Homemade Slushies

This recipe is a keeper.  My kids are begging me for it daily.  And, because it's well over 100 degrees outside and we are attempting to abide by the budget, I've been making the slushies for them almost daily!  The ingredients are so simple and not necessarily nutritional but it could be worse...I think.

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs The Frugal Girl.  The Frugal Girl talks daily about how to live frugally, joyfully and I really really enjoy what she has to say!  The other day she blogged this recipe so we immediately tried it with some old Halloween Kool-Aid, it was good.  The next day the kids and I went to the store and I let them each get a few flavors.  Since the "Ghoul-Aid" incident, we've made cherry, grape and lemonade flavors.  All of them were good and a hit with the kids, but my personal favorite is the lemonade.  I think it would be super delicious with a little splash of rum or maybe some raspberry vodka...if you're so inclined to do so!

These slushies are super frugal, maybe cost $.50 for a whole blender-full which is WAY cheaper than the ones from Sonic (even at happy hour).  I like to use the ice you buy at the store because it crushes really well in my blender, but if you're lucky enough to have a Vitamix...toss an iceberg in there.

Homemade Slushies
recipe from The Frugal Girl

2 c. ice water
4 c. ice
1 packet Kool-Aid, any flavor
2/3 c. sugar

I use a Pyrex measuring cup and fill it about halfway with ice and fill with water.  Then get out your blender, sugar, measuring cups and the Kool-Aid.  Toss everything in the blender and blend until it's slushy.  We think these are best enjoyed in the little pool in the backyard.

*I really think this could work with Crystal Light powder and no added sugar.  I'm going to try it!

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Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

This is a fun side dish, especially convenient if you have a garden filled with tomatoes, which I don't... but I wish I did!  It goes great with grilled chicken or steak.

I came up with this recipe after reading several ideas on allrecipes, I wanted to use up some tomatoes I had leftover after buying a whole case.  It would be very simple to make this a vegetarian dish by excluding the bacon and then maybe just up the salt.

Baked, Stuffed Tomatoes

6 strips center-cut or turkey bacon, chopped
3/4 c. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 box spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 Tb. cream cheese, soft
1/2 c. sour cream, or more if it seems dry after mixing
salt & pepper
a few dashes hot sauce
1/2 c. shredded cheddar or mozzarella, your choice
4 large tomatoes, seeds scooped out

Preheat the oven to 400.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and toss in the chopped bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, remove to a paper towel and cook onions in the leftover drippings.  Add in garlic, spinach, cream cheese and sour cream.  Season well with salt & pepper. Pour in a few dashes of hot sauce, however much you like.  Stir in the cooked bacon at the last minute & stuff the mixture into the tomatoes.  Bake 15 minutes, then top each tomato with 2 Tb shredded cheese and bake 5 more minutes.

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Creamy Chocolate Frosting

This recipe post is long overdue, I've made this frosting several times and it is so good!  These days, I don't bake much and I try to really limit my sweets, but this is a great "go-to" chocolate frosting recipe for your next birthday cake and the leftovers are great for graham crackers!

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and doesn't need many alterations.  It calls for evaporated milk but I just use regular milk and it's great.  I always double it for a two-layer cake and have some leftover for aforementioned graham crackers.

The recipe is not for a double batch, so double at your discretion.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting
recipe from Allrecipes.com

2 3/4 c. powdered sugar
6 Tb cocoa powder
6 Tb butter
3-5 Tb milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl.  I use a small mesh strainer.  In a large bowl cream butter with a hand mixer until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with milk.  Add milk until frosting is at the consistency you like.  Blend in vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Use on chocolate or yellow cake.

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