My favorite cool treat on a hot day — homemade ice cream

Mother Nature couldn’t have planned a better time to blast us with heat and humidity. After all, July is National Ice Cream Month. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan said so. He also claimed the third Sunday of July will always be National Ice Cream Day. Thank you very much, but I don’t need to wait for a specially designated month or day to enjoy ice cream. It’s one of my favorite indulgences — any day. Or, everyday! It doesn’t have to be a hot day to scoop up a big bowl of ice cream, but it is the perfect frozen treat to bring the body temperature down.

I accidentally brought home a one-pint carton of Organic Valley French Vanilla-flavored half-and-half last week. I meant to grab a carton of the plain old stuff — my husband can’t drink coffee without it. He doesn’t like added flavor — just added fat.

So, when life hands me French vanilla half-and-half, I make ice cream. Ice cream with fresh-picked, sun-kissed, sweet strawberries. Lots of creaminess from a generous dose of fat. Don’t count the calories. Just indulge, enjoy and stay cool! There’s still a lot of ice cream month left on the calendar :)

Oh, what a great mistake I made!

Old-Fashioned Strawberry-French Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned, stems removed
  • 2 large, fresh eggs, preferably local
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups Organic Valley French Vanilla half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream, preferably organic

Wash strawberries. Remove and discard caps. Puree berries in blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. (This is where an electric stand mixer comes in handy.) Beat in sugar, half-and-half, vanilla and whipping cream. Stir in pureed strawberries. Pour into ice cream canister. Freeze, according to manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 2 quarts.

P.S. A drizzle of your favorite chocolate sauce is exceptional on this Old-Fashioned Strawberry-French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Another P.S. If you are concerned about using uncooked eggs in the ice cream you may want to buy pasteurized eggs from the store. I feel comfortable using local eggs from a farmer I know and trust.


12 thoughts on “My favorite cool treat on a hot day — homemade ice cream

  1. Dear Miss Sue,
    I love reading your articles. I have tryed a few recipes and am now very excited to try the stuffed cherries. I have a cooking class at our local nursing home in Cold Spring, MN. It’s called “Cooking with Lila”. I put in a weekly request to the kitchen and then the dietary staff has everything measured out for me and ready to go by 1:30 on the dot on thursday afternoons. All I have to do is look like I know what I’m doing. HA HA. Seeing that cherries are in season and after reading your recipe; I have decided to change my request from Cowboy Caviar to Stuffed Cherries. Last week was Fruity Pizza.
    I am looking forward to hearing from you and most of all the next recipe.
    Stay cool this week, PS: Do you think using a chocolate syrup or melting chocolate chips would be an OK substitute for the sauce as I like to keep it as simple as possible for my ladies.


    • Your cooking classes sound like an event all of the residents must look forward to each week, Lila. Use any kind of chocolate sauce you would like with the stuffed cherries that were in my column last week. And, eat up! It’s so nice to hear you enjoy reading my newspaper column. Thanks for stopping by my blog, too!

    • P.S. Lila: I had to smile when I saw you addressed me as Miss Sue. When I was in college I worked part-time at a private preschool in Mahtomedi. The children called me Miss Sue. One little boy had trouble with that. He called me Mit Too. You brought back sweet memories. Thanks!

      • Mike, The cooking is going quite well. Thank you for inquiring. Next week at Cooking with Lila we will be preparing sweet potato fries and baked fish. Over the holidays we whipped up some Original Irish Cream. And yes the ladies were getting smarter with each sip.
        Is this the Mike S. I think it is???? Seeing I only know of one.
        Hope all is going well with your cooking.

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  3. I love the idea of adding a flavored half-and-half! Sometimes the best ingredients are the ones you weren’t meaning to bring home. Genius!

    • You’re right, Amy. I never would have thought to use flavored half-and-half when making ice cream unless I had that mistaken pint in my refrigerator. After reading your blog post about blueberries, I’m thinking fresh blueberry ice cream made with Organic Valley hazelnut half-and-half. Yum!

  4. I am making this as I type – and after stealing a spoonful off the top I am in LOVE! SOOOO good! Can’t wait to try it with the french vanilla 1/2 n 1/2 (my store didn’t have it). My boys are going to love it too. Thanks Sue!

    • I have to tell you, Kjersten, that I made the ice cream today for my husband’s birthday and used peaches rather than strawberries. Another delicious option! I hope you will soon be able to make it with the French Vanilla half-and-half. I get the Organic Valley brand at my local natural food co-op.

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