Memories of times passed

The children were all up today earlier than I was. It must be the anticipation and excitement as tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I remember when I was little my stomach almost hurt on Christmas Eve because of the excitement and my appetite was not at it’s best. Christmas is a time of memories of times spent together as a family and of making new memories for our little ones. On Thanksgiving I called my Grampa Jim and Gramma Darlene. I know that they have gathered pictures and studied the family history on both sides. Grampa has been sending me some photos along with some of their stories. In 2015, I would like to share some of these photos and stories with you along with recipes that have been an inspiration.

Grandma AggieI remember Great Grandma Aggie as a smiling white-haired lady with a quick wit. I remember sampling white chocolate truffles in her little apartment as a little girl around Christmas time, and if I remember correctly she preferred white chocolate. From the left is my great uncle Reino, great aunt Ellen, my grandfather Jim and my great aunt Margaret. This is what reading a storybook looks like in our house as well. Everyone likes to listen to the storybooks, even the babies. Some things never change.

gingerbread icecream moldI have been in a time pinch lately even though I have made the effort to take everything extra off the calendar. Not everything can be taken off the calendar as there are always doctor and dentist appointments and events at the schools that are important for both children and parents. The children had their last day of school this past Saturday. Two of them had Christmas church with their whole school and one had a Christmas program at school. We divided the parents and kids as we had to be in two different destinations at 8.30 am. But now we have slipped into our vacation schedule with no effort. We stay up a little later doing things together. Yesterday the kids decorated the tree. It might not look like something from an interior design magazine as the kids had been making ornaments at home and school during the past few weeks, but it has been decorated with love.

filling the moldOur dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner had been lacking inspiration. Due to the time pinch, it had to simple yet delicious and preferably something that could be done before hand to make things more relaxed on Christmas Eve. I happened upon this recipe on a Finnish blog called Heavenly bakings. It was the perfect recipe for my situation. as it couldn’t be easier and the result was both spectacular and not overly sweet. The traditional Finnish Christmas dinner with the carrot, rutabega, beetroot and potato casserole is quite heavy and so having a little slice of homemade gingerbread icecream seemed inviting.

gingerbread icecreamGingerbread Ice cream


4 dl/1.7 c heavy whipping cream
1 can (397 g/304 mk) sweetened condensed milk
8 small gingerbread to be placed on the bottom of the bundt pan
16 cookies roughly chopped/crushed, divided into two (8 cookies make about a generous 1 dl / 1/2 c of cookie crumbs)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
7 smaller cookies for garnish on the sides

Using cling film, line the small bundt pan and place the small gingerbread cookies on the bottom of the pan. Whip the cream until thick and fold in the sweetened condensed milk along with the cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Mix in half of the cookies crumbs setting the other half aside.

Spoon the cream mixture into the bundt pan until about 1/3 full. Next add one half of the cookie crumbs that had been set aside. Spoon in more of the cream mixture and then sprinkle the rest of the cookies crumbs. Add the rest of the cream mixture and stick the last cookies along the side in a vertical position.

Place in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Before serving flip over onto a serving plate and remove cling film. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

gingerbread icecream and caramel sauceWishing you a blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas!

holiday card 3gingerbread icecream and caramel sauce 2


  1. A very Merry Christmas to you and your entire family, That top photo is wonderful, so often that simple pleasure is missing now because of technology. I know how you feel, I have been incredibly busy not just with the holidays but with work and I want to take the time to enjoy Christmas. Your lovely ice cream cake is a fantastic dessert, the gingerbread spicing is perfect. Have a joyous holiday!

  2. Love the recipe and the looking back into family time. Enjoy your happy family time and holiday. I love this time of the year as it is a time to strengthen the family ties and enjoy the sunshine that grandchildren bring us.
    Blessings from Australia

    1. Thank you Alexa. I think we will indeed enjoy the calm after the hustle and bustle that comes right before the holidays. Family time is so special and I have many special memories from times passed. May your Christmas with your family be a special one. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Your cake looks glorious! I have been experimenting with ice cream, too, but it won’t be as pretty as yours 🙂
    Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Ginger x

  4. I like that you don’t need an ice cream machine to prepare your dessert. Love the photos of your beautiful family and am looking forward to 2015 when you will be sharing some of your stories. Merry Christmas to your whole family…I’m sure it will be special.

    1. Thank you Karen, that is exactly what I liked about this recipe. With so many pots and bakings going on, I felt that a recipe that needed constant stirring was not what I was looking for. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Your home is beautiful with all of it’s New England charm.

      1. Tag it “homemade ice cream without a maker” That tag should get you quite a few hits.

        Lovely recipe, and nice and easy. I’m going to share it on Facebook.

  5. My, but your “cake” looks delicious! How could it not be with so much gingerbread? It’s a fitting cake for the holidays.
    I hope that you and your lovely family enjoy a wonderful time this Christmas.

  6. Hear you re the time pinch and I think you’re doing a glorious job of making it work. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a year filled with joy, happiness and beautiful memory-bank moments. xoxo -azita

  7. Laila, you never fail to amaze me! “In a time pinch” around Christmas with the schedules of six children to juggle is a massive understatement, I’m sure! Your gingerbread icecream cake is inspired and delicious and that photo of your family is treasure. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and look forward to sharing in your adventures in 2015! All the very best for the new year! xxx

  8. A little late to be wishing you a Merry Christmas, but wanted to say I love the way you put together your greeting card photos, and the ginger ice cream sounds delicious! I might have to make it for my birthday as I’m the ginger freak in my family.

    I’m sure you had a wonderful Christmas eve, and wish you all the best for the new year. I’m looking forward to more photos from your grandpa, and reading about his stories.

    1. Thank you for the Christmas greeting, we have been relaxing, eating well, playing games, skating and visiting with friends. The gingerbread ice cream is really easy and any flavor could be switched in. Last night I used some peppermint extract and a few left over crushed candy canes for a gluten-free version. But I did notice that it is key to whip the cream so that it is hard enough before adding in the condensed milk. It will help the ice cream to keep it’s shape.

      All the best for the New Year!

  9. Hope you and the family had a very Merry Christmas! I love that your grandparents are sending you not only old photographs, but accompaining stories. Love this gingerbread ice cream – simple, but you’ve managed to make it look elegant! Hope you are enjoying the calm after the initial storm of the pre-holiday rush.

    1. Thank you so much, we had a lovely Christmas! I think it will be very interesting to get some of the stories down in writing so that they are not forgotten. And yes, I am certainly enjoying the calm after the rush!

  10. Beautiful post Laila, and lovely photos of your kids! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas, and you’re now looking at an empty calendar. Ours is finally looking less full – such a crazy time of year leading up to Christmas!
    As usual, your food sounds amazing. The carrot, rutabega, beetroot, spud casserole sounds hearty and interesting (I confess I had to google rutabaga though – it’s swede here); and your gingerbread ice cream is a thing of beauty with the drizzle of sauce! YUM. Looking forward to your photos and stories through 2015. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so much Saskia! Yes, Christmas was lovely as usual and after all of the rush it is nice to just settle down and be with loved ones with no particular agenda for a few days. Looking forward to reading your posts in 2015 as well. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    1. The idea for the Christmas card was the request of my older son as we had done a similar one when he had been little and so I promised to try recreate but not copy the card from a from a few years back. I became a family project and I think the kids enjoyed it 🙂 Happy New Year!

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