I decided to spend a lazy day and made a simple fast video to highlight an easy and inexpensive Valentine’s gift.  My friend Lynn and her husband have always bought all of their kids and grandkids chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day.  It’s a really sweet (no pun intended) way for Lynn to continue the tradition since her husband has passed.  I made chocolate covered strawberries for Rich’s side of our family many years ago, and our niece asked if I would make them for her high school graduation party, so I did.  It was kind of tricky deciding how to keep them cold enough that they wouldn’t melt, but in the end, we came up with a way (don’t remember what it was, but it worked!)  That was several years ago and I continue to make them from time to time for Rich.

Rich and I have spent our Valentine’s Day on vacation every year except the last couple.  Last year I was recovering from my hip replacement and this year, our oldest dog, Aggie, is almost fifteen, and we just didn’t think she could manage well for a week.

So to make a very long story a little bit shorter, I decided to make Rich chocolate covered caramel and almonds as well as chocolate covered strawberries.  I wasn’t sure if anyone knew how easy they are to make and that you can make a dozen of them for under $5, which is why I made the video.  Since a dozen sells for around $50 during Valentine’s Day week, why not make something easy that looks and tastes like you spent a lot of money on them.

I buy my chocolate in the bags from any craft store.  You can buy the Wilton cake brand from Michaels and Joanns, but I actually prefer the ones they sell at A C Moore and don’t even know the manufacturer.  I put the whole bag in a heavy ceramic or glass big cereal size bowl and microwave it on the normal setting for thirty seconds, then take the bowl out, stir it and then another 30 seconds, repeat the process.  Once they are almost completely dissolved, take it out and give it one last good stir and the chocolate is ready to go.  I tilt the bowl for really big strawberries, but otherwise, just hold the greens at the top and swirl the berry around in the chocolate then hold it until the excess chocolate has dripped off.  I put mine on a silicone sheet until they are set.  If you put them in a cooler area, like your garage, they will set up very fast.  I don’t recommend putting them in the refrigerator as I’ve had the berries shrink and the chocolate fall off of them.  Strawberries are never really good once they are in the refrigerator, so keep that in mind when you are making these.  They only last for about a day, so make them right before you want the family or loved one to eat them.  I found the same chocolates at Walmart and the strawberries were less than $2 at my local grocery store.  I highly recommend these as a great Valentine’s Day gift or as a nice way to share a great treat with family and friends.  Rich didn’t want to wait to eat his and he’s already had three of them plus a couple of the chocolate covered almonds and caramel.  He has a pretty big sweet tooth.

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