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Make your own sundaes perfect 4th of July dessert

Everybody loves ice cream and there is no time like the present to stock up and enjoy. With the 4th of July holiday this weekend, a large container of the creamy white stuff along with a variety of toppings could be the perfect dessert solution for your entertaining needs.

July also happens to be national ice cream month as proclaimed by President Reagan in the 1980s, so reason enough in itself to bring on the ice cream sundae bar.

Even better, could be a deliciously easy ice cream dessert prepared in advance and frozen until meal time, to whip out of the freezer on a moment's notice.

There are also thousands of recipes out there that complement the easy dessert, from a variety of homemade toppings to other desserts utilizing the popular product. The following are a few of my personal favorites. With fresh strawberries and blueberries now in abundant supply, the two fruit toppings are amazingly easy and oh so delicious. The Chocolate Sauce recipe is also outstanding, as are the variety of ice cream desserts that are perfect summertime treats.

For the perfect finishing touch, bring out the whipped topping, colored sprinkles, chopped nuts and you'll have everything you need for the ultimate do-it-yourself dessert.

Until next week, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking.

Blueberry Sauce

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. flour

1 16-oz package frozen or fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. water

Melt butter in saucepan and blend in remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring until berries soften and thicken, approximately five minutes. Cool or serve warm over ice cream. Makes about two cups.

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups strawberries, cut up

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. water

In small bowl mix berries and sugar together well. Let stand about 1 hour.

In small saucepan bring to a boil over medium heat; cooking about 4 minutes, mashing and stirring. If berries are not very juicy, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time.

This is great served warm or cold. Also makes about two cups.

Chocolate Praline Topping

1 cup cream

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup butter

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans

In pan bring cream, sugar and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer and stir for two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips until melted. Stir in pecans. Serve warm and store for later use in the fridge.

Peanut Butter Dessert Sauce

1 cup peanut butter chips

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Cook in small saucepan over low heat the peanut butter chips, milk and whipping cream until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftover sauce. Reheat to serve again. If too thick, add a little more milk or cream.

Yummy Chocolate Sauce

Melt 1 6 oz. bag of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup (one stick) margarine (preferably in a double boiler or microwave). Add 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 - 14 1/2 oz. can of evaporated milk, mixing in the sugar alternately with the milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly and cook (still stirring) for about eight minutes or until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and add 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

Mud Pie

22 Oreos, crushed along with filling

3/4 stick of margarine, melted

1 pint Mrs. Richardson's hot fudge

1 pint Mrs. Richardson's butterscotch caramel fudge

1 quart butterbrickle ice cream, softened

1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened

Cool Whip

Mix melted butter with crushed Oreos. Pat into 9x13 pan and form crust. Heat hot fudge to pouring stage and spread over crust. Layer with softened butterbrickle ice cream, add layer of butterscotch caramel fudge, add layer of chocolate ice cream and spread with Cool Whip. Freeze until serving time.

Buster Bar Dessert

Mix together and press into bottom of 9x13 pan:

25 Oreos crushed, 1/3 cup melted butter

Put into freezer to set. Slice 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream to fit pan. Sprinkle ice cream with about two cups of Spanish peanuts, or as many as you'd like. Put in freezer.

In saucepan, cook:

2/3 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup margarine, 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk.

Boil for eight minutes, remove from heat. Cool well. Stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour over ice cream and freeze.

Ice Cream Dessert

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted margarine

1/4 cup sugar

Mix and press into bottom of 9x13 pan, reserving a few crumbs to sprinkle on top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and cool.

2 pkgs. Instant pudding (any flavor you like, pistachio, butterscotch, chocolate, etc.)

1 quart vanilla ice cream

1 1/2 cups cold milk

8 oz. tub of Cool Whip

Combine pudding, milk and ice cream. Beat together with electric mixer and pour over crust. Refrigerate until firm. Spread Cool Whip over top and serve.