Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Look at these sexy little berries

 

So… are you ready for the easiest recipe of all time?  Seriously, two ingredients but the end result is so delicious and so fancy that everyone loves you and thinks you’re amazing.  I was invited to my boyfriend’s mom’s house for a really nice family lunch and I decided to make these little berries to bring with me.  I’m notoriously the cupcake girl so they expected me to bring some kind of baked good… well I like to mix it up a bit.  My boyfriend’s brother really loved these when I made them for the holiday’s last year, and he’s had a rough few months, so bringing these was kind of a ‘here you go lil buddy’ type of gesture.  Plus, they’re like… so delicious.

 

Ingredients –

about 10 oz of melting chocolate candy wafers.  I used the dark chocolate flavored ‘Make and Mold’ brand

strawberries – a regular pound size container that are almost the point where they are too ripe.  The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice I always say.

 

Rinse all the berries under some cold water and peel off any gross looking leaves from the top of the berries.  You can either leave that little green on the top or cut it off.  totally up to you. I like to leave them and use them as a handle.

Pat the berries dry with a paper towel.  This is important because the melted chocolate will not stick if the strawberries are wet and you’ll be left with a gross looking mess.  I also pull the leaves back a little bit so they don’t get dipped in the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate 3oz at a time.  Put them in the microwave for 30 seconds and remove and stir them.  Put them in for another 30 seconds and remove and stir.  Do this for as long as it takes until the chocolate wafers are melted completely.  If you burn the chocolate it will turn into a disgusting waxy consistency so, you know, don’t do that.

Dip the dried strawberries into the melted chocolate and make sure the strawberry is coated but leave some room at the top.  I feel like the appropriate chocolate coating level might be self-explanatory but maybe there are some people out there who are total idiots who don’t know not to cover up the entire thing.   I just dipped them in using my fingers and twirled until it was coated.  When the chocolate level was kind of low I used a spoon to help cover the strawberries.   Set each berry on a sheet of parchment paper until the chocolate is cooled and forms a hard shell.  It takes about 10 minutes to cool and harden.

Then eat them all before anyone else knows you made them. These can be put in the fridge if you have any leftover, but I don’t really like them out of the fridge.  The strawberries will start to release a little bit of strawberry juice-liquid and they get a little sloppy.  But they’re still good.

 

Superbowl Nachos

 

So I know this is a baking blog, but I’m in charge so go f yourself if you have a problem.  Plus I put these in the oven so technically they were ‘baked’.

This is what I had for dinner while watching the Superbowl and subsequently vomitted up after seeing Madonna’s plastic surgery nightmare face at the halftime show.   They’re delicious and I have chronic and debilitating cravings for these nachos and they’re super easy to make.  The measurements aren’t going to be exact because I just throw it all together, so if you’re a Type A neurotic asshole about recipes you might want to move on.

Ingredients:

tortilla chips – I used about half a bag

3 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp bbq sauce

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

1/2 cup french fried onions

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 cup shredded lettuce

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the shredded chicken breast with 2 tbsp bbq sauce and set aside.  Place some of the tortilla chips on a baking sheet.  I don’t know how to describe the method but just dont toss them on in a pile, make like a 1-chip thick layer. Layer the red onion, french fried onions, and bbq chicken over the tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese.  Drip some bbq sauce randomly over the cheese.  Layer on additional tortilla chips, onions, french onions, and chicken.  Cover with remaining cheese and sprinkle with more bbq sauce.  I said 1/4 cup but use as much as you want, it’ll be your fault if your nachos are soggy.  Bake for 10 minutes.  When they’re done sprinkle with lettuce and serve warm.  Seriously, they’re so effing good.

 

PS.  Who cares about this Superbowl right now, you guys?  Puppybowl was way better.

Salted Caramel Is My Boyfriend

First of all… OMG.  Second of all… OMG.

Now that I’ve gotten that out I will tell the tale of this amazing cookie.  I got home from work, had some cuddle time with DJ, and then made us a steak sandwich dinner. I sat, digesting on the couch, and lept into cookie making action.  I needed chocolate salted caramel in my life and in my mouth.  Luckily for me I had purchased weird little caramel chips from Walmart a few weeks ago.  Judge me all you want, but groceries at Walmart are cheap as shit and they have weird things like caramel chips.  (They were with the regular chocolate chips, if you’re going to look for them)

So I looked up a recipe and decided that I’d modify it a teeny bit and make Chocolate Pretzel Salted Caramel Cookies

3/4 cup wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

5 tbsp margarine

1/3 cup vanilla yogurt

3/4 cup caramel chips

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1 oz honey wheat pretzels, crushed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

other salt – as much as you want

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt the margarine (I used the microwave, the recipe calls for melting it on the stove… who has time for that) then stir in the sugars and cocoa powder until it combines into a thick paste.  It will resemble brownie batter.  Also, it will taste like brownie batter so try not to eat it all.  Then stir in the yogurt and it will totally ruin the texture of the delicious brownie batter but I guess its for the greater good.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients – Segregation Never! Integration Now! – and then stir in all the various caramel and chocolate chips and then add the crushed pretzels.   The dough will be pretty thick and thats a good thing.  Roll into balls and put them on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with generous portions of salt.  I like a lot of salt so I just dumped it on.  What?  What do you mean ‘hypertension’?  Pfft.   Bake for 10 – 12 minutes and cool.

This is only supposed to make 20 cookies, but I think it will make a lot more.  Also if you can’t find the caramel chips then just buy those regular caramel candies and wrap the dough around the caramels.  Be careful when they come out of the oven because they will be molten lava.

Recipe modified from: http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2011/1/12/chocolate-salted-caramel-cookies.html

Dijon Beer Bread

If you ain't doin' shots get the fuck up out da club

Ok, so a friend of mine bought some beer when she was here… at Christmas time.  We’ve had this beer in our fridge… since Christmas time.  Its shameful that we didn’t drink this beer.  I don’t know who we are anymore.  Anyway, I’ve been obsessed with beer recipes lately to try to use it up since we clearly aren’t drinking it.  I made beer and bacon mac and cheese a few weekends ago (seriously, do it, it will change your life) and my hunger for beer-based foods was fueled and cannot be stopped.

If any of you out there are women, then I’m sure that you’ve been invited to a bunch of stupid parties – candle parties, purse parties, costume jewelry parties, sexy lingerie parties that you go to with your grandmother and then she wins a zebra print thong as a door prize and giggles.  And of course, Tastefully Simple parties.  Which are probably my favorite parties because of all the dips.  Girls love dips.  And what goes amazingly well with the Garlic Garlic dip?  The mother effing delicious beer bread.

Anyway, did you know that making beer bread is hella easy?  There is seriously like… AN ingredient in it.  Inspired by that mac and cheese, I added some mustard and created delicious delicious bread.  I stare at it with pride on a daily basis.  Like as much pride as the dude who created Edward Scissorhands when he looked at Edward Scissorhands.

3 cups self rising flour

12 oz (1 bottle) beer

2tbsp dijon mustard

1tsp black pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp dried minced onion

Stir all ingredients in a bowl until just combined.  The dough will be thick like whoa, so prepare yourself for that.  I let my dough rise for about 5 minutes because I like looking at risen bread because its kind of like a science experiment. Then I mashed it down and threw it in a pam-sprayed loaf pan.  Bake at 375 for 45minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  What you get is a perfectly deliciously seasoned thick loaf of beer bread.

It would seriously be perfect to eat with spinach artichoke dip. Unfortunately my boyfriend loves the bread so much that its basically all gone and is not worth investing in spinach artichoke ingredients.  All dip and no bread makes Desiree a dull girl…