Friday, July 16, 2010

Simple Ways To Keep You Cool

It's been freakishly hot here.  And humid.  We don't do humid here.
It is hard to get anything done.  
It is hard to not be cranky.
It is hard to be anywhere but the beach.
Did I mention that I don't have an air conditioner?
There are only a few days of the year that I really want one.  This is day 5 that I want one.
Until one appears, here are some of the ways we're coping with the heat.

Tip # 1:
Inspired by this, we've been making Sun Tea.

The kids are totally into it.  They like to watch it get darker.  They're so easily pleased.
Plus, it tastes good.  Cause sometimes you just get sick of drinking water.  And my kids rarely drink juice.  Tea is better for them.  It's much cheaper than juice.  And it cools us down.

I use a fruity kind of tea so I don't have to use much sugar and I use decaf.  Duh.
Try raspberry, peach, or even orange.  Mint is also really refreshing.  
You'll be pretty glad you did.

Tip # 2:
Get out the Blow-up Pool.

If you are lucky enough to have a real pool, just skip this one.  If not, go buy a big blow up pool right now.  My kids spend HOURS in this.  It is the best $30 I spend of the summer.  And when it is hot enough, I go in too.  They love that.

Sometimes we even fill up other things with water too.  Cause it's just that hot.

Tip # 3:
Make your own Iced Coffee.

Every morning I make a little pot of espresso in my Bialetti.  I can't drink the whole thing (Aaron can--crazy man!) and so I mix up the rest with some milk and a bit of sugar, and pop it in the fridge or freezer.  By late afternoon, when the decaf tea is no longer doing it for me, I pull out the iced coffee and instantly feel better.  Also, I didn't spend $3 at Starbucks.

What, you don't know what a Bialett is?  I can hardly bear to drink regular coffee anymore.  We love ours so much, Aaron painted a picture of one for our kitchen.  You can find one here.

Tip # 4:
Stock your freezer full of Homemade Popsicles.

These are the best thing I've done for myself in a while.  Every afternoon, my kids are clamoring for a cool treat.  They've been in the pool for hours.  They've worked up an appetite.  
The ice ream man rolls by and they beg for a Bomb Pop, or a Spider Man ice cream.  
Not only do those things taste gross, they cost a small fortune and they are terrible for them.
(Have you noticed I am kind of a cheapo when it comes to food for these kids?  And a bit of an ingredient freak?)
I mean, the ice cream man is fine for a special treat, like once a summer, but every day?  No way.
So I make these pops for them.  they get one very day.  
They don;t even ask for the ice cream man any more.

And they are super cinchy to make.
Here are the details.
The particular batch we are on right now is made up of:
1 bag of frozen, organic raspberries.  (the seeds are so good for digestion and the frozen are so much cheaper.  Of course you can use whatever kind of fruit you like.  It is fun to try combinations as well.)
1 cup or so of vanilla yogurt
Enough milk to make it blendable
2 tablespoons of Flax seed meal (or more if your kids won't mind)
Sugar to taste, or honey, or agave nectar

This will require 2 batches in your blender.
So blend half and pour into mini Dixie cups.  I used the size that are often used in the bathroom.  They seem to be just right.
Blend second half and pour into cups.
Put all the cups on a tray and put into freezer.  
Check back in 15-20 minutes.  The pops should now be thick enough for you to put in a Popsicle stick and it will stay up.  If it falls to the side wait another 5 minutes or so.
As soon as they are frozen through, throw them all in some freezer bags and you have treats enough to last you a couple of weeks.  At least.

(Here's a recipe for blueberry sour cream popsicles.  They are fabulous)

And they won't even know how good those treats are for them.  They just know they taste good.

How are you keeping cool now that we are in the dog days of summer? 
Hope your weekend is cool--in more ways than one.
Love from,

Another way to keep cool?  Hitting the beach over at Lilly and the Brothers.


Anonymous said...

Hey Greta, I love that recipe for the pops, but I have one suggestion I read not too long ago and it works perfect! Put plastic wrap over the ice tray or cup and put the stick in. They stay and then you can remove the plastic wrap later. K

Jen said...

I'm also deeply in love with my Bialetti! I got one of those reusable Starbucks cold cups and make my iced coffee in it every day.