My family informs me that I'm making icecream a few times a year for events (birthdays, etc). I own a couple of the little Cuisinart machines for this reason. You just pre-freeze the canisters ahead of time, and they're extremely easy to use.
The basic recipe I use is:
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
Start by combining the milk, salt, and sugar over low heat. Once it's up around 100F degrees, pour a bit into your yolks and stir them around (break them up, bring them up in temp), then pour all of that into your pan. I use a little clip-on thermometer for the next part: slowly bring the temperature up to around 175F degrees. Stir frequently, using a spatula so you don't let any collect on the bottom of the pan.
Once the mixture is at 175F, strain it through a fine sieve. Add the vanilla and cream, and toss it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day freeze according to the instructions (usually takes mine around 20-25 minutes).
For flavors other than vanilla, add chunky stuff AFTER you freeze it, and add things like extracts, liqueurs, and spices before refrigerating.
For instance, one of the preferred alterations (in my family) is irish cookies and cream. Sub 1.5 tbsp baileys for the vanilla before freezing. After it's done, break up a bunch of oreos and mix them in.