Easy Homemade Horchata!

Since introducing Coconut Horchata, a current vegan option at MELT, we’ve sort of fallen in love with the the drink that inspired it. This traditional beverage can be made in several different ways, but the classic version which our ice cream is based on is a sweet mix of cinnamon and rice milk. It might sound exotic and daunting, but it’s actually fairly simple to make a stellar batch at home. So, if you’ve recently joined us in this obsession, keep reading for our DIY horchata recipe!

Homemade Horchata

The real game changer in this recipe is the toasting of the rice and cinnamon stick beforehand. It adds that extra, subtle flavor that will push you to the next level. We also found that using an immersion blender as opposed to a standing blender can save the (possibly messy) effort of taking ingredients in and out of the blender, instead allowing the whole process to take place in one large bowl. But, if you don't have the great blessing to own an immersion blender, then your trusty, standing version works just fine as well.

homemade Horchata Ingredients

(Our awesome chef Catie helped us to tweak this recipe to make it even better)

INGREDIENTS:

1 CUP OF LONG GRAIN RICE, RINSED

1 CINNAMON STICK BROKEN INTO PIECES, PLUS MORE FOR GARNISHING

1/2 CUP OF SUGAR

STEPS:

 Lightly toast rice and cinnamon stick over low heat

 Combine toasted rice and cinnamon with 4 cups water in blender, pulse to coarsely grind. Transfer to large bowl and add another 4 cups of water, let soak at room temperature for at least three hours (overnight for even more flavor). 

Puree mixture in batches in a blender until smooth. Strain through fine sieve, mix in sugar, chill. 

Stir well, pour over ice, garnish with cinnamon sticks, PARTY!

Home Horchata!

And that's it! Super simple, super sweet way to prove to your friends that you are totally cultured and accomplished and interesting (because of course, you SO are). Try our home horchata, and let us know how it goes! And then come in for a scoop of Coconut Horchata while it lasts, because obviously everything is better in ice cream form.  

The spoon in the image above is a part of our Tribe Alive line of retail. Get more info here!!

2015 in Review: MELT's Top Ten

Together, we've done some pretty sweet things this year. We have grown and partied and laughed on a whole new level, and while every day was great, there were a few that were especially big to us. So, here is a list of some of the ice cream parties we will never forget: MELT's Top Ten.

1. Fort Worth Funky

In March, we had the honor of being featured on Fort Worth Funky. They took some time to sit down and listen to our story, and then made this video highlighting all everything at the core of who we are. 

2. MELT's First Birthday

April was our birthday month, and we made sure to party all the way through. We took donations for The Birthday Party Project throughout the month, and some of our team members even got a chance to volunteer at one of their events! The weeks before our birthday brought some special celebration for staff and regulars, and day of, we threw ourselves a birthday bash to remember. We had some custom printed t-shirts made on-site by Trust Printshop, we turned our menu into a Greatest Hits playlist of our best loved flavors, we invited you all, and you all showed up. 

3. Fort Worth Magazine

May brought us the honor or being chosen by you as Fort Worth's Best Frozen treat, and being chosen by Fort Worth Magazine as their cover for the month. It was so fun to hear that you guys love what we do as much as we love doing it!

4. Oak Cliff Pop Up

We spent our summer weekends with our Dallas friends, slinging scoops out of a corner of an urban farmer's market in Oak Cliff. It may just have been a quick, few month long pop-up, but the people we met and the celebrations we had while there have absolutely stuck with us.

5. Christmas in July

Last year, we celebrated the hallowed day of Christmas in July all on our own. And it was awesome day. But this year, our good friends over at Brewed joined in, and we got to tack on a Christmas Eve celebration as well. There were elves, special Christmas flavors, and an ugly sweater contest. The day was merry and bright and HOT and sort of the best ever.

6. Fit Worth

Remember that crazy time when the Mayor personally escorted 150 bikers to our shop? On a legendary July day, Mayor Price's Fit Worth Initiative invited people to take a ride through Fort Worth and end up on our front door for a well deserved cone.

 

7. Co-Owner Mark

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This summer, MELT gained an awesome new full time team member in Mark Seher. He's always been a big part of MELT as our Founder Kari's husband, filling many roles and fixing many broken appliances. But, when he quit his day job to be our co-owner and CFO, we all got to find out just how great he really is. His hard work and insights have been a huge part of MELT's success this year, and we're pretty glad to have him around.

7. Elle Magazine

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In October, MELT got its first national write up, in this great article by Elle Decor. We were super excited to be recognized, and just as excited to see other amazing DFW spots right there with us!

9. Tribe Alive

In November, we launched a new line of retail alongside some very passionate people. Tribe Alive works through ethically sourced fashion to provide jobs for women living in impoverished countries. The products they created for our line provided a full week's worth of work for artisans in Haiti, and as a bonus, are also completely gorgeous. We launched our online store so we could showcase these beautiful items (as well as our other great retail products) and so you could all experience them for yourselves.

10. Motor Sisters

December launched what was undoubtedly our biggest adventure of the year. Motor Sisters Ice Cream, MELT's sister shop in Dallas, served her first cone December 4th, and has been dishing out some sweet tricked-up cones, sundaes, and shakes ever since. We've loved adding this place and these people to our family.

This year has brought a lot of new, joyful experiences our way. We are so grateful for all of the love and laughter we have had, and so excited to know that this is only the beginning! 2016 will be bigger, brighter, and sweeter in every way. We hope you will join us!

 

 

 

 

Check In With the Team: New Year Edition

As the year comes to a close, we've all been taking some time for reflection and planning. We asked some of our team members to share the things they learned from 2015, and the things they're hoping for 2016. Now, we get to share their answers with you (with the help of a few golden photos from our scavenger hunt Christmas party)!

Jayne (Photographer, Scooper)

"My biggest resolution will be to enjoy life more. The good and the bad. Mainly the bad, because I feel like it's not that hard to enjoy the good parts of life, but next year I'm going to strive to find light in the hard times as well. Next year, I'm also going to pursue film photography. That's something that's always interested me and what better year to start than 2016?!? YOU COULD SAY I'M PRETTY PUMPED FOR THE NEW YEAR."

Gabi (Scooper)

"My New Year Resolution is to try two new activities so I can get back in shape!"

Heather (Shift Lead)

"This year, I want to eat more ramen (it's good for the soul), shop more thrift stores, and support more small businesses (they tend to have cuter, more unique gifts).  This year, I finally learned how to wrap presents!"

Esme (Shift Lead/Kitchen Team)

"2015 was a great year for adventure. I traveled so much and was able to do so many things that I had never done before. Along with the good times, there were some not so good times, which just reminded me of how strong I can be! In 2016, I plan on focusing more on my health and well being. I also plan on continuing my career in cosmetology and business. I expect many more travels and adventures!"

Frankie (Communications Director)

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"This year taught me SO many lessons about perseverance, friendship, and balance. I feel like I'm a stronger person than I was twelve months ago, which I'm super thankful for. As for resolutions, I've always had this idea that my life would probably be fixed in every way if I was a morning person. It's topped my resolution list for a few years now, but still hasn't quite happened. But, you know, if at first you don't succeed, download another alarm clock app and try again!"

Catie (Chef)

"I learned how to make ice cream this year, so that is pretty cool!"

Kari & Mark (Co-owners)

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In 2015 we did a lot, it was quite the whirlwind. I took an intensive business class, we opened a pop-up shop, launched a new business, and made some big life changes; but the best part was pushing our boundaries and limits, making people smile, and cultivating our team.  We are so excited for 2016!"

Abbie (Scooper)

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"My New Years Resolution is to broaden my music horizons! I want to go to more concerts and support newer musicians this year."

MELT is pretty lucky to have been filled with incredible people like these guys this year, and just as lucky that all of you chose to come hang out with us! We are looking forward to spending even more time with you guys in the new year.

MELT's 2015 Family Christmas Extravaganza

As previously discussed on this blog, the MELT Team loves to party together. And the holidays are a perfect excuse to have more celebrations than ever. So earlier this week, we got together to make some memories and some laughter, and in the spirit of everything we hope to stand for, tried to give back a little in the process.

Through a local Angel Tree drive, we got the names of five worthy children to buy Christmas presents for, and then threw in some healthy competition along the way. While shopping for the Angel Tree presents, two teams of MELT ladies raced to get through a long list of tasks and bring back photo proof of their completion. These assignments included (but were not limited to)-

Giving hugs to strangers and stuffed animals alike,

getting in a quick work out,

requesting piggy back rides from random shoppers,

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dressing up in holiday cheer,

and showing their true feelings for brand name ice cream.

After both the present hunt and the scavenger hunt were completed, everyone returned to the shop. We wrapped up our presents, ate take out from Cannon Chinese Kitchen, and reminisced (with a whole lot of laughter) about the amazing, joyful, cone filled year we got to have together. 

Parties, good food, and helping others are what we specialize in, and we want to see these passions play out when we are with customers and when we are with each other, both while we are open and after hours. The MELT Team truly is a family of people who are all in love with the ice cream and community this shop has fostered, and every one of you who has come in during the past one year and eight months have been a wonderful part of that. So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, thank you for making 2015 amazing. We hope you all are having as great of a time with friends and family this week as we had with each other a few nights ago. 

P.S. A special thank you goes out to Target for letting us run around acting crazy in their store. Couldn't have done it without you.

Fort Worth Proud

MELT is so proud to be a part of Fort Worth. The strong community and the heart of the people who live here inspire everything we do, and we love to watch you guys succeed. That's why we wanted to take a second this morning to celebrate Fort Worth native Leon Bridges' GRAMMY NOMINATION!! His album Coming Home, recorded in Fort Worth and completely made by Fort Worth musicians, is up for Best R&B Album, which could not be more well deserved. We are so excited for him, and so glad to call him part of our MELT Family. Congratulations, Leon, we will be rooting you on from home!

(photo by @_Ravenlore on Instagram)


Cold Weather Friends

Some people feel this need to box up and constrain ice cream as strictly a summer dessert. Which we get. Hot weather and cold scoops are sort of an amazing combination. But we would like to propose that there is no "bad ice cream weather". Winter's celebrations and comfy fireplace days can make a pretty fantastic backdrop for a MELT pint or two, and many of the comfort foods this season requires can be improved with a scoop of ice cream. In that spirit, over the next couple months, we will be letting y'all in on some of our favorite pairings and recipes for winter food and drink that call for the world's best dessert. Kicking it off, we've got a recipe for possibly the easiest way there is to turn your much needed caffeine dosage into an elegant, Italian dish. 

Affogatos are a traditional Italian dessert which are served in restaurants all over the country. Consisting of a scoop of ice cream topped with a shot of espresso, they're the perfect mix of hot and cold, cozy and refreshing, the most delicious "best of both worlds" there is. To make one at home, without the blessed privilege of an espresso machine, just brew an extra strong 1/4 cup of coffee, and you'll get the general idea. For the classic affogato, go for Beans, and for a festive twist, we recommend Merry Marshmallow or Santa's Helper. As a personal favorite, top it with cinnamon to take it to the next level.

So there you have it. Reason Number One why you shouldn't give up on ice cream just because it's a bit chillier outside. Come grab a pint today to make your own affogatos (and if you've been eyeing that gorgeous spoon all through the post, make sure to grab it out of our Tribe Alive line while you're here.)

 

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a holiday near and dear to MELT's heart. We believe in growing relationships, in celebrating life and community, and definitely in good food. We are thankful for so much right now, but we wanted to take this short moment to express our gratefulness to all of our customers. You guys make MELT possible, and your support of everything we do means the world. From joining in our coat drives and giving days to help us grow a better, safer city, to bringing your families in and allowing us to participate in your birthday parties and happy memories, you guys make us even more proud of and passionate about our tiny, cone-scented shop. Every time we get to take your pictures against the yellow wall, every time we get to joke around across the counter, every time we share the ice cream we love, we get to believe a little more in the power of experiencing delicious things with the people who are special to us. So thank you for showing up, for smiling, and for investing, week after week. We love every one of you and can't wait for all the Taco Tuesdays, Saturday Specials, and everyday ice cream parties in our future. 

So much love,

The MELT Team

Fashionable And Purposeful

Earlier this week, we spent a morning with some great people shooting some great pictures to prep for a really, really great announcement. MELT believes that treats can change your day, and your day can change the world, and we love finding different ways to live out this belief, including partnering with visionary people and businesses to help them help others! Our latest partnership is with Tribe Alive. The ladies of Tribe Alive use their love of fashion to provide safe jobs for impoverished women throughout the world by creating gorgeous, ethically made products. MELT is now selling a line of Tribe Alive products that were created just for us, and which provided a full week's worth of work for artisans in Haiti. We put together a special photo shoot to get ready to share all of these beautiful items with you guys, and in the meantime, we had just a little fun. Here are some BTS sneak peeks!

Check out our line in our newly launched online store, or in the MELT shop!

Shout out to Amanda Marie, the awesome photographer for the shoot!!

Check in with the Team; Fall Edition

Our shop and our ice cream would not be what it is without the amazing people that make up our team. We wanted to give everyone a chance to see how great they are, and to connect names with the faces you see behind the counter every day! We asked them to share some of the stuff they love about fall, and their answers were pretty great.

Esmeralda Arellano

(Shift Lead/Kitchen Team)

"Autumn is my favorite season! I love the sunny yet cool weather. I love all things Halloween, and I'm looking forward to working Halloween at MELT! It'll be my first. Butternut has had my heart since we introduced this round of flavors."

Jayne Goodall

(Photographer/Scooper)

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"Favorite thing about fall?? EASY. The weather. Hands down. Are you kidding me? Any other answer is wrong. The best thing about fall is the weather. And with great weather comes great fashion. Don't get me started on sweater weather. I. Am. Ready. On this menu, Butternut is my favorite flavor!"

Heather Ramaekers

(Shift Lead)

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"For me, Autumn means going to school and learning (and treating yourself to ice cream afterwards!). This fall I'm taking an introductory course that is educating me in all the fields of the fashion industry , so I'm excited to see where this class will take me! My favorite flavor is Apples'n'Oats!"

Arika Oviedo

(Shop Manager)

"When the air and leaves get crispy I know it’s that time of the year to find a few good books, relax, and enjoy the short days and cool nights. Fall is a time for pumpkin everything, football, cozy scarves, hot chocolate, candy corn, sweaters, and late nights around the bonfire. I love how the cozy weather draws me indoors to craft and cook. I’ll just put on a pair of thick socks and pjs and start making things, but I also love how the fall draws me outdoors and persuades me to try to sneak a good camping trip in before it gets too cold out. Fall reminds me that it is never too late to start over. Fall is a cozy season which returns faithfully to me every year. Fall means I’m buying a new coat for the winter."

Frankie Simmons

(Communications Director/Shift Lead)

"Fall always drives me to spend more time with friends and family. Maybe it's how the cooler weather encourages home cooked meals around shared tables, or maybe it's that extra goodwill motivated by the upcoming holiday season. Whatever it is, this year I definitely want to capitalize on that, growing the relationships that matter and creating memories with great people, many of which I'm sure will involve ice cream! I'm currently obsessed with Apples'n'Oats, in all its creamy, cozy goodness."

Kari Crowe Seher

(Owner)

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"I love the beauty of a new season of celebration.  My husband and I were married in October, so it's a reminder of joy, friendship, and loyalty.  MELT gets to embody many of those same qualities, with our team and with our customers.  We get to build relationships as we celebrate our customers, many of whom we see often, and experience their life joys.  My favorite fall flavor is the butternut squash. I like the unexpected savory flavors, it's rejuvenating. I sometimes eat it for lunch."

Back to School

The beginning of school is a special time of year. A schedule full of classes and learning opportunities that are new enough to still sound fun, getting to be back around friends every day, and, for parents, the bonus of some much needed free time while the kids are out of the house. It's a time full of promise and novelty and it is a time that deserves to be celebrated. We think some ice cream is in order.

The Birthday Party Project

For the month of April we have been celebrating our Birthday by linking arms with The Birthday Party Project.  TBPP exists to "bring Joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays."  Through the end of April you can drop off Birthday gifts for children from age 1-18, boy or girl, and also bring any party supplies (hats, streamers, plate ware, banners, goodie bags, etc.) to the shop at our donation station!

Birthday confetti