I love balmy nights, when the temperatures don't drop below 70 degrees and the darkness is heavy on my skin.
I love fresh produce from the farmer's market, and making delicious treats from said produce.
Going to the beach, staying out too late, sweating and sunburning and tanning and my skin not constantly needing moisturizer, calling a bowl of watermelon "dinner."
Love love love.
One of my favorite things about summer will always be, however, the annual July 3rd party. It's the craziest mix of people, and you always make a new friend at the July 3rd party.
(For any curious souls out there, the July 3rd party began 7 years ago when family friends decided they wanted to have a 4th of July party, but since everyone already has family traditions on the 4th, they'd have their party on the 3rd. Anyway, they say, everyone has off on the 4th and so they don't mind staying up late and partying!)
And it continues to this day.
For this July 3rd party, we celebrate with tons of food, cornhole, kickball and bonfires. I, of course, am primarily interested in kickball.
I love the making and consuming of tons of delicious food. I've been making a 7-layer-dip for the last three summers, and my buddy Chris loves it so it's always on the menu. This year, however, I decided to make my second contribution something new and exciting and experimental.
I made what I am fondly calling "chocolate-covered strawberry pie."
It's pretty straightfoward: make a chocolate crust out of crushed Oreos. Be sure to forget to take a picture of either the cookies in the blender, or the finished crust.
Then take some chocolate--GOOD chocolate--and melt it down. My favorite way to melt chocolate is to put a splash of milk in a saucepan, bring it just barely to a boil, and then turn off the heat and whisk in the chocolate.
It helps when your kitchen is already 90 degrees and the chocolate is nice and melty anyway.
Slice up some strawberries nice and pretty,
Add a layer of melted chocolate to the crust (to bind the strawberries, and because chocolate is delicious),
And layer in the strawberries.
Last of all, drizzle (or pour, depending on your gadgets and preferences; my "drizzling" consists of me wildly flinging a chocolate-covered spoon over the strawberries) the rest of the melted chocolate onto the strawberries.
Consume with lots of friends and great delight.
(I'm not sure what this says about whom, but I didn't actually get to taste this. By the time I made it to the desserts at the party it was gone. So if you make it, let me know.)
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Pie
1 package Oreos
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 oz Ghirardelli's chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
1/4 cup milk
2 pints strawberries
Blend (or food-process) oreos until finely crushed. Mix in butter and press into a springform pan with your hands. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes (don't trust your eye on this one, since the oreos are dark it's nearly impossible to tell when it's done). Let cool before adding chocolate and strawberries.
Bring milk to just boiling in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate on the cookie crust.
Slice the strawberries and pile into the crust. Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate over the berries.
Chill before serving to harden the chocolate. Enjoy!