Strawberry Shot Glass Cocktail (with a bit of emotional banter)

There are a few things that I absolutely love.

Of course I love my family and friends. The people that are there for you through thick or thin. You can show up to their doorstep on a Sunday morning and know you will be welcomed with an embracing hug, a warm cup of tea, and a compelling conversation. You can call them for hours in the middle of their work day just to laugh about something crazy you saw or work through the confusions of life. They walk with you on your journey of life, even though they are not compelled too.

I love the lessons I have learned throughout my life, the thought of the future, and of course everything the surrounds me today.

Although life can throw some curve balls which make you fall to your feet, I love how our bodies have this astounding ability to heal, grow, and continue to progress on. It is quite an amazing ability that is often times overlooked.

I love the warm feeling of the sun on a cozy spring day, the way the sun and moon never tire from playing chase around the earth, and of course the ways the stars look as you lay on a golf course in the middle of nowhere on a cloudless summer night.

When you think of it, when you take a moment to imagine all of the beauties, the wonders, and the satisfaction that surround us each an every day, it is hard not to find something to love.

Just take a moment to imagine the simple things in your life that you find fulfillment in, the things that are unique to your own awareness. Cherish these, never forget to admire these simple beauties that surround you each day, and hold them close to your heart.

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Now that the emotional banter is over lets get to some cocktails, as these too are things that I love (on special occasions of course). 😀

So a few weeks ago during spring break Allie, Amanda, and I decided to experiment with some cocktails. Each night we attempted to make a different one. And let me tell you, the all turned out great. Here is one that we made which I thought you would like- I mean it has chocolate, strawberries, and liquor.. Whats not to love?

I am not sure where we found the idea, I think it was something one of our friends had liked on Facebook. Either way, the second I saw a picture of the I HAD to make them! We didn’t follow a specific recipe, we just did what we thought would work.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 🙂

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Strawberry Shot Glass Cocktails

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
    • Try to get the largest ones you can find
    • Make sure you wash them and the pat them dry- otherwise the chocolate wont stick.
  • 1/2 cup melted chocolate
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Vanilla Vodka
  • Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Whipped Cream (optional… but highly recommended)

Steps

  1. Prepare the strawberries. To do this first wash them and pat them dry. Cut off the tops and a small bit of the bottom point to make a flat bottom. Using a small melon scooper, hallow out the strawberries. Be careful not to hallow out too much and cut through the outer flesh.
  2. Dip the bottoms of the strawberries in the melted chocolate and place them on a plate covered with wax paper. Transfer them to the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix equal parts vanilla vodka and chocolate liqueur. Mix in some chocolate syrup to your own preference.
  4. Remove the strawberries from the freezer. Pour the chocolate mixture into them and top with whipped cream.
  5. Enjoy 🙂

If you are making these for a party I recommended letting the strawberries sit in the freezer right up until a few minutes before the guests arrive. This way the shot glasses are sturdier and it helps chill the liquid a little bit.

Preparing the Strawberries

Preparing the Strawberries

How the look like once they have been hallowed out

How the look like once they have been hallowed out

All dipped in chocolate and ready to freeze

All dipped in chocolate and ready to freeze

Mix these with a little chocolate syrup and your half way to a sugar high :p

Mix these with a little chocolate syrup and your half way to a sugar high

Yum

Yum

Cheers!

Cheers!

Decided to whip up some whipped cream a little later- Definitely worth it!

Decided to whip up some whipped cream a little later- Definitely worth it!

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Irish Scones

Living in Ireland for six months you best believe I spent a lot of time eating scones. Just about every week my roommate, Laura, made another fresh batch of dark chocolate chip scones. They usually never lasted far into the next day. She would use Odlum’s white scone mix. These scones come out amazing every time. If you are willing to pay the shipping I recommend trying some. Or you can make the similar variation I have below 🙂

Of course, back in the US I have been craving scones on and off. I loved getting done my runs and eating a bit of one, finishing up a paper and eating a bit more, getting up  in the morning and eating one or two… Its easy to see why I came back to the states with a few extra pounds! Of course I dropped the weight when I got back thanks to my break from baking, but I do still like to treat myself by testing out a different scone recipe to see if they come anywhere near the ones we used to make.

Below is a recipe I made for a dinner that I was going to. I think they actually came out really nice. Although not the same as Odlum’s, they did turn out pretty darn close!

Irish Scone

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tbs baking soda
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs butter, cold and in small cubes
  • 1/2 cup butter milk (or whole milk)
  • 1 tbs butter, softened

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Mix together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.
  3. Using two knives cut in butter until it is blended into the flour.
  4. Stir in the milk. If you need to add more milk add it one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about one inch thick.
  6. Using a round cookie cutter, or a cup, cut out the scones and place them on the greased cookie sheet.
  7. Using the softened butter, coat the tops of the scones.
  8. Bake for 10-12 min until they are lightly brown on top.
  9. Enjoy 🙂

Variations

There are many things you can mix into the scones.

  • Chocolate
  • Dried cranberries
  • Mixed herbs
  • lemon zest
Plain Scones before coated with butter

Plain Scones before coated with butter

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Scones

Enjoy with butter, jams, or just plain :)

Enjoy with butter, jams, or just plain 🙂

Mint Oreo Truffles

Two summers ago my friends, Amanda and Allie,  and I had a thing we liked to call “Oreo ball Wednesday”.. Well maybe I was the only one who called it that…But anyways, basically for a few weeks straight we made Oreo Truffles every Wednesday. (Don’t worry, we weren’t the only ones eating them… otherwise our thighs would be HUGE now.. instead we usually just brought them into work so others could enjoy them as well).

I had told them about these little beauties one day when I was reminiscing about the things I used to make when I was younger. You see, my mom and I used to make these every year during the Christmas season. Thanks to a girl scout leader who introduced these to us ages ago, these quickly became a hit at all of the family gatherings that we went to! They were enthralled by the idea and that day we ended up getting all of the ingredients together and making them.

To bring back the tradition we had two years ago, we decided to make Oreo Truffles again while we were all on spring break. Originally we were going to make them on Wednesday like the good ol’ days, but we got tired and lazy and decided to make them on Thursday instead. (There goes the cool name. HA!) What I like about this recipe is that it is a very simple recipe, making it perfect for small group participation plus as you will see in a bit, it can give you quite the work out!

I am not completely sure why we have such an obsession with these little guys… Wait, yes I do! Just make them and you will soon find out! Not only are they easy to make, but they taste amazing and you can make soo many variations to the recipe. Here are just a few of the different variation you can make:

  • Use reduced fat cream cheese and Oreos
  • Use Mint Oreos (What we did here)
  • Put a Jr.Mint or some other type of candy in the middle of the truffle
  • Use white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or any mix of them

So here is the recipe and some pictures. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and during the freezing periods don’t be afraid to crack open a bottle of wine and turn on a movie.. thats what we did :).

Oreo Truffles/Balls

Ingredients

  • 8oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 package Oreos
  • About 12 oz of chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tbs vegetable shortening

Steps

  1. Crush Oreos. To do this you can either use a food processor or a plastic bag and hammer.
  2. Mix cream cheese and Oreos together. If you are using the bag method you will have to do this part by hand (GREAT WORKOUT!) If you are using a food processor you can just toss the cream cheese right it.
  3. Put the mix in the freezer for about 30 min.
  4. Take the mix out of the freezer and roll it into small balls.
  5. Put the rolled dough back into the freezer for about 30 min.
  6. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and vegetable shortening over low heat.
  7. During dipping, only take out about 5 balls at a time (so they don’t all thaw out before you dip them.) Using toothpicks, dip them into the chocolate.
  8. Place on wax paper and let harden (I usually put them back in the freezer so that they harden faster and then I can eat them sooner 😀 ).
  9. Enjoy!
Ingredients

Ingredients

Allie getting her workout on smashing up some Oreos

Allie getting her workout on smashing up some Oreos

All Mixed!

All Mixed!

Enjoy!

Th lighting was pretty bad in this photo— But they still tasted amazing!

A little advice:

All though you may want to eat many of these in one sitting, I highly recommend not to. I have learned from many past experiences, which all gave me a short sugar rush and then made me crash with a stomach ache due to eating to much rich foods. Two of them are the perfect amount :).

The Heart of Baking Spirits Bright

The last Christmas I had with my mom she gave me a little silver gingerbread pin with a  message on it that read “Baking Spirits Bright”.

Her disappointment in her voice when she found out I hadn’t worn it once while baking for that Christmas still haunts me a bit. I was actually on the phone with her, two hours away at school and about a month after she had given me when she said “I never saw you wearing that gingerbread pin I gave you”. This little pin wasn’t something she had just thrown into my Christmas gifts as a gift filler. She truly believed my baking brightened those around me and she had given me that pin from the depths of her heart hoping I would wear it and realize the impact I was having on others.

Although I still do not wear it around I keep it in a safe spot, taking it out every once in a while to remind myself of the many joys baking brings as well as the many memories of my mom that exist because of baking.

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