Memory Loss and Margarita Ice Cream

I can't even bring myself to give you a garden update.  While I was away this weekend, Tim gave me the rundown of our plants and it was not the magical moment where he tells me we are certified green thumbs that I had been expecting.  Let's just say we are on our last ditch effort to save our tomatoes. 

I will say that the trip from our house to our garden has been more enjoyable than I expected.  The garden is outside of the city, and we have to drive through the uptown (or downtown?) area of Mason to get there.  Just as you are about to reenter the great wide open areas outside of town, there is a little ice cream stand. 

This is not just any ice cream stand.  It's the most popular ice cream stand I've ever seen.  Every single time we drive past the line is all the way out to the sidewalk and then curved around to one side or another.  People of all ages are standing around slurping milkshakes or licking vanilla soft serve ice cream.  It's clearly a summer staple in Mason, and one I hope to try out for myself very soon.

Ice cream madness is not exclusively in Mason.  Home cooks everywhere are making ice cream.  Just this past week my coworker Reanne asked me if I had ever made home made ice cream without an ice cream maker.  Well, I hadn't then, but I decided that I needed to try.

I had been carrying around a faint memory of watching Nigella Lawson make a tex-mex fiesta for some friends in which she made tequila ice cream without an ice cream maker.  If you know me outside of this blog, you know that I have a terrible memory.  It infuriates my husband to no end, and I'm sure he's not the first to be frustrated with the way I can simply let things go from my mind.  My argument is that I am asked to remember a lot--family things, work appointments, over 27 years of things that have happened in my life--and I just don't have the energy to store them all.  I have overcome some of my forgetfulness by creating habits--always putting my keys in the same place, making lists, using my Outlook calendar--but inevitably I will forget something that is important to someone else.  Consider this an apology to anyone who feels like I've forgotten something important.  I'm a work in progress.

This tequila ice cream must have made a big impression on me.  I must have been sitting there watching the television and saying to myself, "Store that somewhere, self.  You might need that when you're sitting at home trying to think of what to make for dinner when your friends come all the way out to the suburbs to visit you." 

Before Tim and I went Krogering to pick up all of the other items needed for our little dinner party, we stopped by a liquor store near our new neighborhood.  Tim ran in and I waited in the car.  About 30 seconds later, he came flying back to the car with no liquor in hand and a scowl on his face.  My first instinct, "Is the place getting robbed?  Something bad happened?" 

No.  None of that.  "They charge you $1 to use your debit card. I'm not paying $10 for a $9 bottle of tequila."

So that settled that.  We were not buying tequila from that liquor store.  Or probably anything else from there either...ever

We instead picked up a bottle of margarita mix with the liquor already in it from the grocery and that immediately changed this from a five ingredient ice cream to a three ingredient ice cream.  I'm all about simplicity--I can only remember so many things anyway.


You must do this a day in advance and the amount of servings this makes are sort of iffy.  I froze the ice cream in two small plastic containers, and my dinner party of five was so full from guacamole, lime-cilantro grilled shrimp, and fish tacos that we each only ate a small scoop in a little parfait dish.  We didn't even finish a full container.  So if I were estimating, this recipe makes 10-12 servings for a post-dinner dessert, but if you waited a few hours until you were good and hungry again, you might be closer to 8-10 servings.  If you are the type who loves margaritas and would drink a margarita instead of eat dinner, you might get 6 servings out of this (but I would still always recommend dinner, especially if you are eating at my house!)

Margarita Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

*A quick note:  In the original recipe, Nigella measures some things by weight and some things by volume and it was getting a bit confusing.  Since I don't have a scale I just estimated a few things and it turned out perfectly.  I think that my measurements in my adaptation will work well for you, but you are welcome to try her measurements shown in the link if you have a scale.


3/4 cup Margarita Mix with Tequila already mixed in
1/2 cup powdered sugar
16 oz heavy cream
optional:  lime zest for garnish

In a medium bowl, pour in the margarita mix and stir in the powdered sugar until dissolved.  Add cream and whisk until thick but smooth, not stiff.  Spoon mixture into airtight container and freeze overnight. 

Serve immediately after removing from the freezer and garnish with lime zest. 



  1. That sounds so easy, but so tasty! (And so do your cilantro lime shrimp and fish tacos, btw, since fish tacos are my favorite food!)

  2. So many people are posting about homemade icecream lately (orangette, too!) that i'm going to have to buckle down and try it. Sounds awesome!

  3. Sara, if you have a favorite recipe or favorite place to eat fish tacos, please share! I'm a new fan after eating them at the Cheesecake Factory, of all places!

    Courtney--I just can't bring myself to try Fennel Ice Cream. I appreciate Molly's write up, but I'm still going to have to pass. If you try it, tell me the truth--is it really fennelly?

  4. Oh, yes, that Fennel Ice Cream is one of those things that sound so out of the blue I really want to try them. And this Tequila Ice Cream also sounds quite tempting - and an easy method, especially for those of us who don't have ice cream makers. Good luck with your tomatoes.

  5. Jen,
    We're having friends over for dinner tomorrow. (I know it's last minute and you might not respond in time. Thought I would try getting your input anyway.) But we've known them for nine years and they've eaten at our house about once a month every month for the past nine years. I need a new idea for dinner tomorrow. Keep in mind, kids will be there and they don't like seafood. Any suggestions?

  6. Hey Liz. I was thinking about things you can make in bulk that kids would like. Recently, I've seen a lot of recipes for a Creamy Taco Mac found at this blog:


    This would be good because you could make a batch of homemade guac and salsa for appetizers and everyone would like it.

    I also love to roast an entire chicken or just a turkey breast with lots of herbs. I have used this recipe from Anne Burrell to cook when Tim and I eat dinner and also when we have Melissa over and I loved it:


    I think this is great because people assume you can only have a whole bird at Thanksgiving, but it's really easy to toss it in the oven and worry about it later. This is also an easy recipe because you don't have to continually baste the bird. I would serve it with some scalloped potatoes and maybe some cooked carrots or broccoli. Or a green salad.

    I hope this helps! Good luck!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!