Cold Treats for Hot Days

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Tennessee it is HOT. After an on-and-off Spring (is it Summer? is it Winter?) it’s finally dived into true, humid summer in the South.

Licking popsicle drips on a hot Summer afternoon is a happy memory every child should have! Here are some ideas for easy to treats to make at home. Popsicle molds are very inexpensive and a worthwhile purchase for parents.

Popsicles are also a great way to get some extra nutrients into your kids. Mine will happily suck on popsicles made only with fresh fruit and fruit juices. You can even stick in a handful of spinach when they’re not looking. Dark berries like raspberry, blackberry, or strawberries will usually cover the green color from the leafy greens.

Homemade popsicles are so much more healthy than store-bought ones made with food coloring and corn syrup. Here are a few recipes to inspire you! (Subscribers will need to click through to see Pinterest embeds.)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Popsicles from Carrots & Chocolate

Honeydew-Raspberry Popsicles at Kitchen Simplicity

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles at The Novice Chef

Healthy Strawberry Popsicles at Vanderbilt Wife

What’s your favorite kind of popsicle or frozen treat?

Make It With Your Kids: Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

Let’s be upfront about this: these cupcakes have no redeeming qualities when it comes to nutrition. They are made with boxed cake mix, boxed pudding mix, soda, and whipped topping. Just so you’re warned!

But every once in awhile I think it’s OK to slide on my “real foods” morals and make something because it’s easy. These are great to make with kids for a few reasons:

  • Only two ingredients in the cupcakes and four in the icing.
  • Cupcakes are fun to eat and easier than slices of cake.
  • Because there are no eggs in the batter, you can let your child lick the bowl without guilt. Or do it yourself.
  • Lemon is yummy.
  • This makes 24 cupcakes without a giant mess, huge ingredient list, or time-consuming steps.

So gather your little ones in the kitchen and bake!

Lemon Cupcakes

  • 1 lemon cake mix
  • 12 oz. lemon-lime soda
  • 8 oz. whipped topping (Cool Whip)
  • one box instant lemon pudding mix
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1/2 c. milk
  1. Line muffin tins with muffin papers. Preheat over to 350F.
  2. Mix together cake mix and soda until batter is smooth. Fill muffin papers about halfway with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until done.
  3. Meanwhile, fold together whipped topping, pudding mix, and lemon juice until uniform. Add milk and stir for 1-2 minutes. Scoop frosting into a large ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. When cupcakes are completely cool, push frosting down and to one side of the baggy. Snip corner off the baggy to make a pastry bag. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Decorate with lemon zest or sprinkles – or anything you can find in the fridge!

Basically any recipe where kids can dump and mix are great for cooking together. Here are some other recipes I like to bake with my kids:



Friday Links 11/16

I’m bypassing good parenting and going straight to Thanksgiving this week for links. So, please share! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Does This Superwoman Cape Make Me Look Fat? by Laura Coppinger

Off duty

Hello, my name is Laura, and I’m a homemaker. I’m also a wife, a mom, and a writer. I make most of our food from scratch, grow a large garden, and preserve a good portion of our food for the year. I homeschool our four sons. I have company over regularly. I’m in charge of one of our local health food co-ops. I cut my family’s hair.

I also worry too much, yell at my kids sometimes, don’t always make time each day to read my Bible, have a messy minivan, and I can’t remember how to thread my sewing machine. The chair in my bedroom is covered with clothes that need to be hung up, I can never find a pen, and I haven’t taught my youngest son to tie his shoes. I often have overdue library books, my refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, and I’m terrible about returning phone calls.

Some might look at all the great things I do each day and think I have it all together. I beg to differ. Any time I have tried on any of the varieties of Superwoman capes available, none of them seem to fit me right. They’re either too tight, too short, too bright, or they’re so long that I tripped over it when I try to wear it and fall flat on my face.

Each of us has our own God-given strengths and our human-based weaknesses. What I’m good at, you may not be, and what you’re good at I may just have to admire from afar.

Trying to be a Superwoman doesn’t work for me. The cape doesn’t fit.

How about letting God use us to be the best woman we can be for Him? Now that’s a plan that’s a one size fits all.

Laura Coppinger is featured in the November 2010 ParentLife on pages 18-21. She writes and shares recipes at Here’s one of her excellent, "real food" recipes she shared with us!



Apricot Breakfast Bars
© Laura Coppinger

1 cup butter
¾ cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1½ cups rolled oats
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup sesame seeds
¾ cup dried apricots

Melt butter and honey together. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and add baking soda, salt, vanilla, buttermilk, and eggs. Stir in flour, oats, coconut, and sesame seeds until well combined. Cut dried apricots into small bites (I usually cut mine into fourths). Fold apricot pieces into dough.

Bake in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. When completely cool, cut into 16 bars.

Variation — soaking grains (optional): Mix melted (and cooled) butter, buttermilk (with live cultures), flour, and oats thoroughly in a glass bowl. Cover and leave on the countertop overnight. In the morning, stir in remaining ingredients. Bake as above.

Laura’s Recommended Resources
Tropical Traditions
Weston A. Price Foundation®
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons.