I spent way too long looking for a quote to start this post but the best I could find was “Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts“. My family is more like a raw vegan brownie, mostly nuts with a few dates for added sweetness (being the three wonderful ladies who love my brothers).
I spent the holiday weekend at my Mom’s place, finally celebrating Mother’s Day (she loved the crepes!) and my brother’s 30th birthday. We all had a great time, hanging out – I’m sure the people down the street could tell how much fun we were having.
I feel for the women who have joined my family. I’m sure that first big family dinner must have felt very overwhelming. We’re not a quiet bunch when we get together, we love to debate, tease and play. On Sunday there was a competitive trivia game (with no prize but pride) and a rousing round of indoor tag that had all the little ones in hysterics. We played charades, ticklefest and sang a little of “This is the song that never ends” out on the back porch (okay, that was just me and all the guests age 6 and under).
The birthday boy asked for some special desserts and I delivered.
In a Snap, Peanut Butter Crackle Pops (recipe inspired by Dreena Burton)
Yield: 25 pops – plus a little for taste testing
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (the just peanuts kind)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups brown rice crisp cereal
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1-2 TBSP coconut oil
dark chocolate melting wafers
In a sauce pan on medium heat, combine the peanut butter, maple syrup and salt until everything is melted into a thick sauce. Add the vanilla extract. Stir in the cereal, one cup at a time, until all the rice crisps are coated. Pour onto parchment paper and let cool until it can be easily handled (about 10 minutes). Pressing firmly, form into 1 inch balls. Allow to chill in the refrigerator.
If you don’t need to serve everything on a stick – just press this mixture into a parchment lined brownie pan, drizzle the top with chocolate. Chill then cut into squares.
Over a double boiler melt your favourite vegan chocolate chips. Add 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil to thin the chocolate into a sauce – perfect for drizzling and dipping.
Insert a lollipop stick into each peanut butter ball. Dip into the melted chocolate and allow to set upright (I poked holes in a shoebox for this purpose).
For the Mickey Mouse look:
Heat a small saucepan full of water on medium-high heat. Very carefully (this is for adults only!), hold two melting wafers against the side of the pot to melt the edges. Immediately stick onto the sides of the chocolate coated peanut butter ball. Repeat until all the pops have little ears! Repeat the same process with a chocolate chip to make a little nose on each pop.
In addition to the pops, I created a slightly more sophisticated sweet, The Turtle Cheesecake
from Sweet Gratitude
. It certainly is a showpiece with swirls of chocolate and vanilla cashew cream, a lattice of macadamia caramel sauce, and pecans and cacao nibs added as delicious decoration.
I followed the recipe with one minor change – I had to forego the yacon syrup. I went to three stores with no success so decided to try the requested recipe without. I didn’t hear a single complaint from the clan, just smiles and nods. This cheesecake was definitely sweet and decadent even without the special syrup.
I wish every weekend could include a game of tag, singing and dancing in the sun, and food that delivers both nourishment and pleasure.
What is your weekend wish?