"Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos."-Don Kardong
Due to recent current events, the term willful blindness is popping into conversations. If you haven't heard the legal term yet, it is defined as "if there is knowledge that you could have had or should have had but chose not to have, you are still responsible." This got me thinking. In this unbearable summer, don't we all have a tad bit of willful blindness when it comes to frozen and not exactly the healthiest treats? I could read the label on the ice cream container and see how many calories it is and I should have posted today about healthy alternatives to ice cream and popsicles like fruit but chose not to. Therefore, I am responsible, if by reading this month's super six, you gain 10 pounds. Sorry. This July's sinfully delicious Super Six is all about cooling off with sweet, frozen (and slightly unhealthy) treats.
1. Homemade Ice Cream
The best purchase we have made this summer has to be an ice cream maker (more on that in number three: tools). Homemade ice cream just tastes so delicious and making it is like a little science experiment. One of the first ice creams I made using my new toy was coffee ice cream using this recipe from David Lebovitz. It's just the right amount of sweetness with a wonderful rich coffee flavor (to avoid the caffeine, it tastes just as good if you use decaf beans like I did) The result is a creamy delight that you have to avoid eating right out of the container.
If you're feeling slightly exotic and don't want to bother with tools like ice cream makers, this frozen treat is the perfect lazy gal's ice cream. Kulfi is a popular, milk-based dessert from India. Think of it as regular ice cream but just denser (it is not whipped like western ice cream). There are tons of variations, flavors and recipes you can find, but I grew up every summer eating this simple version that my mom makes. In our family, there would literally be fights for who would get the last kulfi, so you can imagine that if you follow this recipe, you won't be disappointed. (As an added bonus, this literally can be done in five minutes)
SD's Mom's (super easy) Kulfi
1 (14 oz.) can of condensed milk
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups evaporated milk
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
rose water (available at most Indian or Middle Eastern stores or here) (optional)
1. Blend condensed milk, evaporated milk and ricotta cheese to a smooth, liquid consistency. (I watched my mom do this and she blended for about two minutes)
2. Pour into popsicle molds. Place approximately half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of chopped pistachios at the top of the kulfi mixture in each mold compartment.
3. Freeze for a minimum of eight hours.
4. If desired, sprinkle with rose water when serving and enjoy.
While it's tempting to start experimenting when creating frozen treat concoctions, I found it best to try some tried and tested recipes from the experts. The delightful coffee ice cream above comes from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop which is the perfect reference book for your making all kinds of ice cream and frozen yogurts (the recipes range from traditional chocolate to sweet potato ice cream with maple-glazed pecans). For other fabulous ice cream recipes and tips, try Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Pops! makes popsicles easy and even gives all kind of creative ways to make popsicle molds at home (you'll also find a kulfi recipe and fun cocktail pops for the adults). For some south of the border frozen treats, try Paletas for some delicioso recipes.
Making your frozen treats should be just as fun as eating them. If you're making pops, try these fun sailboat, rocket and castle molds. Perfect to add some whimsy to dessert. And if you're ready for some homemade ice cream, try the Cuisinart frozen yogurt, ice cream and sorbet maker. I'm a little partial, because it comes in tons of fun colors, but it also is inexpensive and other than being a little noisy (it is an ice cream maker), it does the job perfectly and quickly.
If you are going to be good and be healthy this summer (booooo!), there's no reason you still can't surround yourself with some summer treats without the calories. I love these adorable popsicle soaps from The Spoon Sisters to spruce up your bathroom or as fun gift. Or if feeling crafty, try making your own soapsicles using this tutorial.
6. Ice Cream Party
Eating ice cream alone always evokes a very sad image. The idea of an ice cream party was created so no one would have to eat ice cream by themselves ever again. So, why not throw an old fashioned ice cream party? Invite your guests to your next summer soiree using these DIY invitations from Martha Stewart. Or miss a friend you used to share a popsicle with? See how they are doing this summer with a cute "Life is Sweet" postcard.
image source: coffee ice cream/kulfi: SD; books: amazon.com; popsicle molds: uncommongoods.com, ice cream makers: surlatable.com; soapsicles: spoonsisters.com (via outblush.com); invite/postcard: marthastewart.com