strawberry scones

I can’t remember the last time we baked. Since there is not a lot of self control in our home when it comes to sweets, we try to avoid bringing them in the house in general. So sad, right? But of course, it is important to constantly remind myself that I need to watch the intake, keep sugars to a minimum, and eat meaningful calories. Nevertheless, looking through our pantry,  it became apparent that we had just the right ingredients to bake scones. Even though energy is a major commodity these days for me, I decided to expend a little in order to later enjoy a delicious scone while sitting with my feet propped up. The recipe from Eat, Live, Run was simple to follow and my first batch of strawberry scones were quite successful!  Every morning since, I have been very thankful to my former self for making these delicious treats that my current self can enjoy. Besides, it is made with whole grain and strawberries so it can’t be too “bad” for me, right?

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chocolate covered strawberries

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…

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Wash as many strawberries as you like. I chose to do two cartons of these ruby reds.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Plate those decadent berries, serve, and utterly enjoy!

weeknight baking

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.

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tiramisu

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!

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 14 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • lady fingers
  • espresso
  • cocoa powder

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 eats

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!

semi-homemade berry tart

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.