My friend Lara and I on the beach in Portugal, 1993

There is not a more perfect pleasure in the world than a cold, creamy ice cream cone after a sweltering day of sun bathing, swimming, and jet skiing. It just wouldn’t be summer without it! Wether it is gelato (or gelati if you favor more than one scoop) in Italy…
Gelato in Dubrovnik (Croatia shares a border with Italy)
The local Iowa ice cream parlor

…good old fashioned ice cream in America (sometimes with some rather unconventional flavors and colors). The main differences between the two simular refreshing confections is gelato is usually made with more egg yolks, and the ratio of milk to cream is higher…which actually renders it the lower fat option. The fact that they do not “overrun” (add air) to gelato also means it has a denser, richer texture than most ice creams, and needs to be served at a slightly higher temperature in order to scoop it properly.
Jordan age 3
This week’s words of wisdom “life is short, eat dessert first” came from my 11 year old niece, Jordan, who already has years of experience behind her in the ice cream indulging department…her favorite is still bubblegum ice cream…somethings never change!
bubble gum from this week’s cone

Ice cream can be dressed up in a fancy schmancey restaurant…
Ice Cream Sundae at Dad’s 75th birthday celebration
Dad with Jordan and William at DQ last night
…or a casual affair at Dairy Queen to be enjoyed by young and old alike…who doesn’t love ice cream??? Ice cream is always in style…
Jordan and Aunt Julie

…but always tastes best eaten with someone you love. BTW, did I mention how much I love being an Aunt?! Now that you have met my favorite niece and nephew…here is my favorite ice cream flavor. What’s your favorite flavor?
Salty Caramel Ice Cream

Servings: 8


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs

1). Heat 1 cup of the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat, twirling pan over burner to heat sugar evenly (do not stir), until it melts and turns dark amber in color.

2). Carefully add 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (it will splatter as you add it), and cook, stirring continuously, until incorporated (if it bubbles up too high lower heat slightly). Remove from heat, stir in sea salt and vanilla, and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.

3). In a small heavy saucepan bring milk, remaining cup heavy cream, and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar to a boil, stir occasionally.

4). Whisk eggs in a small bowl. Temper by adding 1/3 of the hot milk mixture in a slow stream whilst whisking constantly. Transfer mixture back into same saucepan, and set over low heat, stirring and scraping down the sides of the pan with a small heatproof spatula until thickened. Do not boil. Cook until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Pour custard into a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl to strain out any bits. Stir in cooled caramel mixture.


5). Chill custard, then freeze in an ice cream maker for 30-45 minutes. Transfer soft ice cream to an airtight container and keep in the freezer to firm up.

Serving Suggestions: This ice cream is delicious on it’s own, but also great served with tarte tartin, with fudge brownies, or as the filling in an ice cream pie with a chocolate cookie crust.
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  • August 15, 2009
    4:00 am

    Chocolate Chip Mint is my favorite. Thank you as always for sharing not just your thoughts and life but these wonderful recipes. Aimee

  • August 15, 2009
    7:39 pm

    great job BFF!!!! your blog is just kicking butt! i'm SO proud of you… see how everything starts in a kitchen? right! 😉 loooove you!!!!!!!! xxxx's Sam

  • August 15, 2009
    7:40 pm

    Madeleine Gallay… It's brilliant. I love your blog and your gorgeous pictures. When?????????????????????????? Love you.

  • August 15, 2009
    7:41 pm

    Cathryn GuinnessLove your blog and the great recipes !! xx cate

  • August 16, 2009
    10:19 pm

    Rainbow sherbet or, if I feel like a splurge, Birthday Cake ice cream! BTW, I love reading your blogs. Beautiful words from such a beautiful woman!

  • August 17, 2009
    1:35 am

    I am an equal opportunity consumer esp. when pregnant, then I could consum gallons! I recently had the salt and caramel ice cream though, perfect for a fix across the board!

  • August 17, 2009
    2:40 am

    I love the equal opportunity consumer concept! I think I fit into that category without being pregnant! I always thought the best job in the world would be to be a tatse tester for Hagen Das or Baskin Robbins…next best would be to come up with new flavors for them. Wish they would engineer the ice cream that actually makes you loose weight….one can dream.Jewels