Recipe: Chocolate & Caramel Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate Caramel Dipped Strawberries feat

Chocolate Caramel Dipped Strawberries via @poorandpretty

We’re getting into the homestretch of Valentine’s Day, so I’m breaking out a classic with a bit of a twist. Not only are these strawberries covered in chocolate, I also added caramel and sea salt into the equation. Oh yeah; they’re incredible. And easy to make even if you don’t have a double boiler or fondue-maker (I have neither).

Chocolate Caramel Covered Strawberries Ingredients via @poorandpretty

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1lb of strawberries
  • 1 cup of chopped melting chocolate or chocolate chips — I used half Godiva melting chips and half mini chocolate chips.
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce – I bought mine from Hillhome Country Products at a local event.
  • course sea salt
  • small pot and heat-safe glass (I use a Pyrex measuring cup) or double boiler or fondue maker
  • large dish or baking sheet
  • wax paper

Strawberries Drying via @poorandpretty

1. Wash strawberries, then lay them out on a few paper towels to dry for a few minutes. Chocolate doesn’t stick very well to wet strawberries.

DIY Double Boiler via @poorandpretty

2. Fill a small pot with about an inch and a half of water, then insert your heat-safe glass, making sure not to get any water inside the glass. This will serve as your DIY double-boiler. Place this on a burner and turn it to medium-low heat.

Melting Chocolate via @poorandpretty

3. Add your chocolate to the glass and stir it occasionally as it melts.

4. To make caramel and chocolate dipped strawberries, you’ll want to dip them in your caramel sauce first (it may need to be microwaved), then sprinkle them with your course sea salt (optional but oh-so-good), then freeze them for 20-30 minutes before dipping them in chocolate. If you go from caramel sauce right to chocolate, it gets a little messy.

Dipping Strawberries in Chocolate via @poorandpretty

5. Once the chocolate is completely melted (check that there are no lumps), go ahead and dip in a strawberry! I just used my hand here, but after a while, I found that the strawberries would get too heavy once they were dipped, so I started sticking them on a fork before I dipped them.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry on Wax Paper via @poorandpretty

6. Place your dipped strawberries on a baking sheet or large dish covered with wax paper to let harden. Optional: drizzle with caramel sauce.

Chocolate Caramel Dipped Strawberries closeup via @poorandpretty

7. Enjoy immediately or stick them in the fridge or freezer for a few days.

Chocolate Caramel Dipped Strawberries 2 via @poorandpretty

… Ours didn’t last very long. ;)

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

Recipe: White Sangria

white sangria thumbnail

white sangria recipe via poorandpretty

I don’t drink much, but when I do, I prefer something light and sweet, like white sangria. It’s kind of my summer go-to. Plus, it’s easy to make a lot of it, so it’s perfect for cookouts and summer soirées.

white sangria - ingredients

You can make sangria so many different ways, but here’s what I use in mine:

  • 1 1/2 lemons, sliced thin
  • 8-10 strawberries, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
  • 1 bottle of Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 liters of lemon-lime soda

white sangria - fruit

1. Slice up your fruits.

white sangria - soaking fruit top

2. Put the fruit into a container and pour the white wine over it. Use a lidded container.

white sangria - soaking fruit

3. Store overnight in your refrigerator.

white sangria 2 via poorandpretty

4. Add in the lemon-lime soda, pour into a pretty pitcher, and enjoy!

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

DIY Beauty: All-natural bright & fresh strawberry face mask

Strawberry & Honey Mask - finished - poorandpretty

DIY Strawberry Honey Mask poorandpretty

How about starting off the new year with a bright & fresh face? This is yet another easy mask, made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Let’s get to it!

Strawberry & Honey Mask ingredients 1 poorandpretty

Bright & Fresh Strawberry Honey Face Mask. This should make 4-5 applications, which you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.

Ingredients:

  • 4 strawberries — rich in vitamins A & C, contain salicylic acid, which rids the skin of dead cells and heals & dries acne
  • 1 tbs unsweetend coconut milk — high in antioxidants, removes dirt build-up, replaces moisture in dehydrated skin
    • I highly recommend using coconut milk (you can use the rest to make these coconut cupcakes!), but you can use soy or regular milk as substitutes if you need to.
  • ½ tbs honey — antibacterial, great humectant (it rehydrates skin by drawing on moisture from the air)

Strawberry & Honey Mask - cut strawberry leaves - poorandpretty

Step One: Cut off the strawberry leaves. But don’t throw them away! You can boil the leaves and use the water as an astringent after you rinse off your mask.

Strawberry & Honey Mask - mash up strawberries 2 - poorandpretty

Step Two: Mash up the strawberries in a blender, food processor, or with a fork if you need to get some aggression out ;)

Strawberry & Honey Mask - finished - poorandpretty

Step Three: Add in the coconut milk and honey, and mix well.

Step Four: Apply to your face with your fingertips, carefully avoiding your eyes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, until dry. Enjoy the Fruit Rollup scent.

Step Five: Rinse thoroughly, massaging the strawberry mixture over your skin gently as you rinse. This gives your face a little extra exfoliation.

Follow up with an astringent and your favorite moisturizer. Enjoy your deliciously-scented, super smooth skin!

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

Recipe: Berry Blue Velvet JELL-O Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Berry Blue Velvet Jell-O Cupcakes - Poor and Pretty

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you might have seen the red, white, and “blue” cupcakes I made for Independence Day last week. They were a huge hit at my family party. Even my brother-in-law (who normally steers clear of sweets) was chowing them down.

Berry Blue Velvet Jell-O Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – makes approximately 30 regular cupcakes or 120 mini cupcakes.

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3-oz box Berry Blue JELL-O
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup corn starch (helps make the cupcakes super moist!)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter (I use salted, but you can use unsalted if you’d like)
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar (I use natural cane sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk mixed with 2 tsp lemon juice (or use ½ cup buttermilk)
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp blue food coloring (I couldn’t find regular blue, so I used neon blue, which is why I think they came out turquoise. In an attempt to make it more blue, I used 3 tsp of food coloring, which was way too much).

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ stick of butter, softened
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ – 3 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar – start with 1 ½ cups, and add more as you need.
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries

Berry Blue Velvet Jell-O Cupcakes - cake - Poor and Pretty

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and line your cupcake trays with paper liners.
  2. Mix flour, Jell-O packet (dry), cocoa powder, corn starch, baking soda, salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. On medium speed, beat together sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or KitchenAid. Do this for about five minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Beat eggs into the sugar/butter mixture one at a time.
  5. Mix the rest of your wet ingredients (sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla) into your batter until just blended.
  6. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended.
  7. Spoon batter into paper liners until they are about 2/3 of the way full. Pro tip: pour the batter into a gallon freezer plastic bag, then carefully cut a tiny piece of one of the corners off, and use this to portion your cupcake batter. Kind of like using a pastry bag. Suzi taught me this handy trick – it saves tons of time and is less messy!
  8. Bake mini cupcakes for 11-13 minutes or regular-sized cupcakes for 18-22 minutes. Always check if they are cooked by inserting a toothpick or fork into the middle of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, they’re ready!

Berry Blue Velvet Jell-O Cupcakes - minis with strawberries - Poor and Pretty

Frosting Directions:

  1. While your cupcakes are cooking, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again.
  2. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar on low speed until the frosting is smooth. You may need to add more sugar to thicken the frosting.
  3. Wash the strawberries and cut into little triangle pieces.
  4. Use the plastic bag method to frost your cupcakes, and garnish with a strawberry triangle.

Enjoy!! :)

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

Summer skincare tips & top picks

A few of my friends have asked me for tips on getting rid of acne or basic skincare maintenance. Skin is either too oily or too dry; there’s almost never a happy medium. We all have this problem (even me!), and of course it varies with the seasons. I thought I’d share my summer skincare routine with you, along with some of my go-to products.

summer skincare tips and top picks - poor and pretty

1. I notice my skin is the clearest when I wash my face at night. Right now, I’m using a cream cleanser I’m developing myself, but my favorite retail cleanser is the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and doesn’t include harsh chemical detergents that cause your skin to dry out.

2. I always, always, always follow up with my homemade rosewater and witch hazel astringent. I used to be terrible at using astringents, but now that it’s a part of my routine, my skin stays much cleaner. It’s super easy to make — you can find most of the ingredients at your local health food store, or online. After using your cleanser, put a few drops of the astringent on a cotton ball and swipe over your face (avoiding your eye area, of course). I sometimes use the astringent throughout the day to freshen up.

3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Admittedly, I’m still working on this one. When I do remember to exfoliate twice a week, I get less acne. My favorite exfoliating masks are both homemade: DIY strawberry mask (strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights off acne-causing bacteria) and DIY oat & cornmeal exfoliating facial scrub & mask (this one’s easier to keep on hand).

4. Traveling is no excuse not to take care of your skin! If you need a good on-the-go cleanser, try the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. Infused with aloe vera, cucumbers, and green tea, these babies remove makeup, soothe, and clean your skin. Plus, they smell great, too!

5. Now that you’ve got the cleaning part down, don’t forget to moisturize, even if your skin is typically oily. One of the biggest reasons why skin becomes oily is because we wash it with all of these harsh cleansers, strip its natural oils, then we don’t bother replacing any of those oils. This makes our skin work extra hard to compensate for those missing oils, pumping them out and resulting in shiny, slick, yucky skin. Gross, right? So always replenish those oils — just like you would drink water after sweating. My favorite moisturizers are both from DressGreen: Purifying and Blemish Controlling Face Serum (best for drier skin) and Calming and Clarifying Face Cream (better for oilier skin). Like most people, I have combination skin, so I use these interchangeably. They’re both 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals.

6. Of course it’s Summer, so we can’t forget the sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen on your face daily because our facial skin is most susceptible to sun damage. My natural sunscreen of choice is Naked Bee’s Face & Body Moisturizing SPF 30 Sunscreen, which contains 70% organic content and is enriched with Vitamin C. It smells lovely and has no Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Laurel/Laureth Sulfates, or alcohol.

Be safe, don’t forget to drink lots of water and share your Summer skincare tips in the comments!

Bonus: want naturally beachy hair without going to the beach? Try making my DIY sea salt hair spray!

This post is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #104 Summer Essentials.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter