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In this issue you will find:

1. This month's recipe selections--Romancing the Strawberry

2. A cartoon by my son, Omri (our resident "starving artist")

3. What's New!


If ever a holiday was made for strawberries, then Valentine's Day is it! Consider this...Did you know that because of their bright red color and heart shapes, strawberries are the symbol for Venus, the goddess of Love? And I bet you didn't know that according to folklore, if your share a double strawberry with someone, it is destined that the two of you will fall in love.

Enough said? If you're still not convinced, here's another bit of strawberry trivia. According to the Yoruban religion, strawberries are sacred to Erzuli, the goddess responsible for granting women what they desire most in the areas of love, marriage and home.

You must get my message by now...Valentine's Day is an opportunity to express your feelings to those you love most. This year, instead of flowers, say it with strawberries. Be it romantic love, the love for a child, parent, or friend....make sure you treat your "sweetie" to one of the following strawberry treats!


Romantic Valentine Breakfast Ideas

Start your day off on the right romantic foot by treating your sweetie to breakfast in bed. Whip up some waffles and serve with strawberry sauce, or slice open a toasted bagel and spread it with strawberry butter.

No talent in the cooking department? Then whip up a strawberry smoothie and serve it in a decorative glass.

What's that you say.....you're not a morning person? Brunch is cool......try a refreshing strawberry fruit salad as an accompaniment to a wine and cheese picnic at your favorite romantic spot. Round out the event with a tandem bike ride around the nearest lake...or better yet, a romantic rowboat ride on the lake.

Wind up the day with a romantic buggy ride. Uncork the champagne as you're rounding the last corner and toast your valentine with some bubbly and fresh strawberries. Let's not forget the chocolate.....try this strawberry fudge recipe for a "berry" nice change to an old standard! Wrap it up in a heart-shaped box and I'm sure you'll be the recipient of a kiss (or two).

Strawberry Fudge with Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 ounces evaporated milk
2 ounces strawberry syrup
4 ounces semisweet chocolate for dipping

Instructions

Line an 8 x 10 inch shallow baking pan with buttered wax paper.

Combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk and strawberry syrup in a large saucepan and place over low heat.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring the mixture to a gentle boil.

Stir continually to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan.

Boil on a low flame until a little of the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water (approximately 5 minutes).

You can also test for doneness by placing a warmed candy thermometer in the saucepan and gently boiling the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 234° F.

Take the pan off the heat and stir until the bubbles subside.

Using a wooden spoon, beat until the mixture thickens and becomes granular, about 3 minutes.

Pour the fudge into the prepared baking pan and let sit. If necessary, smooth with a spatula.

With cookie cutters, cut out the fudge. Dip one side into melted chocolate or decorate with piped chocolate for a unique effect.


Strawberry Butter

1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup soft butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and mix until smooth. This recipe can be stored for several weeks in the freezer.


Here's Wishing You a Happy and Romantic Valentine's Day


Well, that brings me to the close of yet another monthly e-zine. I want to personally thank all of you for sending in your comments...particularly Miyo and Gloria. It's always a pleasure for me to hear from my readers!

Just to let you know that we're always busy here at easy-strawberry-recipes.com, we have some news to announce. In the very near future we are opening our second site. Be on the lookout for easy-child-crafts.com. We're looking for a launch date later this week!

In the meantime, have a Happy Valentine's Day and I'll "see" you next month when we'll be checking out leprechauns, pots at the end of the rainbow and all things Irish!

Don't forget to log on to easy-strawberry-recipes.com , and check out the Strawberry Festival starting up in March.

ENJOY!

Susie