Chocolate strawberry scream – Halloween

I’m a mom with a huge huge passion for food. I’m not a chef . Maybe that’s why the recipes that I love more are the healthy + easy ones with a spectacular final result. Today’s recipe is a perfect example: sooooo easy and incredibly beautiful. A perfect treat for an Halloween party or just to have fun with your kids. Healthy snack or lunch box idea to surprise. You decide!

This is all you will need:

strawberry scream ingred

and this is how to prepare them:

– you will need medium/large strawberries with nice and long leaves. Try one strawberry before buying them. The sweeter, the better. Gently wash the strawberries and let them dry very well otherwise the chocolate will not stick properly.

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– melt the white chocolate. I used the microwave, faster and less messy. Place the chocolate in a glass or porcelain or ceramic container (I prefer not to use plastic) and microwave it for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each time in order to spread the heat and melt the chocolate evenly. In less than two minutes your chocolate should be melted and smooth.

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– hold one strawberry from the leaves (that’s why they should be big and long!!) and immerge it in the white chocolate with a slow and smooth movement in order to create a nice and uniform white coat all around the strawberry

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– place the strawberry on an aluminum foil or a parchment paper to dry for 5 minutes. keep going with the other strawberries.

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– melt the dark chocolate in the microwave like you did for the white one. considering the small amount of chocolate you will need less than one minute. transfer the melted chocolate in a plastic bag, trying to fill a corner of the bag. Cut the point of the corner in order to form a tiny hole.

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– when the white chocolate will be dry you can start the decoration. An oval movement of your hand will create the screaming mouth and two small dots will be the eyes. Done!!! I told you….easy recipe!!

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Considering that here in Los Angeles the weather is still very warm, I kept my screaming strawberries in an air tight container in the refrigerator as they would have melt outside ;-) I would suggest to enjoy the strawberry screams within 2 days from the decoration.

If you are really picky you can cut out the extra white chocolate at the bottom of the strawberries with a sharp knife. I didn’t want to waste a single drop of chocolate and I left it ;-)

ciao ciao!

b

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posted on October 23, 2014

Meringue bones with plum jam

How scary can be to eat a broken bone with some blood on it? Enough to create a spooky (and healthy) snack for your kids!!

The merengue recipe comes from my best friend Francesca’s mom, grandma Tina. Every time I go to visit them, grandma Tina is in the kitchen cooking amazing dishes like it’s always Christmas ;-) There is always a fresh baked cake for the kids to enjoy and 90% of the ingredients come from their garden and animals. Last time I was there she was preparing some meringues for her nieces and she gave me the recipe to try…so simple and so perfect! Thank you grandma Tina, you’re the best!!!

Being Halloween time I decided to use the recipe to create some scary shapes…like bones, but you can use the meringue recipe every day of the year and shape them in any design you like!

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Here you are the ingredients to fill a baking tray with meringues (I prepared 20 bones):

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How to proceed:

Divide (very well) the egg white from the yolk. If you do not know what to do with the yolks, what about a custard cream? or a homemade mayonnaise? or a homemade lemon curd? just some ideas for you.

Place the egg whites in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and using an electric beater beat the egg yolks in snow. It will take less than 4 minutes. They will be done when you will have obtained a thick and firm cream and the egg white mix will stay still on the electric beater without falling (see picture).

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Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to avoid any egg flavor in the final meringue.

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Using the electric beater slowly add the sugar. Mix for 2 minutes up until obtaining a shiny sticky mousse.

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Transfer the mousse in a plastic bag and cut one corner

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On a non stick baking sheet (you can use a parchment paper on top if you have a standard baking sheet) start creating the bones, one next to the other. I started making two circles one next to the other and a vertical line. Other two circles on top and my cute bone was done!

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Place the bones in the preheated oven at 250F / 120C  for 2 hours.  We are not technically baking but dehydrating the meringues. As I used brown sugar the meringues came out beige and not bright white, still spooky!

Final touch: I heated some homemade plum jam to make it more liquid and I let some drops fall on top of the bones creating a blood effect. My kids were extremely excited about it!!!

Enjoy!

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merengue bones

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posted on October 16, 2014

Potato and cauliflower ghosts

I really like cauliflowers: I think they are extremely beautiful (that pale white with the elegant green side leaves) and the incredibly bubbly shape like an old tree. In addition to that cauliflowers are an excellent source of vitamin C, fibers and folate. Nevertheless it seems that kids do not particularly like them, at least in their beautiful natural form. Maybe for the kind of sulphur smell that they have if cooked a bit too much.

If boiled cauliflowers are not so attractive for kids, what about potato & cauliflower puree ghosts? My little Luca loved them without even questioning about cauliflowers ;-)

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Let’s start from the ingredients for 18/20 small ghosts:

potato ghosts ingred

How to proceed:

Wash and cut both the cauliflowers and the potatoes in medium size pieces. I used only the cauliflowers florets. Place the vegetables in some boiling water and let them cook for 20 minutes.

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Drain the vegetables and place them back in the same pot you used to boil them.

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Add the milk, a pinch of salt and the butter.

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With an immersion blender create a nice and smooth puree.

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Turn the heat on at low and place the pot back on the flames. Cook the puree for 5 minutes and keep stirring it with a wooden spatula.

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Turn the heat off and add the parmesan cheese and the nutmeg.

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Stir few times to nicely incorporate the ingredients to the mix and let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Fill a pastry bag with the puree and with a circular movement you will start creating the ghosts on a parchment paper on a baking sheet

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Cut a carrot in slices and cut out small triangles from every slice. Use the triangles as eyes for the puree ghosts.

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Place the puree ghosts in the oven (already preheated) and broil them for 10/15 minutes in order to create a nice and gold crust.

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The potato and cauliflower ghosts are lovely if served warm. Enjoy!

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potato ghosts

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posted on October 9, 2014


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