6 Kitchen Adventure Weekend Projects, from Ice Cream to Homemade Bacon

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Whenever the weekend rolls around, you have two options: sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day or be super-productive. Even though we're all about lounging around and eating great food — especially when it is themed around camping-movie marathons or pairs perfectly with summer jams — you can use your downtime for a fun kitchen adventure instead.

Whether it's churning up homemade ice cream for a backyard bash or starting the process for homemade bacon, there's a cooking project fit for you. Check out six ideas below, ranked from easy-breezy to crazy-hard (but so worth it).

Easy-Breezy: Homemade Ice Cream

Once you master an easy ice cream flavor base, you can add any flavors that you want. Chocolate, strawberry, balsamic cherry — you name it! The ice cream maker does most of the work for you.

A Little Bit More Difficult: Quick Bread-and-Butter Pickles

Making bread-and-butter pickles requires a bit of patience because you have to slice and salt the cucumbers, rinse them and then make and cool the brine before combining everything. But we promise they're well worth the wait.

Moderately Hard: Pizza Dough

Kelsey Nixon's dough recipe is pretty straightforward, and you can stretch it to be a flatbread or a standard-size pizza like her  Chopped Caesar Salad PizzaWatch how to make pizza dough here.

Ambitious Adventure: Limoncello
Debi Mazar's Limoncello


Debi Mazar's Limoncello

Photo by: Debi Mazar ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Debi Mazar, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Again, this is all about patience. Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos' authentic family recipe is easy to put together, but you'll have to wait two weeks to take your first sip.

Advanced Skills: Fresh Mozzarella

If you're a cheese lover, fresh mozzarella is a good place to start with cheese making. Imagine the amazing caprese salads you can make with a little TLC.

Foodie Feat: Maple Bacon from Scratch

Impress everyone you know when you whip out homemade maple-cured bacon at your weekend barbecue. It takes some time, but most of the process happens in the fridge over the course of a week.

Next Up

Philadelphia-Style Chocolate Ice Cream

This eggless version of ice cream is often referred to as Philadelphia-style. The texture is lighter but no less delicious, and it is so fast to put together.

Grilled Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Banana bread is delicious all year round, but how 'bout a little summertime makeover? Think grilled banana bread ice cream sandwiches, a twist on an old classic.

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches for the Bacon Lover

Learn how to make delicious homemade ice cream sandwiches with recipes and tips from the experts at Coolhaus.

Guide: Making Ice Cream

Making ice cream at home is rewarding and delicious. Get started now!

Food Jammers-Inspired Ice Cream

The Food Jammers crew had the same craving on a camping trip, but they weren't waiting around for that ice cream truck, either. They got to work making ice cream DIY-style -- with two coffee cans and a campfire. I was inspired to make my own, sans ice cream maker.

Summer's Hottest Ice Cream Flavors

Every year, ice cream store owners across the country predict which flavors will be the most popular. Dave Powitz shares the early ice cream trends from this summer.


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