June 17, 2013

Editor's Note: Part 2 of a series on the Volz family's recipe collection will be published at a later date. The first story appeared last Monday.

The first days of summer is just days away, and we've already had a few warm days and nights. The hottest season of the year begins on Friday, June 21, and ends on Saturday, Sept. 21. According to Wikipedia, at the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice.

To beat the heat this summer, make treats that will not only keep you cool, but will also put a smile on the faces of your family and friends.

Orange Dreamscicle Cake

This spring, my colleague and friend Pam Szakacs brought this cake to share with school staff. Everyone loved the cake, but some felt guilty about eating it. Good news! It is a Weight Watchers recipe that is worth only 3 points per serving.

2 egg whites

1 box white cake mix

12 oz diet orange pop

2 - 3 oz pkgs orange sugar-free Jell-o

1 pkg sugar-free instant vanilla pudding

1 cup skim milk

1½ to 2 cups of water (I use 1½ cups)

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 oz fat-free Cool Whip

Do not follow directions on cake mix box. Instead mix cake with diet soda and egg whites. Spray a 9x13 pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees (until toothpick comes out clean). When cake is done, poke holes in cake with a fork sprayed with Pam. Mix 1 package of orange Jell-O in 1 cup of boiling water until it is dissolved. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cold water and pour entire mixture over the cake. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Mix vanilla pudding, a package of orange Jell-O, 1 cup of skim milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix it well. Blend in Cool Whip and spread over the cake. Must be refrigerated.

Makes 16 servings

Homemade Frappucino

Sandy Hull

The librarian at my school, Sandy Hull, brought ice cold frappucino to share one morning.

10 cups hot, fresh coffee

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar (packed)

½ cup coffee creamer (powdered or liquid)

*You can use plain, French Vanilla, Irish Crème, etc.

In a large bowl or pitcher, mix all ingredients together and refrigerate. Serve cold. Can be served over ice or can be blended with ice.

To make it fancy, top with whipped cream and chocolate or syrup or caramel sauce.

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Torte

Dulce de leche means "candy of milk" in Spanish. It is sweetened milk that is cooked until it is thick like caramel. Currently it is a trendy flavor of ice cream, cupcakes, frosting, etc.

On a hot night, try this ice cream dessert by Better Homes and Gardens, instead of cake.

2 cups finely crushed purchased shortbread, or pecan shortbread cookies (about 10 oz)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 pints dulce de leche ice cream (look at premium brands)

2/3 cup roasted, lightly salted cashews, coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press half of cookie crumb mixture (about 1 cup) evenly onto bottom of an 8x8x1-7/8-inch disposable foil pan or a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. Soften 1/2 the ice cream over cookie crumb layer in pan. Top with half of the nuts. Sprinkle remaining cookie crumb mixture over layers in pan. Cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours or until firm.

Soften remaining ice cream. Carefully spread ice cream over frozen layers in pan. Cover and freeze overnight or until very firm.

To serve, top with remaining cashews. Cut into squares and serve with Pineapple Topping.

Makes 9 servings

Pineapple Topping

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 cups peeled, cored, and cubed fresh pineapple

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add packed brown sugar; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add pineapple, stir to coat. Serve at once or cover and chill up to 3 days; reheat before serving.

Fresh Strawberry Milkshakes

Milkshakes are a real treat, so why not make Emeril Lagasse's strawberry shake and make it berry special.

1/2 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus whole strawberries, for garnish

2 heaping tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup milk

In a mixing bowl combine the sliced strawberries, sugar and vanilla extract and stir to combine well. Set aside and allow to macerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

In a large mixer, place the strawberries, ice cream, and milk. Blend until smooth. Pour into ice cream parlor glasses and garnish the rim of each glass with whole strawberries. Serve immediately.

Chocolate-Graham Refrigerator Bars

Instead of heating up the house by heating up the oven, make a pan of bars to keep in the fridge.

½ cup butter

¾ cup sugar

2 beaten eggs

4 ½ cups honey graham cereal, finely crushed (1 ½ cups)

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ pkg of 6 oz pkg milk chocolate chips

In saucepan, melt butter over low heat, remove from heat. Blend in sugar, then eggs. Return to low heat. Stir and cook until bubbly. Cool. Stir in cereal, marshmallows and vanilla. Spread in a 9x9-inch well-buttered pan.

In saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat stirring constantly. Drizzle over cereal mixture. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.