Friday Fun

Friday (Drinkable) Craft: Healthy Smoothies and Frozen Treats

I thought I would take advantage of this warm weather and pass a few cool drink recipes on to you. You can find many more cool, delicious recipes at Family Fun.

Drink slowly, we don’t want brain freeze. 🙂

Watermelon Sherbet Smoothie

You may want to consider buying “seedless” watermelon, which has small, white seedpods (instead of black seeds) that are edible and virtually unnoticeable once you blend the melon. For a special touch, serve in tall frosted glasses and top with a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.

3 cups fresh watermelon cubes
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup watermelon, raspberry or lime sherbert
4 tsp. lime juice
1/2 cup miniature semisweet or white chocolate chips

About 10 minutes before you’re ready to mix the smoothies, place four tall glasses in the freezer to frost. Then wash the whole melon as you would other fruits and vegetables, and cut it into quarters. (The number of quarters you’ll need to yield 3 cups of cubes will depend on the size of the melon.) Slice each quarter you plan to use lengthwise into three wedges, then slice the flesh away from the rind. Use a fork to scrape away the seeds and chop the melon into cubes.

Combine the crushed ice, watermelon cubes, lime juice and watermelon, raspberry, or lime sherbert, and blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the frosted glasses and top each one with a half dozen or so miniature chocolate chips. Serves four.

(How do you pick out a good melon? Look for one that’s symmetrical, with a yellow underside–a sign of ripeness–and no nicks or bruises. Store the watermelon at room temperature for up to two weeks.)


For a tarter version of this fruity blend, use pink grapefruit juice instead of orange juice.

1 frozen banana
3/4 cup raspberries
1 cup orange juice

Combine the fruit and juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Serves one.

Blue Lagoon


With milk as a base, this berry blend is as much a meal as a beverage–just right for serving as a breakfast shake.

1 cup fresh blueberries
4 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 to 1 cup milk

Combine the blueberries, frozen yogurt and milk in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Serves one.

King Kong


A swirl of chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for this thick and nutty treat.

1 frozen banana
2 to 3 tbsp. natural peanut butter, chunky or smooth
1 cup orange juice

Combine the frozen banana, peanut butter and orange juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. Serves one.

Orange Creamsicle


Like the classic ice-cream treat that inspires it, this refreshing shake combines the zest of orange and the rich, smooth flavor of vanilla.

1 cup orange juice
4 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt

Combine the orange juice and frozen yogurt in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. Serves one.

Lemon Cups


If life gives you lemons, make Lemon Cups!

2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 to 5 lemons
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from the lemons)
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
Mint leaves and lemon zest for garnish

1. Scrape the 2 teaspoons of zest from one of the lemons, then cut all of the lemons in half and juice them. Measure 1 cup, reserving the rest for another use.

2. Use a melon baller to remove any remaining pulp. Slightly trim the bottom of each lemon cup so it sits flat, then set them on a plate, cover, and place them in the refrigerator.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the water to a boil, then add the lemon juice and zest and boil for 2 minutes.

4. Transfer the liquid to a mixing bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place the bowl in the freezer until the mixture begins to freeze, several hours or overnight. Use a fork to break up the ice, then stir it until fluffy.

5. Spoon 1/2 cup of the slush into each lemon half, then cover them and freeze until you’re ready to serve. Garnish with a mint leaf and lemon zest before serving, if you like. Serves 8 to 10.

Johnny Appleseed


The apple-lovers in your household won’t be able to resist this slushy cooler. For younger kids, you may want to substitute apple juice, which is a bit sweeter than cider.

8 apple-cider ice cubes
1/4 cup apple cider or water

Drop the apple cider ice cubes into a blender or food processor. Pour in the apple cider or water. Blend until slushy, adding more liquid if necessary. Serves one.

(By the way, Family Fun did not pay me to pass these recipes on to you. I thought you would like them, they looked delicious to me and … that’s all 🙂 ).

Summer Fun

Summer Fun: July 24th

Are you ready for some fun ideas to keep your kids busy this next week?

Here are five ideas to get the creative juices flowing (and please, take these ideas, build on them, make them your own, use them as a springboard for bigger and better ideas):

Day One – Family movie night – watch old movies, or watch the videos your child made.

Day Two – Make a wish list of places you would like to visit with your child. Look them up on a map. Google information about these places and talk about how living in these places would be different than where you’re living now.

Day Three – Make a personalized bookmark with your child.

Day Four – Read a poem aloud with your child. Now see if you can write a poem with your child.

Day Five – Ask your child to study town history from old newspapers. Talk what’s unique about your town. Make a time capsule and bury it or place it somewhere safe (maybe in a safe deposit box at the bank?)

Crafts for the Kids (by age)

Featured Craft of the Week:
Color in a Bag

4 to 5 year olds
Petal Pendants

6 to 8 year olds

9 to 12 year olds
Corn Husk Puppets

Here is a fun activity from the book, “A Lithgow Palooza!”:

groovy-face2 Adopt-a-Soup Can

Hang on to your hats, this is a nutty palooza. But trust me, the kids will love it. Andy Warhol exalted the sameness in his Campbell’s Soup can series. This palooza brings an individual can of soup to life and gives it a personality all its own.

arrow-right-side What to do:

Choose a can of soup to adopt. Roam the soup aisle at the grocery store and read aloud the names of various kinds of soup. Pick a soup that tickles your fancy and bring it home to “live.” Invent a name that suits your soup can’s personality; think Beany Bacon, Alpha Beth Soup, Tommy Tomato, Charlie Chowder, and so on.

At home with the soup, make a birth certificate for it. Look at your own birth certificate as a sidelight. Include the soup can’s name, date, time, and place of birth (date of purchase and store name), and the name of its legal guardian (your name). Once the soup can is named and has proper documentation, invent the soup can’s life story and personality traits. Then dress it accordingly.

To dress the soup can, carefully remove the paper label. Trace the outline of the label onto a piece of paper to make a can-sized “dress” pattern. Design and color the new dress (or pants, bathing suit, tutu, and so on) for the can using the pattern. Thinking of its personality, use the soup can’s favorite colors and patterns. Stripes, solids, citrussy oranges and pinks. Businessy blues and grays. Don’t forget to leave space to draw a face onto the paper. Outfit the can by taping on his new clothes. Add hair by attaching pieces of yarn to the top of the can with tape.

A soup can’s accessories say much about his personality. Dress him up for a business meeting by adding a little necktie. Draw an umbrella and handbag for her. Or a baseball cap and glove for him.

What’s your can like? She’s a little bit shy, but loves Audrey Hepburn movies. He’s always green with pea-soup envy. Does she socialize with other soups or prefer the company of mixed nuts? The idea is to make the can as interesting a character as possible. And to get her involved in your life! She comes to the table for meals. She helps with homework. She goes to ballet class and soccer practice. She may even go to school for show-and-tell. Be sure to tell her how she got that dent below her ingredients list. It’s quite a story.