Three months after we started dating, Brad took me to Hawaii for a week. I know, I know!

His sister lived on Maui with her husband and new baby, so we sort of had to go meet the little man (now one of my beloved nephews and big brother to this girl). I was still in the Who is this GUY and how did he come into my life and can he really like ME?? phase of our relationship–some days I’m still in that phase–and being asked to go to Maui with him was another pinch-me moment.

It’s not breaking news to say Hawaii is magical and it’s no surprise that some of my favorite memories with Brad are from that trip. One night, we laid on the beach, stared at the glimmering stars in the pitch black sky, listened to the waves crashing, and talked about how big God is. How amazing that He brought the two of us together. How breathtaking His creation is. How much we both wanted to hold onto that moment, those sights, the smells, the sound. It felt cosmic, ordained, and blessed. It felt like a celebration!

We still talk about that night in reverent terms, just like we still talk about the mango ice cream we shared in Wailea that same trip. (In my book, life-changing romantic moments are on the same level as life-changing ice cream moments. I think Brad would agree.) That ice cream was like heaven wrapped in cream, studded with mangoes, and served in a paper cup.

You know what else is heaven? Being married to a man who makes me ice cream. Three weeks ago, Brad recreated the mango ice cream we ate in Hawaii. Spoonful by spoonful, we ate it to celebrate our third wedding anniversary and it felt so right.

So this is anniversary ice cream. It’s I love you ice cream. It’s celebration ice cream. And it’s really, really good ice cream.

mango coconut ice cream
makes roughly 1 quart

Coconut milk is our base for this ice cream because we’re dairy-free right now. After reading this article about BPA-free brands, we feel fairly comfortable with Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk although we wish they carried a full-fat version. Trader Joe’s–can you hear me? Fat is our friend. Cow’s milk–preferably raw–would be just as tasty. Since this recipe includes raw eggs, be sure your eggs are pastured and from a reputable source. And finally, if you’re on the fence about getting an ice cream maker, do it. It’s so painless to make a relatively healthful dessert and it’s so much fun to experiment with! We have this model.

2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup frozen mango chunks, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
pinch salt
chopped pecans
unsweetened coconut flakes

Place the coconut milk, honey, 1/2 cup mango chunks, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and salt in a Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow its instructions. About five minutes before the ice cream is finished, chop the remaining mango chunks into corn kernel-size pieces and add to the ice cream. Serve with a sprinkle of pecans and coconut.

grilled pineapple coconut ice cream: We made this version last night with leftover pineapple from veggie kebabs and it was really good. Replace the mango with grilled pineapple, cut the honey to two big spoonfuls (our ice cream is never an exact science), and up the salt ever so slightly.

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