Category Archives: Food

Sometimes Homemade Is Better

I’ll admit it.  I’m not great at Valentine’s Day.  I’ve tried and failed miserably.  Today I forgot the card… but I did try something new that turned out to be a hit; making homemade chocolate covered strawberries.

I wasn’t sure how they would turn out but I thought, “How hard could it be?”

My oldest is a Pinterest fanatic so I had her do some research.  She found some “how-to’s” and sent them to me.  After seeing them my confidence was bolstered.  It didn’t seem too difficult.

All we needed was some fresh strawberries and some semi-sweet chocolate.  We had the chocolate in the pantry.  All we need was the strawberries.

Closeup of Strawberries

My youngest and I were “out and about” today and picked some up. On our way home we called my oldest.  She got the chocolate melting.  We have a Chocolate Pro Melting Pot from Wilton.

Wilton Chocolate Pro

Normally, it only gets used at Christmas time for making almond bark pretzels.  It works really well!  I highly recommend it.

The chocolate was melted by the time we got home and washed the berries.  I washed them.  My youngest dried them.  She did a great job because I told her the chocolate wouldn’t stick as well if they were wet.

We took turns dipping berries and putting them on a cookie sheet.

Pot of chocolate and strawberries

Unfortunately, we didn’t get them done before my wife got home from work.  That was OK, though.  I think she enjoyed hearing my daughter say, “Look Mom! We’re dipping strawberries in chocolate!”

Finished Chocolate Strawberries

Closeup of finished strawberries

We had a fantastic supper prepared 100% by my oldest. (Seriously, teach your kids to cook)  Then, it was time to try the berries.  They were GREAT.   You could tell by our messy faces!

Yummy Chocolate

The best part?  Making them ourselves made a great memory and saved us a ton of money!  A local place was selling 6 chocolate covered strawberries for $9.99. We made 39 of them for less than that.

If you’ve never tried making your own homemade chocolate covered strawberries I highly recommend it!

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?

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In A Mealtime Rut

When our family plans ahead and formulates a game plan for the evening meals for the week we have a pretty varied menu and try new recipes.  Get behind and fail to do it, like this week, and we tend to fall back into about 4 or 5 “go-to” meals.

The thing is when you “go to” them too much… you start to get sick of them.  That’s where our family is at with spaghetti, frozen pizza, and black bean quesadillas.

The evening meal we often struggle with most is Friday night.  It’s the start to the weekend.  We’ve put in a long, hard week at work, and our girls are dancing until just past suppertime… all of these things kill the desire to cook.

That’s where we first got into a rut with frozen pizza.  After we couldn’t take that on Friday nights we switched to chicken strips. Now we’re at the point where we’re sick of that too!

On my drive home tonight my wife and I were kicking around ideas for supper.  We didn’t want to spend a ton of money but wanted something easy.  That’s when we settled on a meal our family likes to do every so often; a baked potato bar.  Basically it’s just baked potatoes with a bunch of toppings.

Baked Potato Bar Toppings

We already had potatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese, and broccoli at home from stocking up our freezer and pantry.  The other thing we like to top them with is chili and ham.  One daughter likes chili.  The other likes ham.  My wife and I like them both.

Since we were out of my homemade chili in the freezer I stopped by the store for a can and to get some ham.  In less than 5 minutes and for under $5 I was in and out and headed home.  Meanwhile, my wife had scrubbed some potatoes, wrapped them in foil, and stuck them in the oven.

Baked Potatoes in Oven

It was the perfect meal for a Friday night.  Simple, filling, and not frozen pizza!  We even had leftovers.

Baked Potato Plated

If you haven’t tried doing a baked potato bar with your family give it a try sometime.  I bet everyone will love it.  Especially since they can dress up their potato just the way they like.

Ever get into a food rut in your family?  What food did you get sick of because you made it too often?

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Super Easy Snow Ice Cream

There are so many things I’ve seen, shared, and would like to try I tend to lose track of them all.  That’s why I was glad today when a friend reminded me of one.

Awhile back on this blog’s Facebook page I shared a link to a another blog with a recipe for snow ice cream.  I mentioned it looked like something my family should try.

Overnight in our area we got 8-12 inches of snow.  Quite a lot!

8 inches of snow

I spent part of the afternoon outside using the snowblower to clear off our driveway.  When I finished I came inside and stood on the rug just inside the doorway trying to catch my breath and warm up.  I quick checked Facebook on my phone.

A friend had tagged me in a post about snow ice cream and said, “Tony? Is today the day?”

Even though at that point I was in the mood for coffee I recognized that this was the perfect opportunity to give snow ice cream a try.

So I had my daughters put together the milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt while I headed outside to get the snow.

Making Snow Ice Cream

Fresh snow for snow ice cream


I went for the snow in the middle of the drift.  I figured it would be cleaner.

Scooping snow for snow ice cream

getting snow for snow ice cream

Back inside the warmth our our house it was time to mix it together.

ready to mix snow ice cream

And add sprinkles.  My youngest went with pink and red since it’s February.

Adding sprinkles to snow ice cream

In less than 5 minutes we had our first ever bowl of snow ice cream! Time to dish it up and give it a taste.

Dishing up snow ice cream

Snow ice cream in a cup

It was really quite good!  We all enjoyed it but in typical fashion for our family we started talking about how we could tweak the recipe or do something different.

“We should try making chocolate snow ice cream,” my oldest suggested.  Great idea! Next time we’ll try using chocolate milk.  Eggnog might be good to use too.

If you ever get plenty of snow you should really give this a try.  It’s really easy and takes only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes!  Plus, it’s a memory your kids will never forget… and may even repeat someday with their kids!

Have you ever made snow ice cream? What did you think about it?

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