Ribbon of Fudge ice cream dessert. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

One of my favorite months of the year is coming to a close.

Every single day, I have felt blessed and excited about all the June-ness bursting forth everywhere I look. I’m happy to report that the pots of herbs and my little lettuce colony on the deck are looking especially bounteous. And as usual, I’m so enjoying my trips to the farmers’ market and local produce stands to see what I can come up with for my dinner.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected].

And then, of course, there’s the excuse to eat ice cream at every opportunity.

Here at the cove, I love sitting on the deck or on the flagstone terrace to enjoy a meal. Sometimes I take my summer drink down to the float and sip it while I sit with my feet in the water. Talk about refreshing.

I do like to have homemade lemonade on hand and this recipe with its unusual twist happens to be one of my favorite “mocktails.” It really seems to give me a lift and if you find yourself in the midst of a cool, foggy day like we experience here on the cove sometimes, simply add the water as usual, heat it gently and drink it warm in a mug.

Another thing you can serve warm or cold is this beautiful summer main dish. Use any type of pasta you prefer. If you would like, toss in grilled chicken or steak; chick peas, olives and other vegetables. The tomatoes can be little, or chunk up a big juicy one. Serve this warm, at room temperature, or chilled. You are totally in the driver’s seat. My only advice is to use premium ingredients. Don’t skimp. Splurge on the ripest tomatoes, the creamiest mozzarella (I like the little bitty pearls) and trot out the best olive oil.

When you take a bite, you’ll be very pleased with yourself.

I could wax poetic about the deliciousness of this week’s featured dessert. I first enjoyed this taste treat at my sister Dee’s house. I fell in love at first bite and I have to say, this is it for me. This has it all: it’s easy, economical, and you can keep the ingredients on hand and make it ahead. You can even cut the layers into slices then wrap them up and stack them in the freezer for later – that is, if you don’t eat the whole panful in one sitting.

Of course, you can change this recipe up with different cookies and various ice cream flavors. You can add nuts, cherries, and whatnot, too. However, I’m here to tell you that this is perfection just as it is. The ratio of the fudgy ribbon to ice cream to cookie crunchiness – oh my goodness.

Just make it. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

Rosemary Lemonade

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated rind of one lemon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Ice
Cold water or club soda
Combine 2 cups water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. After 3 minutes, remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice, rind, and rosemary. Cover and steep for at least 1 hour. Strain and chill.
When ready to serve, fill glasses one third full with lemonade, add ice then top off with cold water or club soda. Yield: 4 servings

Summer Pasta

1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1 lb. tomatoes, diced
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
6 oz. arugula, torn into bite-size pieces
4 large fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
2 tsp. fresh oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Cook pasta and drain. Place in a large bowl with all other ingredients and toss. Yield: 4 servings

Ribbon of Fudge Ice Cream Dessert

1 (12-oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk (well-shaken)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (12-oz.) box vanilla wafers, crushed
1 stick butter, melted
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt chocolate chips with evaporated milk and salt; cook and stir for about 25 minutes until thickened (it should be like hot fudge sauce). Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine cookie crumbs and butter; reserve 1 cup crumbs for sprinkling on top. Press remaining crumbs into a buttered 13 x 9-inch pan. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Pour chocolate over crumbs. Cover and freeze until firm. Spread softened ice cream over chocolate layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving. Yield: 12 servings

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