You know when you get in your car after it has been sitting in the sun and it's about 20 degrees warmer inside than outside? And it feels soooo good? Well, that's what Bend has felt like this past week. Warm and gooood. I know it's February, and winter, and that these warm, sunny days will mean nothing short of snow on the 4th of July, but for right now, man it feels good. We've been trying to sit outside at least an hour or so each day. The kids riding their tricycles up and down the sidewalk. Baby exploring the still brown and half-dead grass (it's okay, she's not disappointed - she doesn't even know green grass exists yet:)). Mama soaking up the warmth, iphone out, ready to capture all the memories.
We went to Costco and bought strawberries on Friday. Two big boxes of sweet, red strawberries. Our kids eat a LOT of fruit. I have to set limits or they'd eat berries until they burst. And tonight I wanted to transform those ruby beauties into something even better than fruit...fruit drowned in smooth, creamy chocolate (can't you just hear the low, slow voice from the 80's Twix commercial in your head: "Oh yeah...OH YEAH"?!) I didn't have any dipping chocolate, and I sure wasn't going to take four kids to the store for just that (See this post) so I did what all good
lazy frugal mamas do...I decided to Google it, look at a few recipes, and make my own. A few chocolate chips, some Crisco I found in the (way way) back of my cupboard from about 5 years ago (it's okay, you know a can of that stuff will outlast us all), a little hot water and BAM! 20 minutes later we've got chocolate dipped strawberries and three chocolate dipped kids. Super easy to make. Totally decadent. (...trust me. I've been "testing" them out all night.)
DIY Chocolate Dipping Sauce
1.5 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Crisco
Find two medium sized bowls (one slightly smaller than the other). Rinse strawberries and pat dry with paper towel. Put your chocolate chips and Crisco in the smaller bowl. Fill the slightly larger bowl about halfway with the hottest water you can get from your sink. Carefully set the smaller bowl inside the bowl filled with hot water (don't let it tip! You don't want any water getting inside your chocolate sauce!) Let small bowl of chocolate "float" for about a minute in hot water bath. Remove small bowl and start to mix the chocolate chips and Crisco (I tried "mixing" with my small bowl still in the water bowl and accidentally got water in it. Just take the bowl out to mix). Put bowl back into hot water bowl, let sit another minute, take out, mix chocolate again. Dump hot water out and fill with fresh hot water. Continue to do this until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. It can take about 10-15 minutes. Once smooth and melted, grab your strawberry, pull all the greenery away from the berry, hold the greenery like a handle and dip! Set on baking sheet lined with wax paper and repeat. This batch of chocolate will dip about 20 strawberries. If your chocolate starts to harden, just set in hot water bowl again for another minute and re-stir. Let dipped strawberries cool and store in air-tight container (do not refrigerate).