Life Lately, According to Instagram – March (Madness) 2014

28 03 2014

Instagram - Becky - Pancakes March 2014Instagram - Ginger - Go Big Blue March 2014 Instagram - Ginger - Robot March 2014 Instagram - Becky - Lettuce Wraps 2014


28 05 2010

It is possible that I have an unhealthy relationship with chocolate. I know, I know… it’s super typical of a Southern woman to love chocolate. I’m ok with that. In this one area, I’m happy to be a cliché. I am SO glad that the “experts” have decided, for this decade at least, that chocolate is good for us. I have chocolate every day. Not an occasional treat. Every day. I’m happy to keep 5 (or 10) extra lbs. of extra “curves,” (read: pudge) if it means I get to eat truffles, cakes, candies every day.

And probably most of those days when I’m eating whatever form of chocolate that strikes my fancy that particular day, I’m wishing instead that it were Dinstuhl’s chocolate-covered strawberries instead.

These are no ordinary chocolate-covered strawberries. Not that you can really ruin a berry by simply dipping it in chocolate, but no. Dinstuhl’s takes it a step farther. They first dip them in this amazing sugary fondant, then cover with their incredibly rich milk chocolate. Think cordial cherries at Christmastime. Mmm… mouth… watering.

And what makes it all the worse is that they only carry these strawberries while they’re in their peak — so, springtime, from about Valentine’s day to Easter. Such a short window! (Sorry in-laws, now you know why we most always try to plan a visit in the springtime.)

Ok, but enough about those mouth-watering strawberries, all their candies are amazing. Continuing in a family tradition that is over 100 years old, the Dinstuhl family in Memphis still runs the business themselves.

If you’re so inclined, try their Southern Sampler, Elvis-themed candies, or one of my other favorites, Divinity. Divine!

If you’re desperate for a fix and don’t live in the area, Dinstuhl’s will ship overnight. It’s possibly safer than walking into their shop and seeing all the deliciousness staring you in the face. Looks like I have to wait another year, but this West-coast girl might just need to use this shipping service come spring next year. I’m already craving those chocolate-covered strawberries.

Strawberry Jam

22 04 2010

As a result of our strawberry picking adventure two weeks ago, we made delicious strawberry jam.  The recipe is so simple. All you will want to do is find things to serve strawberry jam with, such as, biscuits, toast, ice cream, custard, tapioca (my grandmother always serves jam and tapioca), peanut butter, cheese…I could go on and on, but you will have to make it for yourself to find out how easy it can be to make jam.


2 cartons of strawberries (quart size)

4 cups sugar

1 box jell fruit pectin


Thoroughly wash and rise the strawberries.  Remove the caps.  Crush the strawberries in a large bowl and then add the sugar.   It can sit and wait, while you boil ¾ water and the pack of jell fruit pectin.  You will need to stir this constantly. 

Combine fruit and pectin/water mixture and stir thoroughly.  

Depending upon how you plan to use your jam, you can transfer into freezer containers or jars.  Either way, make sure that you let the jam stand for 24 hours prior to freezing or serving.


Strawberry Fields Forever

8 04 2010

It is strawberry season! Strawberries, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Yesterday, mom, pop and I went to pick strawberries in Gainesville, Florida.  Prepared to die of heat exhaustion, we were pleasantly surprised by an excellent easterly breeze that kept us cool while picking the red, ripe, strawberries.

If you go to pick strawberries this season, the most ripe pieces actually glisten in the sun and are a deep maroon or blood red in color.  These pieces were also selected for jams, as the ripe ones need less sugar.  There is something so satisfying about selecting your food from the ground, as opposed to off of the grocery shelf.  All in all, we picked six buckets full of strawberries. 

Did you know that strawberries received their name from the straw that was placed around the plants to reduce the number of weeds growing up around the plant? Instead of straw, the farm we visited used a gardening tarp to prevent weeds from growing.  It is just so fascinating. 

Currently, most of the strawberries in the south come out of central Florida, specifically, Plant City.  With more cold weather than the state has seen in years, many of the crops didn’t make it, but we for the plants that survived the cold, we are ever so grateful. 

p.s. – One of my favorite childhood books was The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. Still have a copy.  It is the perfect gift for any child and great if you also take your children to pick strawberries.