July 15th Is National Ice Cream Day

Something very special happens on the third Sunday in July each year – National Ice Cream Day!

Established in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, as part of National Ice Cream Month, National Ice Cream Day is dedicated to the ice cream lover in all of us.

And what better way to celebrate the day than with some of your very own homemade ice cream! Below are a couple recipes I found on Disney’s FamilyFun website. The first one is a recipe for soft serve ice cream made in a bag, and is quite easy. The second recipe is a bit more complicated, but nothing overwhelming. Both are great fun for the whole family!

Homemade Ice Cream In A Bag

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag


– Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.

– Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it’s done.

– Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too! Serves 1.

Freezer French Vanilla

What You’ll Need:

2 cups milk
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 pint whipping or heavy cream, chilled
Candies, cookies or fruit (optional)


– Scald the milk in a saucepan by heating it until it approaches the boiling point (it will look frothy and bubbles will appear on the edges). Set it aside.

– In the top of a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt, add the scalded milk, and whisk until smooth.

– Cook the egg-milk mixture over simmering water stirring continuously for 10 minutes, or until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. (If you don’t own a double boiler, use two similar-size saucepans, placing one on top of the other.) You’ll know the custard mixture is ready (and the egg yolks are cooked) when it coats the back of a spoon.

– Remove the pan from the double boiler and add the whipping or heavy cream. Mix thoroughly. Carefully pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch pan, cover, and place in the freezer. (At this point, you could use an ice cream maker if you have one.)

– Every hour or so, stir the mixture and scrape the edges of the pan to keep the ice cream smooth as it freezes. After about 5 hours, it should be frozen. Cover and keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Makes 1 quart.

If you want to make your ice cream extra creamy, before serving, let it soften for 15 minutes, scoop it into a bowl, and beat it with a mixer.

To jazz up your ice cream, you can mix in candies, cookies or fresh fruit at this stage. Try folding crushed Oreo cookies, fresh diced strawberries, chocolate chips or broken peanut butter cups into slightly softened ice cream. Let the kids experiment with their own combination of ingredients, and they’ll have a flavor that rivals gourmet ice cream.


national ice cream day

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