Here's a little tip from the department of Do Things Ahead: scooping ice cream is one of my favorite little things to prep ahead of time, especially before a birthday party. Why? Well, do you just love scooping ice cream at the table? I know I don't...
Ice cream is a wonderful dessert, especially when you've cooked a big dinner and don't want to give any extra effort to the sweet at the end. There are so many good small-batch ice creams, and you can always add a dollop of a quick sauce (like this Oreo hot fudge sauce!) for a homemade touch.
But I often forget to take the ice cream out to soften, and subsequently spend 10 minutes hacking its hard surface, digging out scoops to serve everyone as quickly as possible. And at a birthday party, especially one with little ones clamoring for their cake and ice cream? Too much work!
If I remember in time, I like to pre-scoop ice cream, and then put cups back in the freezer to be brought out for dessert. It's just so stress-free — a really nice way to make things easier for yourself at the end of a meal.
And if you're planning on serving cake and ice cream together, I really like this idea from Real Simple: Portion out the ice cream in muffin cups!
(Images: Faith Durand; David Hopler)