Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberries #recipesfromtheheart

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberry Topping and Pistachios by Cravings of a Lunatic

“Today’s event is being hosted by myself, and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. We teamed up with our blogger friends to help raise awareness and support for Cancer and Hospice today in memory of my dad. We encourage everyone to read the posts and share your own experiences with cancer. We also would like to encourage everyone to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society and also to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. Hospice was a key element during my dad’s battle with cancer. They made it possible for me to care for him at home. So please show your support and donate if you can. You can also contact your local Hospice and donate directly to them if you wish. A little goes a long way! “

I am so overwhelmed by my blogging friends today. I put out word I wanted to do a group event to help raise awareness for those battling cancer, and also wanted to encourage folks to donate to hospice. My friends showed up and offered their support. Thank you to everyone who posted for this event. I asked a lot of them, posting on  Fathers Day even though it was not a Fathers Day event. I am so stunned at the kindness and generosity of these people involved.

We’re holding this on Fathers Day in memory of my Dad who passed away from lung cancer in 2007. I asked everyone else to write about someone in their life who has meant the world to them and about their experiences with cancer. It affects so many of us. If you happen to be untouched by it you are one of the extremely rare, and lucky ones. Most of us know someone in our lives battling this terrible disease. It touches us all in some way, at some time. So I wanted to have everyone share their stories with their readers and encourage those readers to share their own stories. My thought is it helps ease the pain a bit, and also helps people know they are never alone. We all fight this battle in some way and we need to support each other through it.

Before I share my story I’d like to thank Jen of Juanita’s Cocina for being my wing woman today. Jen graciously helps me plan these events and without her I’d be lost. She is such a supportive and kind friend, I’m lucky to have her in my life.

I would also like to thank KitchenAid Canada for graciously offering up a KitchenAid Stand Mixer & Ice Cream Attachment for today’s event. You can find details about the giveaway at the bottom of this post. Thank you to Cortney and Laura for all your hard work. You ladies are amazing.

Now for the hard part. Opening up. It’s never easy is it? Yet it’s often so cathartic to do. At least for me. Here goes.

Dad and Me on my Wedding Day

Dad and Me on my Wedding Day!

I had a very complicated relationship with my Dad. He was not an easy man to get along with. He tended to play favourites and let’s just say I did not quite make his list. Dad was a hard man, he never showed affection or emotion. Yet he was there for you when the chips were down. Without question, without fail. So when he called me one day to ask me for my help I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Not that Dad would have let me, I think his exact words were “I need your help and no is not an option here”. I picked him up for an appointment, he refused to let me stay or tell me much about what was going on. He made light of it and had me come back for him later. I was not happy about this arrangement but arguing with my Dad was pointless. Not much time passed before I got another call. This time I would not take no for an answer and went in with him. Imagine my surprise when words like “draining your lungs again” and “possible cancer” were being tossed about. I took my Dad out for a bite to eat and let him know this keeping secrets stuff was unacceptable. That I wanted to help and would do whatever he needed, whenever he needed it. Little did I know that would become my life for the next 9 months.

I took care of my Dad through his illness. He wanted to be at home and other than a 2 week stint in the hospital after the chemo almost killed him, I managed to keep him home until the end. During the last 3 months we enlisted the help of one of his sisters and without her I would have never seen my own family during this time. Dad needed so much care, and after 6 months I was burnt out and in need of some help. My Aunt Cathie came to the rescue and stayed with him so I could do all the things that go along with cancer. Picking up medication, literature, food, spending lots of time on the phone arranging nurses to come in once a day to check on him, making arrangements for people to come in with air tanks, people with bars for the bathroom and stairs, people who could help bathe him so we didn’t have to. We enlisted hospice to help and without them I would have been lost. They helped teach me what to expect as the days passed and time became short. Since I was his primary caregiver and dealt with all the meds I needed to learn how to give shots, how to properly dose morphine, all kinds of things I never in my life imagined I’d be doing. Yet it was my Dad so I just did it without question. It’s what you do when someone you love is sick.

I won’t lie to you, this journey with my Dad was hard on him, me and my family. He was harsh, and he took his anger out on the people around him. For some reason he seemed to pick on Mini-me when she came with me to the house. She is as stoic as my father and myself, but this man could reduce her to tears in moments. We all just tolerated it because he was sick, and who yells at someone who is terminally ill. He continued to lash out at us all and only in the final weeks did he finally admit it was because he was scared. We had a big blow up a couple of weeks before he passed away. I still am shocked I yelled at him that day but I had reached my limit. He really laid into my aunt this particular day and I just reached my boiling point. I told him it was unacceptable to treat her that way. He raged, and told me off. I shot back that he was lucky we were all there given how he was treating us. My aunt had dropped everything to come help, no questions asked. This was the wrong thing to say. It escalated into a war of words until I decided enough was enough and left for the day. He complained to my aunt and I was sure he hated me for telling him how I felt about what he was doing. The next day I went to the house as I always did, thinking he would not speak to me ever again. To my surprise he apologized to me. I think this was the only time in my life my Dad had ever apologized and admitted he was wrong. He told me he was scared to die. That he was in so much pain, and he didn’t know how to cope. He told me how he felt for the first time in his life, we both cried and talked for what seemed like forever. Openly, kindly and uninhibited. He was so scared of what was coming but was trying to be strong for all of us. He did not realize he was hurting those who wanted to help. From that moment forth my Dad was kind to everyone who came to the house. In his final weeks he became forthcoming and talked about his feelings. It was a rare thing only a few of us were lucky enough to experience. Dad being vulnerable, something he had always perceived as weakness. It was like his final gift to us.

I feel so blessed to have gotten to know my Dad so well through this process. We spent 9 months together, day in and day out. You get to know someone pretty well through something like that. He told me stories about his childhood, his early years with my Mom, told memories of us kids and then memories of the grand-kids. I had the distinct pleasure of listening to him and getting to know him like I never had before. I can look back now and know that “caregiver syndrome” was the reason he was so mean to me all the time. It’s hard on a person like my Dad to rely on someone else for everything in their life. He was so fiercely independent and then his life flipped upside down, and he had to rely on his daughter to do things for him he never imagined I would have to do. So he became bitter and resentful. Most people would. It took some counselling at the Cancer Clinic for me to really understand what was happening and why.

The best thing I took away from my counselling sessions was her telling me “it’s his journey, you’re just a passenger. He’s the driver and he has to choose his own path. You’re just along for the ride. You either accept his path or you get out of the car.” This advice was life-changing for me. It made me step back and always see things from his perspective. Which made caring for him so much easier most days.

Dad, Aunt Monica, and me!

Dad, Aunt Monica, and me at Point Pelee!

When I think back and remember my Dad lots of things come to mind. His weird sense of humour, how he always smelled of pipe tobacco, his flannel shirts (one of which I still own) and his love of food. Since I was the only lady in the house for most special occasions it seemed to fall to me to make most dinners. Dad loved my lasagna, apple pie, and black forest cake. He would ask me to make roast chicken, and my stuffing was something he practically begged for. There are so many recipes that remind me of my Dad. But ice cream, well, ice cream was his favourite.

Ice cream was something my Dad loved beyond belief. Not just a little bit. But a whole big bunch. He ate very healthy day to day, most of his meals being balanced and veggie heavy. He took really good care of himself, even as a bachelor in his later years. His one weakness was ice cream. He loved it. He could not resist it. We used to tease him about his ice cream belly. He was tall and thin, barring a little bump we dubbed his “ice cream belly”. Dad would eat ice cream as much as possible. Yet he liked it simple. My Dad was not into fancy flavours or ice cream that was overloaded with extras. He liked it pure and simple. One of his favourite options was high quality vanilla ice cream that he would top with strawberry jam. He just loved it that way. Simple and classic.


Dad with his “ice cream belly”, and fish, he loved to fish!

So today I made you a creamy, simple vanilla bean ice cream with only 3 ingredients. I know right. Sounds too good to be true. But it’s not. I am not someone who makes much home-made jam so I turned to a tried and true way to serve up strawberries in our family. Again, it’s simple and classic. Only 3 ingredients, and quite honestly you could get away with 2 ingredients if you wanted to for this one. It’s just a simple macerated berry recipe. It makes me super happy to share this recipe with you in honour of my Dad. He would have wanted a spoon for each hand for this one!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberry Topping and Pistachios by Cravings of a Lunatic

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Home-made Strawberry Topping & KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway #recipesfromtheheart
Prep time
Total time
A simple 3 ingredient (no egg) ice cream recipe topped with a 3 ingredient strawberry topping that's super easy to make. Both recipes are seriously easy to make yet wickedly delicious to eat! Classic, simple and perfect!
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
For the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar (regular sugar is okay too)
For the Macerated Strawberries:
  • 1 to 1½ cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, regular sugar is fine
For the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
  1. Pour the heavy cream into a medium sized saucepan. Place over medium low heat.
  2. Take your vanilla beans and slice them down the middle all the way down the length. Spread it apart as best you can and scrape the inside with a knife. Take all that yummy goodness and put it in the saucepan of heavy cream. Repeat with second bean, and toss both the beans in the saucepan too.
  3. Now let the cream heat up until it starts to bubble all around the outside edge of the saucepan. Do not let it reach full boil. You just want that slight bubbling.
  4. Take it off the heat and drop in the sugar. Stir until it dissolves.
  5. Now allow it to cool down.
  6. Place in the fridge overnight, (you can do it for a shorter time but the vanilla taste will be more subtle) covered.
  7. Remove from the fridge and pull out the large pieces of beans.
  8. Pop in your ice cream maker and allow to spin for 10 to 15 minutes. This is a steeped cream base so it will not double up like some ice cream bases. It yields less but is far more creamy.
  9. Pop the ice cream attachment in the freezer overnight, you could do it for less time but it will not be as firm.
  10. Remove from freezer when ready to serve.
  11. Since this is a creamy base it tends to melt quicker so keep that in mind when scooping.
  12. Serve solo or with berries.
For the Strawberry Topping:
  1. Hull and slice up your strawberries into a medium sized bowl, or container.
  2. Cut an orange in half. Juice it over top of the strawberries. Discard the orange.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge for about 2 to 4 hours. The longer they sit the softer they become.
  4. Remove and sprinkle some sugar over top.
Putting it all together:
  1. Scoop out some ice cream, working quickly.
  2. Scoop some strawberries over top.
  3. You can top with anything else you like, I threw pistachios over top of mine, but you could use walnuts or almonds or chocolate pieces.
  4. Serve with a big old simple and classic smile! For Dad!

Since the recipe plugin does not have inactive cook time listed, I'd like to remind you to plan this recipe a day or two ahead. You can get away with only popping it in the fridge and the freezer for a couple of hours, but the taste is far superior if you allow it to age overnight. So make sure you read the full instructions before making this. The quickest time frame for it would be about 4 to 5 hours to complete it.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberry Topping and Pistachios by Cravings of a Lunatic

Make sure you stop by all my friends websites as they share stories, recipes and a cute knitting project with you! We have the pleasure of having a dear friend of mine named Amy with us for this event. She is the only non-food blogger participating today but she has such a personal story to tell about her dad’s recent battle with cancer. So please welcome her along with all my foodie friends. Stop by and say hello to all these very special people:

Chili Verde by Juanita’s Cocina

S’Mores Brownies in Jars by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Dark Chocolate and Orange Muffins by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter

Boston Cream Pie by Pass The Sushi

My Fathers Day Recipe Round Up by Curry and Comfort

Tropical Smoothie by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Mini Gugelhupf by Masala Herb

Sauteed Strawberry and Sugarsnap Salad by Cook The Story

Cranberry Cashew Breakfast Muffins by In Fine Balance

Arugula Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Mushrooms by Crazy Foodie Stunts

Spicy Beef Sliders by Katie’s Cucina

Thai Red Curry Soup by Damn Delicious

Suman (Sweet Rice and Banana Leaves) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Fresh Vegetable Salad by White Lights on Wednesday

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Sundae by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Cinnamon Chip Cookie Butter Bars by The Messy Baker

Berry/Cherry Fro-Yo Ice Cream by Cookistry

Honey Beer Bread by Hungry Couple

Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes by The Spiffy Cookie

Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars by Sweet Remedy

Cookies and Cream Brownies by Cooking in Stilettos

Blueberry Lemon Cake by Roxana’s Home Baking

Angel Cake by Ninja Baking


Knit (or crocheted) Grey Brain Cancer Mustache Pin by Knit, Purl, Damn!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberry Topping and Pistachios by Cravings of a Lunatic

Thank you to all the participants for their hard work and patience.

For all my readers, thanks for your patience over this very lengthy post. And for you constant support whether I share recipes or really personal stories with you. You always show me kindness and generosity, thank you for that. It means the world to me.

Cancer and Hospice Awareness Campaign

Now on with the giveaway!

Enter for your chance to Win an Artisan® Series KitchenAid®  Stand Mixer in the color of your choice (there are 26 to choose from) as well as an Ice Cream Maker Attachment. A sweet choice for all,  this creative attachment features the largest ice cream bowl capacity in the industry. Prepare 2 quarts of ice cream, sorbet, gelato or other frozen desserts. We’re pleased to announce the giveaway is open to Canadian residents, as well as U.S. Residents. Winner will be chosen and announced during the pinchatlive event, described below. Winner will also be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond another winner will be chosen. 1 Stand Mixer and 1 Ice Cream Attachment are being given away as a group, not 1 per blog just to be clear for our readers. 
There are bonus prizes for the pinchatlive event. We are giving away 1 Vanilla Infused Gift Box Set, 1 Lemon Infused Gift Box Set and a $30 Amazon Gift Card. In order to participate in this event you need to follow the Pinterest Board #recipesfromtheheart. Hop on the Pinterest board on June 22 at 2 pm Est to follow along. We’ll ask questions and those who comment are entered to win the bonus prizes. There will be a G+ Hangout on Air during the event as well. Winners of the pinchatlive event must be Canadian or U.S. residents.

Visit and click on the “More than a Mixer” tab to explore all 12 attachments available for the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Strawberry Topping and Pistachios by Cravings of a Lunatic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We are proud to have KitchenAid on board to give away the grand prize for this event. No blogger involved received anything from KitchenAid or any compensation of any kind. It was our goal not to profit in any way since the focus is on raising money for charity. The bonus prizes are being supplied by me personally. It’s my way to give back to my readers for their support and generosity. Thanks.

Toodles and smoochies! xx

Get More Updates!

Sign up to get exclusive updates & tips!


    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Joanne. It was a rough go, me and dad did not always get on well. But I’m so glad I got that time with him. I finally got to know him and we were able to just forgive and let go. Amazing.

      I am so proud of everyone. Writing about this kind of thing is not easy. Thanks for visiting lady. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe thanks Ramona. I am so thrilled you joined us. It’s been a pleasure working with you and the gang.

  1. says

    Pride can be painful… Good he overcame his at the end, I can imagine it must have been a very hard time for you all. That you got help from a hospice was for sure not something common, help in such time is very valuable! Thank you for sharing your story more today Kim. What you went through might help others too in the same situation.

    Thank you too for hosting this event, it’s an honor to be part of such a cause!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so Helene. I hope the story makes other people feel not so alone. It’s a rough go whether you have it or love someone who has it. There’s so much emotion involved.

      Thank you for joining us. It’s such a pleasure to have you with us.

  2. Nikki says

    What a touching story, thanks for sharing. The ice cream recipe looks tasty. I recently made ice cream from fresh berries from my garden, this will be be a great follow up to that.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Nikki. I am so happy you stopped by. I love ice cream using fresh berries. I grew up with a strawberry patch in our yard. I’d love to put one in my own yard now. Such a lovely thing to wander outside and pick berries from your own yard.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I love the idea of chocolate cake, that’s classic.

      It must be a dad thing to love ice cream. I have so many memories of my dad eating a big bowl of ice cream.

  3. Liz says

    Nice pics of your father and you. So nice to have those with you.

    I would make cakes and breads and of course cookies. Thanks Kim.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much Liz. I love sharing my life with everyone.

      All good choices, I think I want to live with you, lol. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much for joining us Camilla. I am so pleased you hopped on board. It was a pleasure to have you. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Mellissa. This was hard to write but luckily the food part of it was just good plain old fun. There’s just some days I really enjoy pulling out my camera now. I still have so much to learn but it doesn’t terrify and frustrate me any more.

      Love ya right back sistah from another mistah. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I hear you. I’m in need of one too. I think you making ice cream is the perfect fit. I’ve seen your ice cream and it’s killer good. Good luck lady.

      ps I owe you an email about ERW and a thank you. Hopefully life calms down this week so I can get caught up. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Chung-Ah. I am so thrilled you joined us for this event. It was such a pleasure to have you. These things are always hard to write but so worthwhile.

  4. says

    What a touching story, Kim, of how cancer brought you and your father closer…a time you will never regret, despite the emotional upheaval. I’m sure he’s looking down at you, so proud of what you’re doing to help other cancer patients. Thanks for inviting me to be part of this wonderful group of bloggers. Your ice cream is the perfect treat to honor the memory of your father.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe, you are you so kind Liz. I knew there was a reason I wanted you to adopt me. You always know how to touch my heart. I am so pleased you joined us for this event. I know this cause is deeply personal for you too so it means so much to me for you to share with us. Love ya lady. xx

  5. says

    Kim, I so glad I was able to take part in this wonderful event. Its so important that everyone raises awareness. Beautiful recipe and tribute to your dad!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much for joining us Katie. I am so happy to have you on board. Any time I can do something to help raise awareness and support for this disease is a good day. Plus it’s such an amazing feeling to have people share stories. Makes us all feel less alone. xx

  6. says

    I can tell this is going to take more time to read than I have right now – so I will be back in a bit – as I want to read it…. and you say you have nothing to contribute to The Canadian Food Experience Project? After writing this tribute, I think you can give your head a shake. I will be back shortly.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      It’s a little wordy for a blog post I think. Lol. But I had trouble editing apparently.

      You are too kind. I need to find time to hop over and explore TCFEP. It sounds like a great group and amazing people. Do not let me forget. My life is madness for another day or so.

  7. Dina says

    There’s nothing like the love a little girl has for her Daddy <3 I know the feeling of losing my Dad to cancer…his was Leukemia. Stolen much too soon for me :( Sadly, he only found out 36 hours before he passed but I think it was a blessing in disguise as even at 83 he never sat too long, always out doing something in the garden, around the house or out on his 5k walk in the mornings. He was a lover of ice cream for sure with vanilla being his favourite so that will be the first kind I will make when I win this great prize :)

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Dina I am so sorry about your dad, but so thankful you shared your story with us today. That means a lot to me. I know it’s not easy to talk about so thank you for opening up.

      I think vanilla bean is just so classic. I love it so much. Your dad had great taste.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much for joining us Trish. It’s a pleasure to have you. It means so much to me that you took the time today to do this with us.

  8. says

    Gosh, two totally sweet posts on the same day! You rock! Really excellent tribute to your dad. My mom struggled with cancer the last few years of her life, so I have more than a glimmer of what you had to endure. Good stuff – thanks.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I’m worn out John, just worn out, too much of this emotional stuff for this stoic gal. It’s exhausting.

      I am so sorry about your mom. It’s a rough thing to go through. Much sympathy and love to you for losing her. Losing a parent at any age is tough to go through.

  9. Sandie says

    I would make some amazing Monster cookies to share at work. Peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, nuts, and anything else you want to throw in there. Yummy. Thanks for sharing about your Dad.

  10. says

    Hi Kim,
    first off, I am kicking myself for not getting my act together and joining in on this because of this truly WONDERFUL cause. Kim, thank you so much for sharing such a touching, heart breaking story about your father. I read every single word. It was just beautiful. Thank you for opening up. I’m sure this post was very hard to write and share. So, again from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing. and I hope you all are able to raise awareness and support for Cancer and Hospice. What a wonderful way to bring people together. Love, Alice

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Hey Alice:

      Awe you are so sweet. I wish you had joined us but there’s always next time. We’d love to have you join us in the future.

      I was so worried it was way too long but I didn’t know how to tell it short and sweet. So happy you made it through. These are always hard to write but for me it’s so worthwhile, I love that it brings people out to tell their own stories. It’s such a relief to know we’re not alone.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and read, and to leave such a kind comment. Comments like this make pouring my heart out worthwhile.


  11. says

    Kim, thank you so much for sharing your story and creating this event for others to share their stories. You’re so incredible and I am so lucky to know you.

    Also, you make some awesome ice cream lady. Vanilla bean ice cream is pure, classic, unadulterated bliss.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe thanks so much Kayle. I am so thrilled people are responding and sharing their stories. It makes my heart happy that people are willing to share their stories. I am also thankful to know you and count you as a friend.

      Thanks, I love making ice cream. Maybe way too much.

  12. Janetta Dobler says

    Wishing you many blessings on this Father’s Day! If I win, I would make mint chocolate chip or cherry vanilla ice cream!

  13. says

    I would break in that ice cream attachment right away and make a batch if chocolate peanut butter ice cream!

    So glad to read your story about you and your dad. I, too, had a difficult relationship with my dad. I still find it hard to think about happy times with him, because of all the bad stuff that happened, even on a day like today when everyone is celebrating fathers.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Now that sounds perfect. I love chocolate and peanut butter. It’s sheer perfection.

      I am the same way Suzanne. There was so much negative it made it hard to focus on the positive. If you ever need to talk email me. I had such a hard time coming to grips with my past. My relationship with my dad has been the biggest hurdle for me and I’m still learning lessons from it all today. Life is messy man. Not all of us have picture perfect upbringings. It’s good to know we’re not alone. xx

  14. Tricia says

    You must never regret a moment of the time spent with your Dad….even the words. You stepped up to a harsh time in your Dad’s life. Bless you.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I never do. It was worth all the heck we went through to come out the other side and just forgive and move on. Not easy but necessary in life I think. Thanks so much Tricia.

  15. says

    A very touching tribute to your father, Kim… It was actually difficult for me to read – but at the same time, I couldn’t not keep reading. Thank you so much sharing and what a wonderful recipe in his memory… Happy Father’s Day to your dad and all others…

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much, I know it can be a bit overwhelming to read. I wrote about his last moments last year and I know it rocked some people pretty hard. Thanks for visiting and commenting. xx

  16. says

    This story was heartbreakingly beautiful my friend. Your father sounds like an incredible man, this tribute it definitely a testimont to that. :)
    Thank you for sharing.


  17. says

    You’re going to make me cry. I am really close with my dad, especially with my mom being sick most of my life and he has to be Mr. Mom most of the time (long story). All I could think was what if that happens to my dad? Because he is still and healthy, but we all know life happens.

    Anyway, sorry I couldn’t participate on such an important day. I had to get my things in order, you know? My dad loves ice cream (and cake and cookies and steak and ribs and cheesecake and….) and he would be happy to know you put it in a jar so that means I can deliver ice cream to him. Crap, see what you started? An ice cream delivery service.


    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe Carla, I did not want to make you cry or scare the crap out of you. But it is true that life is short. You have to just be in the moment whenever you can. But on the flip side never live in fear of chasing your own dreams lady. It’s a balance like all things in life I think.

      I wish you could have joined us but I’m just happy you visited. We’ll do more things like this in the future and you are always welcome to join us.

      Ha, I love the idea of ice cream in mason jars. I’m such a jar freak. xx

  18. says

    Crap I didn’t answer the giveaway question. Since I already have a stand mixer, I’d probably give it to my parents. Mainly because every time I try baking there, I get frustrated with their stupid hand mixer. Seriously, it has one speed – high, high, and super high. Try making frosting and have powdered sugar fly everywhere 😀

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      You are too hilarious. I also think you’re super sweet that you’d give it away. That’s super generous and I’m sure your folks would love it. Plus you get the added bonus of being able to use while visiting. My dad did not have a hand mixer for a few years and wanted me to make everything with one of those old stick immersion blenders. But before they worked and were awesome. It was awful, lol.

  19. says

    Thank you for your honesty, Kim B. Life isn’t as simple and pretty as your vanilla bean ice cream with sauce. (Of course, I clipped the recipe!) And food can serve as beautiful expressions of love. But there is nothing like a parent with whom you’ve had difficulty confessing their fear, telling you they are sorry…And all the interactions in between, such as the Mother Lion in your golden heart laying down boundaries when it comes to Mini Me and your aunt. Bravo, Kim! Your story is inspirational. I applaud you for telling the truth and thank you for holding this very important event.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much Kim. You are so kind and I just love the way you put all that. It really made me think back and ponder my protective nature. It was always one thing for him to treat me badly, but when he did it to others it drove me mad with frustration.

      Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been a pleasure and honour to have you with us. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Laura. I feel like I’m the one who got the gift. Going through these things with people just changes your whole life and perspective. So weird how that happens. Thanks so much for visiting.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      My heart goes out to you today Maureen. Much love to you. xx

      You can join us next year. I’ll be holding it on May 7th next year. I prefer to keep Fathers Day much less depressing, I feel like I bummed people out on a holiday. So I’ll return to doing this on the day dad died as I do with my mom’s stuff too. Just much more sensible I think.

      I’ll be doing them every year. And I might be working on another one with a dear friend who is in the midst of a family members battle with it. So if that happens I’ll email you. We’re just talking about things now to see if can both commit.

  20. says

    Oh Kim…you’re story brought me to tears. My dad passed away this February from esophageal cancer. He had the cancer for 2 1/2 years..most people with this cancer only survive a year. Initially he had aggressive radiation and a little bit of chemo. He had a horrible reaction to the chemo so they didn’t complete the course. He then had internal radiation. He was given so much radiation that it was no longer an option for him. He refused chemo. Surgery was not an option b/c he had so many other pre-existing conditions. So as his cancer progressed he had a lot of difficulty swallowing. He barely ate or 3 years old ate more than him. He was skin and bones by the end. We never had to turn to hospice. My mother cared for him at home and till that last day before he left home for the hospital never to come back he fed himself, went to the washroom and showered on his own no matter how difficult and slow he was. He definitely took his frustrations out on my mother but we never said anything b/c he was suffering. He told me a few weeks before he was hospitalized that he feels like he is in a prison…his mind was fine but he couldn’t physically do what he wanted to do. In the end he got severe pneumonia and the cancer was closing his esophagus. My father was the type of person that would get dressed first thing in the morning…I’ve never seen him lounging in his pjs all my life until December. We would go over and he would be in his pjs…then we knew something was seriously wrong. He was done with living. It’s been four months since he passed away and whenever I think of him I see him sick and weak. Anyways…it’s been a tough week….Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Asiya, thank you so much for sharing that story. My dad has a tumour at the base of his throat so I know how scary it is when they don’t eat and cannot swallow. Dad survived for 3 month drinking something called resource, the doctors prescribed it, it’s like ensure but about 3 times the calories. I don’t think he would have managed as long or well without out. And he was like your dad in that he always got dressed. Right up to the end. We were not to put him in pj’s those last 2 weeks even though he never got out of bed. He had to wear slacks and a shirt. The only time I saw him in anything else was after chemo round two and I came by after my birthday dinner, I’d only been away half a day and his hair was white, and he was in sweats. I about passed out. I remember saying “omg dad you look like hell” to which he replied “ya, I feel like hell too”. Poor guy. His whole head of hair went white in half a day, then most of it fell out. Scared him so badly.

      I wish I had some words of comfort or some amazing saying that would bring you comfort. All I know from losing both my folks is that losing your parents sucks. It’s such a difficult thing. No matter how old we are they are still our parents and we’re still little kids when it comes to them. I know a lot of people say it gets easier as time passes. I don’t think you love them any less, or think of them any less, I just think you learn to cope better. I miss both of mine every day.

      I hope you find some comfort in knowing you are not alone. There’s more of us out there who went through this kind of thing. I figure if we all share our stories it helps heal our hearts a little bit. And helps bond us.

      Much love to you. xx

  21. says

    I would make chocolate chip cookies. For my kids.

    I just wanted to tell you I so appreciated you posting this … I lost my own dad to cancer 10 years ago in February. I was not his caretaker, because it went too fast … but I also had a complicated relationship with him, and it was hard to figure out how to “go along for the ride.” Thank you … sending hugs.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I think that sounds perfect.

      Thanks so much Justine. I know it’s so hard for those of us who have complicated relationships with parents. You just feel so many emotions at the same time. It gets overwhelming and complicated. I am so glad I went to therapy but let me tell you it was not my idea. I fired his doctor very loudly and pretty much had a meltdown of epic proportions over the way this callous doctor treated my dad. So I screamed my head off at him and fired him, while laughing and crying and swearing in a public place. It was all kinds of crazy. So I was “escorted” to the counsellors office and asked if “I’d like to talk”. Best thing that ever happened, even though it might have been the weirdest outburst of my life. Lol!

      Hugs right back to you. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much my friend. I am so happy you joined us. Some stories are just worth sharing so it helps others. You’re welcome any time DB, it’s a pleasure to have you. xx

  22. Brandi Davis Bryant says

    I would make your dad’s favorite, vanilla. I just saw and read your post today. I went through the same thing with my Grandfather. He was very much like your dad. He was diagnosed with cancer and was so mean. Near the end a few months before he passed away, he became at peace with God, death, and his family. He started showing his feelings and telling us he loved us and apologized to everyone around him because he knew he had been mean. I told him I was jealous because he was going to see my Grandma again first. He told me before he died he hoped there was a bench that they could sit on in Heaven and talk to my Grandma so he could apologize for being mean all of the time. Thanks for this post and the giveaway too. It’s very hard to open up.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe that just broke and melted my heart today. Thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry for what you went through. But I’m also grateful you got to see him the other way, without all the anger. Much love to you and thanks so much for sharing this personal story with us. xx

  23. says

    sorry I couldn’t join you on this event, Kim. I’ve been way overloaded. But you are such a dear and your memories of your dad are beautiful. Many of us have complicated relationships with our fathers, but when push comes to shove, they are there for us and we are there for them. I am so sorry you lost him to lung cancer. Heartbreaking.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe thanks my friend. I know you were busy so it’s totally okay.

      Thanks for that, this stuff is always difficult, and lengthy to write but I sure hope it makes a few people feel less alone. It’s good to know there’s others who have gone through it.

  24. says

    Kim, we have such a similar story I couldn’t help but cry my eyes out reading this. It really really hit home. So similar its even the same year and same form of cancer and both of our dads. I couldn’t bring myself to write too much. I kept it very short and sweet. I’ve talked about him before on my blog but never in so much detail. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to let it all out online.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I think sometimes keeping it short is best. These long posts tend to drain folks. But I just feel compelled a couple of times a year to do something like this. I always say I won’t write much then it just sort of overflows. I am so sorry you about your dad and my heart just goes out to you. It’s a hard thing no matter our age. I miss my folks every day.

      I am so thankful you joined us for this and we got to know each other better. It’s nice to know there’s other people out there with similar life experiences.

  25. says

    You are a strong woman Kim and your dad was lucky to have you in his life and think he knew it. It is amazing how much we don’t know about those closest to us. Your dad was from a generation when most parents didn’t share personal trials with their children even when those kids weren’t kids anymore. Thanks for sharing your story. Bless you.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Cindy. That means a lot to me. I am so glad I got to know my dad better. I even got to read some really personal letters his own father wrote to him while grand-dad was away at war. Really opened my eyes up to what my dad’s life was like and why he was the person he was. I think taking care of him was the single most rewarding thing I’ve done. I never would have known him like I do if I hadn’t have agreed to help him. I’m so grateful I said yes.

  26. says

    I’m so glad you and your dad had a chance to bond. This is such a lovely post, Kim. It sounds like your dad had great taste. I’m a fan of ice cream, too, and your recipe sounds heavenly. Thanks for inviting me to share my story about my uncle.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Jennie. I am so thankful you joined us. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know you better. These posts are hard to do but so worthwhile.

  27. Rust says

    Your post today has helped me more than you could know. Thank you.

    The first thing I would make in the gorgeous mixer is cheesecake.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much Rust. I appreciate you saying that.

      Good choice, Cheesecake is one of my faves.

  28. says

    This is such a touching story, Kim, and a beautiful recipe tribute to your dad. Thank you for sharing. I know it couldn’t have been easy. And thank you for doing this special day for us bloggers to come together. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time, energy and thoughtfulness you put in.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Christine. I am so thankful to you and Carla for joining this one. It’s been a difficult week reading everyone’s stories but I am so thankful I did this. It’s so nice to bond with other people who have been through it. I hope it’s helped some folks. I know for sure it’s helped me so much.

  29. says

    Kim, thank you for sharing your story. Your pulling at my heart strings here, I can’t imagine how difficult a time you had but what great memories you were able to make during that remaining time with your dad. You’re a champ for putting this all together.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Susan. And thank you for joining us for this special event. It means the world to me. I really get more than I give with these events. To me being able to reach folks with a similar story is worth all the effort. If one person feels less alone this was all worth it. xx

  30. says

    Kim, you are one of the strongest women I know! You’ve gone through so much with the passing of both of your parents, I can’t even imagine. Thank you for sharing this story. I knew as I was coming here to read this morning that I was going to be touched and I most definitely was. I wanted to participate in this event but I didn’t feel that I had anything profound to say. I’ve known many people who have passed from cancer but nobody who is extremely close to me. I can relate to the difficult relationship you had with your dad – it sounds the same as mine. My dad is a harsh man and he always has been. He’s mellowed a bit age but sometimes I fly into a blinding rage over the things he does and say. I don’t blame you ONE BIT for getting angry with him. In fact, it’s probably a good thing you did, otherwise he would’ve continued his actions and you might not have gotten through to him as you did. I hope writing this was cathartic for you and I know that you’re going to help so many others who have gone through, are going through and will go through the same heartbreaking experience.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Nancy thank you so much for your kind words. It’s so weird to me that people think I’m strong. Most days I don’t feel that way. All I know is I always feel better after sharing these types of stories of my parents. I figure if it helps others and helps me that it’s a win-win situation. I really get more than I give. Sort of the same way as when I took care of Dad. People would often say things like “sacrifice” or “he’s lucky to have you” and I would think no way, I’m the lucky one. I came away from the experience profoundly changed and grateful for every moment, good and bad. I look back now and I think me fighting with him was the best thing that happened to us. I finally got through and while it was intense and rocked us both beyond belief, we were finally able to move past all the nonsense and just be at peace with each other. Like we finally accepted each other and forgave each other in one fell swoop. I really owe him a huge debt of gratitude. My life has never been the same since going through this.

  31. JoAnne says

    It is never easy to care for a sick loved one, but it is always worth it in the end. My best friend of 40 years has breast cancer. She is doing okay, but I am on this journey with her, because I would never let her take this journey by herself. I have had many family members who have died of cancer – it is never easy :( You did a great job with your dad!

    I would make the ice cream in this recipe first, let it age, and then make pizza dough.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I applaud you JoAnne. It’s a hard thing to watch someone you love go through but if you open yourself up to it I guarantee it will change your life forever. It’s so worth all the ups and downs. Relationships make us stronger and better, and really that’s what life is all about I think. I hope your friend beats it and you have many more years together, doing what friends do best.

      I love it. Ageing ice cream is the bomb. And you can never go wrong with pizza dough.

  32. says

    What a great cause!

    I would definitely make ice cream….always wanted to try making it at home! I’d probably start with your recipe!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Julie.

      I love ice cream. Here’s a good place to start, I think I have over 40 ice cream recipes on my site. Scary but true. Good luck.

  33. says

    HI Kim,

    I can relate to alot of your story about your father and his illness. My father and mother have spent their winters with me here in SC for the last 5 years and it was just horrible as my father’s health declined due to cancer and numerous other age related problems. I think that you will receive many blessings from all that you did in caring for your father.

    I’m loving this fresh vanilla ice cream, sweetie! And thank you for the giveaway opportunity which I have entered in every way possible! I commented over on Liz’s blog, but for my comment here, I’d love to use your K.A. stand mixer to continue to bake cakes and make pasta with (yes, you can make pasta in a mixer–the easy way!).

    I’d love to ask you some questions about your blog format too, if I may.


    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Hey Roz;

      I am so sorry about your dad’s health. Watching folks age is wicked hard. I don’t envy anyone who goes through it. I think it’s great you help them out. It’s very thoughtful and kind of you.

      I am so glad you entered. My pleasure. I was so thrilled when KA hopped on board, love their products and my mixer is such a staple in my own kitchen so this was a perfect fit.

      Feel free to shoot me an email, I’d likely use the one though. I tend to respond quickest to that email addy. I try to respond within 48 to 72 hours whenever possible. Just let me know what you’d like to know and I’ll try to help as best I can.

  34. says

    Even knowing your story as I do, it is still touching to see it all out. Sometimes it’s hard for us to admit that we are put upon to step up and do what we know is right when it comes to taking care of family members. And sometimes we feel guilty when we yell back or just want some time for ourselves. The cancer victims should receive our love and hope and pity, but it is the ones who care for them who also deserve our love and encouragement as they are usually the “bad guy” in the scenario. I know from my own dad trying to get him to take the millions of pills he now needs to take daily and “babying him” how awful it can be when they lash out.

    I’m so honored to have been a part of this event :)

    And the ice cream looks amazing.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      It’s so true Amy. I could not figure out why he told everyone else how grateful he was for me, but then treated me like garbage when I was there. Once I knew why it made total sense. Didn’t make it any easier to deal with most days, but at least I understood why. I feel for you. Dad was the same way, trying to get him to take pills was a lesson in futility. It would become a battle.

      I am so happy you joined us. It’s nice to do these types of things on occasion. Good to give a little something back, good for the soul.

      Thanks. It’s so yummy. I have one helping left I want to make some topping for.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Now that sounds awesome Uncle Graham. Good luck mister. I expect a milkshake if we ever make it out your way. I’d love to take a trip to Quebec next summer.

  35. says

    KimmyBee! You look like an angel in your wedding pic!

    We’re full-throttle for cancer support in my family.

    Love this ice cream recipe, too. The stand mixer is perfect for adding extra hands when you’re cooking/baking. Love it!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Colette. I still love that dress. It had the cutest little bolero jacket and then turned strapless when you took it off.

      I love you and think you’re awesome. Full throttle support is the only way to go.

      I swear I need a second one. One just isn’t enough any more. lol

  36. says

    Wow, your story really got to me. You will never regret those 9 months you spent with your dad. I’m so glad in the final weeks his heart softened and you were able to show your love for each other. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much for visiting Haley. I feel compelled to share a couple of times of year to help others feel a little less alone. It’s a hard thing to go through so it’s nice to reach out and let people know we’re there for them. xx

  37. Daphne says

    I love reading your posts! Sometimes I find that even if my family can’t express their feelings vocally, they manage express their love through food. I can appreciate everything you went through – thank you for sharing your story!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you. Most are wildly funny then every now and then I have to change the tone. Always makes me nervous when I do that. But glad the response has been so wonderful. We never expressed emotion growing up. It’s big a big hurdle for me in my adult life. Life’s a journey, you just have to roll with it. Thanks so much for visiting. xx

  38. says

    I Came back because it was a father’s day post – and long… I didn’t realize there was a give-a-way – or that it was about cancer. Mom had bowel cancer last August – diagnosed then, operated on October 12 – was 82 – never needed chemo or radiation. She is a miracle survivor. GOING strong like a 60 year old. Dad, however, had COPD. The stress caused 4 major exacerbations during that time and he almost died during 2 of them. I was in the hospital, almost non-stop for 4 months – don’t know how you managed 9. My story has a happy ending. I cannot believe my dad survived. It is truly a miracle. He and I now go twice a week to the gym and a breath easy program at the hospital for lung health. I know all about therapy, and healing relationships, and the rough go you must have gone through. My heart is with you. Beautiful read. Sad, sad, story – but there was definitely that silver lining that you and dad resolved your relationship issues and actually bonded before his death. That has definitely happened here, too.
    Big hug

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks for coming back Valerie. Let me start by asking if you’re okay? Are you safe in your area? My son had to be evac’d out late last night. Was a very long, stressful night. Let me know how you’re doing.

      Thanks for sharing your stories about you mom and dad. My aunt died of colon cancer years ago. It’s a wicked disease, so glad your mom survived. That’s just a miracle cuz bowel cancer is usually pretty lethal. She really is a miracle. That’s amazing. And your dad, how inspirational is that. COPD is nothing to mess with and he just turned it around. I’m so impressed with his story. It’s not an easy illness to cope with.

      It’s amazing what the body can do when pushed. I only took 1 day off in 9 months. And I never got sick, and existed most days on 2 to 4 hours sleep max, some days 1 or 2 if I was lucky. I look back and wonder how I managed but I think love just pulls you through. The Nike thing comes into play “just do it”, and somehow you do. I crashed and burned after the fact. Slept like a baby for a few days.

      I’m so glad I took care of him. And so glad I am able to tell the story and share it with others. It certainly changed my life. I’ve never been the same since. You just learn to get past so much of the nonsense in life when you see it from the cancer vantage point.

      And again, I hope you and your family are safe and dry right now. Please stay safe! xx

  39. says

    This post was so touching. I loved hearing about your father, your memories of him and seeing all these fantastic pictures. This recipe is fantastic also. Being a fellow ice cream lover, I know I’ll be making this wonderfully simple recipe. Lovely!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Kate. It’s always hard to share these stories but I am always amazed by the response. Makes my heart happy to hear other people share and open up. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Stephanie. I’m so glad you visited. This stuff is hard to write but it feels amazing to have folks stop in and tell their own stories.

  40. says

    Thanks for sharing this post Kim, I know it was not an easy one to write. It is a wonderful cause!! Your ice cream looks amazing too!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much for visiting. And it’s so true. My family is my biggest priority in my life. I’m nothing without them.

  41. says

    You are a brave woman to go through the tough times during your dad’s last days. May God bless you and him It’s a great idea to host such a great giveaway in his memory.. I would make a fancy layer cake to celebrate if i win this mixer.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much. I feel pretty not brave most days. But this was something worth doing for sure.

      Layer cakes are amazing. I don’t make them enough.

  42. Jean | says

    Thank you for telling your story. I’ve been through the cancer journey with a few loved ones; unfortunately, I don’t have time today to tell the stories. Perhaps another day. I know your post is going to help everyone who reads it. With my new mixer, I would make a Victoria sponge in honor of my mother who died of lung cancer; she was a fantastic cake baker.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Jean. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. It’s never easy to lose people we love.

      I think Victoria Sponge Cake sounds divine.

  43. says

    I will make lemon cake to honor a dear aunt who recently died of cancer–she was so beautiful, young and a strong woman and she introduced me to lemon cakes!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      She sounds like a total gem and I am so sorry for your loss. I think your choice of what to make is perfect.

  44. Lynne says

    Such a wonderful tribute, thank you sharing with us!
    I must say that I am a pure vanilla girl except I love mine covered in raspberry jam :)
    I’ve never made icecream (no icecream maker as of now) but if I were to win this I would make a creamy decadent vanilla bean in honour of your dad and the 3 friends I have lost to cancer in the past 4 years. Two of them had breast cancer and one had bladder cancer, I miss them so very much and the world is not the same without them.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Lynne. This would be perfect with raspberry jam.

      So sorry for your losses. That’s just awful to go through. My heart goes out to you. Too many people get taken, I just wish they could find a cure. It just breaks my heart to hear these stories. Much love. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thank you so much. Hard to talk about but hopefully it helps other people. Thank you so much for listening. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. And your kind words. xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.