Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have a delicious sweet treat for you today. Chocolate covered strawberry frozen yogurt. Also known as strawberry frozen yogurt with stracciatella. This frozen dessert is bursting with strawberry flavor and since it’s on Lemon & Mocha, it is of course also chocolatefied.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & Mocha

Valentine’s Day weekend is always especially meaningful for Matt and I because our anniversary is on the 15th! Tomorrow will mark 7 years since we starting dating, woo-wee! I’m going to keep it short and simple today so my Valentine’s Day present to you all sweet readers is this recipe and a bunch of drool-worthy photos. Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & MochaChocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & MochaChocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & MochaChocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
 
Yield: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Chocolate covered strawberries, for garnish, optional
Directions
  1. Slice the strawberries then toss in a medium bowl with the sugar. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve then cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  2. Using a blender or food processor puree the entire contents of the strawberry bowl, the yogurt and the lemon juice. If you would like to get rid of any seeds push the mixture through a mesh strainer.
  3. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour then pour into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
  4. While the mixture is in the ice cream maker, melt the bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler and stir until it's smooth. Transfer the chocolate into a measuring cup with a pouring spout.
  5. During the last couple minutes of churning in the ice cream maker pour the melted chocolate into the ice cream maker in a thin stream to create the stracciatella swirl.
Notes
Although this is a frozen yogurt, to me it had more of a sorbet texture. It is still delicious, but just wanted to give a heads up so you weren't surprised by the texture.

Frozen yogurt recipe from The Perfect Scoop.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember way back when I promised the fifth, final and most outrageous installment of the Lemon & Mocha brownie series just in time for Valentine’s Day? Ta-da! Here it is:  Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies. I am very sorry for keeping these from you for so long,  but aren’t they perfect for Valentine’s Day?

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These brownies are the king of all brownies and they are utterly amazing. Lets go layer by layer to give you time to process the amazingness.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Layer one:  homemade red velvet brownies. Fudgey, moist and with just a hint of chocolate flavoring that red velvet is known for, this is the perfect base.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Next up, layer two:  Oreo truffle. If these layers were children the Oreo truffle layer would be that favorite child. Have you ever made Oreo truffle balls? This layer is the inside of those truffles. Crushed Oreos and cream cheese are whipped together to create the most perfect balance of sweet, creamy and chocolatey.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, layer three:  chocolate crunch. Chocolate is melted over the top of the Oreo truffle layer to create a hardened chocolate topping, but oh no, even that is not enough. Before the chocolate has time to harden, mini chocolate chips are sprinkled allover to create chocolate chunks in the hunk of chocolate.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, I promise you that this is real life and you can actually go make these brownies right now. They are an ultimate texture overload. Fudgey base, creamy Oreo middle and hard crunchy topping come together to make you eat a second, or a third, or a fourth, or a….

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies
 
Yield: 32 brownies
Ingredients
for the red velvet brownie layer
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-2 ounces red food coloring
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
for the Oreo truffle layer
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
for the chocolate crunch layer
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Directions
for the red velvet brownie layer
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg is added. Add the food coloring and vanilla extract until the color is completely incorporating and is the desired color.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients being sure to incorporate completely while trying not to over-mix the batter. The batter will be very thick, but make sure the batter is a uniform color.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until crunchy on top and gooey underneath. Let cool completely. Once cool you can either leave in the pan or very carefully flip the brownies out onto a large clean surface. I flipped my over onto a clean cutting board that easily fits in my fridge so it would be easier for later refrigerating and cutting.
for the Oreo truffle layer
  1. Turn the entire package of Oreos into crumbs using a food processor or crushing in a large plastic bag. Combine with the cream cheese until blended.
  2. Dollop the Oreo mixture onto the cooled brownies then carefully use your hands and a rubber spatula to create a smooth even layer covering the brownies all the way to the edges. If you try to simply spread you might tear the brownies.
for the chocolate crunch layer
  1. Melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil in the microwave. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Carefully pour over the Oreo truffle layer and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips then refrigerate until the chocolate crunch layer has hardened.

Red velvet brownies from Newlyweds.
Bar recipe from Pizzazzerie.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Why do mini food items always taste better? Does their cuteness enhance their deliciousness? Or is it that knowing you can eat more of the tiny bites makes them even more irresistible? Whatever the reason may be, the mini raviolis in this dish certainly increase the tasty factor.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

And using store-bought raviolis and prepared sauce is a winning weeknight dinner combination. This pasta meal was an unplanned dish born from the ingredients in my fridge, but I was so happy with the results I decided to share it here on Lemon & Mocha.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

The sautéed garlic, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes tend to be my go-to pasta trifecta. They are the perfect base to almost any pasta dish, providing full-packed savory flavoring.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

The fresh spinach leaves are a great way to sneak in some veggies and are a great pairing for the ricotta-filled raviolis. The goat cheese adds a depth and creaminess to regular prepared sauce, almost giving it the taste of a vodka sauce.

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Feel free to swap out the spinach and use your favorites veggies to mix and match this pasta dish. I think asparagus and mushrooms or eggplant and zucchini would both be delicious variations. I might have to go give them a try!

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Raviolis with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Goat Cheese
 
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, regular or garlic & herb
  • 1-2 cups prepared tomato sauce, depending on sauciness preference
  • 1 pound mini raviolis, prepared according to package instructions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, if desired, for serving
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the minced shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot has softened and started to lightly brown.
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, a handful or so at a time, stirring often, until all the spinach has been aded and wilted.
  3. Stir in the goat cheese until melted. Add the tomato sauce and stir until warm.
  4. Carefully stir in the prepared mini raviolis until coated. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

 

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have two more simple dinner recipes here for you on Lemon & Mocha this week. First up is the third solution for my quick and healthy vegetable side dish dilemma. Asparagus with creamy orange sauce, steam-sautéed broccoli and now garlicky bok choy. I had never cooked with bok choy before this recipe, but I love vegetables so I was excited to try something new.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I enjoy cooking Asian stir-fries, but we get tired of always using broccoli and snow peas for our green vegetables. This garlicky bok choy is a delicious solution.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

The vegetable itself is really mild so it takes on the flavor of the garlic and the soy sauce really well.

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did I mention that this recipe took less than ten minutes from start to finish? Talk about a simple dish!

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do you have a quick vegetable dish that is a staple in your kitchen? I’d love to try them out!

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy  |  Lemon & Mocha

Garlicky Stir-fried Bok Choy
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1¼ pounds bok choy, ends trimmed and discarded, stalks and leaves cut into 1” pieces (halve the stalks lengthwise if more than 1” wide); keep stalks and leaves separate
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Whisk together the broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle add the book toy stalks. Stir frequently for 1 minute then add the bok choy leaves and prepared sauce.
  3. Stir the bok choy and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat when the bok choy is crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables.

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember last week in the asparagus with creamy orange sauce post how I went on and on about how I struggle with finding simple, healthy and tasty vegetable recipes? Well, I stumbled across another solution last week!

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Behold: steam-sautéed broccoli! I’m sure plenty of folks have been using this quick technique for years, but I am giddy with excitement over it.

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

The broccoli gets lightly sautéed in the pan, a small amount of flavorful liquid is added before putting the lid on, and the broccoli steams up right in the pan!

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used chicken broth for the liquid and that combined with the garlic infused oil you sauté the broccoli in made it so shockingly delicious.

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

I came across this quick recipe in a new cookbook I found at the library that is filled 100% with only vegetable recipes. It is chock-full of gorgeous color photos, which is essential for a quality cookbook perusal. The author almost didn’t include this recipe because it was just a way to cook broccoli that she had been doing for years and it is so simple she didn’t even really consider it a recipe. But her sister requested it’s inclusion and I am so happy she did. No more plain steamed broccoli in my house!

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli  |  Lemon & Mocha

Steam-Sautéed Broccoli
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small cloves or 1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, crowns cut into bite-sized florets and stalks peeled and diced, kept separately
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Place the oil and the garlic in a large skillet or pan then place over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the diced broccoli stalks to the pan and cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
  2. Add the broccoli florets to the pan and stir to combine the broccoli with the garlic oil. Cook the florets for 3 minutes, or until the broccoli turns bright green in color.
  3. Add the broth then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan. Let the broccoli steam for about 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is desired tenderness. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
Notes
If you prefer using only broccoli florets, simply omit the broccoli stalks.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables.