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Fun, economical ways to use ice cube trays

June 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
When the going gets tough, the tough get creative in the kitchen, especially if your ice maker is broken. Take a look at some interesting and economical ways to use your ice cube trays.With coffee averaging about $9 a pound, put the left over morning brew in ice cube trays and you will have a double strength batch when making ice coffee. Adding those full strength cubes will make for a richer tasting drink when combined with a bit of milk. Even more fun if you're blending with milk and sugar for a cheap frappuccino.

If you have extra citrus on your trees or merely over ripening in the fruit bowl, freezing the juice in trays adds a splash of flavor and color to a glass of water or ice tea, without wasting fruit.

One smart idea is to keep a tray just for left over ingredients like tomato paste or chilies as these may bleed color or odor when used for something light or sweet.

If you have a bit of onion or pepper left over, fill some cubes with chopped produce and a bit of water so that you can save prep steps when making soups or stews at a later date.

Moms with young babies can use the trays to freeze pureed cooked vegetables as an inexpensive alternative to jar baby food.

Left over fruit is also a great cube mate as frozen chunks pop into the blender for smoothies when combined with fruit juice and other extras like yogurt.

Finally, you can also use the trays for non-refrigerated items as well. Try using them for toppings for a taco bar, maybe some dips for veggies, or the goodies for a make your own sundae night.

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