Sometimes you need to step out of the kitchen..sit back..and enjoy good food and great friends. I am so excited about tonite!! There is a ladies night out planned with six wonderful friends who I cannot wait to see. We have not been able to arrange a dinner together in a very long time. Probably since last spring. Everyone has such busy schedules lately so it will be so nice to sit and catch up on everything. We are going to a new restaurant for dinner that i haven't been to yet so I am very excited to try it. Can't wait to check it out.
Since I will be going out for dinner tonite...it will be take out for my husband and son. CJ never seems to mind pizza, buffalo wings or chinese. Can't blame him they are also some of my favorites. Being 14....they are definitely his!! So today, since I'm not cooking dinner, I thought I would make him a treat to come to after his basketball practice. He is going to love it.
Last Easter, my husband and I took CJ and Chelsea to Italy. We had an amazing vacation touring Florence, Venice, Sienna, Parma and Rome. There are no words to explain just how fabulous the food is in Italy. We did arrange a cooking class for all of us as a family. Making fresh pasta with bolognese sauce, bruschetta and tiramasu in ITALY...priceless!!! Of course I have done this any times with my family at home, even my grandchildren have made fresh pasta many times with me, but nothing compares to actually being in italy with real italian chefs. It was truly an amazing experience for us all.
The Nutella Crepes were probably CJ's absolute favorite food on our trip, and I will absolutely put up some crepe recipes someday since they are now a must in our house. Besides many other foods, there was actually one thing he loved loved loved!! They were the lemon and orange chocolate covered candies. You see them everywhere in Italy. They are a very traditional candy there. So simple to make and delicious. So why not bring some italian tradition home tonite and surprise CJ. Can't wait to see the smile on his face. As big as he is getting, I love my little baby so much!!!
Follow these simple steps and try something that may be new to your house but is so popular and traditional Italy!!
CHOCOLATE COVERED LEMON & ORANGE PEEL CANDY
2 ORANGES 2 LEMONS SUGAR MELTING CHOCOLATE
First, cut the oranges and lemons in four pieces. You will want to pick fruit with a thinner skin if possible. I actually love to make these in January when the honeybell oranges are in season. I order mine every year from florida. You can only get them in January and February each year...but believe me...they are worth it!! So sweet!!
Slice into strips just as I did. P.S....don't forget to use the fruit for something else...sangria anyone? Yum!!
Fill a small saucepan with about six inches of cold water. Throw in the skins and bring to a boil for just a minute or two.
Drain the peels. Fill the pot again with the same amount of cold water and repeat this process. You will do this three times. It goes so quickly it will be done before you know it. Easy right?? Couldn't be simpler. This process makes the skins so soft and tender.
Now, on the last round, you can leave the water in the pot. Add about 1/2 cup sugar and continue boiling till reduced about 10 minutes. You have also now created a simple syrup with lemon and oranges flavors. Do not throw this away. It is delicious to add to hot teas, iced teas or any cocktails you may want to mix up. I store mine in a jar and keep it handy. It is also great drizzled on yogurt with granola for a little added sweetness.
Lay the softened peels on parchment paper and allow to dry a bit. Sprinkle with sugar to coat them. Let them dry even longer now. It will be easier to dip in the chocolate when they are dry.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on a double broiler, whichever you prefer. And that's it....go ahead and dip away. Of course, lay them back on clean parchment paper till the chocolate hardens. I love to use dark chocolate on these.
They are a great little treat. So easy to make and look so beautiful on a plate. I love to bring these out at parties or as a hostess gift if your going to a party. I know CJ is going to love them...and now I am going to enjoy my night out with the girls!! I LOVE MY FRIENDS!!!