Chocolate Covered Strawberries

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is the day for lovers, loved ones, and everyone one who chooses love over hate and pain. We should live a life full of love and hope! The world would be a much better place. Be a blessing to someone today. Give a hug, smile when you don’t have to or need to or want to. You never know who may be watching and who will pay it forward.

Several years ago when I graduated from college, my aunt was a blessing to me and gifted me a cruise to Key West and the Bahamas! Talk about a good time!!!! We had a blast! The food was great not to mention the drinks! We did the Bar Crawl which basically was a tour of several bars in Key West. We also had some time to experience the food. I definitely appreciate the love my aunt showed me. I had such a great time that we were cruising again in less than a year!

One of the small things that I enjoyed was the tray of treats that were waiting for us in our room. The single treat that I enjoyed the most was the chocolate covered strawberries. Of course I had seen them before and wanted to try them but I simply hadn’t. When we returned home, I decided that I would try to make them myself. For those of you who know me…you know that I will try almost anything. So I did a little research and said how hard can it really be to cover some berries. Well let me tell you…sometimes the smallest things can be the most difficult. However after trying to get them perfect, I realized that they didn’t have to be. They were still good! So I made them and my family was absolutely glad that I did. Two ingredients and some wax paper are all you need really.

You’re going to want to find the sweetest, juiciest, freshest strawberries that are available. I tend to make a lot of these when it’s strawberry season.

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients

1 quart of strawberries…washed and dried with the stem still in tact

1/2 pkg of Almond bark…melted in a bowl

Tray covered in wax paper

 

Directions

  1. Melt almond bark according to package directions
  2. Dip berries holding them by the stem, one at a time in the almond bark ( I’ve found this to be the easiest way)
  3. Let the excess drain and place on the tray to dry (if you are adventurous…before they dry sprinkle with finely chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips…the possibilities are endless!)

 

This is a nice treat to end the night with! Enjoy! Thanks for reading!

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Baby Brother’s Eggrolls

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I have a baby brother whom I don’t get to see very often because he lives in the Midwestern part of the country. However, he too has taken a liking to cooking. He and his wife enjoy being in the kitchen together. I think that’s amazing! Like I said in the last post, food is the love that binds us all together. Cook with those you love! You’d be amazed at the interaction and the feel good endorphin’s that are released! I remember when he got his first apartment in California and started cooking. He used to call me on the phone and ask how to cook different things. We would talk during his preparation and cooking process. It was a great bonding experience for us because we were so far apart!

I have to take a moment to shout out a local chef/entrepreneur…Free Spirit Food Shack! Keisha Gause is living her dream. I had the chance to partake in some of her cuisine and I was impressed. I had the daily special which was fish tacos w/chips and avocado slaw! Because I can’t pass up an egg roll , I also had a beef egg roll. She is reasonably priced and she delivers. Check her out on Facebook…Free Spirit Food Shack.

Back to the recipe at hand here….when Little brother was home, he and his wife graced the family with some home made egg rolls and spring rolls. They were delicious! He says that they can’t take full credit for this recipe because they received it from a friend and they’ve put their own spin on it. As will I.  He gave me the ingredients without specific measurements. So I have tried to give some measurements along with my additions to this masterpiece.

Everyone was oooing and awing over them. They made my tongue want to slap my brains out!…LOL…I must say that I have never tasted an egg roll any better at any restaurant. They were absolutely amazing!

We are an eclectic family with several nationalities under one roof and we all like to try different things. So don’t be surprised at some of the dishes that I feature here. I think it’s great to try new things. It’s exciting! Making egg rolls can be a tedious job but soooo worth the end result! I hope you enjoy them as much as my family has!

You can use shrimp, ground pork, or beef. I use shrimp. Baby brother uses ground pork and chicken…not together…lol…but if you like to experiment, mix and match what you like!

Baby Brother’s Eggrolls

5 tbs minced garlic

3/4 lb cabbage, sliced thinly

1 1/2 lbs peeled, deveined, chopped shrimp ( I leave them whole)

1/2 sweet onion diced

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped

3 green onions (my addition to the recipe)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tbs sesame oil (my addition to the recipe)

1 box of Thai Kitchen rice noodles…you will use less than half the box.

salt & pepper to taste

Egg roll wraps

Directions

  1. In a large skillet or wok…add sesame oil, 3 tbs of garlic and shrimp(meat of choice) and cook until shrimp turn pink.
  2. Remove shrimp and place on the side. Add onions(sweet & green), carrots, cabbage, ginger, remaining garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is al dente.
  3. Cook noodles per package directions and drain.
  4. Mix everything together and let cool. It’s easier to wrap with cooler ingredients than hot…it will rip the wrap
  5. Once mixture has cooled, wrap eggrolls.
  6. Deep Fry in 350-375 degree temperature canola oil for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.

 

My 1st recipe with Grandma was Chocolate Candy

Welcome to Sheca Cooks!

 

Grandma's Chocolate Candy
My first candy recipe

 

This is my very first post! I’m so excited…this may seem trivial but it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been contemplating starting this blog for more than a year. I finally decided to do it with nudge from a great friend! Sometimes all it takes are a few kind words of encouragement to get going. Well let me be the first to tell you….if you have a dream don’t procrastinate…tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us…GO FOR IT! YOU CAN DO IT!  

My Grandma is very special! She has always encouraged me to do whatever I set my mind to. I think it is her that introduced me to how wonderful cooking is…especially with those you love.  Like my Grandma, food is the one thing that can bring us all together! We laugh, we cry, we dance, we talk about whatever is going on in our lives…all over great food! If it’s a huge planned get together or if it’s me stopping by and she is about to cook or already has…there’s always something for you at Grandma’s house.  She likes to make me think that she learns from me…however I can definitely say that I’ve spent my life surrounded by great women who have taught me love, patience, endurance, strength, and the ability to pick myself up when I fall. You know what I mean….the old adage about feed a man a fish and he eats for a day…teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry…..well let me say this…I’ve never been hungry.  I’m proud to have women in my life that I call mama, grandma, and aunt!  Okay….I’m tearing up…back to the task at hand…

The very first recipe we (Grandma & I)  ever made together was a super sweet, delicious, chocolate covered creamy, nutty bite of goodness! I’m sure other people have made it and have a name for it but we called it chocolate candy!  Her recipe included paraffin wax to melt with the chocolate to help it dry quickly and stay firm. My recipe is slightly different because I use candy melts or almond bark. 

Grandma’s Chocolate Candy

1 1/2 softened sticks of butter

1 lb of confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 pkg of chocolate almond bark or chips of choice

 

Directions

1. Cream butter and sugar first then add vanilla and condensed milk.  Mix together until smooth.

2. Stir in the nuts. Set bowl in refrigerator to cool and set for about 10 minutes.

3. Create balls or shapes of your choice out of the nut mixture. You may want to spray your spoon or scooper with some cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place pieces on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

4. In a large microwave safe bowl…melt the bark or chips according to package directions.

5. Remove the balls/shapes from freezer. Use a fork to dip the  pieces in bark and cover well. Let drain and sit back on wax paper to harden.

I hope you enjoy this treat! Of course it’s not something you will eat daily. However, it’s simple and quick.