When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter sundae

Long holiday weekends are glorious things, especially when the weather cooperates and the days are sunny and warm like it is outside here today. With three or four days off together as a family, it always seems that we have enough time for lots of fun as well as for getting some things accomplished around home. Matt, the boys and I enjoyed a wonderful day yesterday visiting and sharing a couple of meals with my aunt Christina, her husband James, and their two sweet little girls. The kids had a great time playing together all afternoon and searching for the multi-coloured eggs I had hidden for them, while the adults had a chance to talk and catch up on what's new in all of our lives. I'm always so thankful for opportunities to share holiday time with family; it's really what makes the occasion special for all of us.

Today Matt and the boys and I have been colouring eggs, playing outside, and getting some foods ready in advance of our Easter celebrations tomorrow. I'd been debating what to make for dessert all week, but seeing as how it will just be the four of us for dinner, I ended up deciding to keep it very simple. We'll be enjoying this little treat once we've had our fill of glazed ham, sweet potato casserole, and roasted veggies: Easter sundaes for Easter Sunday!

Our sundaes will be made using Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss (for Will and I -- it's a dairy- and gluten-free, relatively healthy and completely delicious frozen treat made from coconut milk), and real ice cream (for Noah and Matt). I'm going to offer a word of caution to those of you who might also enjoy ice cream sundaes: if the container of the frosty stuff you buy at the grocery store is labelled as a "frozen dessert" rather than "ice cream", then it's not ice cream. Sadly, many of the offerings in the "ice cream" section now fall under this category; they are made from edible oil products and modified milk ingredients mixed with sugar rather than actual milk or cream. (Read here for an enlightening look at what you're getting when you purchase "frozen desserts" instead of "ice cream".)

I'll complete each of our sundaes with some spring coloured sprinkles (I use gluten-free, naturally coloured ones) and a cute little chocolate bunny. I made the bunnies myself today using Easter candy molds and a bar of fairly traded dark chocolate (72% cocoa). To make your own bunnies, simply chop and then melt chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring often. Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into molds. Lightly tap the molds on a flat surface to get rid of any air bubbles. Refrigerate molds until chocolates are firm (about 20 minutes). To release chocolates, turn molds over onto a flat surface and gently tap them. These antioxidant-rich dark chocolate bunnies are lower in sugar and better for you than many of the chocolate bunnies you'll find in stores this time of year!

Noah and Will are really looking forward to enjoying these sundaes tomorrow evening. Tonight, they will be dreaming sweet dreams while the real Easter Bunny pays a visit to our house. Here's hoping your Easter "Sunday" is just as delightful as an ice cream one!

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