sunday in the kitchen

As long as I can remember I've known how to skate. I come from a skating family - a family that spent most of the winter at the ice rink. What else was there to do in Hensall in the dead of winter? If you were a boy, you played hockey. Everyone else went to the rink on a Saturday afternoon and skated around and around for an hour before the buzzer rang telling us it was time to leave the ice. I was always grateful to get off the ice so I could get off those skates my dad always seemed to tie just a little too tightly. It always felt so good to put my feet back into regular boots, to get full circulation back into my toes. And of course each visit to the arena ended with a visit to the concession stand where I could blow my 10 cents on a pack of rain-blo bubble gum - I always saved the red one for last.

G doesn't come from a skating family - he never really learned how to skate. So it is never really something we have taken up as a family. I've tried to teach my kids how to skate but they've never really liked it. But we certainly couldn't pass on the invitation to join my sister and her family for an afternoon skating party on a local pond. My kids love this place, and if it meant strapping their feet into skate, they were all over it! A funny thing happened, though. I seemingly forgot how to skate...or lost my confidence in my ability to skate! While I did manage one shaky ringer around the pond, I was just as happy to take off those tightly-tied skates in favour of my warm winter boots that give my toes lots of room to breathe. But those boys of mine, while a bit wobbly and prone to wiping out, spent the entire afternoon sliding back and forth between the ice and the fire for toasty snacks!

Of course every good skating party ends with a great Sunday dinner together for which I brought a classic grasshopper pie, made to suit the many changing dietary needs of those I love.

Vegan Grasshopper Pie
2 avocado
1 can coconut milk
1/3 C honey
1 tsp lemon
2 tsp pure mint extract
1/3 C dark chocolate chips melted for drizzling on top
Combine coconut milk and honey in a pot and boil at medium-high for about 1 minutes. Let cool before pouring into food processor with avocado, lemon juice and mint extract. Process until smooth. Pour into a pie crust - I used this grain-free recipe and added 1/4 C cocoa powder to the mixture. Top with drizzled melted chocolate and refrigerate until firm.


winter, we missed you

Snowshoes and snow boots, snow forts and frozen mitts, closed roads and windchills - winter, we're so glad you joined us this year!


sunday in the kitchen

We all survived our first week post-holidays and are all starting to feel like we're back into our pre-holidays rhythm. But there are some things we are still holding onto - like some of the flavours and foods we enjoyed over Christmas, including this delicious dairy-free candy cane ice cream we made quite a bit while we were off together. You see, I have a bit of a fondness for the PC brand candy cane ice cream that comes out each holiday season and with a new-to-us ice cream maker, I thought I would try and replicate that deliciousness for my dairy-free boy. It was such a hit, I couldn't tell you how many times we whipped up this treat, but it was enough to now know this recipe by heart! When I saw the natural candy canes on sale this week at the grocery store, I scooped up the last box so we could enjoy one last batch!
Candy Cane Chocolate Ripple Dairy-free Ice Cream
2 cans of coconut milk
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp mint extract
8 candy canes crushed
1/3 C dairy-free chocolate melted
Instructions may vary depending on your ice cream maker. Ours is hand-cranked in a drum that is pre-frozen for about 7 hours. So for ours, I pre-mixed the coconut milk, honey, crushed candy canes, and mint extract in a bowl before pouring it into the maker. 
It is a fun recipe for helpful little ones to participate in making.
 Once the mixture is in the ice cream maker, we stirred ours off and one for about 20 minutes. The instructions with the ice cream maker say to stir for about a minute and let it sit for a few minutes before stirring again.
The waiting between stirrings really is the hardest part!
While the kids were waiting and stirring and waiting and stirring, I melted the chocolate in a double boiler, or a bowl set over a pot of boiling water. Once the ice cream has become more solid, slowly pour in the chocolate while someone stirs the ice cream. The chocolate immediately solidifies and becomes nice and crackly.
All that's left is to scoop that goodness up and enjoy ever last drop!


this moment

searching for butterflies...
inspired by soulemama


it's a new year

On this first day of a brand new year, I spent it exactly as I resolved to spend the entire year - focused on keeping it simple.