Tag Archives: love

Chocolate Covered Strawberries {Recipe}

24 Jul

CCS (2)Chocolate covered strawberries. The lovers’ dessert. So luxurious, delectable, decadent and perfect for literally ANY occasion. My love affair with chocolate covered strawberries started at a young age when I was convinced I was being healthy because I was eating fruit – who cares if they are doused in chocolate? They are still fruit! Fruit is one of my favorite food groups – so to pay homage to such tasty treats I have decided to share my secret recipe for this lovely dessert. You’d be surprised how easy they are to make! They will surely impress whoever you are making them for..

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Organic Strawberries
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses (yes, seriously)

Directions:

1. Gently wash the strawberries and pat dry with paper towels – let sit for at least 20 minutes so they are completely dry 

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2. While they dry…

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unwrap the kisses and place in a glass bowl

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3. Melt the kisses in the microwave at 1 minute intervals – stirring with a rubber spatula in between 

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4. Dip the clean, dry strawberries into the chocolate all the way up to the greens (this is the fun part!)

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5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 

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6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until all the strawberries are done! If you want to get creative, you can drizzle them with another color chocolate! Below, I drizzled with pink for my nieces Baptism party

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7. Refrigerate the berries until the chocolate has hardened — it only takes a few minutes

Once the chocolate has set up, your hard work pays off!

Enjoy with a glass of champagne 🙂

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I would love to hear about your chocolate covered strawberry adventures! Send me a tweet or an email to let me know how you did! Pictures are always welcome ❤

xoxo

Sara 

New York Bound – Day 2

7 Jul

Day 2 of our New York trip was the one I was most looking forward to — wine tasting on Eastern Long Island with my friend Ally! Ally and I went to the same high school AND college but didn’t meet until we were placed in the same apartment while studying abroad in Florence, Italy in 2009.  This is us in front of our favorite bridge in the WORLD the Ponte Vecchio:

Ponte Vecchio!

Ponte Vecchio!

 

and a pic of us in Sicily!

Circa 2009

Circa 2009

Well many years have passed since we traveled Europe together but we finally reunited for the first time in nearly three years for wine tasting on LI! Wes and I also stayed with Ally and her fiance, Chris, at their brand new home – we were their first ever guests! So exciting.

Before meeting up with them at their home, I HAD to take Wes to my favorite deli in the world – the one I ate at literally every single day (my dad jokes that we bought the owner his hummer) called se-port. I am so upset that I did not take a single picture of Wes devouring his first se-port sandwich (no he didn’t get a boone – I ordered him an American hero with mac salad because he wanted something cold).  I was so busy chatting with all the se-port guys I totally forgot to snap some pics – they all remembered me even though I’ve been gone for 4 years! So exciting 🙂

So after our se-port run and a quick drive through my old home – we met up with Ally and Chris and their new puppy Brewster! Then we headed out east to Martha Clara vineyard for a few bottles of wine, some snacks and a little world cup action – Brazil was playing that afternoon and Chris is half Brazilian so we had to keep an eye on the score!

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We tried two different white wines and they were both fabulous. I know everyone raves about wine from the Napa Valley – but Long Island can definitely hold their own in the vinosphere (hahaha get it???)

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Martha Clara also had a little farm and corn hole boards set up! Which we ended up never playing because we were so focused on our fresh guacamole and local wine.

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We had plans to stop by two other vineyards but we ended up loving the atmosphere at Martha Clara  so much we decided to forgo the other two and just enjoy the afternoon there! We also wanted to head back to Port Jefferson before the sun set so we could show Wes the water and get ice cream at my favorite ice cream shop called Snow White and The Seven Flavors — which apparently Ally and I are the only ones that know that’s the actual name of the place

2014!

2014!

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After our Port Jeff rendezvous we met up with my brother for some drinks and food and then headed back to Ally and Chris’ to play with little Brewster! He was only 8 weeks old so we had to head back to our little baby – I can’t believe I don’t have any pics of him either! I’m a terrible blogger

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I am already missing my friend so much – but we are trying to make plans for them to come visit Raleigh for Labor day! So i’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to show them all around Raleigh and bring them on the Green Machine Raleigh Brew Tour!

Thanks Ally and Chris for a wonderful Long Island themed night! I love you!!! ❤

Chris and Wes "not posing"

Chris and Wes “not posing”

A Year in Review… Asia, Europe and back to the States

9 Jan
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A truck in Hong Kong

One year ago from today I was packing my bags in Bangkok, Thailand and beginning the long trek back home to Florence, Italy. At this moment in time, I was a little confused about where my life was going. I was no longer sure that I wanted to stay in Europe, but I couldn’t think of another place that I was ready to call home. I decided to take the last few months I had before my sisters April wedding and just sit in Florence and think, feel, reflect. Things people normally do when they need to make a major decision in the course of their lives. Well a year has gone by and what have a accomplished? (So cliche using the passing of a year to reflect on ones life but get over it, its happening). In my life, according to my standards I’d say… a lot. More than I could have ever imagined on that day sitting in my Bangkok hotel room.

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Thai food in Thailand

1. I’ve let go of people in my past that had to be let go of (a tough thing to do in life). I think this is something I’m most proud of, since its a very hard decision to let go of things and people that no longer serve you. Sometimes we use the past as a safety net, not wanting to let go for fear of missing out on something that “might be”. But holding on to the past will only inhibit your future.

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Drinking a watermelon smoothie on the Island of Koh Chang, Thailand

2. I decided that I needed to return to the States. After more than 2 years of constant travel, I finally realized that I had to go home for “a little while”. This has since turned into a long while, being that up until a few months ago I was still convinced that one day I would be returning to my old life in Europe (more about that later).

2. I started my first business with my dad and finally listened to his words of wisdom. Examples of Dad’s words of wisdom:

  • “If you make enough money, you’ll always be able to return to Europe”
  • “If you don’t get a job I will stop paying for your shenanigans”
  • “Listen to what I say, not what I do”
  • “Just listen to me, I am the boss”
  • “You probably don’t need to be eating that second piece of cake”

He’s so wise in so many ways. Especially about the cake.

3. okay, get ready, this is going to sound super corny. Reason number 3: I fell in love. When I never thought I would. Did I just get lucky? Was I in the right place at the right time? Did I have anything to do with making this happen at all or did the universe just slowly guide me to that bar in downtown Raleigh? Maybe my dad was right all along, “listen to me and I will find you a husband”. (and he’s the one that convinced me to move to Raleigh, coincidence?)

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Working the Hong Kong metro

I always believed in the power of love, that love could move mountains, heal illnesses, stop a war if you loved hard enough. But I never thought love in all its power could keep me from Italy. But if you asked me now which I would choose, love or a life in Italy? Well, I’ll let you answer that one.

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Wes and myself on his birthday

This past year has taught me a lot about myself and my life. I’ve learned that I can order vegetarian food in thai, traverse my way through the Hong Kong metro system, that the laws of the Italian visa system don’t apply to you if you don’t want them to, that I can give up on old dreams and begin working on new ones, that I can feel so much love in my life that if I think about it long enough it will bring me to tears. All this and more has happened in just 12 months and I wouldn’t change a single second of it, because it brought me to where I am right now, still not completely sure of where my life will take me, but unafraid of where its leading.

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A night at the NC State Fair (fried oreos included)

28 Oct

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Its that time of year again! The North Carolina State Fair… rides, pig races, games, ginormous vegetables and lots of food that is fried, fried, FRIED. While I like to pride myself on being healthy, I am secretly a fried food, cheese puff, dessert loving poor excuse of a  vegetarian. While I absolutely love fruit smoothies and vegetables, I’ll be the first to tell you that ANYTHING tastes better fried. Including oreos. Therefore, I dedicate this post to the NC State Fair and all of its versions of fried food. This list includes, oreos, candy bars, cheese, vegetables, dough, and BUTTER. Yes, there is such a thing as fried butter and it can be purchased for a ridiculously over priced fee at the State Fair (I don’t know, however, what this fee is because I knew that by asking the butter frier how much his fried butter costs I would have been too easily convinced to purchase and consume the fried butter- as an avid baker and semi trained pastry chef I have a strong bond with butter)

List of fried foods

List of fried foods

Now lets get to the Oreos —  Even though I just went on a rant about how much I love terrible food, for obvious reasons I do not consume them on a daily basis and only reserve myself one night a year to indulge in fried Oreos. If you haven’t already guessed that night is the State Fair (or any fair that has fried Oreos – so yes I ate them a few weeks ago at the MNO Party — hehehe!!)

Dousing my beloveds in powdered sugar

Dousing my beloveds in powdered sugar

After having to wait an excruciating 4.5 minutes for our Oreos to be freshly fried , my little babies were finally in my hands. They were fresh out of the frier and piping hot.  But that didn’t stop me.

HERE THEY ARE

HERE THEY ARE

Next are a series of photos documented by my little Wesley

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Next, a picture of Wes and Myself after the massacre.

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 He’s terrified and disgusted at the same time. His face explains it all, he is definitely rethinking his choice in women. He’s not sure wether to laugh or cry, stay or leave. Just eat an Oreo Wesley, just eat an Oreo.

He eats an Oreo and his faith in our relationship is restored.

Giant pumpkin winners

Giant pumpkin winners

 We finish walking the rest of the fair and saw the winners of the giant vegetable challenge (that may not be the actual name of the event). The biggest pumpkin was over 700 pounds!

After moseying around in the cold a bit more, we finished the night off with some fried mozzarella sticks and a vow to never eat like that again. Until next year. At the North Carolina State Fair.

Living like an islander in the Turks and Caicos Islands

13 Sep

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Since I get extremely antsy staying in one place for too long, Wes and I booked a weekend trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands for a mini adventure in some new surroundings. This was kind of a last minute trip so we didn’t have too much time to plan our activities out in advance, but luckily for us, on an Island that has the most beautiful turquoise waters I have ever seen, the main attraction is SNORKELING. Since I am not yet Scuba certified, Wes and I decided to skip out on diving all together so we could do everything together and decided to venture out on our hotel bikes to the other side of the Island to Turtle Cove for some snorkeling. I bought a snazzy new snorkel set from a store down the street from our resort since sharing snorkels kind of grosses me out (I am not that into swapping old crusty spit from hundreds of people I’ve never even met, you know what I mean?)

Diving for sand dollars with my new pink snorkel

Diving for sand dollars with my new pink snorkel

I went for the black goggles and a pink snorkel!

Taking a break from our "highly not recommended" bike ride

Taking a break from our “highly not recommended” bike ride

The best part about this day was the bike ride we took from our resort to the famed snorkel spot at Turtle Cove. When we asked our concierge how long it takes to bike there, they assured us that its too far, unsafe, and not recommended in the killer heat. After hearing their comments we decided that they were all lying and went anyway. Well guess what? It was definitely a sweat inducing, dehydrating,sun scorching, quad burning workout in 100 degree weather and it took WAY. TOO. LONG. Oh and did I mention we only brought one dinky bottle of water? We almost DIED.  But we  made it there! and once we jumped into those beautiful waters we were back to our happy selves.

Ready to Snorkel!

Ready to Snorkel!

The worst part about the ending to this story is that we didn’t get to see any cool fish. LET DOWN!

and so I move on to the next day. After our snorkeling/island hopping excursion was cancelled because of weather, we decided to cab it to another famed snorkel spot a 10 min drive from our hotel. This time, as soon as we got in the water we saw amazing things! Baby barracuda, grown barracuda, crabs, sand dollars,  flounder, parrot fish and snazzy little electric blue fishes.

Snorkel smooches

Snorkel smooches

They have a portion of the reef blocked off with rope and buoys as to protect the coral. We decided we were brave enough to swim all the way out and around the blocked off portion (we saw a child doing it and figured it must be easy) but about 2.5 minutes into our trek we swam into this nice mama barracuda! This made us realize we couldn’t possibly swim any further without lunch and some tropical rum filled drinks. So we turned around, toweled off and enjoyed an afternoon in the sun.

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The scaweeee barracuda

After our snorkel adventure we went back to the hotel to watch the sunset over a couple of red stripes and relax under the warm Island sun.

The next night we met a nice couple from Canada who convinced us to sneak into Club Med with them with fake wrist bands to get free drinks. We got about 10 free drinks until the bouncer figured out our scheme, snatched our drinks out of our hands and kicked us all out. Note to those trying to sneak into club med: don’t ask the bouncer where the bathroom is when you are wearing a fake wristband and holding their free drinks!

More posts on what to eat and where to stay in Turks soon to come! Until then be sure to follow me on twitter @SaraLoch

xoxo Sara