Delicious chocolate strawberries

I’m starting to get the feeling that summer is winding down, which means stocking up on strawberries while they’re still abundant at the grocery store. However, this also means that I sometimes have more strawberries than I know what to do with. So I made one of my favorite desserts, which I love because it is so simple to make, requires only two ingredients (strawberries and chocolate chips), but feels like a rich treat.

They don’t look as refined as the ones I’ve seen from those Edible Arrangements franchises popping up everywhere lately, but I think their amateur appearance makes the chocolate covered strawberries I made taste even more delicious.

I took fresh strawberries, rinsed them, and patted them dry with paper towels. Since I didn’t have a double boiler, I fashioned my own improvised one by filling a small saucepan about a half-inch high with water and setting a quart-sized Pyrex inside.

I slowly melted a handful of dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips (about 70 percent dark chocolate chips, 30 percent milk chocolate chips) over low-medium heat. The most important step here is not to rush and to keep stirring—don’t leave the chocolate unattended. If you’re doing a small batch, it should be melted quickly.

When the chocolate was melted, I removed the entire pan/Pyrex from the stove top, and used a silicone brush (usually used for brushing barbecue sauce on ribs in our house) to brush the chocolate onto the strawberries.

The chocolate was nearly hardened 10 minutes later, but I did sneak a few while they were still a little warm and melty.

Cool summer cocktail

The suddenly summer weather has had me wanting a refreshing happy hour, and I’ve been loving the fresh strawberries in season. I created a cocktail using the infuser that came in a Level Vodka gift set and so far, it works best with easily squishable fruits like strawberries. (Level marketing people will be thrilled, I think Jan actually bought the set just for the cool infuser it came with, but the vodka is also excellent – and made in Sweden – so it’s got a lot going for it.)

Place strawberries at the bottom of the infuser, pour in vodka to the fill-line, and press down. You can also use a blender or food processor and strain after blending. Pour into a glass with ice cubes and add club soda (also works with tonic or ginger ale if you’re not a club soda fan). Garnish with a strawberry and enjoy!