Summer has begun, and in its honor, may we suggest that you take a dip? Not into a sparkling blue swimming pool, though that's not a bad idea, but into a carton of your favorite ice cream. Ice cream, after all, is the king of summer eating – a cold, refreshing balm on a sizzling day.

To make the summer celebration really special, take your dip to another level by hosting a super sundae party.

Savor the thought for a moment: Sliced juicy strawberries (or other favorite berry) mixed with a tablespoon of powdery confectioners' sugar and 1?4 cup intense black raspberry-flavored Chambord liqueur, ladled onto some rich vanilla ice cream, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of nuts.

Or look beyond berries for your topping. According to Amy Filipiak, general manager at Josh & John's Naturally Homemade Ice Creams, hot fudge and cookie dough are the top-selling crowns bestowed on their ice cream.

Josh and John's addictive hot fudge is made from a secret recipe from co-owner John Krakauer's mother, and, sad to say, we can't pass it along. But we do have a bevy of other quick-as-a-wink recipes that can turn an ordinary bowl of ice cream into something to really scream about.

To take the soiree to a whole new level, make your own waffle bowl, following the instructions below. All you need is mix and a waffle maker, and you're in business.


In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 2 cups hulled and halved strawberries, 1?4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Cook until the strawberries are heated through and darkened to a ruby red. Serve warm. Serves 4. Source:


In a saute pan over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter with 4 tablespoons brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add 2 ripe, sliced bananas and toss to coat in the sugar mixture. Continue to cook for a minute and remove from heat. Pour in a shot of rum and return to heat for another minute. Serves 2. Source:


In a heavy saucepan, cook 1?2 cup sugar over moderate heat, without stirring, until it begins to melt. Continue cooking sugar, stirring constantly, until melted, then cook, swirling the pan (without stirring), until it becomes a deep golden color. Remove pan from heat and add 1 cup heavy cream (caramel will bubble and steam). Return pan to heat and simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Add 1/3 cup peanut butter and simmer, stirring, until smooth. Makes about 1 1?4 cups. Source:


In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme with 3 tablespoons water, stirring constantly until combined well. Cool before serving. Makes 1 cup. Source:


In a small saucepan, combine 1?2 cup baking cocoa, 1 cup sugar and 1?2 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in 1?2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1?4 cup heavy cream, 1?2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1 tablespoon Kahlua, mixing well. Cool before serving. Makes about 1 1?4 cups. Source:

DULCE de LECHE (Sweet Milk Sauce)

Place 5 cups whole milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and allow skin to form on top. Do not stir. The skin will thicken and puff up. Reduce heat to medium and remove the skin. Increase heat to medium-high and repeat the process 3 more times.

Add 1 1?2 cups sugar and 1 vanilla bean, and stir until the sugar has melted, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 teaspoon baking soda. Simmer milk, stirring often, but taking care not to break the film of cooked milk forming on the inside of the pan. Simmer, skimming the foam (not the skin) until reduced by half, about 1 hour.

Reduce heat to very low and simmer for another 3 1?2 hours, stirring and skimming foam occasionally. The mixture will brown as it cooks. Strain, cover and refrigerate.

Makes about 1 1?2 cups.



1. Prepare any waffle mix and bake it on a waffle iron until lightly browned.

2. Carefully lift the waffle from the iron as soon as it's baked.

3. Place warm waffle over the bottom of a drinking glass. Fold down sides. Place a larger drinking glass over the waffle to keep the sides of the basket in place while cooling.

4. Cool completely and store in airtight container until ready to use.

© 2006, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.