Saturday, June 27, 2009

Let's take a dip! Chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries. PLUS my very first giveaway!!!

Photobucket

In the last couple of weeks it has come to my attention that my kids will eat ANYTHING that has been dipped in chocolate or has chocolate involved. So when brainstorming for my "Fourth of July" treat ideas, it was a no brainer that this would be one of them and who wouldn't love a pail full of chocolate covered pretzles and strawberries? I also couldn't resisit trying to make "tuxedo" strawberries and boy am I glad I did! Those things are freakin' cute!!! Although there isn't much of a recipe to this I can tell you what I used.

Photobucket

Bag of pretzel rods - once you buy one bag you will become obsessed with standing at the store trying to pick the bag with the least amount of broken ones.

Wilton Candy Melts - I had white for the pretzels, a bag of dark chocolate for the strawberries and a bag of red colored white chocolate for the squiggles.

Instructions are pretty simple - dip in the chocolate and deocorate!! Okay maybe not that simple but here are a few things I've learned along the way:

* If microwaving the chocolate make sure you do it for short intervals at a time (either 30 seconds full power or 1 min on 50% power). Chocolate DOES burn and it happens rather fast. I have heard that you can save it by adding some Crisco to it, but in my experience that is like an urban ledgend because once my has been done it is DONE, no Crisco can save the day.

* Like the in the movie Gremlins - never, never get it wet. The chocolate will "seize" - or in regular terms will get into this big blog of funky chocolate that is impossible to save.

* When making the pretzels and decorating with sprinkles and nonpareils, make sure that you have shaken all of the excess chocolate off of the pretzel rods before sprinkling the decorations on. If not, chocolate will fall off in globs and into the bowl of decorations. Messed up pretzel rods and decorations = not good.

* When drizzling use either a disposable pastry bag or a sandwich bag. I melt my chocolate right in the bag and then cut a very small portion of the corner off. Begin to drizzle by zig zagging back and forth. Start with this motion prior to getting to the item that you are drizzling.

* Allow pretzels and/or strawberries to chill(until completely set)in the refrigerator before packaging.

*I microwave my chocolate for dipping pretzels, but for the strawberries I use a small melting pot (again I have a Wilton). You can use a small crock pot if you have one.

* When using a double boiler (which is what I used to do prior to purchasing my Wilton chocolate melting pot), remove the top pan and fill the bottom of the with just enough water so that it does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Cook on medium heat until you reach a boil (Remeber DO NOT have the chocolate on at this stage). Once it has reached a boil, turn off the heat THEN place the top pan (with the chocolate for melting) on the bottom of the double boiler. If the chocolate begins to harden, repeat the process but make sure you remove the chocolate before you turn the heat back on.

Photobucket

* For the tuxedo strawberries dip entirely in white chocolate. Place in refrigerator and wait for the white chocolate to harden. After it is set, bring back out and dip one side at an angle into regular chocolate, lift and repeat dipping the other side. Decorate buttons with a toothpick that has been dipped in chocolate of an alternate color.


ENJOY!!!

KEEP READING TO FIND OUT ABOUT MY GIVEAWAY!!!!

So here it is my first giveaway!!! Drum roll please....... Up for grabs is this wonderful little cookbook you might have heard about, from a very creative lady you might have heard about. Without further ado I present you to, Martha Stewart's Cupcake book!

Photobucket

Photo is courtesy of http://www.marthastewart.com/

To win this wonderful book here's all you have to do:

1.) Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite summertime dinner or dessert is (feel free to link your blog as well!). Remember to leave contact information with either your email or your own blog.

2.) Deadline to enter is 8pm PT on Tuesday June 30, 2009. The winner will be announced on Wednesday morning on this post.

3.) The winner will be chosen at random by random.org - random number generator.

GOOD LUCK and thanks for visiting my blog!

46 comments:

  1. we make frozen yogurt at least once a week in the summer! YUM! Not only is it delish... but its also Fat Free. WOW!

    jansanderson@sisna.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the tuxedo strawberries! So cute.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVE those pretzel rods! I used to dip mine first in melted caramel and then into melted chocolate.

    My favorite summer dessert is anything with strawberries and rhubarb or ice cream,frozen yogurt,the list is endless really. As for dinners,anything thats been grilled. I love bbqing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My favourite summer time dessert is home made ice cream. We use this throw around ice cream ball to make it. You can read about it here:

    http://latestaddictions.blogspot.com/2009/05/product-review-play-and-freeze-ice.html

    I really love it, simply because it is something that the kids and I get to do together :)

    I would LOVE to win this book!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your pretzels are the bomb! I could eat that whole pail!

    My favorite summer time dinner has to be Carne Asada. We invite the family, bar-b-que, drink some cervezas and have a great time.
    We serve it with rice and beans of course ;-).

    ReplyDelete
  6. My favorite summer time dinner is a big salad. Something that is easy to put together and won't heat up the kitchen. But... my favorite dessert is homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches. I will take the heat in the kitchen for the gooey goodness of a fresh baked cookie!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your pretzels are outstanding - Great job!

    Our favorite dessert is Lemon Icebox Pie - yum!

    beccachris(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Those pretzels are to die for! I just might have to try them myself! :D

    My favorite summer dessert is lemon curd with anything! Lemon is the epitome of summer for me.

    I have been craving that book forever too! Thanks for doing a giveaway!
    thebandneverdances@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Our favorite summer dinner is BBQ and watermelon. They taste even better when you eat them on a picnic blanket out in the yard.

    The pretzels look amazing I only make them at Christmas, but I think it's time to share them at other holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how festive and fun your dipped pretzels are. Great job!!
    My favorite summer treats are icy cold homemade drinks, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My favorite summer dessert its have to be "Crema de Fruta" is so refreshing and yummy. and the only place would you find the recipe is right here http://artofdessert.blogspot.com/2008/12/crema-de-fruta.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ooooh I can't wait to try making these pretzel rods.

    I love, love, love mixed berry cobbler during the summer. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream of course :o)

    ReplyDelete
  13. sweet summer corn and a fresh picked salad!
    daveo1@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. your pretzels and strawberries look perfect! I just found your blog but I'm going to bookmark it to see what else you have in store for us.

    My favorite thing to make in the summer is homemade ice cream. Strawberry and banana are my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just might have to make the pretzels for my coworkers this year.

    My favorite summer time dessert is pink lemonade pie. So cool and refreshing! It just tastes like summer!!!


    http://cherylskitchen.blogspot.com/search?q=lemonade+pie

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just love mango pudding in summers after dinner. Flavor of mango is so refreshing and takes away all the heat immediately

    http://cooking-pleasures.blogspot.com/2009/05/mango-pudding-summer-dessert-delicious.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anything that does not require I turn on the stove. Examples include chilled pies, homemade ice cream, or better yet letting my local baker cook for me! Donna in Austin, Texas
    dltgrl@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful work!

    And nothing beats sorbet or frozen yogurt as a summertime dessert. Strawberry takes first place in my book!

    ReplyDelete
  19. We eat alot of fruit salad-sometimes with yogurt or whipped cream but usually just plain.
    Debra
    datgrl at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I already have the cookbook, so I'm not entering - but I just wanted to say that the pretzels are very cute with the red white and blue!

    ReplyDelete
  21. ina garten's potato salad nicoise and watermelon

    kmesun@rocketmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm not entering the competition (because I just ordered the book from barnes&noble.com) but I wanted to answer anyways! :D My favorite summertime dessert is "Better Than Sex" cake. My mom used to make it when I was a kid. And now I make it every summer. We make the kind with vanilla cake, pineapple and vanilla pudding between the layers, and coconut, whipped cream, and walnuts on top! It's so refreshing, and it's delicious right out of the fridge!

    PS: the pretzel sticks and strawberries are just gorgeous! :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. mmmmmm.delish. I love chocolate covered ANYTHING
    My favorite summertime treat...Frozen watermellon

    ReplyDelete
  24. These came out absolutely precious looking! Adorable! As for my favorite summer time treat, it's probably a TWO WAY TIE!!!!: Smores made on a fire outdoors in the lovely summer air, or a Soft Serve ice cream cone smothered in sprinkles. Gotta love it!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love the chocolate love basket! My favorite summer time treat is anything on the grill. My husband and I grill out so much in the summer.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love your 4th of July goodies! They look so fun & festive!!!

    One of my favorite summertime treat is chocolate sorbet...I'll be blogging about that tomorrow night. ;)

    Oh, and my finger are CROSSED!!! I know that book must be great...as are all things Martha! :) What a great giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  27. In the summer, my favorite thing is Cowboy Caviar and Gazpacho.....keeps me and the kitchen cool!

    Love that Martha book!! What a great giveaway!
    LAphant81@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. My favorite summer dessert is strawberries and bananas with coolwhip on top. Yummy!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow, those pretzels are perfect for a 4th of july picnic! I have been looking for something to take and those are so much fun. My favorite treat is anything chocolate. I am so wanting to bake anything and everything right now. This cook book would be so much fun to have. Thanks for your generosity.

    From Tiercy at enjoyingthejourneytogether.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love your site!
    My favorite summer dessert it anything with fruit! I love going to the farmers market and picking up fresh strawberries and making strawberry short cake. Or fresh blueberries and making blueberry pancakes for breakfast!
    Great Site! Great giveaway!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yay for the new ice cream maker!! I've been having TOO much fun with it.
    Speaking of ice cream, that would have to be my favorite summertime treat!
    GREAT decorated pretzels and way cute strawberries!

    ReplyDelete
  32. love the pretzels! i'll definitely have to try!

    my favorite summer time dinner has to be BBQ! i love to grill hamburgers and serve with potato salad and grilled corn on the cob...yum!

    lslyngstad@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. My favorite summer time dessert is ice cream - ideally white chocolate - covered with fresh strawberries and lots of marshmallow cream topping; then I put on whip cream, put multicolored sprinkles on top and as a final touch put pretzel sticks in the top. LOVE IT!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Mango & Lychee Smoothies!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jody jodyakimoto@sbcglobal.netJune 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    I love fresh fruit with sour cream,powdered sugar & cinnamon dressing.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love your pretzels and your strawberries. I will make your pretzels to give away for Christmas.
    My favorite summer food is cold watermelon with Greek feta cheese.
    What a great giveaway!!!!!!Thanks.
    mcdav8@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love strawberry shortcake!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Stacy,

    Saw your awesome chocolate-dipped inspirations on Tastespotting. Yay! And boo! No weekly submission for me. :) (Only joking, of course.) Those strawberries are darling, and you had me laughing out loud when describing the hunt for the perfect pretzel rod.

    Best,
    Casey
    www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love a black bean salad with roasted corn, mango, tomatoes and cucumber finished off with cold slices of watermelon!!
    Thanks, cookienurse@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. My favorite summertime dessert is this lemon/meringue/strawberry one you can see on my blog: http://mishmashmie.blogspot.com/2009/06/individual-strawberry-lemon-cream-pies.html

    ReplyDelete
  41. We love chocolate covered pretzels...and yes, I've found myself going through each bag to find the one with the least amount of broken rods. Sometimes it's a losing battle!

    Summer is cobbler time here. Right now peaches are starting to taste super sweet so peach cobbler is on the menu tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  42. My favorite summer dinner is an awesome chicken and orzo salad that is made with kalamata olives, feta cheese, green onions, and a wonderful mustard vinaigrette dressing. Add some ice cold watermelon and a glass of beer or wine and I'm a happy girl.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Darn, missed the deadline. I was putting one crying baby to bed and a happy toddler. Anyway, my favorite summertime dinner is BBQ chicken, steak, hamburgers, and corn. And my favorite dessert is chocolate cake and suger cookies. Your cookies are beautiful. Also, not only are you excellent at baking, but you take really good pictures!!

    Inez
    artemis101@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ok I lied to you all (not intentionally I might add- :0) I posted tonight instead of the morning because my morning might be your afternoon and yada, yada, yada and lie #2, I made up a separate post announcing the winner!!! Thanks everyone for all of your great comments and for visiting my blog! I hope you all continue to check it out and enjoy it as it grows! I can't thank you all enough for all of the kind words and compliments that you have given to me so far! You all really know how to make a newbie feel welcome into the blogging world! Thanks again for all you do and for all of the hard work each and every one of you put into your own blogs! They are greatly appreciated! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love chocolates.These chocolates are so hot.

    Merry

    Free Direct TV

    ReplyDelete