Beat-the-heat treats (a Friday Flashback feature)

A few years ago, I posted a piece on chilly treats for hot days, noting how darn hot it was in the desert while visiting my grandsons (which at that time meant just Brayden and Camden as Declan was yet to be). Today it's desert-style hot at my house. In the mountains. And I'm craving something cold, something to beat the heat here at home.

I figure much of the country seems to be suffering a hot spell as well, and though I can't share an actual treat with each and every one of you as I would like, I can share the directions for doing so on your own. Preferably with grands.

Here it is: Today's Friday Flashback, featuring a few tasty ways to cool you and yours. Enjoy!

Originally published July 16, 2013 (with names updated to my grandsons' real names, as I recently revealed them here):

The temperatures in the desert during my visit to see Brayden and Camden were, as I expected, ridiculously high. Spending time in the pool or at the water park was a great way to stay cool, but because we're not fish, other ways to chill out had to be devised.

frozen treats

Yesterday, the last day of my visit, Megan offered a frozen treat to the boys that I thought was quite clever — and yummy, too. The night before, she dropped gummy bears into the bottom of plastic cups, filled the cups halfway with 7 Up, then added a popsicle stick and froze the cups.

Brayden and Camden (and Megan and I, too) enjoyed licking the icy pops to free the candy bears from their frozen confines. So cool!

boy with treat  toddler with treat

I'm not sure what Megan's treats are officially called — I think she found the idea on Pinterest — but the way the boys enjoyed them reminded me of snow cones of summers past. Frozen fun on a hot summer day made all the difference in surviving the heat with a smile. It still does.

With that in mind, I found the following feature — used with permission from Family Features — for a similarly syrupy sweet and frozen treat that grandparents still have time to make for the grandkids this summer.

Frozen Summer Treat is Frosty Blast from the Past courtesy Family Features

easy shaved iceCool down this summer with a rainbow of color and flavor. Just like skipping through the sprinkler when the sun is shining bright, homemade shaved ice offers sweet relief on a hot afternoon. Plus, making this frozen favorite is a fun family activity.

"Celebrate the flavors of summer with Easy Fruity Shaved Ice," said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. "The secret is in the flavorful syrups, which come together in just a few minutes with less than five ingredients, including fruit extracts and food colors."

Add raspberry, orange or strawberry extract to a simple syrup and mix in a few drops of vibrant food color to create this classic frozen treat. But don’t stop there. Bring the family together and let their imaginations run wild as they create their own personalized color and flavor combinations. Here are a few tips from the McCormick Kitchens to get you started:

Make it snow at home: If you don’t have a shaved ice maker, crush ice to a snowy texture in your blender or by wrapping a plastic bag of ice in a kitchen towel and smashing it with a rolling pin or mallet. This can be a fun project for kids so long as they have adult supervision.

Mix and match: Store syrups in small squeeze bottles and mix and match flavors in each shaved ice. Create layers of color and flavor in the ice, and then gobble them up before the creation melts. You’ll have a different summer treat every time!

Easy Fruity Shaved Ice
Prep time: 5 minutes

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
desired flavoring/color (options below)

Blue Raspberry Syrup:
2 teaspoons McCormick® Raspberry Extract
10 drops Blue McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye

Strawberry Cotton Candy Syrup:
2 teaspoons McCormick® Imitation Strawberry Extract
10 drops McCormick® Red Food Color

Crushed Orange Syrup:
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
8 drops McCormick® Yellow Food Color
2 drops McCormick® Red Food Color

Lemon Blast Syrup:
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract
10 drops McCormick® Yellow Food Color

Bring sugar and water to boil in small saucepan on medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. For desired flavor syrup, stir in extract and food color. Cool to room temperature. Pour into squeeze bottle for easier serving. Pour syrup over shaved ice. Makes 2 cups syrup.

For more cool summer ideas, visit, or

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

Today's question:

What is your favorite beat-the-heat treat?