Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Growing up, The Goonies was one of my favorite movies. As a kid I would often fantasize going on a grand adventure with my friends. And of COURSE some of the adventures I fantasized were life and death scenarios.

I mean, without my little kid “knowhow” how on EARTH could the world remain safe without me?! The Goonies tapped into my little noggin and soon I found myself day dreaming about treasure, secret passages, and Data’s homemade gadgets. My Granny and Grampy helped sculpt and fuel my need for adventure by taking my sister, Michelle, and I on vacations throughout the US. As kids, Michelle and I frequently would accompany our grandparents on cross country trips to Yellowstone and Colorado.

We stayed at Dude Ranches, traveled through mountains, and even sifted for gold at touristy “abandoned” gold mines. Or at least Michelle and I THOUGHT it was gold. Unbeknown to us, Granny and Grampy giggled behind our back as Michelle and I stuffed fool’s gold into our pockets exclaiming, “We’re RICH!” Sigh, such fond memories. 😀

As I grew up, The Goonies kept a special place in my adventurous heart, but life happened and grown up responsibilities got in the way. I did not recognize how monotonous my life became until I lived in the same place for over 10 years. Sure, I had a happy life in Chicago with my husband, family, and friends, but I didn’t realize how stagnant my everyday routine grew to be. Kieran and I certainly went on fun vacations, but our weekends activities weren’t as fulfilling anymore. I remember going to parties and dreading answering questions about what I’ve been up to lately.

I would shrug and launch into a spiel saying I needed something big to happen, to jar the funk I mentally dwelled in. I can’t imagine what a snooze fest my conversations must have been! At the time I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something fundamentally shifted inside me and I wasn’t content in Chicago anymore, I longed for something big to actually happen.

Now, I’m not sure how or when Kieran and I first decided to move out of state…but the second Kieran broached the conversation, I felt an immediate, unexplainable yearning in my entire being. The decision to relocated to Portland weighed heavily on me though. I fully understood the ramifications of moving out of state. Moving meant not being able to see our friends or take an hour train ride to see my family, and I was heartbroken by the fact. Yet I could not deny the call of Portland…the call of adventure…. was too strong. I was determined to “chunk truffle shuffle” all the way to Portland if I had to, and believe me…if Kieran would have allowed it…I would have.

This was my time. MY TIME!

Moving to Portland reignited my passion for adventure. Almost every weekend Kieran and I go hiking, kayaking, bike riding, and all other types of exploring and sightseeing. While getting a drink at our favorite bar, the bartender told us she had plans to camp near Astoria, OR. I inquired about Astoria’s location and asked if any sights were worth seeing. Our bartender smiled and answered, “It’s approximately 2 hours away, and it’s where they filmed The Goonies.”


I FREAKED!!!!!!! I loved The Goonies as I kid, but it never dawned on me to find out where the movie was filmed. Feeling ecstatic doesn’t even come close to describing my joy. Here I was, a grown adult, merely 2 hours away from where my favorite childhood movie was filmed, embarking on a new adventure. I couldn’t believe it.

Our new friend Meryl, Kieran, and I piled into our car and shuffled off to Astoria this past weekend, while Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” played on loop in my head.

The day we explored Astoria was dreary and rainy, all of us were excited to be in Astoria, however, all of us felt subdued that day. The first Goonies sight we visited was the home used for Mikey’s House. The iconic home was purchased by a couple awhile back, who are gracious enough to let tourist visit and take pictures of the house. You’re unable to park next to the house, but Astoria has free “Goonie” parking in walking distance to the house. In fact, the free Goonies parking was in front of the kindergarden where “Kindergarden Cop” was filmed.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

We didn’t stay in Astoria long, as we were tired and hungover from the night before. However, I enjoyed my time in Astoria immensity. We didn’t see all The Goonies sites, but we saw Mikey’s house (pictured above), the jail from the opening chase scene, Warren’s Field (where Andy practiced cheerleading), and the bowling alley (where Chunk witnessed the opening chase scene). Awhile back we traveled to Cannon Beach on the coast, where The Goonies filmed the ending sequence.

The picture below is taken from the vantage point of Mikey’s house. I snapped a quick pic of the house, turned around and shot this.

After tooling around down town Astoria, we ate lunch and sampled clam chowder and smoked salmon. All and all we had a wonderful day. The rain picked up so we decided to go home, without being able to see everything we wanted, but perfectly content knowing we could revisit at any time. The adventure continues….

cherry vanilla ice cream recipe

Food time…. look below and feast your eyes on Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream.

One of my favorite vanilla ice cream recipes comes from Bob Vivant (who’s a woman). I’ve seen countless vanilla ice cream recipes using egg yolks, but Bob’s version uses only brown sugar, heavy cream, and whole milk. To me, making ice cream without eggs results in a lighter, and airer texture that’s to die for. This vanilla ice cream base is my go-to whenever I want homemade ice cream.

White sugar is not used in this recipe, only brown sugar. I’ve often heard nutritionist on TV say substitute brown sugar whenever the recipe calls for white. I thought brown sugar was healthier. Sadly, that is not the case. Although brown sugar has a bit more nutrients than white sugar, brown sugar is not healthy.

Is Brown Sugar Really Better?

Molasses and brown sugar do contain more essential nutrients that white sugar, so choosing brown sugar over white is technically healthier. For example, a tablespoon of molasses is a good source of dietary potassium — and provides small amounts of calcium, magnesium and B vitamins. However, the amount of these essential nutrients you’d be getting from brown sugar is very small and won’t do much to meet your daily nutrient needs. Furthermore, just like white sugar, molasses and brown sugar are added sugars that should be limited in your diet as much as possible to avoid unwanted weight gain and increased chronic disease risks.

So there you have it, even though this recipe calls for brown sugar instead of white, it’s not healthier for you. Yes, homemade ANYTHING is better for you than take-0ut, so if you are going to indulge, it’s better to make ice cream yourself to avoid unnecessary preservatives and additives, however, the extra sugar in your diet should be consumed in moderation.

cherry vanilla ice cream

When you are able to have a cheat day, cheat on your diet with this scrumptious Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream! It’s sooooo good! I’ll take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit for a few minutes to get all soft and melty. Then I’ll face-plant into that tasty son of bitch and go to town.

Making this recipe couldn’t be easier too. Note, if you have to pit your cherries by hand, you WILL stain your fingers and cherry juice will splatter all over your kitchen. Cherry juice can be a dick that way.

For this recipe it’s best to get an ice cream maker. Mine is a Cuisinart and it’s simple to use. Click here if you want to see what model I use.

IMPORTANT…. if you use an ice cream maker similar to mine, or have the exact same make/model, you MUST freeze the ice cream maker’s freezer bowl for 24 hours before churning the ice cream.

You’ll want to make the vanilla ice cream base a day ahead of time, so you might as well make the cherry filling ahead of time too. That way, on churning day, everything will be ready to go. I folded my cherry mixture into my ice cream AFTER it was churned for a prettier, cherry ribboning affect. I feared pouring the cherry mixture into the ice cream maker, while churning, would turn the ice cream completely pink. Either way, the ice cream is going to taste delicious, so do want ever floats your tasty ice cream boat.

But seriously folks, this desert is amazballs. Kieran had to fight me off last night, so he could finish the last of it. This recipe is the epitome of “Shock Munch” worthy you guys.

Make this Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream…after all, this is YOUR time. YOUR TIME!! Goonies and Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream never say die my friends.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream


Cherry "filling":

  • 1 cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (natural sweeteners like maple syrup work too)
  • Dash of cinnamon

Ice Cream:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • cups whole milk

Special equipment:

  • Ice cream maker



    Cherry filling:

    • Pour your cherries into a sauce pan. Put the pan on the burner, over medium-high heat.
    • Stir, and gently smash the cherries as they cook, to break them down and make them into a Jelly consistency, or however thick you like your "cherry filling" approx 10-15 minutes.
    • Add the sugar and lemon juice, lower the heat to low, and cook for a few minutes more.
    • Take the pan off the heat, then stir in a dash of cinnamon. Set aside until cool, then put the cherry filling in tupperware and refrigerate until needed.

    Vanilla ice cream base:

    • In a sauce pan, add the heavy cream, brown sugar, and seeds of the vanilla bean. Turn on the burner to medium, and warm and whisk mixture long enough so the sugar dissolves and the vanilla beans break apart and de-clump, approx 5 minutes.
    • Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the milk. Once the mixture is cool enough, pour it into tupperware, and refrigerate overnight.
    • The next day, freeze your milk mixture for 1 hour, then you are ready to churn.
    • Assemble your ice cream maker and start churning according to the manufactures directions.
    • My ice cream maker has an opening at the top. I turn on the machine, and while the freezer bowl is turning, I slowly pour my ice cream mixture in. My machine takes approx 20 minutes to churn into a creamy and delicious ice cream.
    • When the ice cream is finished, pour it into freezable tupperware. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold in the cherry mixture. The ice cream will be super soft in that state. You can simply freeze it for another hour or more, until you reach the firmness you like best.


    Yes, you CAN add the cherry filling INTO your ice cream maker’s freezer bowl while it’s churning. The sooner you add it, the more broken down your cherries will be. The ice cream will be a LOT pinker too. I folded the cherry filling into the ice cream at the very end to create a pretty, pink, ribboning affect.

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