A family games night always thrills my kids, and after a busy start to the school year, I decided to surprise the boys with just that. With stations for Quirkle, Connect Four (the young one is a SHARK at this game), shut the box, and Gobblet, we were ready to go. Except for a special dessert treat. As a little girl, I never played canasta with the grandparents without homemade pie and a minimum of 3 candy dishes on the table. Eating, chatting and playing always happened together. With minimal candy in the house and absolutely no time to bake a pie, I’ve developed a secret quick dessert for family games night.

There are a few ‘special treats’ that have been woven into my lifetime of food sensibilities, and each time I eat them I get a shock of nostalgia. Beyond holiday traditions, I have sweet memories of eating fresh raspberries and cream on the front porch with my Mom, making tinfoil-covered banana boats at camp, and baking my Great Aunt’s porridge bread in a large coffee tin (like they did in the Great Depression) every time I needed comfort. These, of course, are in the ‘homemade’ section of my cookbooks, but there are also a few products that have been around for my entire life that I come back to again and again.

easy dessertOne of these product was a favourite through childhood, and I remember while at Queen’s University, specifically asking for a McCain Deep‘n Delicious chocolate cake with which to celebrate a ‘huge’ birthday (when I felt old and wanted to relive my youth.) Now that I’m older and certainly wiser, I want to carry on the legacy of beautiful food memories with my kids.

Not always having time to grow fresh raspberries or let homemade bread rise twice can be an issue, so when I’ve been traveling and need a quick family bonding night, I turn to the easy and delicious food that will let me spend more fun time with the kids.

After I realized that games are not my forte, we celebrated with McCain Deep‘n Delicious chocolate cake. You simply pull it out of the freezer, slice, thaw for 10-15 minutes, and serve. We made it fancy by adding a marshmallow slice, dried cranberries and a lime.

Deep n delicious Chocolate CakeThough we didn’t have the ‘leftover’ problem (yes I LOVE this cake), one could simply slice a piece and place the rest back in the freezer. If you have much more willpower than our family. As I looked at the ingredients, I also noted that flaxseed and wheat flour are included, and in an effort to make their food with real ingredients, McCain has removed beef gelatin and animal byproducts from these cakes.

Now that the boys have not only beaten me at pretty much every game in the house and then celebrate as a family with Deep ‘n Delicious chocolate cake, I do think that family game nights will be part of our monthly repetoire. Baking break and growing berries will also continue, but not when I’m short on time and long on the need to create regular, stress-free memories with my family.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by McCain Deep ‘n Delicious cakes and all opinions are my own. I have always eaten these cakes, love them, and will continue to devour them for a very long time!