In the words of an inspirational quote, sometimes what we are searching for is right in front of us. Sometimes, happiness is right there, and we just have to reach out and grab it.
And so it is with this recipe for chocolate covered strawberries - happiness is within your grasp. All you need are two ingredients and twenty minutes, and you too can achieve the kind of joy that can only be reached through delicious chocolate-covered fruit.
I have two embarrassing confessions to make. First: many years ago I was on a business trip to Houston. I was at a restaurant with all male colleagues, and after dinner we were ordering dessert. Chocolate covered strawberries were featured on the dessert menu, so I chose that. The waitress asked me how many I would like. I was a bit puzzled at the question, and shrugged. "I don't know," I said. "Five?"
I did not realize the truth of that saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas." This seemed especially true for strawberries. I suddenly understood the waitress' startled expression when she brought me a bowl of enormous, juicy, five inch long strawberries, each with what seemed to be an entire chocolate bar wrapped around it.
I never lived that down. For years afterwards, I would walk into a meeting with one of those men, and they would say "Do you want any strawberries, Nicole? How about five of them?"
My second embarrassing confession is that until recently I had no idea how easy it is to make chocolate covered strawberries at home. If you have chocolate and you have strawberries, you can make these delectable, deceptively easy treats. You don't need any fancy equipment - you don't even need any cooking skills. Make these for your next girl's night, or maybe for a romantic evening at home, and bask in the glory that comes from making something so wonderful - and no one needs to know how easy they are. It will be our happy little secret.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
Wash strawberries and pat dry. The fruit MUST be dry for the chocolate to adhere properly.
In a double-boiler or microwave, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often.
Dip strawberries in the melted chocolate, then transfer to the waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Set in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, until chocolate has hardened.
Try this with other fruits - pineapple is particularly delicious!
Gather your ingredients - chocolate and strawberries.
Chop the chocolate, melt, and dip!
There is nothing quite so wonderful as a fragrant, buttery cookie, still warm from the oven. It's a thing of beauty, a delectable treat - unless you cannot have dairy. For the dairy-sensitive or allergic, butter is a contraband substance.
Cookies and other baked goods - such as squares or brownies - rely on fats that are solid at room temperature - like butter, or certain margarines - to obtain the proper taste and texture. For those who are unable to eat dairy, coconut oil is a perfect substitute for butter in baked goods.
Coconut oil - despite the name - is solid at room temperature and is sold in a jar. It can be substituted for butter on a 1:1 ratio, which makes it an easy, non-dairy recipe adaptation.
Tips For Substituting Coconut Oil For Butter
1) Substitute coconut oil 1:1 with butter or margarine.
2) If the recipe calls for salted butter, add a little extra salt when substituting coconut oil. I find a good ratio is 1/8 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup salted butter substitution.
3) If you do not like a strong coconut flavour, try refined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil has a much milder taste than unrefined; I have also used "aroma free" coconut oil with success.
4) Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, coconut oil might need to be softened slightly. In the winter, my kitchen is quite cold, and I sometimes soften my coconut oil by microwaving for 5-10 seconds.
5) To measure, scoop coconut oil into a dry-measure cup, and pack down to avoid air pockets, much as you would for measuring peanut butter.
It's winter. It's cold. When the wind is whistling outside and the snow is flying, we all crave comfort food; "stick-to-your-ribs" recipes that are warming and filling.
But here's the thing: comfort food, while lovely in the moment, often ends up making me feel bloated, sleepy, and sluggish. What I wanted to create was a comfort food dish that was rich in flavour as well as rich in energy-boosting nutrients. This savoury lentil stew fills the bill - the combination of spinach, sweet potatoes, and lentils pack a nutritional punch. Full of Vitamins B and C, iron, protein, and fibre, this scrumptious stew is supremely satisfying, easy to prepare, and very budget-friendly.
Easy, delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive - this dish is the whole package! A bowl of lentil stew will make you feel like a superhero, but don't swap your parka for a cape just yet...it's still cold outside!
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one minute, until fragrant.
Add the cube of concentrated vegetable stock, water, onion powder, and coriander, and stir until the vegetable stock is dissolved.
Add the sweet potato cubes and the lentils; bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, and cook for another 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!