Wednesday, August 21, 2013

no s'more

Every summer, we try to explore new experiences, discover new places and learn what our beautiful world has to offer.  Although we had the freedom to reconnect as a family, with a new dog, this year we had to adapt our family activities. Day trips became "half day trips", as leaving a puppy with separation anxiety can leave us with more than we've bargained for.  The search for pet friendly accommodations, restaurants and general activities also changed our vacation plans from tickets for four plus one.  

With signs of summer nearing it's end...back to school commercials filling the airwaves and the CNE now open (the largest annual fair leading up to labour day, a sign that summer is almost over), the restrictions of trying to accommodate the newest member of our household (along with a basement reno) has made summer go by way too fast. It feels like there is still so much more to enjoy.  Now it feels like we're trying to make up for lost time and try to rush all the things we never got around to do.

Early this morning, I peeked into the kids' rooms.  They were still sleeping in late, and they looked so peaceful and well rested.  They weren't groggily trying to wake up to rush out the door.  I started to realize that although there are signs to hurry up and rush back to school, work or whatever, maybe I should look at these signs signs of upcoming quiet moments.  

Now that it gets darker a little sooner, we can enjoy the sunsets earlier and longer.  As bed times start earlier, we can enjoy roasting s'mores by the fire as a dessert, instead of the sugar rush before we sleep.  As the feeling in the air gets crisper, the air isn't as heavy now and we can enjoy biking on the trails a little longer.  As the breeze gets just a few degrees cooler, we can enjoy walking our dog longer, without the a posse of sticky mosquitoes surrounding us.  

As more signs appear...a few colourful leaves peaking through the trees, the signs for local fall fairs standing by the roadside....

...I'll look at them not as a sign of the busy rush of fall schedules, but as a quiet hint of what is around the corner....more little opportunities to enjoy those beautiful special moments.

(makes 12)

For a last minute gathering, I wanted to bring a dessert that is representative of summer.  Nothing says summer like a s'more.  I didn't have any graham crackers left, so I altered this recipe and mixed peanut butter with the chocolate and used an oreo-like cookie wafer instead of the graham crackers.  The kids loved it...and I loved that it took less than 20 minutes to make.

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips)
  • 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of miniature marshmallows
  • 12 cookie wafers (I used oreo ones...graham crackers work make this a more traditional s'more)
  • Heat the chocolate, peanut butter and butter slowly on low heat in a saucepan.
  • Remove from heat when the chocolate is almost melted. Stir until melted.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, put liners in a muffin tin, and place the cookie wafers on the bottom.  
  • Lightly toss marshmallows in the chocolate mixture until coated.
  • Scoop approximately 1 tablespoon or so into the muffin tins.
  • Chill until firm.  (I had to make this quickly for a last minute gathering, so I put these in the freezer for about 15 minutes until we were ready to leave.  They were refrigerated upon arrival until ready to serve).  

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