Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fun and Easy Mexican Side


Looking for a Mexican side dish to round out your meal? This could be the one you are looking for.

Mexican Corn Salad


4 ears of corn, husked
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
2 ounces Cotija cheese or Parmesan, crumbled (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste


Prepare grill for medium heat. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 8-10 minutes; let cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a medium bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, cayenne, if using, 2 oz. Cotija cheese or Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add corn and toss to combine. Top with more cheese and cilantro.

Do ahead: Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Corn can be grilled and cut from cobs 1 hour ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Source: Bon Appetit. You can find it here.

Notes: Honestly, the Cotija cheese was a little strong for me in this recipe. I would have preferred the Parmesan and will use Parmesan cheese from here on out. However, this is still a nice recipe (an homage to the street vendor corn on the cob) and one that will complement your Mexican meal nicely.

Fruit with a Twist


This was wonderful. It tasted completely different from what you were expecting (but then again, maybe I didn't know what to expect), but it was so good.

Plum-Fennel Salad with Honey-Ginger Dressing


1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger, divided
Pinch of kosher salt
3 large red plums, cut into thin wedges
1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Olive oil, toasted sesame seeds, and fennel fronds (for serving)


Whisk orange juice, vinegar, honey, 1 tsp. ginger, and salt in a medium bowl. Add plums and fennel to dressing; toss to coat.

Cover and chill 30 minutes to allow fennel to soften and flavors to meld.

Toss remaining 1/2 tsp. ginger into fruit salad. Serve drizzled with oil and topped with sesame seeds and fennel fronds.

Recipe notes: Slightly underripe plums? Add a touch more honey.

Source: Bon Appetit. You can find it here.

Notes: Again, this was really great. The different flavors together worked surprisingly well.

Another Fantastic Summer Salad


I like my salads with a lot of stuff in them. Fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, you name it. This is one of those great salads.

Strawberry, Kiwi, and Spinach Salad


2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons raspberry jam
1/3 cup vegetable oil
8 cups spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (we used sliced almonds)
8 strawberries, quartered
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
(crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola, if desired)


Mix together raspberry vinegar, raspberry jam, and vegetable oil in a small container.

Combine spinach, nuts, strawberries, and kiwi in a salad bowl. Toss with raspberry dressing.

Source:, submitted by Amy F. You can find it here.

Notes: Many reviewers on suggested adding blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbles to the salad to cut down on the sweetness. I think this would be a fantastic touch. You could also add salt and pepper, to taste, to the dressing. I would suggest starting with a little dressing and tossing the salad and continuing until the salad is dressed to your liking. I felt like there was a little more dressing than the salad needed. Even so, this was a really tasty salad.

Wet Your Whistle


Summer is the perfect time to serve fun drinks at your family dinners. Here are a few we found this summer.


Copycat Hawaiian Punch


1 cup water
2 cups strawberries, sliced
3 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 cup raspberries
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice


Add water, sugar, and berries to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Press berry syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a beverage container or punch bowl. Discard berry pulp.

To the berry syrup, add pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice to a beverage container or punch bowl.

Pour punch into a glass. Top with sparkling water or ginger ale, if desired.

Source: Dixie Crystals website. You can find it here.

Notes: This stuff is really potent. You won't be diluting the flavor by adding sparkling water or ginger ale. In fact, I would highly suggest it.


Copycat Sonic Cherry Limeade

For one drink:

1 can of 7 Up or Sprite
2 maraschino cherries
1/2 lime wedge
2 tbsp. Maraschino Syrup (Grenadine Syrup)


Place 2 cherries and 1/4 lime in the bottom of your drink.

Add ice and then your soda.

Add 2 tbsp. maraschino/grenadine syrup and juice from 1/4 lime.

Source: Lil' Luna. You can find it here.

Notes: We skipped the cherries and made this in a beverage container. We added lime juice (with pulp) and grenadine syrup to taste.

Berry Lemonade


8 cups cold water
2 cups sugar
3 cups fresh lemon juice (from 15-16 medium lemons)
3 strips lemon peel (3 inches by 1 inch each)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
Ice cubes
Seltzer or club soda


Prepare sugar syrup: In 4-quart saucepan, heat 4 cups water with sugar and lemon peel to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover saucepan and boil 3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

Meanwhile, in food processor, pulse berries until pureed. Pour into medium-mesh sieve set over large bowl and press berry mixture with back of spoon to remove seeds; discard seeds.

Remove peel from syrup; stir syrup into berry puree with lemon juice and remaining 4 cups water.

Makes 13 cups (about 12 servings). Pour into large pitcher with tight-fitting lid.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. Serve over ice. Add seltzer to taste; garnish with berries and lemon slices.

Source: Good Housekeeping. You can find it here.

Notes: This was good and refreshing...but I forgot to take a picture of it! Darn it!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Variations on a Strawberry Shortcake Theme

Summer is the perfect time for fruit desserts...and what fruit dessert says summer more than strawberry shortcake?


Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispie Treats


2 1/2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1 heaping cup angel food cake squares
2 1/4 cup marshmallows
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 cup whipping cream
2-3 tbsp. sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups diced strawberries


In a large microwave safe bowl, melt marshmallows and butter together. Stir in Rice Krispie Cereal and angel food cake squares. It is helpful to spray your spatula or spoon with cooking spray before mixing.

Press into a lightly greased 8x8-inch square pan.

In a stand mix, beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla just until stiff peaks form.

You can either spread the whipping cream over the Rice Krispies and top with diced strawberries (store in the fridge), or you can top individual Rice Krispie squares with a heaping spoonful of whipped cream and top it with fresh strawberries.

Source: Boys Ahoy. You can find it here.

Notes: Adding the whipped cream beforehand changes the texture of the rice crispies (it softens them considerably and if you refrigerate for too long, they will become soggy). If the pan of rice crispies will be eaten right away, I would suggest spreading whipped cream over the whole pan and topping with strawberries. This method would also work best for a pot luck where people will be serving themselves. If this dessert will be eaten little by little, I suggest topping each square with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries.


Strawberry Shortcake No Bake Treat Bars


4 tablespoons butter
1 (10 oz) bag mini marshmallows
1 (13.5 oz) box Vanilla Chex
1 (1.2 oz) bag freeze-dried strawberries (anywhere from 1 to 1.5 ounces is good if you can't find this particular size from Trader Joe's)


Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside.

Add butter to a very large microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows, then stir to coat and microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until marshmallows are smooth. Immediately add Chex and freeze-dried strawberries. mix until evenly coated. Pour into prepared baking dish, spray cooking spray on your hands, and press into an even layer with your hands. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe notes: Freeze-dried strawberries are not the same as dried strawberries.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats. You can find it here.

Notes: These were addicting. I loved the freeze-dried strawberries in these.

Strawberry Shortcake Muddy Buddies


6 cups Chex cereal
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups powdered sugar
Dried strawberries, optional (homemade or store bought)


Combine 1 cup white chocolate chips, strawberry preserves, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. microwave in 30 second increments, stopping to stir, until completely melted and smooth.

Pour melted chocolate over cereal and stir to coat.

Add powdered sugar and shake to coat.

Sprinkle with additional white chocolate chips and dried strawberries, if desired.

Dried Strawberries


Sliced strawberries


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Slice strawberries thinly and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in 30 minute increments, rotating pan every 30 minutes, for 2 or more hours. Flip strawberries after 1 hour.

Strawberries should be dry, no longer moist, when done.

Source: Lemon Tree Dwelling. You can find it here.

Notes: These were very tasty. They were a lovely Muddy Buddies variation.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Holiday Spirit...the Easy Way

I wanted to make something patriotic for the 4th of July, but I also didn't have much time or energy to do anything over-the-top. Here was my simple solution.

Flag Rice Krispies Treats


6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 (10 oz) package mini marshmallows
3 tbsp. butter
Blue sugar sprinkles
Red sugar sprinkles


Place marshmallows and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, and stir until smooth. Add rice cereal.

Spray a 9x13-inch glass dish with cooking spray. Spray your hands with cooking spray and pour the rice krispies mixture into the glass baking dish. Press the rice krispies mixture evenly into the baking dish.

Sprinkle the rice krispies with red and blue sugar sprinkles to look like an American flag.

Source: This was a last minute idea. I was just going to do regular rice krispies treats, but I had the sprinkles and wanted to be festive, so this is what I came up with.

2016 Ice Cream Night! Part 3

This post contains my contributions to our ice cream night this year. I based my ice cream ideas on different cravings I have had in the past. My mom made her ice creams with a smaller ice cream maker. Mine were all made in my 4 quart ice cream maker.

All of my concoctions started with the same base ice cream recipe and then I just added different mix-ins.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream


4 cups heavy whipping cream
4 cups half and half
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla


Mix together in 4 quart ice cream canister.

Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Pour into freezer safe container and ripen in freezer until set.

Source: This is just a simple variation of a vanilla ice cream recipe that I had in my manual for my ice cream maker.


Nutter Butter Ice Cream


1 Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe
1 family size package of Nutter Butter Cookies


Crush Nutter Butter cookies. Freeze overnight.

Make Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe.

Pour vanilla ice cream into freezer container and gently fold in crushed Nutter Butter Cookies. Ripen in freezer until set.

Notes: I craved Nutter Butter shakes from Arctic Circle like crazy during my first pregnancy...and then they stopped offering them!


Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream


1 Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe (reduce sugar to 1 cup, if desired, to offset the sugar in the chocolate syrup and marshmallow creme)
1-2 cups chocolate syrup (such as Hershey's), to taste
1 (13 oz) container marshmallow creme


Pour ingredients for Basic Vanilla Ice Cream into your 4 quart ice cream canister. Add 1-2 cups of chocolate syrup, to your taste.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

While pouring into freezer container, layer chocolate ice cream with dollops and swirls of marshmallow creme.

Ripen in freezer until set.

Notes: After a heartbreak during my college days, one of my friends invited me over to her house to watch a funny movie and to stuff our faces with chocolate marshmallow ice cream. I had never had that flavor of ice cream before, and boy did it sure hit the spot that day.


Vanilla Marshmallow Ice Cream


1 Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe (reduce sugar to 1 cup, if desired, to offset sugar in marshmallow creme)
1 (13 oz) container marshmallow creme


Pour ingredients for Basic Vanilla Ice Cream and marshmallow creme into your 4 quart ice cream canister. Mix well.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Pour into freezer container and ripen in freezer until set.

Notes: All throughout high school and college, one of my favorite shake flavors was marshmallow. People kept telling me it was boring, or that it just tasted like a sweeter vanilla, but I didn't care. I just loved that subtle marshmallow flavor in my vanilla shake.

Pink Lemonade Ice Cream


1 Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe
Pink Lemonade mix (such as Country Time)


Make Basic Vanilla Ice Cream.recipe.

Pour vanilla ice cream into freezer safe container 2-4 cups at a time. Sprinkle with pink lemonade mix. Add another 2-4 cups. Sprinkle with more pink lemonade mix. Repeat until all the ice cream is in the freezer container.

Ripen in freezer until set.

Notes: You could also add your desired amount, to taste, of pink lemonade mix to the vanilla ice cream when you put it into the ice cream canister to churn. I know this is an odd recipe/option, but when I was in high school, I used to love to sprinkle my vanilla ice cream with lemonade, pink lemonade, or Tang mix. I know it's random, but it's what I used to do, and it's odd, but it's good. I also kind of like the texture of the undissolved lemonade mix in my ice cream...but if you don't, simply mix the lemonade mix into the cream mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker to dissolve the lemonade mix.


Raspberry Ice Cream


1 Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe
2-3 cups mashed raspberries


Pour basic vanilla ice cream ingredients and mashed raspberries into your 4 quart ice cream canister.

Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Pour into freezer container and ripen in freezer until set.

2016 Ice Cream Night! Part 2

Above: This picture is courtesy of my lovely sister, Emily.  


Krispy Kreme Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts


Add vanilla to heavy cream and whip to stiff peaks in large bowl.

Chop Krispy Kreme doughnuts into small pieces (you can use a food processor). Stir into sweetened condensed milk.

Fold whipped cream into doughnut mixture.

Pour into freezer container and freeze 6 hours, or until firm.


Source: Kevin and Amanda. You can find it here.

Notes: Holy cow, this was good.


No Churn Extreme Chocolate Ice Cream


1 pint (2 cups) Heavy Whipping Cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3-4 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 cups brownie chunks (your favorite brownie recipe crumbled up)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks


Whip cream to stiff peaks.

Mix sweetened condensed milk and cocoa together until well-combined. Gently fold into whipped cream. Fold in brownies and chocolate chunks.

Transfer mixture to freezer container.

Freeze overnight before serving.

Source: Wonky Wonderful. You can find it here.


Birthday Cake Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
3"x6" portion of frosted birthday cake (or 6 frosted cupcakes) 
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles


Place your cake or cupcakes in the freezer overnight.

Roughly chop frozen cake into small cubes.

In large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Fold in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Gently fold in cake cubes and sprinkles.

Pour into freezer container. Top with additional sprinkles, if desired.

Source: Baking Beauty. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good, though I might reduce the amount of cake/cupcakes that I fold in next time.


Cookie Monster Ice Cream


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon blue food coloring
20 chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos), roughly chopped
15 chocolate chip cookies (like Chips Ahoy), roughly chopped
Additional Oreos and Chips Ahoy, for garnish, if desired


Whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and blue food coloring.

Gently fold in chopped cookies.

Pour into freezer container. Top with additional chopped cookies, if desired.

Source: Our Family of Seven. You can find it here.

Note: We used mini Oreos rather than chopping regular-sized Oreos.



No Churn Reese's Peanut Butter Ice Cream


2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
40 Reese's miniatures (or chopped Reese's peanut butter cups)


Place Reese's in freezer for at least 30 minutes to harden.

Mix cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until cocoa powder is dissolved.

Heat peanut butter in microwave for 20 seconds to melt, then stir and set aside to cool slightly.

In large bowl, mix whipping cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in condensed milk mixture until well-combined.

Cut Reese's candy into quarters.

Fold 2/3 of the candy into the whipped cream mixture.

Spread 1/3 of this mixture into a freezer container and then drizzle with 1/3 of the melted peanut butter. Swirl peanut butter with a knife.

Repeat this for two more layers. 

Top with remaining candy pieces.

Cover with foil and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

Source: Cincy Shopper. You can find it here.


Blue Moon Ice Cream


2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon raspberry flavoring
1 teaspoon lemon oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon blue gel food coloring (about 2 drops)


In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add cream, milk, and remaining sugar. Whisking occasionally, heat mixture over medium low heat until bubbles begin to form along the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and add heated cream mixture to the eggs one tablespon at a time while whisking constantly to temper the eggs.

Once the cream mixture and eggs have been combined, return to the saucepan and heat on medium low until mixture coats back of a spoon or spatula and line drawn with a finger leaves a distinct trail. mixture should register 170 degrees to 175 degrees F. Do not allow mixture to overheat.

Pour custard into a medium bowl and whisk in vanilla pudding mix until thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in raspberry flavoring, lemon oil, and vanilla extract until thoroughly incorporated. Set bowl over an ice bath. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, then cover and refrigerate for 2 more hours or up to overnight until completely chilled. Churn chilled custard according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Transfer ice cream into a bowl or container that will hold 1 quart. Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours to fully set. Serve.

Source: Serious Eats. You can find it here

Notes: This one was a fan favorite--especially with the kids.


Key Lime Pie No-Churn Ice Cream


3/4 cup Key lime juice
Finely grated zest of 2 limes (Key limes, if you can get them)
Pinch of kosher salt
1 (13 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 graham cracker crust, store bought or homemade, crumbled


In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, salt, and condensed milk. Slowly stir in the milk.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it reaches soft peaks. Fold the cream into the limemixture.

Put about an inch of ice cream in the bottom of a freezer container. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the crumbled graham cracker crust evenly on top. Top with another inch of ice cream, then another layer of graham cracker crust, and repeat until you've added all the ice cream, ending with an ice cream layer. (You may have leftover graham cracker crust)

Freeze for 6 hours or longer, until set.

Source: Pop Sugar. You can find it here.

Notes: I didn't get to try this one, but you can't go wrong with Key lime pie, right?


Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream


1 pounc strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and cut into quarters
1 tablespoon sugar, plus 1/2 cup
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, add the strawberries and 1 tablespoon sugar and toss to combine. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper and roast, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and place an empty medium bowl in the water.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt and whisk slowly to combine until the sugar has dissolved. One wisps of steam and bubbles appear along the edge of the cream, pour 1/3 of the hot cream/milk mixture into a container with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour 1/3 more of the hot cream/milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the remaining 1/3 of the hot cream/milk mixture into the yolks, whisking to combine. Return the egg yolk/cream mixture to the saucepan over medium heat and, whisking constantly, continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer reaches 170-173 degrees.

Pour the ice cream base into the empty medium bowl sitting in the ice water. Using a spatula, slowly stir to cool the mixture. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Pour the cooled ice cream base into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions, about 25 minutes. Add the cooled, roasted strawberries and let churn until combined. Transfer to a container with a lid and put in the freezer to continue to harden, 2-3 hours. 

Source: Harmon's website. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really delicious. The roasted strawberries gave it a very subtle taste. The texture of the strawberries was really nice.


Peach-Basil-Mascarpone Ice Cream


1 1/2 pounds fresh peaches
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
1 cup mascarpone


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. With a paring knife, mark on the top of each peach with an "x" and put into water until skin starts to peal away, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to water bath.

Peel and pit peaches. Discard skin and pit. Slice peaches into 1/2-inch slices and put into a saucepan over medium heat. Add lemon juice and 1 cup sugar and cook until peaches are tender and liquid has thickened, 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly and, using a blender or food processor and in bathces, if necessary, puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, add basil, stir, and set aside.

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Set a medium bowl inside bowl of ice water and set a fine-mesh sieve on top.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add cream, milk, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and salt, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

In another medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and slowly pour warm mixture into yolks, whisking constantly, then return warmed egg yolk mixture back into saucepan. Return to stove over mediu-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and reaches 175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and coats back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not let boil.

Pour custard through sieve and, when cool, whisk in peach puree and mascarpone until smooth. Transfer mixture to refrigerator and chill, about 3 hours.

Pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions, about 20 minutes. Transfer ice cream to an airtight storage container and freeze completely.

Source: Harmon's website. You can find it here

Notes: I loved the flavor of the basil in this, but I didn't like biting into it. I would be sure to chop the basil into super tiny pieces, or I would strain the basil out after it has had time to steep in the cream mixture.


No Churn Cookie Dough Ice Cream


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Store-bought egg-free cookie dough (or favorite egg-free cookie dough recipe), to your taste

Whip cream to stiff peaks.

Gently fold in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until well-combined.

Layer whipped cream mixture and small spoonfuls or dollops of cookie dough in freezer container.

Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.

Source: My mom came up with this one just based on my suggestion that everyone liked cookie dough ice cream. We really liked this--except that we went a little heavy on the cookie dough. You might say to yourself, "But one can never have too much cookie dough in their cookie dough ice cream!" Well, you would be wrong. Indulge, but don't go overboard. Even with a cookie dough to ice cream ratio that was slightly off, this was still delicious.

2016 Ice Cream Night! Part 1


Well, we went a little overboard this year...especially since we had two ice cream nights this summer (but I'm posting them all together). So, get ready for ice cream overload.


Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 large egg yolks
1/2-3/4 tsp. mint extract, to taste
Green and blue food coloring, optional
3-4 oz. chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate


In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1 cup cream, and fresh mint leaves. Heat over medium heat and bring just to a gentle bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep, 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream with granulated sugar, corn syrup, and egg yolks until slightly pale and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

While whisking egg yolk mixture, slowly add about 1/2 cup warm milk mixture to egg yolk mixture (don't strain leaves yet). Add egg yolk mixture to milk mixture in saucepan and return to medium heat. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5-8 inutes (mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. A light bubble is fine, but don't let it boil). Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a heat proof bowl. Using a rubber spatula, rub mint leaves back and forth over sieve to strain oils and natural flavors from leaves into bowl (also scrape bottom of sieve once done and add that to bowl). Discard leaves. Mix in a few drops green and blue food coloring, if desired (about 4 green/2 blue) and mint extract. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against surface of mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to thoroughly chill, about 4-5 hours.

Once fully chilled, process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, adding in chopped chocolate during last few minutes of processing. Transfer mixture to an airtight container and freeze until nearly firm.


Source: Cooking Classy. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. The use of the fresh mint leaves was fantastic...but it wasn't for everyone. My son said it, "Tasted like leaves," and those who were looking for a more basic mint chocolate chip ice cream didn't really have their cravings fulfilled. I loved it, however.


Champagne Sorbet (Non-Alcoholic Version)


1 1/2 cups sparkling white grape juice (like Welch's) or regular white grape juice
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 teaspoon of lemon and/or grapefruit zest
1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer, if you have access to them)


In a saucepan, combine sparkling white grape juice, sugar, corn syrup, and zest. Bring to a vigorous boil. Stir constantly until sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat.

Strain mixture into a large bowl (stainless steel bowl, if you have one) and add the grapefruit juice and lemon juice.

Chill completely in refrigerator or ice bath.

Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Transfer mixture to a storage container and ripen in your freezer until firm, at least 6 hours.

Chill completely.

Source: Simply Recipes. You can find it here. The original recipe used actual champagne.

Notes: We added some pink food coloring to this as well to make it more fun for some of the little girls.


Ricotta-Honey Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup wildflower honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon


Pour 1 3/4 cups heavy cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment.

In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream with the ricotta cheese, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon to combine. Whisk vigorously to help thin the texture of the ricotta so it's less clumpy.

Whip the heavy cream on medium speed until it forms medium peaks.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture, mixing just until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into an airtight container and freeze until set, 3 to 4 hours. Soften for 15 minutes before scooping and serving.

Source: Pure Wow. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. The honey flavor was lovely and the texture was nice and creamy.

Bubble Gum Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Pink or blue food coloring
1-3 tsp. bubble gum flavoring, to taste
Chopped gumballs, for garnish, optional


In large bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold in sweetened condensed milk until completely incorporated.

Add vanilla, pinch of salt, food coloring, and bubble gum flavoring. Gently mix until combined.

Pour into airtight freezer safe container. Freeze completely before serving. Garnish with chopped gumballs, if desired.

Source: Jamie Cooks it Up. You can find it here. She got her easy 2-ingredient homemade ice cream from Kevin and Amanda which you can find here, but I suspect they all got it from Martha Stewart here minus the bourbon.

Notes: We skipped the gumballs. I would definitely only use them for garnish though because when they freeze, they freeze as hard as a rock.


Unicorn Ice Cream


2 cups whipping craem
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blue, pink, purple, and green good coloring gels


Whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk.

Separate into 4 bowls.

Add one gel food coloring to each bowl: pink, blue, green, and purple.

Gently mix each with a spoon until the color is fully incorporated.

In a freezer container, drop heaping spoonfuls of each color, overlapping one another.

When you've added all the colors and all the ice cream, gently tap the container on the counter until the cream mixture is smooth on top. This will help mix the colors a bit.

Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Source: The Tip Toe Fairy. You can find it here.

Notes: This was so cute and kid-friendly. You could also put any flavoring in this that you wanted: almond, lemon, orange, bubblegum, etc.

No-Churn Cookie Butter Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cookie butter
2/3 cups finely ground Speculoos cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Mix together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.

Gently fold the cream into the cookie butter mixture.

Pour the ice cream into a freezer container and put in freezer until completely frozen, at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Source: The Daily Meal. You can find it here. It was originally from Keep it Sweet Desserts, and you can find it here.


No Churn Whole Lemon Ice Cream


1 1/8 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1 whole lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed


Add all three ingredients into a blender. Blend on high speed until lemon is fully dissolved (about 30 seconds on the smoothie setting works great).

Pour into freezer container. Thump bottom of container against the counter a few times to let the ice cream settle and smooth out.

Freeze overnight before serving.

Source: Kirbie's Cravings. You can find it here.

Notes: This had a really good flavor. This one freezes hard though and takes a little longer to thaw than some of the other homemade ice creams we made this year. Still tasty stuff though!