Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts

Of Course Ina Garten's Ice Cream Hack Is Totally Brilliant

Store bought is fine, sure—but why not make it even better?

March 31, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

Ina Garten’s cooking is always alluring in its simplicity, making it seem like it is easy to be as effortlessly fancy as she is. Part of that is her expertise in knowing exactly which parts of a meal you should spend time on, and which parts can be best assembled from store-bought ingredients.

In a segment this week on the Today Show, she offered a brilliant suggestion: how to gussy up plain ol', store-bought vanilla ice cream and make it into a dinner party-worthy dessert.

She went on to promote her new show, called Be My Guest, where she invites people over to cook, eat, and chat. She also shared some recipes—as well as some ideas that barely qualify as such because they're so simple. For dessert, she suggests serving a few scoops of vanilla ice cream with limoncello poured over it and biscotti from a bakery tucked into the side.

“Everybody will lose their mind,” she claimed. If you ask us, that's a pretty enticing endorsement for something that takes almost no effort.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Goodness folks, Ina is just as human as we are. I think that is part of her charm and popularity. I would bet many of us have chosen an easy dish to serve an to family and guests at some time. The simplest ingredients can make a great dish to serve anyone that grace our tables. I for one, appreciate a good tip, or new recipes to try. ”
— Becky W.

In the course of serving it, she also declared Taylor Swift the best dinner party guest, saying “She was pretty great. And perhaps more importantly, Ina admitted that she also bought the lasagna she served them for their meal. When asked if the host needs to 'fess up when something they are serving was purchased rather than made from scratch, Ina gives everyone permission to keep your own secret.

All you need to say, the dinner party queen directs, is: “I’m so glad you like it.”

What's your favorite way to gussy up store-bought ice cream? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • My Mother's Son
    My Mother's Son
  • rteplow
  • JennL
  • Steven Williamson
    Steven Williamson
  • Aliwaks
Naomi Tomky

Written by: Naomi Tomky

The world's most enthusiastic eater of everything


My M. July 5, 2023
This may be a bit off-topic but lots of people have ice cream makers sitting unused on a shelf in the back of a cabinet. Those same people LOVE homemade ice cream but are put off by the hassle of putting it all together. This combination that I'm about to reveal is so easy it's almost embarrassing:
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
I can CocoLopez
That's it. Serve with a little Khalua drizzled on top and you have a showstopper dessert that your guests will be raving about for weeks. Trust me on this one!
rteplow July 5, 2023
Not my original idea but: chili crisp!
JennL July 3, 2023
Vanilla with the thin pretzel sticks. Sweet and salty. Smooth and crunchy.
Steven W. July 2, 2023
Everyone is different, but I can never go wrong with good vanilla ice cream with Creme de Menthe.
Aliwaks May 12, 2023
Fruity olive oil, smoked sea salt & any crunchy - cookie, biscotti, nuts, sesame toasted seeds
fab F. May 12, 2023
A really great way to make an easy but insane dessert ice cream is to completely cover a bowl of washed, hulled and halved strawberries with caster sugar (here you can also add a splash of lemon juice for tang if desired?) and leave for an hour to overnight, until they’re more or less completely broken down (macerated) and look like a lumpy, strawberry syrup! Add a (good) splash of Vodka and spoon over good quality vanilla bean ice cream. For a non-alcoholic version of this - add a splash of rose water in lieu of the Vodka! Either version is extremely tasty….
Aadithya February 27, 2023
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anne R. February 27, 2023
Can you buy Minus 30 in the USA?
Aadithya February 27, 2023
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Aadithya January 8, 2023
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Aadithya November 15, 2022
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BonnieC. June 25, 2022
Another nice boozy ice cream dessert is your favorite brand of vanilla topped with a drizzle of "Chambord" black raspberry liqueur, some fresh raspberries, & a dollop of whipped cream.
MoodyFoodie310 June 25, 2022
I really like Kroger Special Reserve chocolate ganache ice cream with toasted pecans and a drizzle of good bourbon poured over..
abbyarnold June 22, 2022
My son scoops ice cream into a bowl and adds a sugar cone to the side for crunching along! Other toppings welcome depending what's available.
AllKinds June 12, 2022
A scoop of vanilla ice cream, Cointreau, topped with toasted almond slices. Refreshing with a little bit of crunch!
Lynda June 12, 2022
THIS is my pornography
Elizabeth D. June 12, 2022
Simple is best... I love strawberry ice cream with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, it's so good! Trader Joes carries their own brand of reduced balsamic vinegar - it's delicious!
BeckinBigD June 7, 2022
Am I the only person seeing cornflakes in that picture? I clicked on the recipe imagining something along the lines of Christina Tosi's Cornflake Crunch. Now that's what I want! Thanks for the subliminal suggestion. Cheers!
Minta June 7, 2022
I thought I saw cornflakes, too. Certainly doesn't show either the limoncello OR the biscotti!
Evie S. June 11, 2022
Put your glasses on Lol
sws June 7, 2022
For me, the classic ice cream and booze dessert has to be Affogato. The combination of vanilla gelato, espresso and amaro is perfection!
anshikassss June 5, 2022
best vegan ice cream near me at
anshikassss May 8, 2022
Minus 30 brings a series of delightful sugar free ice creams near me and you. Go get yours at .