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For fun and a treat, how about some fancy ice cubes. They are pretty and a taste surprise when the ice melts in a beverage. You can use a raspberry, a portion of a peeled orange, lemon or lime wedge, a maraschino cherry, candied fruit, mint leaves and much more. The sky is the limit :-)
Fill an ice tray 1/3 full with water and then partially freeze. Add the fruit to the center of each cubicle, press slightly and freeze a bit longer (this way your choice will remain centered in the cube). Finish by filling the rest of the ice cubicles with water. Freeze completely and forget until time to use.
If you don't want to be this fancy but still want fun cubes, simply put a drop or two of food coloring in each ice cubicle and add water before freezing.
Oh, and if you just want a fun flavor, you can put a drop or two of your favorite food flavoring in each ice cubicle.
By Deeli from Richland, WA
If you are like me and still have to freeze your own ice cubes, a cookie sheet under the ice cube trays used to carry them to the freezer saves a lot of messes. I leave mine right in the freezer.
This tip works on all ice trays in any form or shape. Also works well if you are doing the jello and popsicle molds and cubes. I have had the same ice trays for years.
By Janace from Lawton, OK
I drink a lot of plain water but instead of adding ice, I freeze cubed watermelon or other fruits; like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, even sliced fruit like oranges, lemons, etc. Add to drinks for a festive, flavorful and colorful drink! Great way to help kids drink healthier too!
Add salt to the water before freezing to make your ice last longer.
Boiled water freezes clear to make nicer ice cubes or ice moulds for punch.
I make ice chips in an ice cube tray by twisting the ice cubes before they are totally frozen. After they get frozen, I twist the tray again and pull out the little pieces.
I have a tip for ice cubes. I twist the plastic ice cube trays to loosen the cubes, then quickly slap the tray upside down on one of those thin flexible plastic cutting boards to dislodge them.
Different colored ice cubes made of KoolAid make an exciting looking, as well as an unusually flavored drink when added to lemonade. Remember to use good judgment.
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Flavored ice cubes are great in water or lemonade on a warm summer day. Here are some ideas for making your own flavored ice cubes. Post your ideas.
I love to freeze mint in ice cubes. Just take a washed leaf and put it in the each compartment of the tray. Add to iced tea or lemonade.
When you have a tree full of oranges or lemons, juice them and place them in ice cube trays. When the are frozen the cubes can be stored in plastic bags for future use.
I love to make Kool-aid lemonade and freeze as icecubes for my ice tea. You get sweetener and lemon flavor all at once without diluting!. Don't forget you can freeze in small bowls and put in a large cooler type thermos. Debby
What can I use to get the ice cubes to release easily from the trays?
By Barb K
One thing I read a long time ago, is that you should never, ever run warm or hot water in the trays - that sets them up to stick and ultimately ruins the trays.
I used to get hard water build up when we lived where there was well water. After a few months the cubes would stick. I would fill the tray with a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of water and vinegar. I would let it set over night and wash it with soap and water. Plastic ice cube trays don't last forever. Freezing ice over and over will cause very small cracks in the plastic over time. The water will get into the cracks and hold the ice in the tray. You can get trays at a dollar store and just replace them from time to time. I got 3 for 2 bucks at Dollar General last time.
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When making lots of ice cubes for those summer gatherings, store them in brown paper bags in your freezer. They will not become clumped together. It works.
By Sandy from Nova Scotia
I believe you but I wonder why this works. Maybe it's the mom in me echoing all those, "how come's" I heard all those years.
Editor's Note: The paper absorbs the water, thus keeping it away from freezing to the other cubes. (06/04/2009)
My mother used to make iced tea in the summer as many people do, but she would freeze lemonade in freezer ice cube trays and in each compartment she would alternate red and green maraschino cherries. When she had guests she would serve the tea with these flavored cubes in tall clear glasses.
By Snoonie from Baltimore, MD
What a great idea! I have always frozen lemon juice for ice tea but never thought to freeze something in each cube. Great tip, thanks for sharing. Lisa (09/04/2007)
Great idea. It gives a whole new look to an old favorite, iced tea. (09/05/2007)
Both the water dispenser and ice maker broke on our 11 year old fridge. We are waiting for the rest of the fridge to go kaput before we replace it. Repair will be about $300. The fridge isn't worth that amount. When we buy a bag of ice from the store down the street, the ice is still loose in the bag. Within 5 minutes it's in our freezer and later that day, it's a solid block. Any suggestions to keep the cubes loose in the bag for the next few days?
Holly from Richardson, TX
Store them in the freezer in brown paper bags - either lunch size, or grocery bags. They will stay separate until you use them. I guess the trick is that the paper bag absorbs any moisture from the ice cubes, which is what causes them to freeze together.
My brother-in-law taught me this trick years ago, and I remain amazed by it!
Try it - it works. I'm not kidding. (08/11/2008)
I waited 10 years for our fridge to die after the ice cube maker quit.
But it sounds like your freezer isn't cold enough, (turn the temp to a lower setting) or maybe it is time to start pricing new fridges.
Consider a scratch and dent place. (08/12/2008)
By no name today
Why not just go to the dollar store and get 3 or 4 ice cube trays for a buck? If you don't have one of those long boxes for the cubes, you can always twist the trays inside a plastic or paper bag.
I keep my 3 trays inside a gallon plastic bag, not closed. It keeps them clean. (08/12/2008)
I put the ice in freezer and after about 20-30 minutes take it out and keep dropping it on the floor until they are all broken apart again. (08/12/2008)
I must say I haven't tried it yet, but out of common sense, listen to this: I used to freeze strawberries right after I had washed them, still wet, and Oh God! How they stuck together when I used them again. My suggestion is: dry your ice cubes when they are separated and put them in the freeze. I'm going to try it right away. Hope you do too and share results later on. Roland (08/14/2008)
The real trick is to get the ice in the freezer as soon as possible. It's the melting and water refreezing that makes it stick together. Ice trays are cheap but who wants to use nasty city water in their drinks? I don't. And yes, dropping the bag on the floor works best. Roland? Dry the ice first? Uh, ok....no. (08/22/2008)