead of egg, I used chia seed instead. Did you know that you can use chia seed as a replacement for eggs? Even if you aren't vegan, that is a handy thing to know! Just mix 1 T. of chia seed with 1 T. of water and let it sit for about 10 min and then use it like you would an egg. This proportion equals one egg. So, if you are ever out of eggs, just pull out your chia seeds! Chia seeds are very healthy, too. Maybe that can counteract the effects of the root beer?
Another good alternative for your Pancake Sunday Station would be Chunky Apple Pancakes with Red Hot Syrup! The red syrup would look so patriotic! You can choose to make whatever pancake recipe you love and make it as healthy or not as you want. I think that in this instance, dollar sized pancakes are best.
Setting up Your Pancake Sundae Station
Many of the things we used in our station came from Dollar Tree. They have an entire patriotic section on their website.
Many of the things we already had on hand, like the mini crate and the red pedestal tray. Just look at what you have hanging around your house.
Suggested Pancake Sundae Bar Toppings:
Oh my goodness! The sky is the limit!
Finally, let everyone build their own sundae! They can be as healthy or as unhealthy as they like, and they will have a lot of FUN doing it!
For more patriotic party plans, check out this post:
This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated for purchases made through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continuing support!
If you saw my Instagram post this past weekend, you would have seen that I am so excited about it being the time of year when tomatoes start to get ripe on the garden vines. Now I am even more excited because my DIL's mom, Anita, gave me some special tomatoes that she is growing. They are called San Marzano.
As you can see, San Marzano are an elongated tomato and they are very fleshy with fewer seeds or watery juices. They also have lower acidity, so if you have trouble as I sometimes do with a sore tongue after eating tomatoes, these will be better for you. (Even with a sore mouth, I love tomatoes so much, I eat them anyway!) Anita uses San Marzano to can tomato sauce and finds them to be the best for that application because the large amount of flesh lends them to making a thick, rich sauce. Anita is Italian, she knows her sauce, so I trust her when she says that these tomatoes are the best for tomato sauce! But, if you need more proof, you can purchase San Marzano Tomato sauce if you don't want to make it yourself. It really is touted as the best by many chefs. Or, you can buy some San Marzano seeds to grow your own plants next year!
Today I am using my tomatoes in a different way. I wanted to showcase these beautiful, red, fresh tomatoes because this is the time of year to enjoy them that way! These Tomato-Basil Tea Sandwiches are perfect for a bridal shower or baby shower or a mid-morning brunch! The basil spread can be made in advance and the bacon....Yes! I said bacon, can be crisped and crumbled in advance, but the assembly should be done just before the event. That is when you will thinly slice the tomatoes and prepare your bread. Here is what the San Marzano tomatoes look like sliced.
See how fleshy those tomatoes are? If you don't have San Marzano, you can use cherry tomatoes.
Any type of bread may be used as the base. I used a Tomato Basil loaf from Panera, staying with the Tomato-Basil Sandwich theme. The nice thing is that the bread is firm and holds up to the toppings, even with the crust cut off. Since Panera makes a large sized loaf, I cut the slices in half and then removed the crust to make them all fairly uniform. I also considered a sour dough loaf which I think would also be a delicious alternative.
Oh! I was so excited about the tomatoes, I forgot to mention that the basil is from my garden! I cut off the blossoms to send the energy back to the leaves. They make a pretty garnish, or you can dry them to use later as a dry basil spice.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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