No explanation. Just a moment captured.
When we walked into our honeymoon suite in Antigua, we were greeted by chocolate covered strawberries. Something about these ruby red berries covered in dark chocolate screams romance. Valentine’s Day must be the national holiday of chocolate covered strawberries as restaurants pass them along to their patrons free of charge while smiling at the loving couples. And, these delicious little treats are so easy to make yet I rarely think about making them on a whim. This past weekend though, I decided to bring these berries to our neighbor’s cookout and decided that they must not be reserved for romantic days. Sharing in them solely with your partner forces them to not be eaten often enough. So from the “extraordinary” to the “ordinary” though still delicious and decadent they go…
Wash as many strawberries as you like. I chose to do two cartons of these ruby reds.
Place a saucepan with about 2 inches of water on a burner over medium heat. Place a bowl inside of the saucepan that rest on the rim but does not in fact touch the water. Place the very best semi-sweet chocolate in the bowl.
When the chocolate in melted and smooth you can lower the heat. Grab a berry by the stem and/or leaves and dip into the chocolate coating completely.
Arrange berries on wax paper in a casserole dish or baking pan. Once all berries are coated, place them in the refrigerator to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Plate those decadent berries, serve, and utterly enjoy!
I don’t’ have to go to “work” tomorrow. My sub plans are submitted and I am handing over my students for the day. It is never something I enjoy. I much rather prefer being in the classroom with my students, but tomorrow is our History Department retreat. Twice a year, the department gathers together in someone from the department’s home for a long day of brainstorming. Last retreat we focused on implementing design thinking into our curriculum. This time, the focus is on designing one term elective courses for all four grade levels. This is quite the endeavor. Instead of full year courses catering to each grade level, we are throwing this traditional model aside and trying to create something more reminiscent of college course selections. The classes will not be grade specific and will use a thematic approach to Global History. Wish us luck!! Any suggestions for course themes or structure?
To nourish our minds and stem the tide of hunger that will inevitably come crashing down on us during such a retreat, I made my semi-homemade berry tart to bring in the morning.
Heading out tonight to a dinner party with some co-workers, we have been asked to bring dessert. We have not seen Rodney and Jocelyn for a number of weeks so I wanted to make something special. I am so excited to bring over a super simple, easy, but truly delicious tiramisu!
Prepare the espresso on the stove top. When ready, pour espresso into a medium size bowl and set aside. In a mixer, combine 1/4 cup of sugar, three yolks, two teaspoons of vanilla, 8 oz of mascarpone cheese and blend on high until smooth and a little whipped looking (takes approx. 4-5minute). This mixture makes the first layer of the cream. In an 8×8 dish (or really any shallow dish you like) dip the lady fingers in espresso and place along the bottom of the dish. Pour mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth evenly across. Repeat this for a second time. When you have two layers of ladyfingers and cream, sprinkle with cocoa powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Thanksgiving this year at the new house has been primarily stress free. Yes, there have been a few times when the holiday has gotten the best of me: a broken glass, mud on the wood floors, getting lost on our way to Walden Pond. But overall I declare this Thanksgiving holiday at our house to be a success. Especially when we end the day with a hilarious game of Apples to Apples!
Whole Foods sells a tart mix that is out of this world. The maker of this mix is: Amour Creations. Just add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and a bag of frozen berries to the mixture and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. It is a truly scrumptious treat. The smell of baked goods is so irresistible yet this tart does not have my name on it. Rather, it is going to a co-worker who covered my chaperoning shift this past Saturday. I know he totally deserves this after chaperoning a high school dance on a Saturday night!! Hopefully this will be enough of a pay back for such a heroic deed.
I have never been a great baker. Cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins are some of my guiltiest pleasures. Yet, when it comes to making them at home, I am always nervous that something is going to go wrong. Today, I decided to try to tackle the Boston Creme Pie. A cake named for my adopted hometown seems like just the thing I should master for guests and visitors. When it came to the recipe Martha Stewart seemed like the most obvious choice. Here is the link to the delicious cake that I spent most of the day trying to make. The step for the pudding filling was a tricky spot. Everything else seems to have come out perfectly. Unfortunately, when I shimmered the milk, I turned away for a few moments and turned back to find that the milk was boiling over the saucepan. This yielded a pudding that was the consistency of a stiff board. Undeterred by this mini kitchen disaster, I made a second attempt which was much more successful. I am quite proud of this pie that now sits comfortably in the refrigerator awaiting tonight’s little dinner party.