Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Valentine’s Day Special!

One of my first jobs was working at a minor league baseball stadium making gourmet desserts.

I must have made thousands of chocolate covered strawberries in one summer! While that doesn’t mean I’m a “pro” I would certainly say it means I have a bit of experience.

To start, I wash and let the strawberries dry thoroughly. I do NOT hull them. Neither do I cut off any soft spots. The chocolate will cover any blemish!

The strawberries need to be completely dry. Chocolate will not stick to damp strawberries.

While the strawberries are drying, I melt 1/2 a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips in a double boiler.

Sometimes (when I’m too lazy to get my double boiler out) I just fill a pot with 2″ of water and put a glass bowl on top. I put the heat on LOW and let the chocolate chips melt together, stirring occasionally. Within 10 minutes your chips should be melting. I leave the heat on low. I don’t like to microwave my chocolate or heat it up quickly – the chocolate can turn quickly.

Next, I line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

To begin dipping, I stick a toothpick through the stem of the strawberry. This is where the tightest hold is on the berry and it will help stop the berry from falling off into the chocolate. This is why I prefer not to hull my strawberries. I think they are easier to dip, as well as easier to eat.

There are two ways to dip.

1. Kerplunk her down right in the center leaving about 1/8″ of red. (I like to see a little bit of red color.)

2. Flying V – Sweep the berry through on it’s side, and then the other side, leaving a little “v” in the middle.

Let it the excess chocolate drip off. I will also spin it around by the toothpick to help wick away excess chocolate. Then I put the berry down on the wax paper and pull the toothpick out. Once all your berries are dipped, put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator.

To decorate my strawberries, I ended up using some frosting (I didn’t have any white chocolate left in my pantry – what I usually use).

I put two heaping spoonfuls of frosting in a ziploc bag with a few drops of red food coloring.

Then I gently smooshed it (yep, that’s a fancy culinary term right there) around in my hand until the frosting was all pink. I put the bag into the fridge and let it firm-up for a few minutes.

When the chocolate on the strawberries has hardened in the fridge, I take the cookie sheet and the frosting out. I snip off a teeny-tiny corner of the bag and go at it.

I decided to frosting a few plain strawberries too!

After I’ve finished frosting I put it all back in the fridge until I’m (erm… I mean we’re) ready to eat them!

NOM NOM NOM!

Top 9: Etsy Letterpress Valentines

With the day of hearts and flourish next week, I wanted to share some letterpress valentine’s I have been spying lately on Etsy.

I love me some Valentine cards. Every year, until this year, I buy the funny grade school kind from the grocery store. Cards with Strawberry Shortcake on them saying “I think you’re a very sweet Valentine!” I don’t think I can get away with those shenanigans anymore, so I’ve set my sight on swankier salutations.

1. I don’t know what I like more about this valentine from Echo Letterpress, the fact that I love corn-on-the-cob or that is reminds me of summer in the bitterness of February. Happy Love Day Paula Dean.

2. I love this one from 1331Design. Nothing like a little graphic design humor. Hehehe.

3. It’s always hard to find a good non-pink/red Valentine! This pirate-inspired poster from Handz would be great for one of your mateys.

4. You can’t buy me love, but you can buy me this Beatlemania-inspired valentine from Vandalia Street Press

5. Any other Princess Bride fans out there? This poster from The Big Harumph is inconceivable!!

6. Being an art and writing major, I never got all the sciencey-nerd jokes before. Now that I’ve worked in the biotech industry for a few years it’s growing on me. As is this card from Steel Petal Press.

7. My Scandinavian husband would love these! They are coasters from Fluid Ink Letterpress, and you could write a cute note on the back!

8. This sweet vintage bicycle valentine from Inkadinkadoodle is reminiscent of classic Valentine’s Day.

9. It’s no surprise that I love this nautical-inspired card from SweetDee. Anchors aweigh!

(Is it just me or do the hubba-hubba valentine cards give you the heebie-jeebies?)

Love Wands and a Valentine Mantle

While procrastinating to do something (laundry? dinner? dishes? who knows?) I was perusing Pinterest and found a Valentine’s Day decoration idea that caught my eye. (Two Pinterest inspired posts in a row? Too much?)

via

I loved the idea of a heart bouquet! This blogger made them out of wooden hearts, but since I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like going to the store I decided to use what I had around the house. (Are you sensing a theme here with the way I work? Store-shmore.)

I hunted around and settled on a piece of cardboard. Yep, cardboard. Specifically a recent box I received from Shutterfly.com. I tore it until it was one flat piece and drew some hearts of varying sizes and proportions with a Sharpie marker.

I then proceeded to cut them out.

Once I had my cardboard heart pieces, I painted them with some craft paint I had lying around. I opted to add in yellows, oranges and purples to the red/pink traditional Valentine colors.

Then I added some wonderful sparkles (yes! a project with sparkle not spackle!) with glitter and beads.

Lastly, I attached a kabob stick (a favorite crafty item of mine) with my hot glue gun.

Then I took two glass vases and filled them with raffia (I think this was leftover from Christmas gifts) and then stuck the heart lollipops in at random.

On the mantle I added a few doo-dads. I bought two colorful and graphic greeting cards at the Target Dollar spot.

I put out my heart cookie cutters. And then I made a paper heart garland out of some scrapbooking paper.

Ah yes, and the age-old trick of ripping out a color-appropriate magazine page and sticking it in an extra frame. (The frame on the right holds a Martha Stewart Valentine’s Day Project photo from her magazine last year.)

This is my Valentine’s Day mantle for $3! (For the greeting cards… which I’ll probably give away anyways.)

Can you believe it’s February already? Where did January go!

Do you believe Valentine’s Day is an evil corporate plan by Hallmark? I definitely do not. All you need is love people!

Besides, if anyone is making money it’s those flower people. My husband can consider this his yearly reminder to not buy me roses for Valentine’s Day. 🙂