>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010
My mom went home... boo!
We had such a great visit though!
I'll definitely post some pictures soon. We did a LOT of stuff in 2 1/2 weeks. We packed it all in. She has been out to see me before, so she's done a lot of the normal touristy stuff, so this time we did more unique things. We hiked in half moon bay, spent the weekend being girly in Santa Cruz (including massages in a place overlooking a Japanese tea garden), and perused every thrift store in the entire Bay Area looking for items to redecorate my bedroom.
It's going to be Vintage Romantic - I reinvented a new decorating style! :) I've found a few things already, I'll post before and after's when it's done.
My mom's just as much of a dessert fiend as me, but she also does really well trying to watch what she eats! So, I made this as a way for all of us to have dessert, and stick to being healthy too! Strawberries, balsamic vinegar, dark chocolate! Good to go.
I had some vanilla bean infused balsamic a good friend got for me from a fancy little store, and couldn't wait to try it out! You could really taste the vanilla after it was reduced! Super yummy with a hint of sweetness.
Strawberries with Balsamic Chocolate Reduction: (Adapted From: Dr. Gourmet)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (vanilla bean infused or any other flavor if desired)
1 oz. dark chocolate chips or pieces
1 pint fresh strawberries (sliced)
1 tsp sugar (I used stevia - an all natural, no calorie sweetener)
- Depending on your healthiness factor - you can serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla bean whipped cream
1. Slice the strawberries, place in a bowl and sprinkle sugar on top. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
This is my handy dandy egg slicer from Pampered Chef that slices my strawberries in about 2 seconds flat!! LOVE IT! totally worth the few bucks it costs. You might even be able to find it at Target.
This is how pretty the slices of strawberries turn out from my egg slicer - great for topping a dessert, cake, mousse, etc.
2. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan (stainless steel or non-reactive)
3. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then reduce the heat, and allow to simmer. Continue to cook until the vinegar is reduced to about 1/4 cup - careful not to allow to burn or cook too long, because it will cook to a candy state and harden. This took about 15 min. on my stove (but I have a gas range), but it may vary - watch carefully.
4. Remove vinegar from stove and allow to cool slightly.
5. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth, and chocolate pieces are melted. Allow to cool completely, stirring often so it does not harden.
5. Drizzle sauce over sliced strawberries or serve on the side. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.