Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gourmet Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

These are always impressive and always delicious (and SUPER easy! Shhhhh, don't tell!)  I made these for the boys in my life on this stay-at-home-with-3-sick-kids Valentine's Day!  They are so easy my 3 year old helped me do them!  So, no excuses!  These puppies can be $1 a piece at candy stores! (I have totally posted this before, but these are GOURMET, hence the nuts and coconut!)

Gourmet Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Fresh strawberries, washed and dried (leave the stems on for dipping)
Good chocolate (I always use Ghirardelli) milk chocolate, white chocolate, or semi-sweet 
nuts, chopped fine (I used pecans)
mini chocolate chips
toffee bits

Line a cookie sheet or two with wax paper, set aside. Mix chocolate chips with about 1 t oil per cup of chips in a sauce pan.  Heat over LOW heat stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Repeat process with as many different kinds of chocolate as you want to use. (I used milk and white for these).  I always melt my chocolate stove top, I have more control this way and I have found it helps the chocolate to not seize (especially the white chocolate).  Dip the washed and dried strawberries in the chocolate one at a time and then roll in what ever toppings you want, or a mixture of them.  Place dipped strawberries on wax paper. Let them sit for a couple of minutes and then drizzle with alternating kids of chocolate if desired.  I just use a spoon with a side to side motion.  Try it first over a separate piece of wax paper to get the feel for it.  Let the strawberries set up completely.  I find this is best in a cool place or the fridge. Store extras in the fridge for a few days.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Perfect Guacamole

This is the ONLY recipe you will ever need for this!  It is beyond delicious, perfectly simple and oh so fresh! We LOVE Mexican food at our house!  And good guacamole tops the chart! My husband and I often wonder why it is so many restaurants serve nasty guacamole when it is so easy to make!  The hardest part is finding GOOD avocados.  Once you have that handled, well the rest is just too easy!


4 ripe avocados*
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup salsa, the fresher the better!
garlic salt, to taste

In a bowl mash up the avocados with the lime juice.  We used a potato masher, if you want it smoother and creamier, use an electric mixer.  Stir in the salsa and garlic salt.  

To pick perfect avocados, buy ones that are hard and let them soften on your counter.  They are ripe when the are still firm to the touch but have a little give to them.  If you try and buy them ripe, they are usually over ripe or bruised.  We store almost ripe avocados in our fridge and they ripen a lot slower.  Let them come to room temperature before using, it will make them easier to mash.  

Storing left over Guacamole is tricky, we have found the best way is to press plastic wrap to the top of the leftovers in a bowl removing all the air bubbles. Like when you press plastic wrap onto the top of pudding to prevent a film from forming.
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