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Celebrate Memorial Day with plenty of cool, no-bake desserts

By Kara Kimbrough

Celebrate Memorial Day with plenty of cool, no-bake desserts
Homemade strawberry (or any other of your favorite flavors) ice cream doesn't have to take hours to make. Use the freezer to do the hard work on Memorial Day - just remember to allow at least six hours for the ice cream to freeze before serving to family or friends.

Memorial Day is finally within sight and as promised, I’m sharing desserts that’ll reduce cooking time to mere minutes. But first, we have to talk about Blue Bell Ice Cream’s new flavor, which hit coolers last week.

I understand the sentiment behind combining the products of two Texas-made products – Blue Bell and Dr. Pepper - to create “Dr. Pepper Float Ice Cream.” However, I’m not ready to replace my favorite flavors – pecan pralines ‘n cream, strawberry and homemade vanilla, black walnut, banana pudding, bride’s cake, buttered pecan, natural vanilla bean and for the few months of the year that it’s offered, blackberry cobbler. Of course, if they had chosen a beverage flavor first made in Mississippi – Barq’s Root Beer, I might be a little more apt to try it. But for now, I’m sticking with my favorites.

But back to Memorial Day desserts. As I mentioned last week, we’ve already sailed through the supposedly-balmy weather of spring to summer’s high temps. Which means not many of us will feel obliged to turn on the oven and bake a dessert that’s not only time-consuming, but will heat up the already-humid kitchen.

With that in mind, I compiled a list of my favorite easy, no-bake desserts that, topped or filled with strawberries and blueberries, will create the perfect patriotic treat. After all, Memorial Day is much more than a long weekends, cookouts and the start of summer vacation season. It’s a day set aside to honor those who died serving our country while engaged in active military service. All the food and festivities pale in comparison to the ultimate sacrifice made by so many brave men and women over the years.

A heartfelt "Thank you!" to those who gave their lives that we can enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today. Happy Memorial Day!

Easiest Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Ever 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place strawberries in skillet over medium heat, add sugar and lemon juice and cook, stirring often, until mixture combines and creates a jam-like texture; about 20 minutes. Remove strawberries from heat and using a hand-held mixer, beat whipping cream until it thickens (don’t overbeat). Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined. Pour strawberry mixture into cream, then pour everything into a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze at least six hours before serving.

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake 2-8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 1 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped 2 cups fresh blueberries

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat cream cheese until smooth. Pour in heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. Beat on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Fold in the strawberries and blueberries. Pour into a serving dish, smooth top with spatula (add more berries to top if desired) and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Memorial Day Patriotic Salad 2-3 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced (amount depends on how thick you prefer the salad) 3 cups blueberries, washed 8-ounce cream cheese 8 ounce sour cream 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice to combine and soften cream cheese. Add peels and mix to combine. Pour into serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Right before serving, fold in strawberries and blueberries.

Note: adding fruit earlier in the process will cause fruit to become too soft.

Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at


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