5 Things You Need to Make Amazing Homemade Ice Cream


We’ve been making a lot of homemade ice cream recently, such as this salted caramel ice cream. I love how surprisingly simple and fun ice cream is to make. All you need are the right tools. To make it easy for you, I put together a list of 5 things you need to make amazing ice cream. Here you go!

1. Ice Cream Maker

We’ve owned the Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Ice Cream Maker for years, and it has never let us down. It has a large cannister, and churns ice cream in about 20-40 minutes. For a pretty low price of $32.99 on Amazon, it is a great value.

2. Silicone Spatulas

A good spatula is a must-have for ice cream making. You will use it to stir your ice cream base, as well as transfer the ice cream to and from the ice cream maker. Do yourself a favor and get this set of very highly rated Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Spatulas. We use these all the time in our kitchen.

3. Mesh Colander

Many ice cream recipes instruct you to strain your custard base, usually to filter bits of egg or other solids out of your ice cream. For that, you’ll use a mesh colander. I have this set of three colanders, which comes with a small 7-inch diameter colander, medium 8.5-Inch diameter colander, and large 10-inch diameter colander.

4. Silicone Whisk

Another necessity for ice cream making is a silicone whisk, which is used to properly mix your ice cream base. I like the 10-inch Kuhn Rikon Silicone Rainbow Whisk. Silicone ensures that your pots won’t get scratched, and your whisk can withstand high heat. Plus, this rainbow whisk is so pretty!

5. Great Ice Cream Recipes

I have The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, and highly recommend it. The book gives tips and guidelines to making homemade ice cream, sorbets, granitas, and all sorts of ice cream toppings. I have made several recipes from the book, and each has been excellent and easy to follow.

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Our ice cream maker has been forlornly tucked away in the back of our kitchen cabinet for a while, just begging to be used. So a few days ago, I decided to whip up some ice cream.

After some debate, I went with this recipe for salted caramel ice cream. Because if there is ever an option for salted caramel ANYTHING, I will take it. When I go to an ice cream shop, and see that salted caramel ice cream is offered, I think to myself, “These are my people. They just get me.”

This salted caramel ice cream is just perfection. The classic custard base results in a silky, creamy, smooth ice cream. A deep, dark caramel is created by slowly browning sugar, and then mixed into the custard base. I doubled the recipe, which was a good call because this ice cream will not last long our house.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Print this recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: about 1 1/2 pints


  • 3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks


In a medium pot over medium heat, melt 3/4 cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons water, swirling pan frequently until the sugar turns dark amber brown.

Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, heavy cream, milk, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Simmer until caramel and sugar dissolves, and cream mixture is completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about 1/3 of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on a kitchen thermometer).

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer.


10 Things I Learned in April


At the end of each month, I share things that I learned. This habit helps me pay attention to life, myself, and God’s presence. It’s my way of reflecting and celebrating. It’s how I take notice and be present. In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned this month:

1. Moving from Blogger to WordPress is a pain, but worth the work.

I finally sucked it up, and said goodbye to Blogger, home of The Larissa Monologues since it’s beginning in 2007. It took lots of work to import and edit, but I am so glad I made the change. Blogger was fine for a while, but it was time for me to move to a more helpful and functional platform.

2. People really like dessert recipes.

According to my site stats, these are the three highest performing recipes:

Macadamia Nut Shortbread
Haupia Squares
Chinese Almond Cookies

Speaking of recipes, check out my new, easy to browse Recipe Page with over 200+ tested and approved recipes. You can also follow my recipe board on Pinterest.

3. Always ALWAYS put clothes on a baby before he or she naps.

I made the horrible mistake of putting our 1-year-old down for a nap wearing only her diaper. An hour later, we discovered her naked in her crib, poop-filled diaper off, and poop smeared EVERYWHERE. Her crib, her face, her body. Lesson learned. And no, there is no photo of this horrendous event.

4. I have a severe inability to say no to Jehovah’s Witnesses who show up at our door.

Though I am not interested at all in reading Watchtower pamphlets, I smile and nod and act all engaged with the evangelists that show up regularly at the door. And of course now they think of me as a potential convert. It has gotten so bad, we have a strategy for next time. Steve talks and says no. I stand there silently.

5. Silpat silicone baking mats will burn under extreme heat. 

I learned this awesome lesson while trying to make nachos in the oven. I accidentally left the pan of cheese and chips WAY too long in the broiler, and came back to an oven fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt besides the very charred pan and silicone mat.

6. I am really enjoying having a life coach. 

I have lots of creativity and ideas, and constantly wonder what I should work on next. My life coach is so great at helping me move toward my goals and actually execute them.

7. Loving others in times of grief often means doing simple things without many words.

People in pain do not need to hear things like “Everything happens for a reason,” or “At least you have ____.” Those words are usually spoken from your own fear or discomfort, and really unhelpful to the person dealing with the situation. As their friend who cares, a better thing to say is, “I am so sorry. I’m here for you. Is there any way I can help?”

8. If you host lots of gatherings, you need these plastic food baskets.

Whenever we have potlucks or parties, we use picnic food baskets lined with sheets of wax paper liners. They are fun, easy to reuse, and create less trash than paper plates.


9. It is exhilarating and terrifying to ask your hairstylist to give you a buzz cut. 

For my most recent trim, I got an undercut beneath my short pixie. The sensation of clippers buzzing through my hair was oddly relaxing.

10. Our household goes through an insane amount of milk.

You know how there’s that one item you run out of before anything else? Yeah, that’s milk for us. I now buy two gallons at a time, and that still doesn’t always seem to be enough.

Now it’s your turn. What lessons did you learn in April?