It has been an intense winter, to say the least, but bright and sunny days are ahead. Spring is ready to bring us all the things we love about the season: warmer weather, Easter’s chocolate bunnies and, most importantly, free ice cream from our friends at Dairy Queen.
Don’t have a DQ nearby? Recreate the experience at home with these Dairy Queen copycat recipes.
Every family has a burger of choice, and this is ours. It’s stacked tall with bacon and crunchy onion rings. —Paula Homer, Nampa, Idaho
I’m always looking for new ways to combine fun flavors, and what goes together better than beer and pretzels? Not much that I can think of. That’s why I put them together into one delicious recipe. —Alyssa Wilhite, Whitehouse, Texas
When cabin fever hits, we whip up a beverage that tastes like s’mores. Oven-toasted marshmallows and a blender make it happen. —Sarah McKenna, Centennial, Colorado
My in-laws are from Ohio, so we have Cincinnati chili at many of our family gatherings. I spiced up this family classic with cinnamon and cocoa powder and ladled it over hot dogs. It’s perfect for game day, tailgates and potlucks. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
Wondering how to make potato skins taste great? I top my restaurant-worthy loaded potato skins with cheese, bacon and a dollop of sour cream. Have them at lunch, snack time or cocktail hour. —Trish Perrin, Keizer, Oregon
Indulge in a coffeehouse-quality drink with this caramel mocha recipe. With whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle, this treat will perk up even the sleepiest person at the table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
I threw some always-available condiments into my slow cooker with a pork roast to create this fantastic pulled pork. It has become a staple sandwich filler for large get-togethers. The flavor of the pork goes well with a cold glass of white wine.—Lori Terry, Chicago, Illinois
The fruit flavors plus chocolate ice cream make this a very tasty, pretty dessert. There’s an explosion of flavor with a delightful crunch of pecans.—Margie Williams, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
I’m a busy stay-at-home mom, so I wing it at mealtime. My wraps loaded with Buffalo wing sauce chicken, lettuce and tomatoes are a snap to make. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
When we were young, Mom made birthday cakes with a small toy on top, chosen just for us. Now that I’m a parent, I go with jimmies. —Becky Herges, Fargo, North Dakota
Cheese curds or cubes dipped in flour and beer, then fried, need only a good supply of crinkly toothpicks to turn them into a vanishing act. —Katie Rose, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
If you like a little spice in your food, these big stuffed burgers are for you. Just have plenty of frosty cold drinks on hand to serve with them. —Kris Swihart, Perrysburg, Ohio
Everyone likes this tasty chicken breast sandwich. Flattening the chicken breasts helps them cook faster, and the mango chutney and other toppings make them better than anything you could order in a restaurant. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
Want something cool and refreshing after your holiday feast? Serve generous slices of a rich, frosty dessert featuring peanuts, cookies and drizzled ice cream toppings.—TerryAnn Moore, Vineland, New Jersey
These strips are designed for kids, but tasty enough for company. The tender strips are moist and juicy and would also be great on a salad. —Becky Oliver, Fairplay, Colorado
Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high. Peanut butter and bacon make them Southern style; coleslaw and tomatoes, a Northern version. —Susan Mahaney, New Hartford, New York
These onion rings cook to a crisp, golden brown. This is one of those foods you never tire of and a great side dish to so many meals. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
I created this chicken sandwich recipe based on a meal my daughter ordered at a restaurant. She likes to dip her sandwich in the extra honey-mustard sauce. —Marilyn Moberg, Papillion, Nebraska
Instead of ordinary bread crumbs, seasoned crushed corn chips coat these slightly crunchy chicken fingers. If your family likes food with some heat, use the full 1-1/2 teaspoons of chili powder. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
I taught my nieces to make these easy, cheesy oven-baked potatoes. When the whole family comes over, we triple the recipe—and have no leftovers. —Ann Brown, Niles, MI
All About Free Cone Day 2019
That’s right! Dairy Queen is bringing back the legendary Free Cone Day for 2019. If you’re not familiar with Free Cone Day, your mind is about to be blown. On Wednesday, March 20, the fast-food restaurant we all know and love will be handing out free vanilla cones.
What’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one. The first day of spring has been dubbed Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen for the past five years. In a recent promotion released by the company, Dairy Queen states that 92% of Americans are happier with a soft-serve cone in hand. We believe it!
This Free Cone Day, help scientifically prove what we already know – Free DQ Cones make America happy! #FreeConeDay, March 20th. pic.twitter.com/g2PfesBmFv
— Dairy Queen (@DairyQueen) March 12, 2019
Don’t Miss Out
Only participating locations will be giving out those curly-headed cones on March 20. If you’re concerned about getting your hands on this freebie, it’s worth it to give your local DQ a call.
Afraid you’re going to miss Free Cone Day? Don’t sweat it. Between March 21 and March 31, you’ll be able to get your hands on small cone (regular or dipped in chocolatey goodness) for a budget-friendly 50 cents, as opposed to the standard $1.99.
Psst! A rumor has been circulating on Twitter that Ben & Jerry’s is hosting its own Free Cone Day on April 9th. The more free ice cream, the better!
Learn How to Make Ice Cream
We don’t want to brag, but as far as vanilla ice cream recipes go, this one is the best. And with only four ingredients, it just might be the easiest, too. No ice cream maker? No problem. Just follow the directions below to learn how to make homemade ice cream by hand. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
This pretty pastel dessert bursts with the fresh flavors of grapefruit, lime and rosemary. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
On a recent trip to Italy, I became addicted to gelato. My favorite choice was lemon because Italian lemons have an intense flavor. This recipe brings back memories of our vacation. —Gail Wang, Troy, Michigan
My state is well known for growing good peaches. This delicious recipe has been a family favorite for more than 50 years. —Marguerite Ethridge, Americus, Georgia
No matter where my military family is stationed, this ice cream always makes me think of my parents’ backyard rhubarb patch in Rochester, New York. —Rachel Garcia, Colorado Springs, Colorado
The wild blueberries on our property spark recipe ideas. When my daughter and I made this ice cream at a Girl Guide meeting, it was well received. Even today, our 10 children, 19 grandkids and 4 great-grandchildren think it tastes great. —Alma Mosher, Mohannes, New Brunswick
Summertime and watermelon go hand in hand. My melon sorbet is fresh, fruity and without the gluten and eggs you get in many other frozen desserts. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
Everyone loves ice cream, but we all know it doesn’t make a great after-school snack. Until this! With its sweet banana-almond flavor and chunky texture, this appealing banana peanut butter “ice cream” is a crowd-pleaser. People who ask me for the recipe can’t believe how easy it is to make. —Kristen Bloom, Okinawa, Japan
I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas
You don’t need an ice cream freezer to make this rich refreshing treat. Years ago, we had a big rhubarb patch. A neighbor who knew I loved ice cream shared this recipe with me. —Jan Douglas, Dent, Minnesota
My mother-in-law has a sour cherry tree in her yard that yields many quarts of cherries each June, and this is a great way to use some up. This frosty sweet-sour sorbet is a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. —Carol Gaus, Itasca, Illinois
For birthdays, we pull out the old-fashioned ice cream maker and crank out a sherbet made with orange soda. We’re all crazy about it, especially my son. —Heather Craft, Paducah, Kentucky
When guests set eyes on this ruby-red dessert, they’ll know they’re in for a treat. It’s the perfect ending for a hearty summer or wintertime meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
I made this for my daughter’s birthday, and everyone at the party declared it the best ice cream they had ever tasted. I certainly appreciated their high praise. —Mary Ann Hansen, St. Cloud, Minnesota
This sophisticated herbal gelato can be served as an appetizer, a palate-pleaser between courses or a dessert that tastes like heaven on a spoon. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
My mother’s family owned peach orchards in Missouri. I live in Tennessee, a top consumer of buttermilk. This summery ice cream combines my past and present. —Kim Higginbotham, Knoxville, Tennessee
Add a splash of color to the dinner table with this orange sorbet. The refreshing orange flavor of this frozen delight would be great as a dessert or a palate cleanser between courses. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Whether you serve it in chilled bowls or scooped into cut lemon halves, this creamy four-ingredient sorbet is both sweet and tart. It makes a delightfully refreshing finish to any meal. —Goldene Petersen, Brigham City, Utah
This icy granita is a cooling delight on a hot summer day. This is an adults only goody. You can use watermelon vodka for plain vodka if you like. —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
Everyone loves a pumpkin-flavored cheesecake, so we decided to make a cool and creamy ice-cream version. We’re thrilled with the result. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Not overly sweet, this sorbet is a hit at the holidays, when there’s plenty of citrus fruit on hand. Try it as a light, summer refresher, too.—Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
With an abundant crop of fresh raspberries from the backyard, it’s no wonder why I rely on this dessert for a tasty, no-fuss frozen dessert. —Karen Bailey, Golden, Colorado
Light, refreshing cranberry sherbet is a great change of pace from rich, holiday food. It’s also popular on a hot, summer day. The buttermilk adds a nice tang. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
You have to give this novel ice cream a try. It’s actually made with corn, sweetly flavored by vanilla extract and maple syrup. I plan to make this surprising treat every summer.—Diana Burrink, Crete, Illinois
Making homemade ice cream is fun for the whole family, and the fresh raspberry flavor of this treat makes it a perfect summer activity. Kids can shake the bags until the liquid changes to ice cream and then enjoy the reward! —Erin Hoffman, Canby, Minnesota
Add Butterfingers to this icy, creamy combination, and you get a no-fail sweet everyone will love. —Tammy Drost, Cheyenne, Wyoming
This is fresh, really simple and will keep in a freezer container…if you don’t eat it all the first day. —Sandra Vachon, Saint-Constant, Quebec
Making ice cream goes smoothly when you do prep work in advance. I make the custard ahead and refrigerate it overnight. Plus, I toast the almonds beforehand and separate my add-ins into labeled containers. —Rosalie Peters, Caldwell, Texas
There’s even more to love in this fruity ice cream, thanks to a few tweaks. With the original’s creaminess and 30 percent fewer calories, this makeover is a stone-cold success! —Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
The third U.S. president is credited with jotting down the first American recipe for this treat. No vanilla bean on hand? Substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Just stir the extract into the cream mixture after the ice-water bath. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Light and refreshing, this dreamy, creamy dessert is perfect for steamy afternoons. Great for scooping into cones, the frozen fluff won’t melt as fast as regular ice cream. Change up the recipe with a variety of frozen berries or fruits. —Debra Goforth, Newport, Tennessee
This brightly flavored fruit sorbet will surely refresh. Enjoy it plain or add to a slice of angel food cake for a special treat. —Eirianedd Simpson, Pahrump, Nevada
I serve this refreshing dish between courses or as a delicious dessert. When I was young, my mom used to make this in the summer. —Patricia Hancock, Hawthorne, New Jersey
This content was originally published here.