Beyond the Cone: 10 Fun Ways to Eat Ice Cream

Think beyond the boring cone this summer.
Think beyond the boring cone this summer.
ivan101/iStock via Getty Images Plus

On average, Americans consume more than 23 pounds of ice cream every year. And who says you have to eat it in a cone, or even in a bowl? Here are a few unconventional ways to hit your ice cream quota.

1. Ice Cream Tacos

These dessert tacos are as tasty as they are easy to make. First, sauté tortillas in butter; next, dredge them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Fold the tortillas in half and dip the top edges in melted chocolate; allow the chocolate to harden, then pack the taco with your favorite ice cream flavor, top with caramel, and pop in the freezer for 30 minutes. Finally, eat them!

2. Ice Cream Pie

This pie has a graham cracker crust and combines vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups, pecans, Butterfingers, and homemade caramel sauce for a truly delicious dessert. If you just can’t wait for three hours, or want a quick ice cream pie you can make with kids, click here for a simpler, 10-minute recipe.

3. Ice Cream Bomb

There are a lot of steps in this take on Baked Alaska—which, as legend has it, was invented at Delmonico’s in New York City in 1867 in celebration of the U.S.’s purchase of Alaska—but it’s still relatively easy to make. First, prepare a cocoa-coconut base; then, smoosh a bunch of ice cream into a bowl, evening out the top (which will become the bottom of your dessert) by placing cling wrap over the ice cream and smoothing it with your hand; then it goes into the freezer for a bit. Once it’s frozen hard enough, take it out of the freezer, dunk the bowl into another bowl of warm water, and gently pry the ice cream loose. Place the flat bottom on the coconut base, cover the whole thing in plastic wrap, and freeze again. Next, make a cocoa meringue and smooth it over the ice cream with a spatula. Bake at 356°F for four to five minutes and serve immediately.

4. Ice Cream Cupcakes

Creating these tasty treats is simple. The first step: The day before you’re planning to serve, bake some cupcakes—whichever flavor you prefer. Next, scoop out the center; cut off the top of what you’ve scooped and set it aside. (Feel free to eat what’s left over!) Then, fill the hole in with ice cream and pop that piece of cupcake on top. Stick the cupcakes in the freezer overnight. When you’re just about ready to serve, pull them and out and top them with frosting or a dollop of whipped cream.

5. Fried Ice Cream

Fried ice cream: It’s not just for county fairs anymore. Start by placing nine scoops of ice cream on a baking sheet and popping them in the freezer for an hour. Next, roll them in a mixture of cornflake crumbs and cinnamon, then put them in a plastic bag and freeze overnight. When you’re ready to fry, heat the oil to 375°F; fry the balls one at a time for eight to 10 seconds. Serve in chilled bowls immediately.

6. Ice Cream “Hot Dog”

If you have leftover hot dog buns, don’t toss ‘em—drench them in butter, cinnamon, and sugar, throw them on the grill, and then fill them with ice cream! This recipe from Food & Wine will show you how.

7. Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Everyone’s had a chipwich. This recipe flips the script on the chipwich by sandwiching cookie dough ice cream between uncooked cookie dough. You can either make the ice cream yourself or go pre-made; either way, the results will be delicious.

8. Ice Cream Truffles

To create these delicious treats, you’ll first need to line a baking sheet with wax paper and scoop out eight round balls of ice cream in three flavors (this recipe recommends vanilla, chocolate, and coffee, but you can choose whatever your palette wants). Freeze the ice cream overnight. The next day, put your desired toppings—chopped almonds and coconut, for example—in separate bowls and line plates with wax paper. Next, melt some bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate in vegetable oil, stirring constantly. Once it’s totally melted, remove it from heat and let cool until it’s lukewarm. Quickly dip the ice cream balls in the chocolate and then into the bowls with toppings. Once all of the ice cream balls are fully coated, freeze them again until they’re firm, which should take a few hours (you can also freeze them for up to three days). Enjoy!

9. Ice Cream Pops

Fun for kids and adults alike, this recipe calls for combining crushed cookies, peanut butter cups, and candy-coated chocolates in a bowl, then popping a spoonful into 5-ounce paper cups. Next, put vanilla ice cream and the remaining cookie/PB cup/candy mixture in a mixer bowl and combine with a paddle attachment. Spoon the mixture into the cups and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze until the pops are firm, then rip the cups off and serve!

10. Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches

These sweet treats at Pint-Sized Baker look just like actual sandwiches, and they’re simple to make: You just need vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and frozen pound cake. Transfer the ice cream into a bowl to soften. Wash, hull, and cut the strawberries into cubes, then toss them in sugar and let them sit for 15 minutes. Next, mix the strawberries into the ice cream and put the bowl in the freezer for at least an hour. Then, slice your pound cake and put the slices in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. Finally, assemble and enjoy!

10 Wireless Chargers Designed to Make Life Easier

La Lucia/Moshi
La Lucia/Moshi

While our smart devices and gadgets are necessary in our everyday life, the worst part is the clumsy collection of cords and chargers that go along with them. Thankfully, there are more streamlined ways to keep your phone, AirPods, Apple Watch, and other electronics powered-up. Check out these 10 wireless chargers that are designed to make your life convenient and connected.

1. Otto Q Wireless Fast Charging Pad; $40

Otto Q Wireless Fast Charging Pad
Moshi

Touted as one of the world's fastest chargers, this wireless model from Moshi is ideal for anyone looking to power-up their phone or AirPods in a hurry. It sports a soft, cushioned design and features a proprietary Q-coil module that allows it to charge through a case as thick as 5mm.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

2. Gotek Wireless Charging Music Station; $57

Gotek Wireless Charging Music Station
Rego Tech

Consolidate your bedside table with this clock, Bluetooth 5.0 speaker, and wireless charger, all in one. It comes with a built-in radio and glossy LED display with three levels of brightness to suit your style.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

3. BentoStack PowerHub 5000; $100 (37 percent off)

BentoStack PowerHub 5000
Function101

This compact Apple accessory organizer will wirelessly charge, port, and store your device accessories in one compact hub. It stacks to look neat and keep you from losing another small piece of equipment.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

4. Porto Q 5K Portable Battery with Built-in Wireless Charger; $85

Porto Q 5K Portable Battery with Built-in Wireless Charger
Moshi

This wireless charger doubles as a portable battery, so when your charge dies, the backup battery will double your device’s life. Your friends will love being able to borrow a charge, too, with the easy, non-slip hook-up.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

5. 4-in-1 Versatile Wireless Charger; $41 (31 percent off)

4-in-1 Versatile Wireless Charger
La Lucia

Put all of those tangled cords to rest with this single, temperature-controlled charging stand that can work on four devices at once. It even has a built-in safeguard to protect against overcharging.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

6. GRAVITIS™ Wireless Car Charger; $20 (31 percent off)

GRAVITIS™ Wireless Car Charger
Origaudio

If you need to charge your phone while also using it as a GPS, this wireless device hooks right into the car’s air vent for safe visibility. Your device will be fully charged within two to three hours, making it perfect for road trips.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

7. Futura X Wireless 15W Fast Charging Pad; $35 (30 percent off)

Futura X Wireless 15W Fast Charging Pad
Bezalel

This incredibly thin, tiny charger is designed for anyone looking to declutter their desk or nightstand. Using a USB-C cord for a power source, this wireless charger features a built-in cooling system and is simple to set up—once plugged in, you just have to rest your phone on top to get it working.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

8. Apple Watch Wireless Charger Keychain; $20 (59 percent off)

Apple Watch Wireless Charger Keychain
Go Gadgets

This Apple Watch charger is all about convenience on the go. Simply attach the charger to your keys or backpack and wrap your Apple Watch around its magnetic center ring. The whole thing is small enough to be easily carried with you wherever you're traveling, whether you're commuting or out on a day trip.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

9. Wireless Charger with 30W Power Delivery & 18W Fast Charger Ports; $55 (38 percent off)

Wireless Charger from TechSmarter
TechSmarter

Fuel up to three devices at once, including a laptop, with this single unit. It can wirelessly charge or hook up to USB and USB-C to consolidate your charging station.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

10. FurniQi Bamboo Wireless Charging Side Table; $150 (24 percent off)

FurniQi Bamboo Wireless Charging Side Table
FoneSalesman

This bamboo table is actually a wireless charger—all you have to do is set your device down on the designated charging spot and you're good to go. Easy to construct and completely discreet, this is a novel way to charge your device while entertaining guests or just enjoying your morning coffee.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

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The Oldest Restaurant in Every Country, Mapped

So which one are you visiting first?
So which one are you visiting first?
NetCredit

New trendy restaurants pop up all the time, but there’s something extra-special about sitting down in a place that’s been around for a century or two. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg, Austria, has been around for more than 12.

Founded in 803, it’s the oldest operating restaurant in the world, according to a survey by online lender NetCredit. The second oldest, Wurtskuchl (or Sausage Kitchen) in Regensburg, Germany, didn’t enter the global eatery scene until a few hundred years later, in 1146. Of the top 10, Europe boasts an impressive eight entries, including Scotland’s Sheep Heid Inn, France’s La Couronne, and Wales’s aptly named The Old House. The fourth-place finisher, Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House in Kaifeng, China, opened its doors in 1153; and Japan’s Honke Owariya, which began as a confectionery shop in 1465 before shifting its focus to soba, is in the ninth spot.

oldest restaurants in europe
The founders of Wales's "The Old House" must've known they'd end up on this map.
NetCredit

By comparison, North America’s oldest restaurants seem practically new. The longest-standing institution is Newport, Rhode Island’s White Horse Tavern, which a pirate named William Mayes founded in 1673. It quickly became the go-to venue for the city’s local government meetings, and it stayed in the Mayes family for the following two centuries.

Nearly 150 years after Mayes became a business owner, a hole-in-the-wall tamale shop with no name opened in Bogotá, Colombia, which locals began to call “La Puerta Falsa” after “the false door” set in the wall of a nearby cathedral. The name stuck, and the tiny restaurant now has the designation of being South America’s oldest.

map of south america's oldest restaurants
If you go to La Puerta Falsa, you've got to get a tamale.
NetCredit

Since the study is based solely on internet searches, the data isn’t totally comprehensive. If the researchers were unable to find online evidence of a country’s oldest restaurant, they grayed out the country. Tunisia’s El M’Rabet is Africa’s oldest restaurant on this map, for example, but it could easily be younger than an eatery in Libya or Sudan that simply doesn’t have an online presence through websites or social media.

map of africa's oldest restaurants
Chez Wou in Cameroon is best known for its ginger duck.
NetCredit

You can find out more about the survey here.