Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?

 Ice Cream

 

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. President Reagan recognized the popularity of ice cream (90% of the nations population enjoys ice cream) and in his proclamation said that all the people who observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

How fabulous is that? I love ice cream and would have no problem enjoying National Ice Cream Day with some special activities, especially if they include eating ice cream. I was actually at Disneyland and California Adventure on National Ice Cream Day in 2011. Naturally, I had ice cream at both parks.  And it was awesome!

Here’s a couple of my celebration photos enjoying the best treats in the “happiest place on earth.”

Best soft-serve cone ever is on the pier at California Adventure.

Best soft-serve cone ever is on at Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company at Disney’s California Adventure Park.

A visit to the old-fashioned ice cream parlor for hand-scooped ice cream in freshly baked waffle cups. Best on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Park. (And this is my daughter and great niece...I did share.)

A visit to the old-fashioned ice cream parlor for hand-scooped ice cream in freshly baked waffle cups. Best on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Park.
(And this is my daughter and great niece…I did share.)

 

 

This year National Ice Cream Day falls on July 21, 2013.

(That means this coming Sunday is the day to celebrate.)

Need some ideas for ways to celebrate National Ice Cream Day? Here’s a couple of recipes and ideas I enjoy.

 

Homemade Ice Cream in a Freezer

When I was a kid we had a green, wooden ice cream freezer with a crank handle. I have a summer birthday and for my 10th birthday I had some friends over and we made homemade ice cream for dessert. My dad turned the crank handle and we would take turns standing on top of the freezer to hold it stead as the ice cream got harder. It was lots of fun. When it was finished we added a variety of toppings, laughed, and enjoyed a delicious treat together. My favorite topping was/is fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce.

This is the recipe my mom used to make homemade ice cream and I still use it today.

 

Ingredients: (makes 4 quarts)

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cans Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Whole milk (added to freezer can to the fill line)

Steps:

  1. Blend all ingredients together, except the whole milk. Poor mixture into freezer can and add whole milk just to the fill line.
  2. Freeze in ice cream maker, adding ice cubes and rock salt as needed.

 

 

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag 

Making homemade ice cream in a bag can be a really fun treat, and science experiment, with kids. I have used this recipe in classrooms of children and at summer camps. They have a lot of fun making the ice cream and eating. The ice cream does not freeze as hard. It’s more of a soft serve.

This is a recipe I have used at camp.

 

Ingredients: (serves one person)

  • 1 pint-size ziplock bag
  • 1 gallon-size ziplock bag
  • Ice cubes (Enough to fill a gallon-size ziplock bag.)
  • 1/2 cup rock salt (Table salt will work, but it doesn’t freeze as well.)
  • 1 cup half and half (Or whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional toppings  or mix-ins: mini chocolate chips, fresh fruit, etc.

Steps:

  1. Combine the half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.
  2. Put the ice cubes and salt in the gallon-size bag. Place the sealed pint-size bag inside with the ice and salt. Seal the gallon-size bag.
  3. Shake the bags until the mixture hardens. You can also have kids toss the bags back and forth with a friend. It takes about 5 minutes to freeze.
  4. Take the pint-size bag out of the gallon-size bag. You can add mix-ins or toppings right to the ice cream and eat it out of the bag or pour it into a small bowl or cup and then add toppings.

 

 

You don’t have to make ice cream to enjoy National Ice Cream Day / Month. Just plan a fun time to get together with family and friends. Here are some ideas…

  • Ride your bike to a favorite ice cream shop
  • Create a “build-your-own-Sundea” buffet
  • Host an backyard movie and have ice cream treats
  • Plan a picnic and take along some ice cream cups and toppings to add
  • Play day snacks with ice cream sandwiches, fudge bars, etc

 

However you choose to celebrate National Ice Cream Day / Month, take some pictures and keep the moment. I wish I had photos of standing on top of the ice cream freezer at my 10th birthday. Sometimes the little things slip away from us and we miss preserving moments.

 

Be a memory maker and a memory keeper this summer.

Here’s a scrapbook layout idea for keeping your summer ice cream photos where they can be enjoyed.

IceCream Layout

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Candy Cane Cookies have been a Snyder Family tradition since 1984. These lightly glazed peppermint treats are simply delicious and have continued to be a favorite for all of us. When my children were young we would make them together with one of them rolling out the red dough, one rolling out the plain dough, and me twisting them together to put on the cookie sheet. The house smells fabulous as the cookies bake and they are always fun to share with friends.

As I have been thinking about which recipes to include in my “Christmas Treats” recipe book that I shared in a post on November 12, this recipe has to be the first one in the book. I thought I would share this family favorite with you and hope that you enjoy a little bit of our Christmas traditions, too.

 

Candy Cane Cookie Recipe – by Michelle Snyder

Ingredients: 1 C. butter, 1 egg, 1C. powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, 2 1/2 C. flour, 1/2 tsp. red food coloring, dash of salt, and Peppermint Glaze (recipe below)

In a large bowl beat butter until softened. Add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, peppermint extract, and a dash of salt. Beat well. Add flour and beat until well mixed. Divide dough in half and put into two containers. Stir food coloring into one half of the dough. Cover both containers of dough and chill about 30 minutes.

For each cookie, on lightly floured surface, shape about 1 tsp. each of plain dough and red dough into 4-inch ropes. Place ropes side-by-side, twist together, and pinch ends to seal. Form into a cane and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool. When completely cool, brush with glaze.

Peppermint Glaze: Stir together 1 C. powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract, and enough water (4-5 tsp.) to make of brushing consistency. Carefully brush over cooled Candy Cane Cookies and allow to dry.

 

The recipe makes 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on how big your candy canes are. I always make a double batch. Enjoy!

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