A hot August day puts everyone in the mood for a bowl of cold homemade ice cream. Start with Best Vanilla Ice Cream and add variety with the following suggestions. Bring out the ice cream freezer and start cranking – or just turn it on.

Best Vanilla Ice Cream

     10 servings

1 cup whole milk

1¼ cup powdered sugar

4 cups heavy cream

pinch of salt

2 t vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

Put the milk, sugar and half the cream into a medium saucepan; warm it together.

Pour the rest of the cream into a big bowl and put a sieve over the top.

In another bowl whisk the egg yolks together.

When milk mixture begins to steam, temper the eggs by pouring some of the milk slowly into the eggs, whisking constantly.

Tip it all back into the saucepan; stir constantly over medium heat.

Scrape down the sides and bottom as you go.

It’s ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Pour through sieve.

Cover with cling film and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Churn according to manufacturer instructions.

Rocky Road Ice Cream

1 recipe Best Vanilla Ice Cream

8 ounces 60-percent baking chocolate

¼ cup boiling water

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup marshmallow cream

1 cup salted roasted peanuts

Melt chocolate in double boiler.

Transfer to a medium saucepan.

With the heat on medium-low add boiling water and cocoa powder.

Whisk vigorously until there are no lumps.

Make Best Vanilla Ice Cream using this saucepan and with the chocolate.

When ice cream is finished churning stir in marshmallow cream and peanuts.

Moose Tracks Ice Cream

1 recipe Best Vanilla Ice cream

½ cup coarsely chopped peanut butter cups

2 tubes Rolos – caramel-filled chocolates

Make 1 recipe of Best Vanilla Ice Cream.

When ice cream is finished churning add peanut butter cups and Rolos.

Stir to combine.

Serve or freeze immediately.

Crackly Ice Cream Topping

     4 servings

1 T coconut oil

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Melt coconut oil in double boiler.

Add chocolate; stir until melted.

Cool slightly; spoon over ice cream.

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Cherlyn Beachy lives near St. Ansgar in northeast Iowa with her husband, Mervin, and their son and daughter. They have a large garden and raise their own chickens, beef, pork and eggs. She’s a stay-at-home mom who loves to cook and enjoys photography. “I cook like many of you – no special equipment, no exotic ingredients and no one else to wash the dishes,” she says. “I’m always on the lookout for tasty easy-to-prepare seasonal food.”