bourbon ice cream.

Christmas break should be over, but turns out, it’s not! We are holed up at home, with -20 temperatures outside and snow mounds up to our waists. It’s quite the scene! But I don’t think anyone is complaining about 3 extra days of Christmas break (1 ice day on the front end and now 2 snow/cold days on the back end).

The week of Christmas was beautiful. It was full of rest, Christmas cheer, and beautiful winter trees. My parents drove up from Chicago to spend the week with my sister and I. We spent two days at our house and two days at sister’s, playing a lot of Mexican train, going on winter walks, and watching Christmas movies. I also got to host Christmas dinner, with the help of my mom and sister, of course. But, any excuse to use my wedding china is good for me!

Seriously, look at those trees!

The following week we made the drive out to Iowa to be with Bryan’s family. We were home in October, but only for a quick weekend, so this was the first real trip home since last February. It was just what we needed. A total break from life (for Bryan, that is … my life of Christmas break wasn’t too tough :)) and a lot of time with our family. We spent most of our time in small-town Sully … which I love! It is a short 6-block drive to Grandma’s, a few miles to the next town where there is a cute antique store, and we run into all sorts of family at the local watering hole – the gas station. I don’t know if I could ever live in a town of 800 people, but I certainly love to spend my vacation time there. We experienced downtown Des Moines for a night with our siblings, which was lovely. It reminds me a lot of Grand Rapids – great breweries and food joints, a lot to do, but not overwhelmingly busy.

Break has been so restful and relaxing. I am having a hard time reminding myself that this is not real life (yes, teachers are the worst). But I am truly looking forward to getting back to school. I miss the students and my co-workers. We are a real family and have so much fun together. The students we work with never cease to put a smile on my face, and my co-workers are the craziest, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

Bourbon Ice Cream
This treat was part of our Christmas dessert (with some pumpkin-chiffon pie, made special for my Dada). It has been a go-to since this summer. We visited friends in Sacramento and our lovely hostess made this one night. I don’t remember where she got it from, but I nabbed this easy recipe and have made it countless times since. Seriously, it’s the best.

Pour 2 cups of whipping cream in your mixer. Set your mixer on high and let it run for about 5 minutes.

While your mixer is running, combine a can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 T of vanilla and 2 T of bourbon.

After about 5 minutes (maybe a tad longer), your cream should be fully whipped. It should form soft peaks – that is, when you lift the whisk out, little peaks should form, but it is OK if they fall over.

Combine your whipped cream with your milk mixture. Pour into a bread pan. Put the bread pan in the freezer, and you’re good to go! I always do this the day before so that it sits overnight, but I would think 8 hours would be long enough for the cream to harden.


2 cups whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 T vanilla
2 T bourbon (optional)

Whip the whipping cream in a mixer until soft peaks form.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Combine the whipped cream with other ingredients.
Pour into a bread pan and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

*Since this is such a simple recipe, it is great for with any other dessert! But I also think you could get really creative with your flavors here. Experiment a little!
*I found that once I’ve dug in to this ice cream, it is only good for a few days longer. It gets a freezer burn that is more like really sticky/frozen sweetened condensed milk. It’s not awful … but it’s not good. I guess I didn’t wrap it up after re-freezing, though. That might help. Try wrapping and get back to me! 🙂


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