Saturday, 21 May 2016

Ice cream sandwich cake--easiest summertime dessert ever!

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Sometimes there's a good reason to pull together a yummy summertime dessert--but sometimes no explanation is necessary at all. Surprise your kids one day out of the blue with this sitting waiting for them when they get home from school. Invite some friends over to dig in. Turn it into a birthday cake for a party--no baking required. Make it for the long weekend--because, well, it's the long weekend. Seriously it's delicious and amazing---and I promise you, it's ridiculously easy to make. For the person who can't even imagine making a cake, this one is for you. You can impress your guests with a home made ice cream cake, and it will literally take you minutes to pull together.

I've made ice cream cakes in the past (click HERE and HERE for other recipes), but then my sister told me about a recipe that her old neighbour told her about (thanks Krestena!) we just had to try it.

It's ice cream cake. Made with ice cream sandwiches. Filled with whatever ice cream you want, whatever decadent chocolate bars you want to chop up and put inside and whatever favourite toppings you want to add. You can't mess this up. You can't go wrong. Just add whatever you love and it will turn out amazing.

I had made this one awhile ago and decided that I'd go with chocolate ice cream, Reese peanut butter cups chopped up, chocolate sauce and melted peanut butter drizzled in between. But you can choose whatever chocolate bar or treats or combo that you prefer.

So, here is how I did it:

Line a dish with parchment paper (keep the edges sticking out so you can use them to pull the cake out of the dish in the end) then lay as many store bought ice cream sandwiches down flat as will fit to cover the bottom completely.

Add ice cream on top and smooth it down carefully, making a layer of ice cream about an inch thick.

Drizzle chocolate sauce (or whatever sauce you like) over top of the smoothed out ice cream. I added melted peanut butter over top of mine as well. But do whatever you prefer!

Place another layer of ice cream bars on top.

Then add another layer of ice cream, chocolate drizzle and chopped up chocolate bars or Smarties or whatever you choose. If your dish is really deep, keep layering until you reach the top (but make sure to end with ice cream and drizzle and chocolate bars on top as a garnish).

Then pull the parchment paper up and out of the dish and place the cake on a serving tray. Or dig right in--whatever works! Instant ice cream cake. Try'll love it!

Happy long weekend everyone!
Hope it's amazing.

Erica xo

Monday, 9 May 2016

When Mother's Day is still as exhausting as any other day

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All that I want for Mother's Day is a picture of me with the kids, I told Terry. Just a picture, please.

Because I'm always worried that since I'm the one behind the camera most of the time that our kids will one day look back on our family photos and wonder why there are so few pictures of them with their mom throughout their childhood.

So, as we hurried the kids through the morning trying to rush over to mom and dad's for our traditional Mother's Day brunch, we stopped for a moment to try to get that picture that I wanted.

So the flash went off, as we stood on those stairs, and everything was good for a moment...

then in a flash--literally--things went downhill fast.

Because babies will cry without warning...

And the words "Just keep shooting Terry" will come out of my mouth--because a few seconds of shooting something that resembles a photo is better than nothing at all.

And as I ultimately gave up on this little photo shoot moments after those baby tears fell, and then snuggled my girl until she was calm again, I took a look through the images that Terry caught that morning and it made me laugh. Because THIS is what Mother's Day really looked like in our house yesterday.

A simple photo shoot that ended in tears and a missing boy who gave up and left to get his truck part way through it--this is what motherhood sometimes really looks like.

So as much as I'd like to claim that my Mother's Day was relaxing, refreshing and calm (as it's apparently supposed to be)--the true reality of a mom with little ones is that you never really get a day off. You never get to sit back and hand the baby over for the day and pretend that no one is going to call your name a million times or need a scraped knee kissed, or their food cut up, or their clothes changed or another drink. Because motherhood is something that doesn't stop for a holiday.

And you know what?
That's okay.
All the moms and their kids (including adult kids!) at our Mother's Day brunch that we have every year.
Because this moment in time that we're living in right now--this moment where babies need you constantly, where kids still cling to your leg, wake us up at night and cry over the simplest of things...well, these are the days that we'll look back on and pine for one day. But these are also the days when we need a Mother's Day the most--because these are the days with little kids when we're in the thick of parenting. When we're living a life where every inch of us is spent raising our family and caring for everyone else around us, most times, instead of ourselves. So the dream of a day where we get catered to completely, a day where we can relax, a day where we don't have to lift a finger--well that's the ultimate dream for Mother's Day, which to most of us just isn't reality.

So as I was prepping the brunch details, nursing a baby, tying ponytails in hair and convincing little people to please go pee, the words "I just want to at least feel like I'm getting some sort of break today" came out of my mouth as Terry equally took part in the busyness of the day. And then, that night after the kids went to bed, as I fell into the couch exhausted from the day, Terry put out his hand to me and led me to our ensuite where a warm bubble bath was waiting for me. A bubble bath with soft music playing beside me and dimmed chandelier lights glowing above me. A bath where I could just lay there alone--in peace and quiet. Where the only interruption that I had was Terry coming in to ask me if I'd like another sip of the drink that he had put beside me.

So no, at this stage in our life, Mother's Day is just not going to be a fairy tale day of peace, quiet and relaxation. And that's okay.  Because I got my moment. And if I've learned anything from being a mom it's that you need to enjoy the moments that you get--the good ones, and the tough ones...because ultimately those moments will tell the story of your family and your life.

So the moments when big sisters write little brothers sweet notes when he is away for the day...

or the moments when big kids find Sophia's extra soothers and I find them set up in the living room looking like THIS... (remember it wasn't so long ago when the Soother Fairy came and visited Carter??) ...this soother went into hiding again SO fast after we had a good laugh at these two...

or the moments when time stops as a little boy inspects worms...

or when he gets to live out his dream and sit in huge cement trucks that pour cement onto our new walkway...

or moments when babies remind you every day how lucky you are to be their mom...THESE are the moments that we need to remember on Mother's Day.

We'll save the spa days and full days off for when the kids are a bit older.

So although I'm not exactly at a point in our life where a complete day of pampering and relaxation is my reality, I'll take the moments that I get. I'll take the hugs, the kisses, the "I love yous" and the home made gifts made at school that I'll cherish and hold onto forever. I'll take the moments where I'm told to sit down, the moments when my plate is served for me and when I'm told to eat first--because these are the little things that make Mother's Day, to me, feel almost as good as a full day at the spa.


And a bubble bath? Well, I'll take that any day. Thanks Terry.

Happy (belated) Mother's Day to my most wonderful mom and mother-in-law. We love you!
And Happy Mother's Day to the rest of the moms out there in the thick of parenting alongside us, and also to those who are done raising their families and who get to now step back and admire the great job that they have done.

Love Erica xo

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