Crushed or shaved ice, topped with sugary syrup or fresh juices, adds up to delightful treats.

Summer Living: Icy Treats
Credit: Beth Dreiling / Styling Rose Nguyen / Food Styling James Schend

Conquer the sweltering heat and entertain youngsters with thirst-quenching, refreshing snow cones. As an alternative to packaged drink mixes, you may choose such healthful options as orange juice, a sports drink, or pomegranate juice. They'll all leave sweet mustaches on lips and huge smiles on faces.

Cool Off In Style
No, it's not a facial steamer or a small robot. It's a Snow Cone Maker, the secret to the best-ever homemade snow cones. This inexpensive, easy-to-use gadget from Rival shaves ice cubes straight from your freezer. I first used this appliance at my 12-year-old's birthday party, where it was a big hit.

At least 15 of the preteens stood in line, because each one wanted to make his or her own icy treat. By the way, parents can also use it for their own frozen drinks.

Look for snow cone makers at large discount stores or online. Prices range from $20 to $40 for most home models.

"Summer Living: Icy Treats" is from the July 2006 issue of Southern Living.