Insert Loud Slurping Noises Here

I almost wrote insert loud licking noises here but then it occurred to me that that may have been enough to have my site show up when people are hunting for porn. And while I’m all for increasing my readership, I don’t think I want to do it THAT way ๐Ÿ˜€ but licking noises would have worked too because this refreshing drink is so good you’ll start out slurping and end up licking… the glass, you pervs, the glass! Shame on you! ๐Ÿ˜›

I believe I may have mentioned once or twice or five thousand times that I am a tea fanatic. I am pretty peasant in my tastes too. Give me a nice black tea, maybe some orange pekoe and I’m set. That was my way of saying that yes, I use Lipton tea bags and love them. Tea doesn’t have to cost 20 dollars for an ounce of it to be good. I’m about as far from snooty as you can get about tea. Ok, that’s not true. I won’t drink store brand teas cause I haven’t found a good one yet and I won’t drink decaf tea because it tastes weird. If you’re a coffee drinker who thinks that of decaf coffee (which strangely enough, tastes fine to me) you can understand where I’m coming from there.

I do however love variety teas. I enjoy some herbal teas. Celestial Seasonings makes some wonderful ones. One of my favorites is the most soothing drink ever to have late at night.

 

I love that stuff. But one of my all time favorite teas is Constant Comment tea. It is a black tea that is flavored with orange rind, cinnamon and other spices. It is SO good.

 

So one day a few years back, I wanted something cold. It was approximately 5000 degrees outside (the people of Mercury came here for a tropical vacation) and I was dying of heatstroke. But I still wanted tea. So I took my constant comment tea and made a batch then mixed it with some instant strawberry lemonade. Voila!! (Sorry, don’t know how to make the thingie that makes that word look official) I had a new and so yummy Summertime drink. It’s tart (you can make it sweeter with more drink mix) and refreshing. It’s also good hot in Winter btw. And it couldn’t be any simpler. So give this a try. Make a batch, float some frozen Strawberries in it, get out a good book and sit down and relax while you sip this. Slurping allowed. But I wouldn’t suggest licking out the glass unless you’re alone. You’ll get some weird looks.

Spiced Strawberry Lemonade Constant Comment tea

  • 1 quart water
  • 5 Constant Comment tea bags
  • 1 cup pre-sweetened strawberry lemonade soft drink mix (I use Smuckers Brand)
  1. In a medium bowl, microwave the tea bags and water for five minutes. Let steep at least one hour.
  2. Mix in the strawberry lemonade mix. Let cool. Add cold water and ice to make this equal a half gallon. Garnish with frozen strawberries. Drink. Slurp a lot.

Have I Mentioned That I love Berries And Chocolate?

I love them separately, I love them together. I do so love them on a plane, I would happily chow down on them on a train. I would eat them with a goat (but he better not try to get any) I would eat them near a moat. I will so eat them sam I am. I would eat them in a can. Ok, maybe not that last part but my rhyming skills are rusty.

Ok, now that my Dr. Seuss moment is over, I really do love berries. And chocolate. And berries and chocolate together. I look forward to Spring/Summer every year for one reason only since I hate the heat. I can get berries inexpensively (and corn on the cob but that’s another story.)

I wanted to make something with fruit for today (Memorial Day) but I just wasn’t up to something that took a lot of work or, since I wanted something my two year old (and grandkids) could eat, something that was too messy.

I decided to make a bar cookie with fresh Strawberries. Then the wonderful thought occurred to me to use chocolate too because I mean really, is there anything better than a chocolate covered strawberry? Except maybe chocolate and raspberries.

I ended up with a mildly sweet shortbread style crust with a juicy creamy chocolate covered strawberry center topped by crumbs and more chocolate. While my recipe is fairly different, I want to give a shout out to the lovely hostess ofย  Can You Stay For Dinner for the inspiration.

So if you want a nice bar cookie to take with to a BBQ tonight, this one will work for you. It would also be great as a weeknight (or weekend) dessert for your family or the best idea of all, just as one of those go hide in the closet and whimper pitifully if anyone comes near and tries to take them from you style sweets.

Enjoy!! Have a great Memorial Day!

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY BARS

  • CRUST-
  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • FILLING-
  • 1 lb container fresh strawberries, capped and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves (I actually ended up using a 1/4 cup strawberry and a 1/4 cup Raspberry but you can use what you like)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.
  3. Combine flour, butter and powdered sugar until you have pea sized crumbs.
  4. Pat 2 cups of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Set the rest aside.
  5. Bake the crust for ten minutes or until a very light golden brown around the edges.
  6. Meanwhile, gently fold your sliced strawberries together with the preserves.
  7. In a small bowl, mix half the bag of chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and microwave on high in 30 seconds increments, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  8. Carefully spread the strawberry mixture on top of the hot crust. Then pour the chocolate/milk mix on top of the berries and spread. Sprinkle that with the reserved crumbs and the other half of the bag of chocolate chips.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is set.
  10. Let cool, preferably in the fridge for a couple of hours. But just letting it cool and attacking it works too.

 

The Proof Is In The Pudding…Or Something Like That

 

What the heck does that MEAN anyway? It’s one of those saying that everyone has heard but only Etymologists understand. There are so many weird sayings that have been passed on down through the ages. Where the heck did “A little bird told me” come from? I can’t count how many times someone would tattle on me when I was a kid (and I have no idea why. I was an angel- an ANGEL I tell you!) and my mother would tell me that a little bird told her I had done whatever it was I was about to get in trouble for. I…WANT…THAT…DARN…BIRD! I have a frying pan ready for him. Gossiping little piece of feathers got me in more trouble when I was young.

Other sayings make far too much sense. Like ” A fool and his money are soon parted”. We won’t delve too deeply into that one. But…ummm… take my advice. Stay away from Amazon when you’re tired and bored.

Or “A penny for your thoughts”. Am I the only one who thinks that with the state of the economy, that penny is just not cutting it? Offer me a thousand dollars and we’ll talk.

What about “A word to the wise is sufficient”? So if I come up to someone and say ” Monkey” they will know exactly what to do with that sage advice?

Ok, I’m rambling now. Maybe I should be “A (wo)man of few words” and just get to the food huh?

Well, since I still have no oven cause the landlord hasn’t called back, I made chocolate pudding. Deep dark rich and creamy chocolate pudding. Pudding so good you’ll weep. Pudding so creamy…

I’m rambling again aren’t I? Sigh. Here ya go. Deep dark chocolate pudding with a Strawberry sauce.

Deep Dark Chocolate Pudding With Strawberry Couli

  1. 1 16 oz container frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar (can be subbed with splenda)
  3. 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted to break up the lumps)
  4. 1/3 cup cornstarch
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder (doesn’t add flavor so much as depth and can be omitted if desired)
  7. 4 cups whole milk
  8. 1 cup heavy cream
  9. 1 cup chocolate chips (can use milk or semi sweet. Milk makes for a milder pudding; semi sweet makes a strong deep chocolate flavor)
  10. 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry Couli

  • To make the couli couldn’t be simpler- Dump your container of strawberries, syrup and all, into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Blend or process until it is a nice puree; maybe 5 seconds. You can either use it as is or slowly whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into it and heat until it is boiling and thickened, then let cool. Either way works.

Chocolate Pudding

  • In a fairly large saucepan or pot, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Try to break up any little lumps.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk. If you pour it all in at once, you’ll have a time getting all the lumps out. Do it a bit at a time.
  • Over medium heat, stirring constantly (go to a wooden spoon now), heat until the mixture is gently boiling and thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla. Let it sit for about 5 minutes then stir to combine the now melted chips with the pudding mixture. Pour into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  • When pudding is chilled, whip the one cup of heavy cream. Fold the cream into the pudding mixture until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon a large spoonful of the strawberry couli onto the bottom of your serving bowls. Add chocolate pudding on top of this and then top with more whipped cream (I used chocolate whipped cream because…well… cause I could.) and more couli. This makes five “Oh my God; you expect me to eat all of that?!” sized servings or 10 normal ones. The recipe can be easily halved.
  • You can make this pudding up to the point of chilling and then eat as is or with the sauce without folding in the heavy cream but be warned; without the addition of the cream, it is a very heavy dense creamy pudding. The addition of the whipped cream in it lightens it up (as contrary as that may sound lol)

Hmm; methinks I need to get new dishwasher detergent if the water spots on that glass are any indication ๐Ÿ˜›