I greatly dislike ice trays. They are a pain to refill, they pop out really funny, the trays take up too much space in my freezer, the shapes are boring, and you have to use half a tray for one cup of something cold.
I love cute things. That doesn't need much explanation.
I saw this video with Martha Stewart (my favorite Felon!) while trying to find a solution for our ice cube issues and I have to say that it was pretty darn awesome!
So I still wanted silicone - not One-Ice-Cube solutions stacked up in our freezer. Now - have you ever tried to get ice cub trays that are silicone at the store? Ours doesn't carry them. We've checked. However, I find a ton of silicone muffin/cupcake molds that are adorable but I always tell myself "These are one time use! How can I justify this?! I need 40 of these!" and of course they get tossed into my 'organization' system in the basement when not in use so that they don't clutter my kitchen (into an organizational tub for the holiday).
But if I can use it for TWO things...well then, that sort of changes things...
I have to thank my Mother for this because she sends me things against my will all the time. And my Mom really knows stuff so she she sent me this valentines day mold...I had to rethink because I just thought it was so cute...and then it just sort of clicked because we were looking for a better way to do ice.
If you're like my family, you are okay with USING the ice cubes but filling up the ice...is no fun. Often, we had no ice. Instead, when we needed ice we were filling the ice tray up and commenting on how much we disliked the ice tray.
What did I do? I took the heart mold you see above, I placed it in a baking pan(to give it support - these things are wobbly without any support!) like this (see photo below)
And then I filled the mold, not the baking pan, with water and popped it in the freezer. Check it after an hour (or forget it - no harm) and pop them into your ice bin (we have a bin that we put made ice into) or dont, just pop them out of the silicone thing as you need them. I like to make a bunch back to back sometimes just so I can get the baking pan out of my freezer, but it's up to you.
Have you seen any cute holiday molds lately? Any ideas of how cute they would look in a drink?
Hands down, every guest we've had has commented on the ice cubes and has loved them. It's the little touches that make you look awesome and it's the secret you hold that it was easy that makes your smile just a little bit bigger!
Also - according to Sur la Table - "Clever [Tovolo] ice mold combines art and science to make a creative, ultra slow-melting ice ball". Hmmm something to think about. Plus that looks pretty cool!
Just a Few General Tips:
- You can use most muffin tins but metal tins can sometimes be harder to work with though more stable in the freezer. Ice stuck? No pounding! Just set the bottom (only!) of your muffin tin in some warm water for a few seconds. They should loosen right up!
- Can't decide what molds are best? Just go by your season! Muffin/cupcake silicone trays go on sale offseason and can be picked up for a inexpensive penny or two. And you only need one or two as each ice cub is big enough for one drink! One tray means 6+ drinks instead of 1 or 2 drinks.
- Always look for food grade silicone and be sure to rinse between uses!
Want to Dress up your Ice "CUBES" even more? Here are a few videos that add a flair of fancy without much extra work!
Tip: How to make those Spheres without "Meat Hooks" as Martha Stewart References
Tip: Adding stuff INTO your Ice Cubs! Add mint leaves, berries, or fruits in the ice molds for a sophisticated touch! (Just be sure to warn guests so they don't choke if they don't notice your fancy touch!)
Tip: Making Ice Cubs out of Juice and not just Water!
Tip: Take different juices (the photo has kool aid ice cubes!) as above and add the cubes to Sprite!
Tip: How to Make Crystal Clear Ice Cubes
Hosting a Party with a bowl of Punch? Take this idea to the extreme! Silicone molds for cakes are very common and very cute! Get a large enough (not bigger than your punch bowl or so big that no one can get punch!) cake mold that can sit right in your punch bowl! It will take longer to melt and will look AWESOME! (The whole video below is a recap of much of what I've already talked about but if you watch the whole thing- this guy knows his ice!)
I like a bit more flair than the traditional so if we're being completely honest - I would go with the FUN cake molds (not a bunt pan) and look at stuff like this:
And if you have a significant other that really loves sports - you can make sports night a real treat! Get a punch bowl or whatever beverage the party calls for then make a giant football ice cube!
I hope this has sparked some ideas. Ice doesn't have to be boring and you don't have to get something JUST for ice cubes! We got rid of our trays and we use our heart mold for our ice 'cubes' regularly because they are just that cute.
Thanks for Reading! I hope it adds to your holidays and daily beverage delight. And next time you find those holiday silicone molds on sale - give them another look! Nothing screams 'Summer!' like giant frozen roses with mint leaves and berries in them!