Monthly Archives: June 2015

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without a Machine

When I was a little girl, my grandmother loved to tell me stories about our family history. She described what it was like living during the Great Depression, how she’d laughed at my grandpa when he first proposed (only a month after they’d met), and how the very first thing my grandfather did after arriving in America was to buy an ice cream cone. I’ve always thought that the ultimate food symbol for America in the summer is ice cream… Who doesn’t remember being a child, excitedly hoping to hear the tinkling sounds of the Mr. Softee truck driving up the street? Consider this week’s post a throw-back to those days… Share this ice cream recipe with your little one. And the best part? You don’t need a machine!

Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

⅔ cup sugar

⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

6 large egg yolks

2 vanilla beans, sliced length-wise and scraped (use seeds and pods)


  1. In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds/pods until the sugar completely dissolves (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return the pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon (about 170 degrees F).
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Bag up ice cream the mix using plastic zipper bags (with masking tape to prevent leaks). Put no more than 2 cups of the ice cream mix in a quart baggie and seal securely with the tape. Fill a gallon-sized bag halfway up with ice, then pour in about 1/2 cup kosher salt. Mix it around, then put in the quart size bag. Make sure the smaller bag is covered with ice.
  4. Seal the larger bag securely and place it in a couple layers of plastic shopping bags. Shake or rotate the bag for at least five minutes – preferably 10.
  5. Open the bags carefully in order to avoid getting salt inside the inner bag. The ice cream should be in a soft mass by now – if not, close up the bags again, add some ice and shake some more.


Do you have a question for Katie, or something you’d like to share with the River School community on the blog? Feel free to email her at

River School Graduation

It is almost the end of the 2014-2015 school year and that means we will soon be having our graduation ceremony. It’s a bittersweet time: we have had such a great year, but we will miss our oldest students as they go off to kindergarten next year. Come out to any of our River School locations on June 25th and 26th to help celebrate the wonderful year we have had and celebrate the future success of all of our little River Schoolers! As one chapter comes to a close, another one begins! Our summer camp program is starting soon and we still have openings in September. So if you are looking for preschools in New York City or Jersey City give us a call and schedule a tour today!

Happy Father’s Day! Cooking With Miss Katie

Happy Father's Day from River School - Cooking with Miss KatieWhen I was just eight years old, I was so excited to join my dad for a special “take your daughter to work” day. Without question, everyone knew exactly who’s daughter I was… After all, I may have had my momma’s hair and eye coloring, but I looked a lot like my daddy (sans-beard, of course). Those were the days when we’d sing Van Halen’s “Domino” at the top of our lungs, shouting “pizza” together, every time “Domino” came up in the lyrics. To this day, whenever I’m down in the dumps, my dad calls me up and starts singing that song. He will actually refuse to stop until I’ve shouted, “pizza!” and have given him a laugh… This recipe is for my POP, and for all the other daddies out there. Happy Father’s Day!

Van Halen Pizza Dough

(Recipe adapted from MSLO’s “Quick Basic Pizza Dough” recipe)


1 ½ cups warm water (100-105 degrees F)

2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface (note: for those with a gluten allergy, “Cup 4 Cup” AP flour may also be used)



  • Pour the warm water into a large bowl. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, the water will feel like slightly too-warm bath water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it stand until foamy (about 5 minutes).
  • Whisk in the sugar, oil, and salt into the yeast mixture. Add in the flour and stir until a sticky dough forms. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead it 1-2 times before using. Use the dough fresh, within two hours of making it, or freeze it for up to three months. Enjoy!
  • Bake at 400’ until slightly browned then top it with your favorite fixins’ and enjoy!

Do you have a question for Katie, or something you’d like to share with the River School community on the blog? Feel free to email her at! If you are looking for preschools in New York City or Jersey City – River School has openings! Give us a call to schedule a tour today.

Donuts with Dads

In May, we celebrated Mother’s day with a Muffins with Moms event that was a huge success. June is Dad’s month, and we will be having a similar event – Donuts with Dads!

celebrate donuts with dads at river school

June 19th we have invited our River School parents to join us for a donut breakfast to celebrate all that our Dads do for us. Each of school will have their own event, where the children will share little tokens of love with Dad, and there will of course be refreshments for everyone to enjoy. We hope to see everyone then!

Share what you plan on doing to celebrate Father’s Day in the comments below.

We offer rolling admissions and still have openings for the summer and September – if you are looking for NYC or Jersey City preschools give us a call, or request information today!

Mariachi Citlalli Performs for River School

Mariachi Citlalli performed at River SchoolThis month we finished up our exploration of Latin Music with a visit from Mariachi Citlalli. They came to all of our locations and performed for River School children and parents alike. They were incredible! Our stage was a little smaller than what they are used to, as they have performed at Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Theater for Performing Arts, Sullivan Theater, Shea Stadium and the United Nations.

We are so thankful that Mariachi Citlalli was able to come out and help us celebrate the month and a half we have spent learning about Latin Music.

We still have openings when school starts up in September so if you are looking for a nursery school in NYC or Jersey City give us a call today!