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Sweet, Sweet Summer!

I’m excited because – SUMMER!!! The change in season opens up a whole new world of possibilities for creativity and new summer memories!

Think about it. A new season brings forth a need for different types of activities. You also have different holidays to look forward to. The types of food and drinks we like to consume differ with the season. Ultimately, life is completely different in the summer than it is in the winter. To me, summer screams of beach, watermelon and ice cream, lots of ice cream!

Many of my favorite summer memories go back to my early childhood and teenage years. We spent every summer at the beach. My dad would drive to the city everyday so we could enjoy 3 blissful months of sand between our toes, messy hair and well, you guessed it … ice cream! I vividly remember the ice cream cart guy, Mr. Santiago. He lived by the beach year-round as a fisherman, but during the summer months he ran an ice cream cart. He had a big smile, dark skin and for some odd reason I remember his green and black flip-flops. He knew everyone’s name and was everyone’s friend.

Every house in the neighborhood had an account with him. Us (kids) had a credit limit of how many popsicles we were allowed per day; mine was 2. And, oh my, were we in trouble if we went past the limit! Every Sunday afternoon, Mom and Dad had to “settle” our account with Mr. Santiago.

He would ride his yellow cart from house to house, pulling out his little black book noted with every move we made: date, time and ice cream we had! It was there, in writing, with our “signature” next to it. It was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time: “Did I stick to the agreement? Did I go overboard? Did my brother sign my name instead of his? Do I have extra credit?” The last one never happened by the way … but ultimately it didn’t matter. I looked forward to it every week. Mr. Santiago’s cart parked in front of our house meant the weekend was over, the house guests had gone back to the city and it was back to the 6 of us: Mom, Dad, my three brothers and me. And every Sunday we shared one more sunset over one more ice cream.

With love and gratitude,

Sara Balcazar-Greene

Peruvian Chick

Sweet Summer Ice Cream Toppers

Grilled Peaches

Fruit on the grill? Yes! Preheat grill to high. Brush peach halves with oil. Grill until tender. Place 2 peach halves in each bowl and top with a scoop of ice cream (or sorbet) and coconut.

Berry Compote

Nothing says summer like fresh berries. Try this simple sundae sauce over ice cream for a scrumptious summertime treat. Puree strawberries and raspberries with sugar and lemon juice in a blender. Serve over ice cream and top with sliced strawberries and raspberries, if desired.

Sauteéd Pears

Melt butter in a small nonstick pan. Add pear slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and ginger; stir until the sugar melts. Serve over ice cream.

Kid-Friendly Bananas Foster


4 tbsp. butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise

Vanilla ice cream


In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, place bananas in pan. Cook until bananas are hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve at once over vanilla ice cream.