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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yum! Strawberry edition!

My friend Heather runs a webpage YUMPITTSBURGH through the Penn State University Systems "which strives to strengthen the local food infrastructure in Western Pa by connecting the supply and demand sides of our foodshed" In Antibloggedy speak this means she plays the dating game with farmers/growers and the people who sell the stuff! I am inspired by her site to go in search of some strawberry fields to pick and create some "YUM"-my chocolate covered strawberries:

I think that this would make one of the best gifts to bring to a cocktail party, or to give as a gift on a birthday or helloooooooo, Valentines day! Maybe even at the next bake sale for a charity at the local church or school! Sell um for a $.50-2.50 depending on the size and the cost as well as the clientele.

Heres the very easy recipe: cost ($2.00 for a dozen strawberries at grocery store/or Farm will probably be cheaper and more delicious) ($7.00 for a HUGE bag of choc chips at costco with probably enough to do about 144 strawberries (no joke). I would say 1 dozen strawberries dipped in chocolate is about $3.00 or less but looks like a million!

12 Strawberries Large or a few more small ones
1 cup semi-sweet morsels of chocolate chips
(or broken pieces of the semi-sweet bakers chocolate)
12 skewers (I have metal ones that are reusable- but you can get some olive pics or wooden ones for barbecuing- be creative depending on the event)

In some recipes there is a call to add shortening/milk and other stuff, but
honestly-why not keep this as simple as possible? Besides, this recipe is
super delicious without the other stuff.

Take your 12 strawberries and pick the skewers through the middle of the leafy end till through the strawberry up to the tip (do not have the skewer sticking out or someone might bite it!). place upside down in a tall glass or glass slightly shorter than the skewer. I used a 12 oz beer glass.

Melt the chocolate in a microwavable container at 1/2 power for 30 second increments for approx 2 minutes. You are stopping every 30 seconds to stir the chocolate and making sure you do not burn the chocolate. add more or subtract time to desired level of melt.

Take each strawberry skewer and dip the tip in the chocolate. Once dipped place back in the glass with the strawberry side up to let the chocolate harden. Let sit for about 20 minutes and you can remove from the skewers and place on a platter or you can leave on the skewer and place in the middle of a table to create a bouquet like arrangement.

You can also melt some white chocolate chips and drizzle over the berries for a fancier look and tasty option.

I might also add that you don't need to use a skewer, you can use your hands to dip each strawberry and place on a piece of wax paper. My only tiff with this way is that there is a "flat" side to the strawberry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Mommy!

It is my mothers Umptheenth birthday! I hope you have the best Chinese food ever! Also, I hope you didn't forget to put a picture at the table of me in a frame.

Love you Mom!

Hau'oli Lahanau!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My First Kiss

I have always been a bit of a realistic and practical person. I don't take too many chances, but I let life go where it leads me. I like to plan ahead but change is not impossible or something I frown upon, I just need to "reassess" the plan and calculate the outcome

.....except when a challenge is presented.

I can't stand it when someone tells me "it can't be done" or "you can't do that" or beware of the "your such a party pooper". That last line was the words spoken to me from my bff at the age of 18. (yes 18, I held on for a reason, read on). I was at her house and she wanted to go out "cruising" for guys. I thought that was so LAME but then she said it: "YOU ARE SUCH A PARTY POOPER!"

So we got in my mothers Honda civic and I drove us into Waikiki. we went around the block once, and I saw a beautiful man on a mountain bike. He rode past close enough and smiled. His eyes were bright and beautifully colored blueish green....Mesmerized, I honked the horn(something I never do), and laughed toward my friend. I kept driving. Stopped at a light, and requesting to go home from sheer ridiculousness of the task of driving in circles, a mans arm grabbed onto the side of my window and leaned up to the car with that captivating smile and beautiful eyes. He said "hi" and had a sort of "smirky-confidence" about him. He asked my name and my friend tried to answer and he said "I was talking to your friend." This I might add only guaranteed my affection as she had never been "dissed" by a guy so quickly. (that, and I am ubber competitive...ask rambler)He asked me to meet him and his friend for dinner and I said yes. My friend decided to walk with me to meet him and his friend but decided not to stay. The guys name was Jake. Jake and I decided to go walking along the beach, he holding onto his bike. He had an idea and wanted me to jump on his handle bars and drive me around to "sight-see" it was a Friday night. Imagine that this guy was 6 ft 4? and I 5'9 1/2. Bikes should not have 2 tall people on a bike. Jake drove me around Waikiki and we just had a blast. we ended on the end of "Walls" which was a wall that jutted out in Waikiki into the ocean.

At the time there was no pagoda at the end of it, but they have since renovated and it is no longer the same. We stood together at the end of the wall and for the first time I looked up at someone so much taller than I and we kissed. The fireworks that blast in Waikiki on Friday nights went off at that moment (literally!) and the moon was full on a clear night sending that reflective light across the waves in front of us. If I could have dreamed a more perfect first kiss, it would not have stood a chance against the real thing.

Jake and I enjoyed the week together on fun little dates to the beach or to the movies and then it ended as he was in Hawaii for a short time and was returning to California. All these years I kept this memory close and always wondered, "What ever happened to Jake?". Last night I decided to look him up on the all know you do that with peeps from the past, it wasn't to contact him or anything like that. It was out of pure curiosity. This person was a major memory of my past....a really good memory. Anyhow I saw he became a really big deal in the Mountain Biking world, Top of the world leader in his field and apparently was already a big deal when we met.

Jake died in 1999. He died in a tragic mountain bike accident in California. It is all so crazy to me that this happened. And I found myself shedding a tear. I was so proud of all he accomplished and saw through a website his family had for him that he died doing what he loved. I saw that he had become a firefighter, had lots of friends and a large loving family. That is probably one of the most surreal experience to have, looking someone up and finding out they have been gone for a long time....

I will always have this memory of my first kiss.