From Z to A: 3 Recipes to Beat the Heat This Summer

For this month’s edition, I wanted to share my top recipes to help you cool off this summer. I bet most of you have already got the cookouts in full swing by now, but if not, be sure to check out my last installment for some great grilling recipes.

These recipes are great not only because they’re fun and delicious, but also because they cool you off and get the kids involved as well. Ever since my kids were little, I have tried to make it a point to get them involved in the kitchen so they feel competent and excited about what they can create as they get older.

I’ve also included a few different recipes that are good bases for trying different flavor combinations later on, too.


Strawberry Popsicles

This recipe is an amazingly simple recipe that is refreshing and a great way to use up any fruits you love. It’s great with blueberries, peaches, raspberries or even a fun combination of any of your favorites.


  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or less if strawberries are pretty sweet)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water (or coconut milk for a creamier popsicle)


  1. Wash and chop your strawberries and add to a bowl. Then, depending on sweetness, sprinkle the strawberries with however much sugar you’d like. Let the strawberries macerate for a few minutes.

  2. Once the sugar has been absorbed into the strawberries, add the strawberries and the water (or coconut milk) to a blender and blend until everything is mixed together. Add more water or milk if the mixture is too thick. You want it to be like a thick slushy consistency.

  3. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds, place the popsicle sticks in the center and freeze popsicles for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

  4. Use a little warm water to unmold the popsicles from the molds and enjoy.

Pro tip: I like to buy freezer-safe popsicle bags, but you can use individual freezer-safe sandwich bags to store them in the freezer to free up your popsicle mold for the next use.


No-Churn Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

No ice cream maker? No problem! This simple recipe is a base flavor, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to flavor combinations. I love adding crushed Oreos to the mix and have even split it up in separate containers for each kid to make their favorite flavors.


  • 1 14-oz. can condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


  1. Line a freezer-proof container with parchment or plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

  2. In a chilled bowl, add in the heavy cream and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.

  3. Mix the vanilla and condensed milk together and slowly fold the mixture into the whipped cream without deflating too much.

  4. You can add in any mix-ins at this point or you can layer them in the pan.

  5. Pour into your pan and cover tightly. Freeze at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

  6. Enjoy with your favorite people or all by yourself in a closet while everyone thinks you’re putting up laundry.


Chaco Tacos

Even this long-loved treat has been discontinued, it doesn’t mean you can’t still make it at home with relative ease. Use the ice cream recipe above or store-bought ice cream to make the process even easier and faster.


  • 6 waffle cones or bowls
  • vanilla ice cream (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 jar fudge topping (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts


  1. Swirl fudge into your vanilla ice cream and allow to refreeze.

  2. Take wet paper towels, squeeze out extra water and wrap the waffle cones or bowls and microwave for 15-25 seconds.

  3. Carefully peel off the paper towel and remold the waffle cone or bowl into a taco shape, then allow it to rest in that shape and harden.

  4. To assemble, allow ice cream to soften just a bit and spoon it into the taco shells. Once all are filled, place on a small tray or plate and place in the freezer to allow to refreeze.

  5. Once the ice cream is frozen, make the chocolate coating by melting together the chocolate chips and the coconut oil in 15-20 second intervals until melted and glossy. (Pro tip: In lieu of making your own melting chocolate, you can purchase the premade chocolate shell version.)

  6. Dip the tops of the tacos into the melted chocolate, then dip into chopped peanuts or sprinkle them on.

  7. Tacos are ready when the chocolate has hardened. Make sure to freeze remaining tacos in a freezer-safe bag.


From Z to A with Zara Abbasi

Zara Abbasi is the pastry chef and recipe developer for Zara Made It. Follow her food adventures on Instagram at @zaramadeit and on Tiktok at @happiestfoodonearth.

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