I previously wrote about a theme party we were planning for our kids. We went with a beach/undersea theme and the party was a complete success! The temps on Saturday hovered around 109 degrees--this was the actual temp--I'm so not exaggerating. Our main concern was keeping everyone hydrated, safe, and as cool as possible.
One of the biggest hits at the party were snow cones. Who doesn't love a cup of shaved ice with sweet, yummy flavors in a rainbow of colors? The kids went bananas over the snow cones, it was the only thing that got every last one of them off of the waterslide--all at once.
I searched the internet for reviews on snow cone machines. Then I remembered that I had a gift card for Bed Bath and Beyond, and I decided to search their website. The machine I initially wanted was out of stock both online and in stores within a 50-mile radius.
So I found this Retro Series Single Snow Cone Maker by Nostalgia Electrics. It was only $29.99, which would leave me enough to buy other items.
Nostalgia Electrics RSM-702 Retro Series Single-Serve Snow Cone Maker
I went with a single snow cone maker because I knew that after the party, it was highly unlikely we would need a snow cone machine to make massive amounts of shaved ice. I found it easier to make a huge plastic bowl of shaved ice, cover it, and pop it in the freezer the night before--and re-shave as needed the day of the party--if you need to make a large amount, as I did.
My opinion of the snow cone machine itself:
*Easy to use--just pop the ice cubes in and click the lid in place.
*Cute retro look
*Makes great shaved ice--very fine consistency.
*The machine trembles quite a bit, despite the suction cups on the bottom being firmly attached to the countertop.
*If you follow the instructions, and add 4-5 ice cubes, it seems to take forever to make enough shaved ice for one snow cone.
*The stand for the included hard plastic cup did not appear sturdy.
Overall I'm really happy with the snow cone machine, and it was definitely a conversation piece for all the moms that were at my house. I like that the stand folds and tucks under the machine and I was able to put a larger plastic bowl there instead to collect more ice.
Here's a picture of what was left of the snow cone syrups that I made. I was on the verge of ordering/buying syrup for $3 per bottle when I found a great and EASY! recipe for snow cone syrup here.
I adjusted the recipe a bit: I put 1 1/2 cups of water in a pot and added 1 1/2 cups of white sugar. I let it boil for one minute, as per the original recipe, and I took it off the burner and added 2 packets of Kool-Aid (of the same flavor).
I poured the syrup in the dispensing bottles (I bought a pack of 6 plastic bottles for about $4) and made labels for each flavor and refrigerated them. I made 6 bottles of flavor and it only cost me 16 cent for each packet of Kool-Aid!!
I had a lot of kids, who came back for just the syrup, so the syrup gets the kid seal of approval. It was very simple and economical and really made my kid's party special. I hope you'll try snow cones to cool yourself and your little ones off during this brutally hot summer.