Strawberry Ice Cream made with fresh California Strawberries

Strawberry Ice Cream made with fresh California Strawberries

Strawberry Ice Cream made with fresh California Strawberries

What could be more fun for a girl obsessed with strawberries, than the opportunity to spend the day frolicking in the fields of a strawberry farm in Oxnard, California!  Yes, it’s true.  I was invited by the California Strawberry Commission to tour a working strawberry farm along with a group of fellow foodbloggers. The farm is run by Bill Reiman who took us out into his fields and showed us how this gorgeous fruit is picked, processed and packed. As our group stood there in the warm California sun, Bill explained  how environmentally conscious California strawberry farmers are, and how they have invested millions into research and sustainable farming practices.  He went on to explain how 88% of the nation’s strawberries are grown in California, and that California has a 12 month growing season. So guess what, you can enjoy your strawberries 24/7!

The final highlight of the day was a strawberry-themed dinner prepared by Executive Chef Tim Kilcoyne. Our hosts had set up a white canopied tent that was surrounded by strawberries as far as the eye could see, and our backdrop was the Santa Monica Mountains. A Hollywood set designer couldn’t have done a better job. As if this wasn’t enough, each guest was sent home with a flat of  sweet, California Strawberries. Yes, it was a most excellent adventure, and one I’ll never forget.

So what did I do with all those berries you ask…well, I turned them into ice cream of course.

Strawberry Ice Cream made with fresh California Strawberries

Strawberry Ice Cream made with fresh California Strawberries

Strawberry Ice Cream

Williams Sonoma “Ice Cream”

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (185g) sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) fresh California strawberries, stemmed and coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cream and milk. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes so that the flavors begin to blend together. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until chilled, from 3-8 hours.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a fork, mash half of the chopped strawberries until they break down into small chunks, then add the remaining coarsely chopped strawberries to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate these strawberries for an hour.
  3. After an hour, pour the milk/cream mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When nearly frozen and the mixture looks like thick whipped cream, add the strawberries. Churn just until blended. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, about three hours, or up to 3 days before serving.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

Fresh California Strawberries

Fresh California Strawberries




We were treated to a chef prepared, strawberry themed meal in a tent set up in the middle of the strawberry field. The Santa Monica Mountains were the perfect backdrop.

Fun Strawberry Facts:

8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange. They’re low in sugar, with only about 50 calories, and strawberries are a great source of fiber, folate and potassium. Yeah, so who else can make that claim!

Strawberries are good for your heart folks. Potassium found in strawberries can help control blood pressure and fight strokes. The antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals in strawberries has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

California strawberry farmers use less than one percent of California’s cropland, but create nearly 10 percent of all California’s farm-related jobs. You go California farmers!



Mama had a grand old day in the California Strawberry Fields.

Recipe: Easy

* Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The California Strawberry Commission. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

It’s already the end of July and the ice cream maker has yet to make an appearance. Sure, when I first got it, it was my best friend.  Every week last summer I’d be churning out a different frozen treat for the family. What’s happened, have I gotten lazy. Is a freezer full of  commercial ice cream laced with propylene glycol and ethyl acetate suddenly acceptable. I think not!

I am a lover of classic comfort food, and to me nothing is more classic than strawberries and cream. One of my favorite ice cream recipes, is the Williams-Sonoma Vanilla Bean.  C’mon people, no chemical additives here, just sugar, eggs and cream.   Pure and simple. I like to top the ice cream with a fresh strawberry sauce and some chopped pistachios, and call it a day.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

From Williams-Sonoma “Ice Cream”


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk and 1 cup of the cream. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and then add the vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, combine the egg yolks, sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of cream in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.
  3. Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean.
  4. Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days before serving.

Makes 1 quart

Fresh Strawberry Sauce 

  • 4 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  3. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and chill. If there’s too much liquid in the mixture, then just spoon some off.
  4. Spoon over your homemade ice cream and top with a few chopped pistachios for a little crunch.

Mama’s Tips:

Leave the ice cream out on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving, to make it easier to scoop.

Recipe: Intermediate