Michelle Kettle Torsak, shows how to serve summer's ultimate treat in unforgettable style.
CREATE AN EXPERIENCE
â"¢ Set the theme with a unique invitation, something that hints to your guests that this is a party they won't want to miss.
Source: Stacy Altiery, Owner/Designer of InkSpot Workshop sells a line of invitations, cupcake toppers, tags, and notecards all emblazoned with her chic take on the ice cream cone. You can see her full line of "Pinwheel Ice Cream" items at www.inkspotworkshop.com.
â"¢ Choose three or four "impact" pieces that become the staples of your dÃ©cor.
1. Frame Food Photos This is a great time to practice your food photography. Take an afternoon to style a series of ice cream shots and photograph them for use as your primary "impact" piece. Blow your photos up (the bigger the better) and use inexpensive frames from IKEA to display. Use grosgrain ribbon to hang your frames from a wall for a fun pop of color.
Local food photographer Quinn Curtis shares her tips for capturing a lick-the-pic food shot: http://studio5.ksl.com/?sid=11115198&nid=71.
2. Create an Ice Cream Centerpiece
To make an ice cream centerpiece that won't melt you need: pastel meringue cookies chocolate chips, and sugar cones or waffle cones. Directions: Melt chocolate chips; dip bottom of meringue cookie in chocolate and adhere to the bottom of a second cookie; dip the top of a cone in chocolate (enough to coat the lip of the cone) and secure the meringue cookies to form the scoops of ice cream.
Sources: Meringue cookies, available at The Store located at 2050 East 6200 South, Holladay Chef's Choice, ice cream holder; $19.99 http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-Cream-Cone-Holder/dp/B000095ZAI"target=blank>http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-Cream-Cone-Holder/dp/B000095ZAI
3. Personalize the Look
o You can create personalized serving dishes by using plastic or paper ice cream cups and your scrapbook punches. Download and print to full sheets of label paper; punch out with a 2-inch scallop punch and adhere to the front of the cup.
Shopping Note: It's also a great time to purchase ice cream novelty dishes, on sale at places like Robert's Crafts and JoAnn's Fabrics.
o Wrap your sugar cones in pattern paper to match your dÃ©cor.
o Use old-fashioned wooden spoons to label your toppings.
Sources: Ice cream spoons & cups available at Orson Gygi located at 3500 South 300 West, SLC
4. Invest in Serving Pieces
Serving pieces including the bottles, jars and containers that will hold your syrups and toppings help support your theme.
A restaurant supply store like Orson Gygi will get your creative juices flowing.
Only invest in pieces that have multiple uses and that can be used for other types of entertaining.
MAKE YOUR FOOD UNFORGETTABLE
DÃ©cor can't compensate for so-so food. Whether your make homemade ice cream or buy it from the store, unique toppings and sauces will set it apart from the everyday bowl of ice cream. Even better, make homemade waffle bowls or cones to scoop it into.
â"¢ 1 Â½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
â"¢ Â¼ cup unsalted butter
â"¢ 2 T. light corn syrup
â"¢ Â½ t. fresh lemon juice
â"¢ 2 T. vanilla extract
â"¢ Â½ c. heavy cream
Stir together brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Increase heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bubbling and foamy. Carefully stir in vanilla (mixture may splatter) and cook another minute. Stir in cream and remove from heat.
Serve warm or at room temperature. The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for about 2 weeks.
Fresh Cherry Topping
â"¢ 1 Â½ pounds fresh cherries, rinsed, pitted, halved
â"¢ 1 cup sugar
â"¢ 1 T. fresh lemon juice
â"¢ Â¼ t. almond extract
In a medium saucepan, combine cherries and sugar.
Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and cherries have released their juices, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cherries are soft and mixture has thickened slightly, about 40 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and almond extract. Serve the topping warm, chilled, or at room temperature. Tightly covered, it will keep several weeks in the refrigerator.
â"¢ 1 cup plus 2 T. sugar
â"¢ 1 Â½ T. light corn syrup
â"¢ Â¼ cup water
â"¢ Â½ cup unsalted butter
â"¢ 1/8 t. salt
â"¢ 1 t. vanilla extract
â"¢ 3 cups whole almonds
In a medium pot over medium heat, stir together sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, and salt until melted and bubbling. Continue to cook until mixture turns a deep golden brown, about 300 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla and almonds. Remove from heat and immediately scrape out onto an unbuttered baking sheet, using a wooden spoon to spread the mixture flat and separate the nuts as much as possible. Let cool until set, about 20 minutes.
Break apart into chunks or coarsely chop nuts and transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Source: Ice Cream Treats; by Charity Ferreira; www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-Treats-Transform-Spectacular/dp/0811841022
ANIMATE WITH ACTIVITY Keep the kids busy and your guests gabbing with activities that keep it interesting.
- Let kids make ice cream cone towers using traditional (flat bottom) ice cream cones and chocolate frosting.
- Let adults match the name of the Ben & Jerry ice cream to its ingredient; prize might include a jar of homemade hot fudge or a gift certificate to Ben & Jerry's.