(BPT) - Facing busy calendars and over-scheduled summers, Americans are dedicating, on average, only 40 minutes a week for family time, according to a research study from the NYU Child Study Center. With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to capture those fleeting family moments and create delicious celebrations of happiness, laughter and togetherness.
Culinary artist, Clare Crespo, knows how important quality family time can be, which is why she is inspiring all families – including her own – to get creative in the kitchen. Crespo lives by the mantra that food preparation and presentation is half the fun, and can be a spur-of-the-moment, group event. Take ice cream, for instance:
“A scoop of Breyers ice cream is a deliciously blank canvas – one that has the potential to bring out the dessert artist in all of us,” says Crespo. “Amid fits of giggles and messy moments, a simple bowl of ice cream can unleash imaginative and memorable quality time together, even if only for a few minutes.”
Whether you’re inside the kitchen or out, Crespo urges families to take every opportunity to celebrate life’s delicious moments this summer:
*Take it outside: Don’t take the lazy days of summer too literally. Take advantage of the weather and enjoy the outdoors. With so many built-in activities, it’s a great way to connect with your family.
*Continue the fun indoors: Keep the kiddos entertained – even after sundown. Gather the family around the dessert table, grab a scoop of ice cream, and dig in. Capture these “delicious moments of family togetherness” and share them on Facebook.com/Breyers for a chance to win prizes like a tablet and a year’s supply of Breyers.
* Keep it simple: Pressed for time or funds? Make everyday tasks more fun by getting the family involved. Let the kids choose what to make for dinner, or allow them to help pack lunches together.
For more summertime fun, cool off in the kitchen this summer by creating one of Crespo’s delicious frozen treats.
Homemade Unfried Ice Cream Donuts
1 cup toasted cinnamon cereal, crushed
1 tablespoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spread, melted
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
2 cups Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup sliced strawberries and/or raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss cereal and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spread on sheet. Bake 6 minutes or until toasted. Let cool completely.
Combine chocolate, cream and cayenne in small microwave-safe bowl. Cook at HIGH in microwave 1 minute. Let stand 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in additional 15 second increments until it can be stirred smooth.
Shape Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream into 4 1/2-cup balls, then freeze 1 hour or until firm. Evenly coat ice cream with cereal, press to flatten slightly, and then shape a hole in the center to make a donut shape. Freeze until ready to serve.
Arrange ice cream on serving plates. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, and then sprinkle with berries. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream.
Mint Chocolate Chimps
2 chocolate sandwich cookies or chocolate wafer cookies
Red decorating icing
Black decorating icing
1/2 cup Breyers BLASTS! Girl Scout Cookies(R) Thin Mints(R)
2 small round candies
Cut 1 cookie in half; set aside
Using red decorating icing, draw a mouth on the lower half of other cookie. Using black decorating icing, draw 2 nostrils on top half of same cookie.
Place Breyers BLASTS!(R) Girl Scout Cookies(R) Thin Mints(R) scoop on plate. Place reserved cookie halves on top sides of ice cream to make ears.
Place whole cookie on lower half of ice cream to make face. Place round candies above cookie and add 2 dots black decorating icing to make eyes.
Serve immediately or freeze until ready to eat.