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12:31 AM Mon, Sept. 24th

Cool off this summer with homemade ice cream

What goes better with summer than ice cream? Just mentioning the word usually brings a smile to all ages and thoughts of their favorite.

ROCKY ROAD FREEZE

A make-ahead essential. This is done in your kitchen freezer not an ice cream freezer. Nice to have on hand.

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

(remember not canned milk)

1/2 cup chocolate flavor syrup

2 cups heavy or whipping cream

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1/2 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup) chopped

1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

In small bowl, mix condensed milk and chocolate syrup; set aside. In large bowl with mixer on medium, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. With rubber spatula, fold chocolate mixture, marshmallows and remaining ingredients into whipped cream until blended. Cover; freeze 5 hours or more until firm.

Remove mixture from freezer; let stand at room temperature 10 minutes for easier scooping. Makes 1 1/2 quarts or about 8 servings.

HAWAIIAN FREEZE

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups light cream or half-and-half

2 cups whipping cream

1 1/4 cup orange juice

1 can crushed pine apple in unsweetened juice

1/4 cup toasted coconut

2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Beat eggs and sugar in small mixing bowl at high speed until thick and lemon-colored (about 5 minutes). Pour into 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in cream or half-and-half and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture coats a metal spoon (do not boil). Cool to lukewarm. Stir in whipping cream, orange juice, pineapple and juice, coconut and vanilla. Chill and freeze as directed by freezer manufacturer.

VERSATILE FRESH FRUIT ICE CREAM

You choose your favorite fruit for this. Notice no eggs, so no cooking, etc.

3 cups (1 l/2 pints) half-and-half

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1-1 1/4 cup mashed or pureed fresh fruit (raspberries, straw

berries, bananas, peaches) your choice

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

Food coloring, opt. to match fruit choice

Combine all ingredients in container of ice cream maker. Mix well. (Note: May chill in refrigerator at this point). Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Store any leftovers in freezer. Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

RASPBERRY MELBA

A light variation of the traditional Peach Melba using a combination of fresh and bought ingredients for a quick and refreshing dessert.

1 package (10 oz.)

frozen raspberries, defrosted

1 quart raspberry sorbet

1 carton fresh raspberries

Puree the frozen berries in blender or processor. Strain to remove seeds. Place a scoop of sorbet in a pretty glass or serving dish and top with spoonful of sauce. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

PEANUT BUTTER CASHEW SUNDAES

An easy way to dress up a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Makes 4 servings.

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup peanut butter

4 scoops ice cream of choice

1/2 cup chopped cashews (or peanuts if you prefer)

In small bowl, combine corn syrup and peanut butter until blended smooth. Serve over ice cream and top with nuts.

Since most of you probably have your favorite ice cream recipes, I have tried to give you some variety of quick and tasty new things to try. These are big on flavor and I wish I could say they were easy on the calories, but not much you can do about that with ice cream.

TIPS FOR HOMEMADE ICE CREAM: If adding ingredients such as nuts, crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, etc. do so during the last few minutes of churning trying not to miss that timing. If you do miss it, work very fast and fold in by hand when the machine goes off.

Homemade ice cream is best kept for about a week, after which the flavor weakens. To prevent store bought ice cream from forming ice crystals, press some waxed paper on top each time you scoop some out to preserve flavor and texture.

Most freezers have their own instructions, follow the directions given by each manufacturer for perfect results.