For back-to-school this year we had a "fancy dinner" (the boys always want to do this---it means a multi-course meal).  Each person chose one of the courses.  Which could have led to strange combinations, but it turned out fine.
Drink (Abe): Lime Freeze (that's lime juice, 7-Up, and ice cream blended together)
Appetizer (Seb): Roasted Artichoke Dip with Sourdough Bread
Salad (Ky): Spring Mix and Baby Spinach with Grated Parmesan and Homemade Ranch Dressing (yes, he really chose this himself; he loves salad)
Main Dish (Sam and Daisy): Saag Paneer made with fresh chard and homemade paneer (cheese), Yellow Daal, and Naan

Then we set off on a treasure hunt which took us on our bikes all around the neighborhood.  It was a perfect night.  A little cool and Fall-y.  But still sunny and pleasant.  The boys got VERY INTO finding all the clues.  They were good at it, too.
Did I mention it was a really gorgeous night?  The light changed every few minutes, and the sky with it.

The clues were in pictures so that everyone could help guess which place was next.  Luckily we have nicknames for almost everywhere ("the goblet playground," for example) so it wasn't hard to come up with images.  Sam hid most of them.  Some were pretty hard to find, but he gave hints.

We ended up at the boys' school, where we read Doctrine and Covenants 89, which talks about how we can find "great treasures of knowledge" when we obey God's commandments.  We talked about why wisdom and knowledge can be a treasure to us.  And then we found the treasure box, which held a new book for everyone.
And THEN we went home and had dessert, which if I may say so was also quite a treasure.  Volcano cakes with caramel lava hidden inside.  (You just make this recipe---but you put a caramel inside instead of the chocolate filling.  I had made the caramels the night before---recipe is here as part of the Twix bars).  It doesn't follow the no-desserts-that-are-two-desserts rule.  But then, that was never my rule anyway.

It sounds trite to say this, but my family is MY treasure.  I love them so much I can hardly stand it.  I love planning surprises for them and doing activities with them and making yummy things for them to eat.  I feel like the luckiest one of all.


  1. How do you have yourself so together all the time? How do you be such a great mom AND be such a great blogger AND cook such feasts AND be YW president AND everything else?
    By the way, thanks for being such a great blogger. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! And even though I never even email you back I feel privileged to be your friend through your blog. Keep it up, chaunie

  2. Wow. That was awesome--and a great idea. I need several of those recipes, including the lime freeze and the salad (how do you make homemade ranch?) and the artichoke dip? Do you make your own sourdough bread? I never have, but would love to try. I have a rye bread recipe that I like, but I wish I could figure out how to make rye bread like Shlotsky's Deli--my favorite sandwich place on earth. Because of the rye bread.

    Again--you're impressive.

  3. Seriously, you blow me away. All I did today was grocery shop with Max in tow and I've been near comatose with exhaustion ever since.

    And I still love Malachi so much it hurts.

  4. You are YW president TOO? You're so refined, I think I'll kill myself.

    I love that idea for family night--how fun!!!! We're going to steal it.
    And you're an amazing mom. And I love that your kids actually know what saag paneer is, because I've never even heard of it. My kids would probably request "hot-diggity-dogs," since that's what they eat half the time . . .

  5. Okay. Did you not approve my comment? Because I made one. I remember asking if you would be my mommy. What a fabulous job you are doing - creator of magic and lava cakes. What wife will ever measure up in those boys' futures? Glad my mother in law was just a little duller than I am, actually.

  6. K: Huh. I don't even HAVE comment approval on. How odd. I can well believe your MIL was duller than you. :) Your kids are so lucky.


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