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Quick, Light Meals for Hot Weather

Quick, Light Meals for Hot Weather
When it’s nearly 100 degrees outside and your air conditioner is working hard to keep your house cool, you’re not in the mood to turn on the oven. And because many families have all sorts of things going on during warm weather, there is not often time to prepare a “proper” dinner. Here are some ideas for quick, easy food that the entire family will love.
  • If it’s not too hot outside, you can grill or smoke the entire meal. There are all sorts of options, including veggie-and-meat kebabs, corn on the cob, hot dogs, burgers and fish. Take the food inside and enjoy a nice meal in the air conditioning. You can also stay outside and enjoy the fresh air.
  • You can make all sorts of meals without using your oven. The microwave is a great way to reheat leftovers. You can use the toaster oven to make everything from mini pizzas to chicken strips. And if you have a deep fryer, you can make French fries, corn dogs, and the like.
  • Popular salads – from potato salad to green salad – are nice and cold. Serve with fresh bread, fried chicken from the delicatessen or fruit.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market or roadside fruit stands. You’ll find plenty of yummy foods that are in season. Fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe taste so, so good when they’re served ice-cold on a hot day.
  • Sandwiches don’t have to be boring. Buy all of the ingredients to make hoagies – or heroes or subs, depending on what these scrumptious sandwiches are called where you live. There’s no cooking required, and your entire family can eat a well-balanced meal if you serve the meat-and-veggie-laden sandwiches with fresh fruit on the side.
  • If you’re not in the mood for sandwiches, you can make wraps. Fill large tortillas with all the usual fixings to make a quick and easy meal.
  • Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating much. You still need nutrients, though, so grab some yogurt or fresh fruit.
  • For a healthier alternative to soft drinks, make your own fruit smoothies. You can find all sorts of recipes online: most only require basic ingredients and a blender.
  • An ice-cream maker is a great way to spend some quality time together as a family. Everyone can help make a favorite flavor and enjoy the ice-cold treat right there on the back porch.

These are just a few ideas for light and fast summertime food. Take the time to look around the next time you’re at the grocery store. In many cases, the managers will take advantage of the hot weather and put up displays of food and ingredients that you’ll want to bring home.

And when you’re really rushed for time, you can always eat out. Taking the kids for sno-cones and hot dogs after their baseball or soccer games is an inexpensive and fast way to quiet the rumbling tummies.

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The Benefits of Crafting

crafting

At SiliconeZone, we love any chance we can get to be a little crafty! Crafting can include things such as designing, painting, crocheting, drawing, and knitting. Studies show that crafting can improve your mental health.

One such benefit to mental health is improved self-esteem and confidence. When you learn a craft, it requires skills that you build up through dedication and hard work. As a result, this causes you to think of yourself as hardworking, patient, and tenacious. These are all wonderful traits that are heavily praised.

Another benefit is that it relieves stress. When you are focused on your crafting task, it means less focus is put on whatever is causing the anxiety. This helps to lower blood pressure as well.

One benefit that cannot be ignored is that you can have something of value afterwards, such as a crocheted hat to wear or a painting to hang up on your wall. This will remind you every day of the skills you worked so hard to improve.

Socially, crafting can benefit you as well. It provides a source of happiness that is shared among others. You could join clubs or groups associated with the craft and make so many friends. This may appeal to you if you are a highly social person who loves talking to others. Many crafting groups are solely online for those who don’t want to travel outside the home. For some crafts, there may even be websites where people share their creations with the public.

For the final benefit, crafting can be turned into a job as well. It can be a fun way to make some side cash or even replace a full-time income if you are willing to put in the work. Crafts such as paintings or crocheted hats can be sold online through various crafting websites. This means you could potentially start your own business and work from home doing what you love.

As a bonus benefit, you could donate your crafts online or in-person to nonprofit organizations or the less fortunate such as crocheting blankets for the homeless.

Crafting is an excellent way to help the less fortunate, improve physical and mental health, reduce stress, and make some extra cash. This is more reason to do what you love and follow your passion to craft. Continue to increase those skills and craft on!

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Healthy Summer Treats for Children

Healthy Summer Treats for Children
On a hot summer’s day, nothing beats cooling off with an icy treat. But not all summer treats are good for your little one’s health. Here are some healthier alternatives that your children can enjoy all summer long.

Fruit Slushy Drinks
A slushy drink is cooling and refreshing, but the shop-bought syrups are packed full of sugar and have no nutritional benefit. Make your own slushy drinks at home with fruit juice. Fill some ice cube trays up with fruit juice and freeze them. Make ice cubes from a variety of different fruit juices – try some orange juice, some pineapple juice, and some cranberry juice. When they are frozen, you can put whatever combination of ice cubes you like into your slushy maker or food processor. If you find the flavor too strong, simply add some plain water ice cubes to the mixture. To increase the fruit content, you can blend in some chopped ripe fruit too. These drinks will still be high in natural sugars so they should be restricted to just one per day, but they make great alternatives to syrup based frozen drinks. They will also encourage your children to explore different fruit flavors. A child who previously stayed away from exotic juices, may be very happy to try an orange and pineapple slushy drink.

Fruit Jello Cups
This treat needs to set overnight. Make it before bedtime, so it is ready to enjoy the next day.

Cut up some fruit into bite-size chunks. Strawberries and raspberries work well together, as do apples and grapes;
Sprinkle a handful into a cup;
Pour over some jello mixture;
Leave in the fridge overnight.

These can be eaten with a spoon, straight from the cup.

Fruit Smoothies
To make any fruit smoothie you simply need to blend some chopped, ripe fruit with some yogurt, and some milk. For each smoothie use two portions of fruit, for example, two bananas, or one banana and one kiwi. Then add around 60ml of yogurt and 120ml of milk. Everyone likes their smoothies a different way, so have fun experimenting with combinations of the essential ingredients. If you make a smoothie and you don’t like it, it’s easy to improve it:
Too thin? Add some more yogurt.
Too thick? Add some milk.
Not sweet enough? Stir in some honey.
Not enough flavor? Blend it again with some more fruit.

Some children find the texture of smoothies unpleasant, because they are neither a drink, or food. Try freezing some smoothie mixture in SillyPops molds, for a really nutritious ice cream treat.

Fruity Fizzy Drinks
Take some ripe fruit, peel it, chop it, then blend it with some fizzy water, and you have a fruity fizzy drink. To make pear and ginger fizz, blend six pears, with 100ml of sparkling water, a teaspoon of honey or sugar, and a teaspoon of finely grated root ginger (or a pinch of ginger spice powder). To make apple and cinnamon fizz, blend six apples, with 100ml of sparkling water, a teaspoon of honey or sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon powder. Both recipes make two drinks.

With adult assistance, your children will be able to help make these treats. Being involved in the preparation process makes it far more likely your children will eat the treats when they are ready. While the ingredients are being chopped, it is a great opportunity for them to try out some new fruits. Use this time together to talk about where the fruit comes from and why it is so healthy. You can get as much pleasure from making these icy treats as you do from eating them.

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3 Awesome DIY Projects for a Rainy Day

diy projects for rainy day
Let’s be realistic–there’s only so much binge-watching one person can take. Either you run out of interesting shows, or you just get tired of sitting on the couch all day. Next time you are looking for something a bit less mind-numbing to do on a rainy day, try one of these awesome DIY projects.

1. Candles and Wax Melts

Candles are an excellent addition to any home decor. The gentle glow of a candle and a pleasing scent combine to create a relaxing atmosphere. It’s fairly simple to make your own candles at home, and it’s lots of fun to customize them with your favorite scents and colors. In addition to scents and colors, you can choose pretty containers for your candles. Choose glass jam jars and decorate them with twine and a cute brown paper tag for a rustic look. Pour your candles into your favorite silicone molds for unique shapes like elephants and hearts.

2. Diamond Painting

We just have to warn you–this project is not for the short-tempered! Diamond paintings are absolutely beautiful, but they require a steady hand and a lot of patience. This craft may be time-consuming, but it’s very simple to learn and the perfect art project for any age. Diamond paintings are created with hundreds of tiny “diamonds” (sparkly resin stones) placed on a sticky canvas. The canvas is marked with colors and numbers to guide the painter along the way, and the result is a bright, shimmering work of art with incredible dimension and texture.

3. Tie-Dyeing

You do not have to be a 4th grader at summer camp to enjoy tie-dyeing. This project never loses its appeal, no matter how old we get. Tie-dyeing is fascinating because each craft is unique–even if you dye two shirts with the same color and technique, your results will be slightly different. Shirts can be dyed using a variety of techniques, including shibori, sunburst, crumple, and spiral. Have enough tie-dyed tees? Spruce up your apartment with a different tie-dye project, including pillows, throw rugs, or curtains.

Next time you wake up to a gloomy, wet day, avoid the couch and embrace your creative side with one of these fun projects. Your finished crafts will add beauty and personality to your home and they also make great gifts for family and friends. 

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Wedding Favors & Desserts with Silicone Molds

wedding silicone molds

Planning a bridal shower or wedding?...
DIY Wedding Favors & Desserts!

With weddings comes invitations, favors and desserts!

SiliconeZone offers the perfect mold for all your wedding needs. Make resin rings, bells or flower bouquets to add the perfect unique touch to your invitations and favors. Or, create chocolate molds to add a personal touch to your favor boxes or cupcakes. Check out the steps below to create delicious wedding cupcakes and don’t forget to add those chocolate molds!

Almond Wedding Cake Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling

For the Cupcake:

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup cake flour
  • ½ Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract

For the Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cup powdered sugar

For the Filling:

  • ½ cup Raspberry preserves

Directions:

Step 1

For the cake, whisk together the egg whites, almond extract and 2 Tbsp milk in small bowl until combined. Set aside.

Step 2

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes on medium. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Slowly add in egg white mixtures. Beat in remaining milk.

Step 3

Fill cupcake liners half full with batter and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes. Remove and cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4

Fill a pastry bag with raspberry preserves. Using a knife, cut out a small cone in the top of each cupcake. Remove the piece of cupcake and fill with preserves. Place the cut piece of cupcake back (it will sit higher, that’s okay because you will top it with frosting. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled.

Step 5

For the frosting, beat butter and heavy cream in mixer for 3 minutes. Add in almond extract and powdered sugar. Beat an additional 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Step 6

Pipe on cupcakes. ENJOY!

To check out this delicious original recipe that we found click here!  

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Sidewalk Chalk with Silicone Molds

Looking for a fun and creative activity with the kids?... DIY Sidewalk Chalk!

Warm weather is here and it’s time for DIY sidewalk chalk!

SiliconeZone molds allow you to get creative whether you’re baking or crafting with endless project possibilities. These molds are perfect for DIY sidewalk chalk letting you turn your favorite molds into chalk. View the steps below to create own!

DIY Sidewalk Chalk

Ingredients:
Plaster of Paris
Warm water
Tempera paint

Tools:
Silicone mold tray
Popsicle sticks
Mixing cups
Measuring cups

Directions:

Step 1

Combine 1 ½ cup of warm water with 3 cup of Plaster of Paris in a mixing cup. Mix the two together with the Popsicle stick until you get a thick, soupy mixture. There should be no clumps (Plaster of Paris will begin to harden within 20 to 30 minutes so you will need to work quickly).

Note: If you’re doing more than one color you’ll need to mix them in separate mixing cups. If you’re afraid of plaster drying – do small batches ¼ cup water to ½ cup Plaster of Paris.

Step 2

Mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons of tempera paint. The more paint you use the brighter your color will be. Be sure that there are no streaks or swirls in your mixture. You want the color even.

Step 3

Transfer the mixture into your mold once the mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to wipe any spills and leaks with a damp paper towel before the chalk dries.

Step 4

Let the chalk dry. This will take a day. Keep in mind if using other molds the depth of the mold will determine how long it will take to dry.

To view the original recipe and more great ideas click here!  

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Sillypops For The Summer!

ice pops

It's time to get ready for 4th of July... BBQs, Fireworks & Ice Cold Treats!

Create delicious, cold, refreshing Sillypop treats for adults and children!

SiliconeZone Sillypops give you a taste of your childhood. Easy to freeze and demold, making your own colorful icy lollipops in all kinds of flavors is just a snap. Fill in the your Sillypop mold with any liquid ingredients such as juices, cola, yogurt, flavored milk and more! Plug in the sticks and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy, stretch the mold and release your icy Sillypop!

*BOGO available on Retail Only. Not Available at Wholesale Pricing 

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Antioxidant Foods for Winter Health

Those who live in the northern hemisphere are more susceptible to colds when the thermometer plummets. We feel less energetic and more or less go into hibernation mode. The body retains more mucus, which opens the door for a wide variety of colds, flu, and other diseases. Winter is a time when we need to warm our respiratory tract if we want to stay in good health.

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Candy-Making: Golden Butterscotch Pieces and Chewy Maple Caramels

Sure, you can grab a bag of butterscotch candies for $4 at the local grocery.

But this winter, why not enjoy an afternoon of fun the old-fashioned way, and spoon up a big batch of golden, gooey butterscotch in your own warm kitchen? Or try your hand at these easy and delicious maple caramels!

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