Easy Birthday Get Together


Today we gathered to celebrate the fall birthdays in our family. With a little planning, we were able to go to church and get back in time for everyone to have chili and of course, cake and ice cream for dessert.  It was our first family celebration together in our new house.  We all headed out to the backyard to eat.  I had saved a rug so we could lay it down for the children (and grandma).  The weather was beautiful and Maisie explored geckos and flowers with Aunt Rhiannon, Uncle Evan taught Caden how to use the bubble gun, and laughter and gentle conversation were lovely background noise – all moments I cherish.  Let me talk about the fun an inexpensive bubble gun can create with small children and keep the adults hands bubble liquid free.  Here is one similar to what we have.   The food was simple – the people were precious and the time together was priceless.

Here is how it all came about.  The weekend before I combined the the ingredients for Pumpkin Turkey Chili.  I made 2 batches and froze each batch in a ziplock bag which was placed in a bowl and frozen.  I did this so it can be placed in my Instant Pot.  However, it could be cooked on top of the stove after it was thawed.  This saved me a lot of time.  On Saturday, I set out on the counter for a few hours to thaw and then placed in refrigerator.  In the morning I placed both ziplock bags in the Instant Pot and placed on Saute for 5 minutes.  This will heat up any of the contents that may be still be frozen.  I then locked the lid down and placed on Manual for 11 minutes.  Then I headed off to church.  When I got home I opened the lid and it was perfect.  I put the lid back on and kept on warm until we were ready to eat at 11:30 a.m.  On our kitchen island were all kind of toppings:  cheddar cheese, diced green onions, diced cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and chips.

While I was putting the chili together for the freezer the week before, I also made up a Banana Cake.  It was cooled on the counter, covered with foil and placed in the freezer.  Last night I took it out and placed on the counter to thaw.  This morning before church I made up the vanilla buttercream frosting, made up the birthday banner from Lemonade Moments 

By the time I got home from church, I diced the onions and cilantro and got all the fixings ready to go.  The plastic bowls and spoons were put out and we were ready to enjoy each other’s company rather than being in the kitchen.








Caramel Banana Ice Cream with Strawberry Sauce

Caramel Banana Ice Cream with Strawberry-Coconut Sauce

It’s May and it is starting to warm up here in Arizona  – just a few days ago we had our first 100 degree day.  This is an ice cream type dessert without any dairy or processed sugar.

It is so pretty in a small wine glass like this one handed down to me by my grandmother.  When serving treats find some pretty dishes that will lend itself well to portion control.  

Caramel Banana Ice Cream with Strawberry Coconut Sauce
Serves 2
A dessert that uses only natural ingredients. Merrill dates create a caramel type flavor.
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  1. 4-5 bananas, peeled and sliced that have been frozen
  2. 3-4 merjool dates, pitted
  3. 4-5 drops of English Toffee SweetLeaf Stevia
  4. Almond Milk - small amount
  5. Strawberry-Coconut Sauce
  6. 10 Fresh Strawberries
  7. 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  8. 1-2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup, if desired
  1. Prepare bananas - Peel and slice the bananas and place on a wax paper or saran wrap line cookie sheet and place in the freezer for several hours until frozen. They can then be used or placed in a Ziplock bag and placed in freezer until ready to use.
  2. Place the bananas, dates, and stevia in food processor. Depending on the size of the food processor - may need to work in batches. A Tbsp of almond milk at a time can be added if needed but be patient it takes a while for the bananas to break down. Store in container in freezer.
  3. Strawberry-Coconut Sauce
  4. Place fresh strawberries, coconut and syrup (if desired) in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  5. To Serve
  6. Use a small wine or dessert glass, spoon the ice cream in and then top with the strawberry sauce.
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
Frozen bananas are great to keep in the freezer for desserts and smoothies.

Bananas - Freezing


A Special 80th Birthday – Part 3 – Desserts

It’s time for Part 3 of my aunt’s 80th birthday party. I am having such fun sharing this special day with you. As I mentioned in an earlier post my aunt has some eating restrictions and so foods need to go down smoothly. It wasn’t hard to think of something that she would enjoy for dessert because she Loves ice cream so I created an ice cream parlor of sorts. Over the years I’ve collected ice cream dishes in all shapes and sizes which worked perfectly.  If you’ve missed the two previous posts you can get caught up. Part 1 – Activities and Part 2 – Lunch 

AME Ice Cream Parlor

Ice Cream Parlor – Sundae dishes I’ve collected, pink $1 pails from Target for garnishes, the present cookie jar was $3 at a thrift store (after a good scrubbing it was ready to be the focal point) and a small crock pot to heat up the hot fudge sauce.

Ice Cream Scoops
Premade Ice Cream Scoops

AME - Petal Flowers

 Petal Cookies

AME - Desserts with ice cream
Dessert Display

AME 80 - Desserts
Carrot Cakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Petal Cookies