Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jumbo Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate, Book Club & Spring Break!

I found the most large, sweet, ripe and delicious strawberries at the Roche Bros. in Mashpee Commons. I just had to buy two containers. When I arrived home I washed them, dipped them in melted chocolate and then drizzled them in white chocolate!

I brought them along with me to my neighborhood Book Club meeting last night and they were a big hit. Book Club is always fun. We meet once a month and rotate houses for hosting. We each bring an appetizer or other treat to share. It's fun to try out different foods and get new cooking or baking ideas.

I was feeling a little guilty when I left the house last night because the kids are on their Spring Break and with me heading out they were going to be at home.

Although when I walked in the first thing I saw written on the dry erase board that hangs on the fridge was a note that said: "We Love You Mom!"

I am looking forward to spending time with each of them today. We will seek out some sort of fun adventure. I think I will use up the rest of my strawberries. I know they will love them dipped in a bit of chocolate.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rainy Day Brownies, Spring & Art!

Yesterday afternoon I baked a batch of my favorite brownies (recipe added below) because it rained all afternoon and I thought it would be a nice way to greet Sophia off the school bus. She was having a playmate from her class over and they ate the brownies at the kitchen table with a glass of milk. I love to hear them giggle, talk about their school day and decide what they are going to play around the house.
Earlier this week I bought a bunch of purple pansies in hanging pots to hang around the yard as a way to welcome Spring. I've always loved pansies. I remember an old friend of mine that I went to UCLA and shared a house with for awhile would say she loved pansies because they looked like they had such sweet little faces painted on them. (They do)!
My daughters and I decided last minute to head off Cape to meet a friend for an event being held at the Worcester Art Museum today. I love art and I love to expose my children to it as much as I can. And it's always fun to hang out with a good friend.

Linda's Recipe for Rainy Day Brownies

1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet, set aside, add at end
1 1/4 cups plain cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla

Heat oven to 325. Grease a 13x9 pan.
In medium bowl whisk flour, salt and baking powder, set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in a sauce pan stir occasionally until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar and then add eggs one at a time. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture gradually. Mix until smooth. Add in the chocolate chip until just blended.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, then cut.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Surprises, Daylillies & Biscotti

A neighbor left two bags of cut daylillies for me to replant somewhere in my yard yesterday. It was such a nice surprise. Seeing them left me anxious for the arrival of my gorgeous spirea bushes that will be in bloom soon. It makes me happy to have a neighbor who thinks to leave such a special treat for me.
After Easter we had so many left over peeps that I decided to melt some chocolate and dip the funny looking bunny shaped creatures into them. The kids were impressed. I felt a little guilty creating such a sinfully sweet treat although alone they are almost too sugary and the chocolate does provide a nice balance. Besides, with spring here our local grocery store has been so abundant with apples, grapes, melons, strawberries etc that we are getting plenty of healthy food too.
The only other thing I had time to bake this week was cranberry biscotti dipped in white chocolate. I managed to sneak a piece in my kids lunch and they told me later that day how much they enjoyed the unexpected surprise.
I'm heading off to a spring fashion show & lunch today. I'm looking forward to good food and conversation but mostly I am happy to see my oldest daughter model a dress she made out of candy wrappers and silk ribbon.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friends, Dinner Party & Spring-Time!

I want to share a picture of the dinner table I set for the party last night. I ended up extending the table and adding two more places for a third couple who were able to join us at the last minute.
I think everyone enjoyed the meal. The sun-dried tomato, basil and ricotta tart was a big hit and we said a toast to "good friends: old and new". I enjoyed introducing one of my oldest and dearest friends to two women I've developed friendships with since coming to the Cape.
As my guests arrived I served chilled Cosmopolitan's in fancy martini glasses and pesto stuffed mushrooms.
We played a fun and interesting game of "Apples to Apples". I love that game. We shared a lot of laughs.
For dessert I served my lemon cake, vanilla cake balls and fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate. And, I offered limoncello in fancy cocktail glasses.
As for spring-time there are signs of it everywhere around my yard from the birds that have recently returned to the buds that are appearing on my spirea bushes.