Oh love day, me amore . . . . Happy Valentine's day to one and all. I think Valentine's Day is much more than romance, it to celebrate all forms of love. Actually, I just say that to justify how horribly unromantic my husband Fairb is. He needs about a week advance notice if he should be required to celebrate a holiday. I remind him at least 5 times for Mother's Day because Mother's Day is where I put my foot down. It is the most important holiday of the year as far as I am concerned. Today he went to costco for me (which is romantic in its self, because he rarely does errands for me) and when he got home, I asked him why he didn't get me flowers while he was there and he said, " I didn't know we were celebrating Valentines! You didn't tell me!" Oh well, if you expect your husband to be romantic when he is inherently inept, you will have a disastrous marriage. I love him just the way he is!
On a more romantic note, my niece and nephew are staying with us this weekend. Their family was scheduled to go to Disneyland for a cheer competition that my 9 year old nephew, Adam, was competing in. Christian and Sunni didn't want to go because they just transfered to a new school and just COULDN'T miss any days of school, lest they get even further behind. Imagine, young teenagers missing a trip to California at the expense of their studies. Ya right! The TRUE reason was soon revealed . . . . . the middle school Valentine's Dance!! They were sooo excited! They dressed in their best clothes, I curled Sunni's hair, Christian asked if Fairb had any cologne (sorry, no.) and they were off to the dance. Sunni is loved and adored by all boys, and she revels in it. She came back wearing a homemade bracelet a boy had given her. After the dance, Christian was so proud of himself. He said that before the dance he was scared to death of girls, but now? He has conquered his fear! He couldn't wait to tell us about all the girls he asked to dance. It was to great to hear and feel their excitement after the dance.
So tonight they helped me make chocolate covered strawberries and caramel and chocolate dipped pretzels.
I was at the grocery store and they were selling 3 chocolate strawberries for 6 bucks!! Oh no you didn'! Right next to the dipped strawberries were nice, big, ripe, cheap strawberries. So I scooped them up and rushed them home to couple them with all this chocolate I bought during Christmas when I had high expectations of myself to make all my neighbors fancy treats, and expectation I never met. Sorry neighbors. Your not getting any strawberries either, I am too greedy tonight.
Chocolate dipped strawberries are pretty self explanatory, but here are some good tips.
1-- In the past I have used the dipping chocolate that is the little chocolate disks, but its not the best tasting chocolate and it comes out a little waxy in my opinion. So this time I use the brick of chocolate that isn't as fool proof and you have to temper. The directions are seemly complicated, with all these temperature readings you have to take. I didn't mess with all that. This is how I melted it. I chopped up a pound of chocolate into chunks and put it in a bowl and placed over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bowl didn't touch the water. I reserved 3 oz chocolate. While it was melting I stirred it now and again (no one stirs "continually" do they?) once it was melted I removed it from the heat and let it sit for about 45 seconds. Then I dropped in the 3 oz chunk and stirred (that is basically how you "temper" chocolate). It came out perfect! The 3 oz chocolate doesn't melt completely, it is just a step in the process of tempering the chocolate.
2-- I washed the strawberries much earlier in the day and put them back in the fridge so they were cold and dry, ready to be dipped.
3- To add the pretty lines of the opposite color chocolate I put a few spoonfuls in a plastic bag and carefully snipped the tiniest bit of the end off.
4- I place the dipped chocolates on parchment paper.
5- For the pretzels, I melted caramel squares, and with help from a spoon, covered the pretzel rods in caramel and let them harden on Pam sprayed parchment before I dipped them in any chocolate.
6- With the left overs, I drizzled over some blueberries.
I I did reserve a little something to give to my Visting Teachie's, to which Jason replied, "You're are visiting teacher?" That shows how awesome of a visiting teacher I am. Oops.