I scream, you scream, we all scream because we’re hangry.

“Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, showstopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique.”

That’s how Lady Gaga described producer Ryan Murphy in 2015—and it’s also how I describe ice cream.

Pop star Lady Gaga wears a black blazer and matching black glasses with her blonde hair in a sleek updo. She says, "It's beautifully done."

However, while it’s delicious, grabbing a scoop from your favourite ice cream shop isn’t exactly necessary for survival. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 means we all have to do our part by minimizing non-essential trips into the community. So, this summer, we’re learning how to make our favourite treats at home.

Get in, friends. We’re going cooking.

Rachel McAdams as Regina George in "Mean Girls" (2004) sits in a car while saying, "We're going shopping."

1. Ice cream

It feels impossible to find a recipe for homemade ice cream that doesn’t require an entire grocery store of ingredients or, even worse, an ice cream machine (if you’ve ever watched Chopped, you know why that’s a bad idea).

But, there is an easy way to make homemade ice cream—you just need a little patience.

A glass dish of homemade vanilla ice cream surrounded by an array of waffle cones and colourful sprinkles.
Image and recipe courtesy of Taste of Home.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (for a vegan version, use full-fat coconut cream)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups half-and-half (for a vegan version, mix one-part coconut cream and one part dairy-free milk)

Mix all ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a cold pan and freeze, removing every 20 to 30 minutes to beat with a hand mixer. The repeated hand mixing will create that smooth, creamy texture you thought only Baskin-Robbins could achieve.

This vanilla ice cream also makes a great base for your favourite mix-ins. Try incorporating sprinkles, candy, chocolate, fruit, cookie dough, or anything else you have laying around your pantry!

2. Churros

There’s nothing quite like fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar to complement a day at the fair. The CNE might be closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your churro on.

a person holding a bouquet of churros in white paper wrapping.
Image and recipe courtesy of Cooking Classy.

Here’s what you need:

For the dough:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (diced into small cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

For the coating:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prepare the dough and pipe it into a hot pan filled with oil to make the churros. While they’re frying, whisk together the coating ingredients. Toss the hot churros in the coating until covered and indulge!

If you’re feeling really fancy, melt some chocolate or mix up a homemade caramel to use as a dipping sauce.

3. Iced cappuccino

A Canadian classic. Cut down your Tim Hortons budget by whipping one up at home!

A homemade iced cappuccino in a mason jar with a red and white straw. The words "Homemade iced capps" and "A delicious copycat recipe" appear below the drink.
Image and recipe courtesy of The Deliberate Mom.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or your favourite sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cream (for a vegan version, use coconut milk)
  • 12 ice cubes

Mix everything except the ice cubes together in a glass until the sugar is dissolved. Then, add the coffee mixture and the ice cubes to a blender and pulse until frothy.

This treat is delicious on its own—but, if you want to jazz it up, try topping with whipped cream and sprinkles or blending in some chocolate chips!

4. Slushie

Whether you call it a slushie, a Slurpee®, or a Slush Puppie, you’ve had one of these. You know—those flavoured ice drinks that taste like childhood? Turns out, these gas station staples are incredibly easy to make at home.

A homemade Coke slushie in a mason jar with a red and white straw.
Image and recipe courtesy of The Frugal Girls.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups Coke (or your favourite soft drink)
  • 8 large ice cubes

Freeze half the soda in an ice cube tray and put the rest in the fridge to chill. Once the frozen half is solid, put it in a blender along with the ice and the chilled soda, pour, and enjoy!

5. S’mores, but make it nachos

OK, this one technically isn’t a real recipe. My sister and I thought it up one night while we were craving s’mores but didn’t have a campfire. I know I’m biased—but I’d give these s’mores nachos five stars.

overhead view of homemade s'mores nachos.
Image and recipe courtesy of me!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package of graham crackers
  • 1 package of toffee chips
  • 1 package of chocolate chips
  • 1 package of jumbo marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, melted

Cover a baking sheet with a layer of graham crackers. Sprinkle on as many toffee chips and chocolate chips as you’d like. Rip the jumbo marshmallows in half and cover the nachos with them, then bake at 350 F until the marshmallows are golden brown on top. Drizzle on the melted peanut butter, and you have yourself some s’mores nachos!

Note: best enjoyed during a lengthy Netflix marathon.

Spongebob Squarepants sits in front of a TV in a dark room eating popcorn.

Preparing these treats is a great way to spend an afternoon—but, once they’ve been gobbled up, you’ll have some dishes to do. Luckily, your North campus Student Engagement Coordinator Camila and dietitian Sue Mah are here to keep you company on What the Health Live!

What the Health Live is IGNITE’s video series with a focus on healthy living for college students. All four episodes are available on IGNITE’s IGTV channel, so you can tune in whenever you like.

Those dishes will get done in no time with nutrition advice this good by your side. Bon appétit!

Baking up a storm? Don’t toss your kitchen scraps—find out how to repurpose them!

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