Often when I'm entertaining the last thing I want to worry about is dessert. I kind of turn into a nightmare in the kitchen while I'm finishing off the final touches, so it's nice to have simple stand-bys to fall back on. Usually there is so much food that dessert is almost an afterthought anyway.
I usually have vanilla ice milk in my freezer (my favourite is Island Farms), and it's easy to make this a casual treat or a slightly fancier dessert. To class things up a bit, just put a scoop of ice cream in a pretty glass and pour over hot unsweetened espresso. The ice cream sweetens it as it melts, and it's a delicious substitute for after-dinner coffee. For lunch-time treats, serving the ice cream with fresh berries or fruit is always delicious. I've made this look a little cuter by lining a small tupperware container with cling film and using that to form the ice cream into little cakes. I like this best with fresh peaches, but this time I used what I had - ripe mangoes and blackberries.