Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Spring is full of all kinds of celebrations.  Graduations, someone else won all the money for the Ice Classic, Administrative Assistants' Day, Mother's Day, wedding showers, baby showers...the list goes on.  May is a busy month: Gifts from the Garden month, Borderline Personality Disorder Month (my favorite), National Vinegar Month, React Month and Potatoes and Limes Month.  Then we have all the weeks, like Be Kind to Animals Week, Children's Mental Health Week, National Hug Holiday Week, National Raisin Week, and Old Time Player Piano Week. Then there are the days, like National Recess Day (which is kinda funny because it is May 18 and school is already out for the summer in Fairbanks), World Turtle Day, Brother Day, Armed Forces Day, Artichoke Day and Straw Hat Day.   Trust me, I found them on the internet so it must be true!(See the holiday list for yourself)
For Administrative Assistant's Day I was stuck.  I don't have an Administrative Assistant but I borrow other peoples.  So, in the department my office is in I am always asking that secretary (I know that is not P.C. but it is easier to type "secretary" than "administrative assistant") for help or how to do or find something.  Then there is the secretary that is in charge of making sure I get paid (I have to be nice to her) and then my bosses secretary that does all my ordering, scheduling rooms, and a million other things for me and still do her very busy real job!  So you see, I really needed to get or do something for them.
I put it off so long until it was Thursday afternoon and I was panicked!  I do some great thinking at the last minute.  I thought of this little gift (really I'm sure I stole it from Pinterest or someone else's blog, but don't remember so I'm taking full credit for this).
I dashed to the grocery store, got three vases, three containers of strawberries,  long skewers, good dark chocolate, heavy cream, some baby's breath and some green leaves.  I was set.  I melted the chocolate in the microwave, added a little cream, dipped the strawberries, put them on the skewers and made my own version of the edible arrangement.  I'm sure if I had any talent the arrangements would have looked a lot better and next time I'll get some of that green florist foam for the bottom of the vases.  I tried to use those glass pebble things and it really didn't help, especially on the drive to work.  I delivered the strawberry arrangements and everyone was really happy (or polite enough to act that way).  I'm thinking I might open a little side business now, taking orders for Mother's Day...

Chocolate dipped Strawberries

16 oz. good dark chocolate, chopped or in chips
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 lb. fresh strawberries with tops intact

For Arrangement
long wooden skewers
green florist foam
baby's breath
greenery leaves

Wash strawberries, lay on sheet pans lined with absorbent cloth or paper towels.  Dry completely, I let mine sit out for an hour or so to be sure. 
Melt chocolate on a double boiler or in a microwave. (I use a microwave.  Heat for 30 seconds, stir, heat again, stir again until smooth and completely melted).  Add heavy cream and stir until completely incorporated.  You may need to warm again (about 15 seconds in the microwave).  Gently pull the green leaves up and use as a holder.  Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture, let excess drip off.  If putting on a plate, I usually scrap the back side of the strawberry on the edge of the bowl to remove extra chocolate and lay on a cool, dry, wax paper lined sheet pan, for chocolate on berries to harden.  If I'm putting them on a skewer, I scrape just the very bottom tip where I put the skewer in and carefully place the skewer upright in a jar or vase.  Let chocolate cool and harden. Cut florist foam to fit very snugly in bottom of vase.   Arrange strawberries in vase by pushing bottom of skewer into foam.  Add baby's breath and greenery. 

April 30, 2012     Daylight  17 hours,  0 minutes,  37 seconds     Current Temp.  45 ºF

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