Valentine’s Day

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the day we show our love… I love my husband… I love my kids… I love chocolate-covered strawberries! They are little, red, sweet, and fruity gifts wrapped in chocolate packages. The best part is, well, eating them. But the second best part is that they require very little skill. I don’t know if you’ve made them before, but I want you to know that it is so easy a four-year-old can do it.

As organic as possible:

2 pints (16-18) fresh Strawberries

1 bag (approx 11.5 oz.) Milk-Chocolate chips

1/2 bag (approx 6 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

1/2 bag (approx 6 oz.) White Chocolate chips (optional)

I know in a lot of professional dessert shops, they don’t rinse the strawberries. They actually use a soft brush and clean them like you would a mushroom. I understand the reasoning: you don’t want the extra moisture content to separate the berry from the chocolate. I get it. That said, I’m a little weird about not rinsing my fruit off.

I do use organic strawberries; which is important to me, not eating all of the toxic pesticides, not to mention GMO’sā€¦ But this is about Valentine’s Day -so let’s not go there! All I’m saying is that I rinse off my berries. Then pat them dry with a paper towel and let them sit until they are dry again. (I also realize that for someone who cares about the earth I use way too many paper towels.)

Now that we’ve got the dirty part out of the way, let’s get back to those clean berries. When they’re dry, all you need to do is melt your chocolate.

 

If you have a heavy bottomed saucepan, you could put the heat on low and let the chocolate slowly melt. However, it’s a more subtle and foolproof way to do the traditional double broiler method. Just put about an inch of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and set a glass bowl on the top (not touching the water) and set the heat on med-high letting the water come to a boil. Stir often until the chocolate is melted through, and no more chocolate lumps are visible. Carefully move the bowl to your work station (most likely the counter top).

Next, simply hold the berries by their green tips and dip and roll the fruit around in a chocolate bath until the berry is mostly covered with chocolate.

Let the excess drip off and then place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.

It’s a simple as that, and you can totally stop there and eat your berries -and be happy. But my sweetheart happens to like white chocolate so I took it a step further and melted a little more goodness. This time because of the small amount, I microwaved the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, then 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate was smooth.

Because I am not a pastry shop I just used a Ziploc baggy with a hole cut in the corner for my drizzle.

Using a back and forth zigzag motion, draw the white lines across your chocolate-covered berries. Let the kids help, this doesn’t have to be perfection! (Unless you’re selling them, then you need to be meticulous… please refer to another blog.)

The work is done! Let the berries set for a while until the chocolate cools and hardens. If you have a refrigerator large (and sparse) enough to hold the trays… Lucky you! Just kidding. It can help the chocolate set faster.

And if you have a little extra chocolate that you don’t want to waste… Consider dipping in cookies, or graham crackers!

 Or of course, cleaning out the bowl yourself is always a viable option.

I hope your day is full of LOVE! (and chocolate)

Loving Lately šŸ¤”

Loving Lately, huh?

Um… Er… Can someone love procrastination?

Or is it that they are just really good at it?

Anyway, I am excelling at it right now. I started the year enthusiastic to try so many new recipes… I have a long list of recommendations from my readers and fellow bloggers. I really do love this stuff. And you know I get carried away with Pinterest. Take for example these Valentine cupcakes from The Silly Girl’s Kitchen

On an any given creativity-filled day, I might give them a try. They’re adorable! But in times like this, I talk myself right out of it. It’s easy. Listen: “You are not Martha Stewart. You know that red heart in the center would just be a ruby blob.” Done.

I did manage to get out a few Valentine’s Day decorations. Same thing.

It’s not Christmas, right? Between reconfiguring the kids’ rooms and dealing with the stomach bug that attacked three out of four of my kids (on three staggering throw-up filled nights -sorry if it’s TMI), I’m just happy to get dinner on the table at all. So be it from a jar… or via carry-out.

But then I see these Toasted Ravioli Nachos from Foxes Love Lemons…

I think, really? Because I’ve done the Fried Ravioli thing and it’s delicious, but it takes a wee bit of time all on its own. And I am in full procrastination mode right now, so tell me it’s going to be worth that extra step.

No, please in all seriousness, tell me it’s worth it. Because it sounds amazing and I want to love it.

Wikipedia says that “procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished.” If I think about it, trying new recipes isn’t exactly “a task that needs to be done.” It’s more of a “want”. If I’m going to be honest with myself, I’m really most likely putting off the laundry. It’s all a facade. And to answer my own question: Yes. I think I do love procrastination.

It’s a love/hate thing.

Loving Lately ā¤ļø

Loving Lately: Valentine’s Day Ideas

The cute ideas are endless. I think I have saved every Valentine’s Day issue of Martha Stewart magazine. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. But you get my point. I’m crazy about this stuff. These are just a few favorites from the many great ideas I found on Pinterest.

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Are those the prettiest pancakes you’ve ever seen?

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I love cute and playful door decor!

…And just one more, because how cute is this popcorn snack?

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With all my heart, šŸ˜‰

Sadie