Valentine’s Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Both Lauren’s and my favorite food is chocolate covered strawberries. So naturally this is our go-to recipe to help celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. The secret to amazing strawberries? Add a liqueur into the chocolate for better consistency and added flavor. In the past I’ve used Disaronno which is an amaretto-tasting liqueur and works wonderfully, but for this recipe I’m using Sukkah Hill Spirit‘s Besamim – an aromatic spice liqueur. It creates a much more complex flavor profile and makes for absolutely delicious berries!

What you’ll need:

  • baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 TBSP Besamim liqueur

The first thing you’ll want to do is wash and dry the strawberries, and I cannot emphasize this enough – make sure they are dry before dipping them in chocolate or it will not stick!

Next, you will melt the chocolate. There’s a handful of ways to do this – in the microwave, or in a double boiler – but I don’t have a double boiler and I like to keep an eye on it, so I usually do it on the stove top. If you overheat the chocolate, it will become hard and crusty and you will need to start over. A good tip to remember: heat the chocolate low and slow. On a low temp, and stirring continuously.

For added control, I like to melt it a half cup at a time. When the first 1/2 cup is nearly completely melted, add 1 TBSP Besamim and stir in as the chocolate finishes melting. Turn off the heat and immediately dip 1/3 of the strawberries in the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Then melt more chocolate, add liqueur, and dip the berries until they are all coated.

Then place the tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes to help the chocolate harden.

Once the chocolate is cool and hardened, melt the white chocolate chips. Use a fork to drizzle the white chocolate onto the strawberries. Feel free to use any combination of chips to create a variety of strawberries! Store berries in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

Serve with Besamim over ice or a glass of your favorite rosé! Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Julia

Wine Tasting with Karl (PRP Wines)

Last weekend I got to try 9 different wines and a delicious Loud coffee liqueur from PRP Wine thanks to my colleague, Karl Barton. PRP Wine produces high quality, exclusive wines from 65 wineries in 13 countries around the world. Karl delivers a fantastic, professional, educational, and entertaining wine tasting experience.

We started off with a nice white wine that they call the “Porch Pounder” because it’s a great summer wine and easy drinking. It was absolutely delicious. Next was a Hungarian wine nicknamed “Naked in the Pool.” Clearly also another great one for summer! The other two white wines we tried were a German Riesling and an unoaked Chardonnay.

Then we had the reds. Before this tasting, I did not consider myself a red wine drinker, so it was perfect when Karl brought out the Chevalier de Bayard (or Red Chevy) which he described as the red wine for white wine drinkers. It was actually really nice and not quite as intense and tannic as some of the reds I’d tried in the past. We also tried a Pinot Noir from Chile, a red Zinfandel from Lodi, and Tres Magi which is a Spanish red blend made from Merlot and Grenache.

So here’s the crazy part. After the Red Chevy, the other red wines were much more bold and tannic and full-bodied. And I liked them ALL. Clearly I just wasn’t drinking the right kinds of red wine before, but I am definitely a red drinker now. I even poured myself a glass of red and enjoyed it with dinner last night.

One of the other amazing things about these wines is that there are no added sulfites. When you get a headache from drinking too much wine, it’s often caused by sulfites. There will always be some present in wine because they occur naturally during the fermentation process, but bigger wine producers add them in to maintain consistent flavor year to year. All of PRP’s wines are single vintage and the producers do not add sulfites in as a part of their wine-making process. Clearly, I had a decent amount of wine at this tasting and I got no headache whatsoever. Not that night, and not the next morning.

We finished with an Italian dessert wine and the Loud coffee liqueur, both of which were absolutely delicious and truly the icing on the cake to a wonderful evening.

Huge thanks to Karl and PRP Wines for helping create such a wonderful evening of good food and drinks with family and friends. If you’d like to have a wine tasting at your home with Karl, leave a comment below and I will put you in touch!

-Lauren

Brunch at Vintage Brew Co.

Brunch. One of the best parts of the weekend. We recently visited Vintage Brewing Company at their Capitol East location (previously Tangent) to try out their new brunch menu. Needless to say, we were quite impressed.

We started off with a round of brunch cocktails. We enjoyed a variety of unique signature cocktails such as the Woo Girl 2.0 and Friends of Dorothy. We also tried their award winning Bloody Mary which did not disappoint.

The Woo Girl 2.0 is Hendricks Gin, St. Germaine, Cava, lime juice, and Bitter Truth cucumber bitters. Friends of Dorothy is Plantation Pineapple rum, house-made grenadine, lime juice, ginger beer, mint, and Bittercube Jamaica #2 bitters. These cocktails differed quite a bit from the classic brunch cocktails we’re used to, but we loved the creativity here! We also shared an order of cheese curds.

For our main meal, we couldn’t decide between savory and sweet so we chose both! Our sweet selection was the French toast which came with fresh strawberries and blueberries and was topped with local maple syrup and powdered sugar. To die for! On the savory side of things, we went with the Breakfast Flatbread which was topped with roasted bell peppers, onions, carrots, scrambled eggs, goat cheese, cheddar jack, garlic aioli, and scallions.

After our meal, the general manager gave a quick tour of the new, updated space since the name change. They added a lounge with the classic Vintage fish tank and repainted the space in a lighter color to help it feel more bright and open.

We love the new atmosphere and of course, the new menu! We definitely recommend checking out the new Capitol East location for brunch as soon as you can!

Wollersheim Winery & Distillery Tour

I recently got to visit Wollersheim Winery & Distillery with my sister Rachel, from Roots & Rosemary. Céline, winemaker and granddaughter of founder, Bob Wollersheim, gave us a tour and shared the wine and spirits-making processes with us.

At Wollersheim, the grapes are grown locally and they do a lot of things the old-fashioned way. While sometimes it may require more time and effort, it surely pays off in the quality of the finished product.

One of my favorite parts of the afternoon was tasting some aging wines straight out of the barrel!

After the tour, Céline treated us to a delicious Wisconsin-style brandy sweet Old Fashioned happy hour. Easily one of the best I’ve ever had.

Here’s Rachel enjoying her first-ever Old Fashioned.

Wollersheim holds winery tours and spirits tastings daily so definitely go check them out and see, taste, and learn about all the amazing things going on there for yourself!

-Lauren

Lauren & The Foreign’s Spiced Pear Mules Featured on WKOW’s Midday Madison

We are so excited to share that we were recently featured on WKOW’s Midday Madison. Lauren got to talk about who we are and shared a delicious recipe for a fall cocktail: spiced pear mules!

Here’s what you need to make your own:

  • 2 oz Spring44 Distilling’s Honey Vodka or 2 oz State Line Distillery’s Vodka and a spoonful of honey
  • 1 oz pear liqueur
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • dash of cinnamon
  • ginger beer
  • sliced pear
  • cinnamon stick

Shake vodka, honey, pear liqueur, lime juice, and cinnamon with ice. Pour into Moscow Mule mug rimmed with lime juice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with pear slices and a cinnamon stick.

While you enjoy your delicious mule, be sure to check out our feature on Midday Madison below!

Lauren’s Ideal Self-Care Day

Yesterday was Lauren’s birthday and she decided to vlog and document her day as she did all her favorite activities that she would include in her ideal self-care day. Read and watch below to experience a day in the life of Lauren.

My day started as any good day should – without an alarm! I slept in until my body decided it was time to wake up, which today was about 9:00 am.

I love breakfast — it’s my favorite meal of the day. Today I started my day with some of my grandma’s homemade banana bread and some citrus green tea. So delicious.

After breakfast, I put on my favorite socks to get cozy, and then took my tea over to the couch to read a chapter or two in my book.

After an hour or so, I decided to brave today’s gloomy, rainy weather to work out. I do a lot of different activities for my workouts, but today it was CycleBar.

After rocking my ride at CycleBar, I made lunch. Apparently today was National Homemade Cookie Day, so for dessert I had one of my grandma’s delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Once I had refueled and taken a shower, I decided to play piano for a while. Today I tried learning a new song — a classic that I’ve always wanted to learn — The Entertainer.

I played around on the piano for a while until I was ready for a break. I decided I was in the mood for some pressed juice from Saints Madison. I headed over and tried a new juice — Fountain of Youth with butterfly pea flower, agave, and lemon . Tasty and beautiful too!

When I got back, I decided to decorate for fall. Once October hits I can finally start to accept that summer is over and fall is here.

Then it was time to kick back, enjoy my juice, and totally relax. I got out my adult coloring books and turned on Netflix.

I ended the day with pizza and wine, aka the perfect ending to a perfect self-care day. Cheers!

There you have it, Lauren’s perfect day. Watch below to experience it all with her firsthand.