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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Simple Homemade Ice Cream

July 3, 2017

The laid back days of summertime are here, and we love finding new ways to break up the day with some fun, kid friendly activities. Lately we’ve been hooked on this old school recipe for homemade ice cream! This classic recipe is always a crowd favorite, and adding our own twist with strawberries and basil finishings make it the perfect sunny day treat . Anyone can make it, and it only takes a few ingredients— you don’t even need an ice cream maker. The best part of this is that the clean up is easy, so parents, we promise you’ll appreciate the minimal mess.


2 cups of half and half

2 ½ tbsp sugar

¾ tsp vanilla

1 vanilla bean

1 sandwich sized plastic bag

1 gallon sized plastic bag

5 cups of crushed ice

1 ½ cups of rock salt

1 cup of minced strawberries

½ cup of basil



Combine the half and half, vanilla bean, vanilla and sugar into a small plastic sandwich bag. If you’re making this with kids, give each person a different ingredient to measure. Using a sharp knife, cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the insides.




Next, make sure your bag is tightly sealed, and turn it over a couple of times. This will ensure all of your ingredients are blended evenly.




Place the ice and rock salt in the larger plastic bag.




Place your sealed small ingredients bag into the rock salt bag and seal the larger bag. Gently squeeze the large bag around the smaller. You’re trying to expose the liquid ingredients to the rock salt, so that it will harden. If you’re nervous about messes, we recommend double bagging! Be careful both bags are sealed tightly, and the ice cream will begin to thicken in 20 minutes.




Once the ice cream has thickened, discard your ice bag. Take your small ingredients bag and throw in your cut strawberries. You can put your ice cream into a bowl, or it’s fun to grab a spoon and eat right out of the bag! For a little extra color, garnish with basil.


We hope this recipe makes for a fun summer afternoon with the kids! We’d love to see how yours turns out – tag us @magnolia in your posts, and comment below if you like seeing recipes on the blog!

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  • Rich and Ruth Hartmann
    4:40 pm, January 6, 2018
    We love the fact that you allow us (the public) to watch and learn from the things you do, especially when you include your family and friends. It's such a good, wholesome, refreshing way to live, and the humor is just that special, added little touch that makes it perfect. Thank you for all that you do!!
  • Maryse duquesne
    4:15 pm, November 14, 2017
    Hi, I am a French reader and your ingredients are difficult for us to compare with our grammes mesures. Could you try please to put the gramme equivalence for European people? I know this is hard but I cannot try your wonderful recipe since I don't know how to put for a cup...? Thank you for sharing it. I love your design and it sometimes makes me smile when you say it is french design ? Depends on where you go in France ? Best regards.
  • Bobbie Clark
    10:34 am, November 11, 2017
    Unfortunately plastic bags have BPA in them and are therefore not healthy. I wonder if there is another way to accomplish the same thing without them.
    • Frustrated with the "all about me" whiners!!!
      4:14 am, January 25, 2018
      O.M.G.---DON'T MAKE THE RECIPE---go eat it out of the Styrofoam bowl from ice cream shop that uses baggies in their kitchen. If it doesn't appeal to you, measure up to your health codes, or offer a special menu for your medical issues...
      1. Move on
      2. Don't eat it
      3. Don't use the recipe
      4. Eat before you come
      5. Choose something else
      6. Substitute ingredients and/or utensils, etc. to your liking
      7. Do what you do every other day of your life with these issues.
      8. Don't expect them or us to change anything because you have an issue with it.
      9. Understand that the majority of the population is somewhat normal and the food, recipes, etc is for majority.
      11. Last but not least-- Don't get on comments and whine if it isn't made, set up, or taylored just for you.

      **** if you feel this comment is about you, and makes you upset, then it is most definitely about you****
    • Julie Halstead
      1:01 am, February 7, 2018
      Amazon sells Green N Pack bags (a little expensive) and they also sell Sous Vide Bags - both are BPA free. There is a good selection of BPA freezer bags to choose from on Amazon. I'm sure other sellers have them, too. This recipe sounds delicious, so I hope you find something that works well for you and your family.
  • Julie
    1:39 pm, October 18, 2017
    I'm going to try this with my 3 grandkids!
  • MaryN
    10:05 am, October 7, 2017
    Yes, we really like the recipes! User friendly. Blessings to you, Thanks for the recipes!
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