Love is in the Air


This month, my wonderful niece Elianna is getting married! It’s hard to believe that she’s all grown up and ready for this pivotal moment in her life. I still remember 13 years ago when Elianna and my niece Sarah were flower girls at my wedding. They were so small, and their big, bright eyes looked upon me as if I were a real-life princess.

Isn’t that what it’s all about for us girls, anyway? We grow up dreaming and waiting for that moment when we can wear our dream dress, marry our dream guy and have our dream wedding. Obviously, it’s so much more than that in the end. It’s committing to living a life with someone that has similar values and goals as you. It’s giving sometimes more than taking, and loving them even when it’s hard at times to like them.

Being married to my “dream guy” has given me more than I could have ever imagined. Through the good, bad and ugly, he is still right there – and we still care about and love each other deeply. There’s no real secret to a successful marriage; it just takes patience, communication, mutual respect and faith; and when that’s not always consistent, the desire to make the changes necessary to make it work. Commitment and desire.

This cute and delicious treat is a fun alternative to the classic chocolate-dipped strawberry. It’s healthy, with the right amount of sweetness – perfect for sharing with your sweetheart.

Mazel tov to all the brides and grooms! May you be blessed with health, love, family and all things that are good for a long and happy life together.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Ingredients

30 medium to large fresh strawberries, washed & dried
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Crushed peanuts, for garnish
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Decorative sprinkles, for garnish

Instructions

Cut the top and leaves off of each strawberry. Use a small sharp knife (or melon baller) to carefully hull the center of the berries. Slice off a bit of the tip of each strawberry so it can stand up.

Place the chocolate in a separate small bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Continue melting in 10 second increments, if necessary, until completely melted.

Place the crushed peanuts in a small bowl and set aside.

Dip the bottom of each strawberry into the chocolate, then roll in the crushed peanuts. Place on a parchment lined pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth; adding more powdered sugar and/or peanut butter to taste.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #2D decorating tip (or a plastic zipper bag with a corner cut off will work too). Fill each strawberry with the peanut butter cheesecake mixture, then sprinkle with festive sprinkles or more crushed peanuts. Place finished strawberries on a serving tray and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Prepared stuffed berries can be made and refrigerated up to 4 hours in advance.

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