Showing posts with label Valentine's Day recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day recipes. Show all posts

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Red Velvet Oreos + Valentine's Day Giveaway

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How on earth is it February?

I'll tell you one thing: this is my husband's favorite month, because it means the 5-month-long celebration has finally come to an end. In October, we have both his parents' birthday, plus Halloween. In November, there's our wedding anniversary, our son's birthday and Thanksgiving. In December, there's obviously Christmas and New Year's. January brings my birthday, and February is Valentine's Day.

So, as of February 15th, Tim gets a long, well-deserved respite from the holidays. At least for 237 seconds.

I want to be real with you, because you're my people, and that means something to me. Tim and I don't actually believe in Valentine's Day. I mean, it's great. The whole love-the-one-you're-with thing, or the "anti-Valentines Day" parties. Whatever strikes your fancy. But after almost 10 years together, we've finally admitted to each other that we're just in it for the food.

With that being said, I would like to point you Deborah, a blogger who just published an incredible red velvet themed cookbook out right now.* You can find her over at "Taste and Tell," a wonderful site with really innovative recipes, including these red velvet oreos. With her permission, I've posted the recipe below, but make sure to check out her other red velvet recipes by visiting her site. You can also visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and any major book retailer to purchase her book, "Red Velvet Lover's Cookbook: Best-Ever Versions for Everything Red Velvet, with More than 50 Scrumptious Sweets and Treats."



Okay, now for the giveaway: I loved this cookbook so much that I purchased an extra copy to give away to one lucky reader. All I need to know is what you do on Valentine's Day. Your misery or excitement towards this particular holiday won't affect your chances of winning ;) Just leave your message in the comments on our website or Facebook page. The winner will be picked randomly and announced on Tuesday, February 10th.

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tablespoon red liquid food coloring
For the filling:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup vegetable shortening
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon hot water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. To make the cookies: Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl to combine. Beat the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and food coloring. Add the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together.
3. Form the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place the dough balls at least 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake until the edges start setting, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
4. To make the filling: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, shortening, butter, water, and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
5. Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Turn half the cookies over and pipe about 1 teaspoon of the filling onto the flat side of each cookie. Place another cookie on top of the filling, flat side down. Lightly press the cookies together to spread out the filling. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Love and Taste-And-Tell,



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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reese's Brownie Trifle {And a $3 DIY Trifle Bowl!}

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Being on maternity leave has turned me into a real housewife. And I don't mean the kind on E!. I do laundry. I run errands. I make trifles. And yes, I make trifle bowls. Ever since I've been home full-time, I've been doing so many DIY's you'd think HGTV was following me around. This, however, is one of my all-time favorites.

I am so cheap. It's actually a little embarrassing how far its gone. I'm that person who looks on Pinterest for ideas on how to use the leftover toilet paper rolls. It got to the point where I had to step back and have a self-intervention. Sticks from the side of the road are not considered art. And I cannot -- no, should not -- clean out and reuse every single glass spaghetti jar I buy. But this trifle bowl? Totally okay. And cheap.

As far as the actual trifle goes, it's a little inspiration for Valentine's Day. All I hear is red-velvet-this, and red-velvet-that. Don't get me wrong. I love a good red velvet dessert, even if my hands are stained red for days after making it. You've got red velvet browniesred velvet cupcakes, red velvet cake balls, and even red velvet hot cocoa {which might actually be very appropriate considering the weather}. But where's the love for good ole' chocolate? I say there's not enough. So I hope you'll give this a try. And I highly recommend making the Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Cheese Alfredo to go along with it. Not that you asked.



Supplies for trifle bowl:
  • Glass bowl from Dollar Store
  • Glass candle stand from Dollar Store
  • Epoxy {one container is enough for about 10 projects, so I estimated this cost about $.50 or less for this one project}



The candle stand and the glass bowl were both from the Dollar Store, and the epoxy is from Walmart. Make sure you get the epoxy that sets in 5 minutes. There's one that dries a lot faster, but you'll need the extra time.




The way this particular epoxy works is you cut the ends off both tips {you'll see what I'm talking about when you buy it} and squeeze some onto a paper plate. Mix it up and, using a tooth pick {or something similar} generously apply to the top of the candle stand.




Place the bowl facing down on a sturdy surface. Firmly press the candle stand onto the bottom of the bowl. Let sit and dry. You're supposed to let it sit for 24 hours to dry thoroughly, but I was in a hurry and used it two hours later with no problem.




Ta-dah! Glue is awesome {as well as glue-like substances}.




I love it! And the tube of epoxy can be used for several of these types of serving dishes and platters. And seriously, this does not look like it cost $3!


All right, on to the real star -- the trifle.


Ingredients:
  • 1 {19.8 ounce} package brownie mix 
  • 1 {3.9 ounce} package instant chocolate pudding mix 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 {14 ounce} can sweetened condensed milk 
  • 20 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed 
  • Candy topping of your choosing {I used Reese's}



Here's a picture of all the ingredients you'll need.




We're going to make the brownie mix according to the package instructions. Most brownie mixes require eggs, oil and water, but check the back of the box to be sure.




Do you know I just learned you're not supposed to lick the spoon because you'll get salmonella? World. Rocked. Still did it, though.




Spread out the mix in the appropriate-sized pan. Mine was 13x9. Once again, consult the box instructions.




Bake according to the box instructions and cut into small, one-inch pieces. And I would also suggest that the brownies be gooier. This isn't the time to make well-done brownies.




Combine the pudding mix, condensed milk and 1/2 cup water until the mixture is smooth. Fold in 8 oz. of the whipped topping and gently stir until combined.




Start with half the brownies.




Then half the pudding mixture.




Add in half of what's left of the whipped topping.




Then the rest of the brownies.




Now add the rest of the pudding mixture.




And {you guessed it} the rest of the whipped topping!




The final step -- cover with whichever candy topping you chose.




That's it! Let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.


Love and trifles,

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Cheese Alfredo

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Valentine's Day is almost here! I used to be a huge proponent of this day. Back in college, I would go all out. I'd be surprising Tim with chicken biscuits in his car, leaving notes for him that listed every single thing I loved about him, shopping for the perfect outfit on the college-student-budget of $3, and, of course, trying/failing to cook a nice meal.

Fast forward almost 7 years. Now I know that true love isn't found in chicken biscuits or unlimited salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden. It's in Tim waking up at 5:30 am with Judah so I can sleep another hour. And in getting a text that he's bringing home dinner so I don't have to cook {yes, even I hate to cook sometimes}. So we pretty much fast-forward through all the romantic crap and just eat good food. At home. In our sweats. And go to bed early. Because Judah hasn't pooped in three days so he's probably going to be up with gas all night.




Just keepin' it real.

This recipe is inspired by Lauren's Latest, an incredible site with incredible recipes. You've probably seen many of her recipes on Pinterest. I was so excited to try this recipe, but there were a few things I knew wouldn't fly in our house, including goat cheese. Tried it. Hated it. Sorry. Goats are for feeding at the county fair, not for making cheese. But for those of you with much finer taste than I, head over to her site and take a look at the original recipe. #overmyhead


Ingredients:
  • 2 whole red bell peppers

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated parigiano reggiano cheese

  • 12 oz. fettucini
  • 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese {for dusting}
  • 
Salt and pepper


Directions:


First, we're going to pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the red peppers on a non-stick pan and bake for 20-30 minutes.

While that's going on, we're going to start on the sauce.




Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.




Pour the heavy cream and milk into the pot.




Grab the feta. Have I ever mentioned how much I love this cheese? Because I do.




Toss it in, too.




Stir for 5-7 minutes on a medium heat until the cheese is melted.




Go ahead and check on the peppers. When they're done, they should be all wrinkly and cute.




Remove the skin, which should be easy to do. It peels right off. Scrape out the seeds and the stem, as well. Chop them up into small slices.




Toss the sliced red peppers and the grated parigiano reggiano cheese
 into the pot.




Using an immersion blender, combine the ingredients until creamy. You can get exactly the consistency you want depending on how long you blend it.




I always forget about the pasta. This is my favorite brand of fettucini. And I love this picture because it makes my counters look shiny, which they're totally not.




Cook according to package instructions.

Once that's done, it's time to serve!




Noodles.




Sauce.




Shredded Italian cheese.





Nom nom nom.

Serve with garlic bread and salad, and you'll totally feel the love.


Love and good food,

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chocolate souffle

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I'm not going to try and act like this is some family recipe that my grandma wrote out and gave to me as some special family heirloom to hold on for years to come. If I'm being honest, I hit Google, trying to stifle the nerves that were building inside of me.

Chocolate souffle? Really?? I'm a burrito and lasagna kind of girl. But when Valentine's Day came around, I knew I had to step up my game.

I searched high and low for the easiest chocolate souffle recipe I could find. Being a newby, I was looking for simplicity. I came across this recipe by Curtis Stone, and it really was as easy as he said it was. This particular recipe is for two souffles, but the wonderful thing about this website is that you can change the amount of people you want it to serve, and it updates the ingredient list. I watched his step-by-step video, which was extremely helpful since it was my first time making this, and I would highly recommend doing the same if you're a scaredy cat like me.

And you didn't hear it from me, but he's not bad to look at.

I love you, honey.

I'm still going to copy his recipe and directions here, but like I said, I can't take credit for it. Enjoy!

Ingredients:





  • 1 tablespoons (about) unsalted butter melted cooled














  • 1/10 cup sugar plus more for coating dishes














  • 2 large egg whites














  • 1 3/10 ounces high-quality dark chocolate (62 to 70% cacao)














  • 1/6 cup cold water














  • 1/10 cup unsweetened cocoa powder














  • 1 tablespoons (about) unsalted butter melted cooled














  • 1/10 cup sugar plus more for coating dishes














  • 2 large egg whites














  • 1 3/10 ounces high-quality dark chocolate (62 to 70% cacao)














  • 1/6 cup cold water














  • 1/10 cup unsweetened cocoa powder









    • 1 tablespoons (about) unsalted butter melted cooled
    • 1/10 cup sugar plus more for coating dishes
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 1 3/10 ounces high-quality dark chocolate (62 to 70% cacao)
    • 1/6 cup cold water
    • 1/10 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    Directions:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    • Coat the interiors of six 7.75-ounce soufflé dishes completely with some of the butter. Refrigerate until the butter is cold and set about 2 minutes. Brush a second coating of butter over the interiors of the dishes. Coat the interiors completely with sugar. Place the dishes on a baking sheet.
    • Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites in a large bowl until they are foamy. Gradually beat in 1/3 cup of sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites are shiny and form medium-soft peaks when the beaters are lifted.
    • Meanwhile stir the chopped chocolate in a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the water and cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Fold a fourth of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture (the mixture will resemble chocolate mousse).
    • Divide the soufflé batter equally among the prepared soufflé dishes. Using a large knife level the filling flush to the top of the dishes. Using a clean cloth wipe the very top edges of the dishes.
    • Bake the soufflés on the baking sheet until they puff but are still moist in the center about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
    This was my first ever experience eating a chocolate souffle, and it was just as good as you'd guess. My husband, whose whole life is on a diet, ate his entire souffle.

    P.S. Please forgive the awful photo. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to take a decent picture by candle light with your husband trying to get a "thumbs up" in there. My life is complicated.

    Love and fanciness (kinda),
    Rachael 

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    The way to a man's heart...

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    ...is through the food from this blog.

    You think I'm kidding. Do you think it was my whit and good looks that stole Tim's heart? Wrong. I'm pretty sure it was our very first Valentine's Day when I actually made an effort to cook.

    We all start somewhere in the kitchen. My mother tried tirelessly to convince me to cook when I was growing up, but I was too busy doing stuff that was going to be useful for my life in the "real world."

    Like playing basketball.

    And learning how to speak backwards.

    Since no one got on board with my new universal language, and because my father was the only person who wanted me to join the WNBA, I changed my goals. On our first Valentine's Day together in 2007, I thought I'd try to cook Tim a real meal. One of my girlfriends was kind enough to let me borrow her kitchen for the evening, and I was ready to blow his mind (in a purely culinary sense).


    I went above and beyond anyone's expectations. I made chicken....and pasta.


    I even served microwaved buffalo wings as an appetizer. Are you convinced yet that even you could start a food blog?


    I think what really topped it all off was the cake. This took me hours to make.

    Excuse me while I drop to my knees and thank God that this man ever put a ring on my finger, solidifying that I would cook most of his meals for the rest of his life.

    Did I mention I lit the tablecloth on fire?

    Ahhh, but we were happy and in love. And compared to the cardboard pizza and wet eggs we ate at the ROT, it was a feast.

    While learning how to cook is an admirable feat, it poses some future problems. Have you ever heard the argument against getting your significant other an incredible birthday/anniversary/Christmas/Valentine's Day gift?

    "They're going to expect something even better than that next year."

    I get it now. Every year I have to do something bigger and better. And is there anything less romantic than a Valentines Day that falls on a Monday? That's about as exciting as taking the SAT's on your birthday.

    Been there, done that.

    I'm still going to share with you my top ideas for romantic recipes. These are all meals that I've previously blogged about, but they are definite winners on any romantic occasion. While I know the majority of people will go out and spend an exorbitant amount of money on a mediocre steak, I also know there are some people (like me) who prefer to celebrate in my own home.

    Romantic Dinner Idea #1: The classic spaghetti. I know, typical. But if it's good enough for Lady and the Tramp, it's good enough for me. This is also a meal that is easy enough for men to cook for their ladies (are you men out there catching my hint?).

    Romantic Dinner Idea #2: Chicken alfredo. Once again, a pretty simple dinner, but one of the most popular ones.

    Romantic Dinner Idea #3: Filet mignon and crash potatoes. This is G-O-O-D, and believe it or not, it's very affordable. I typically use Ledbetter bacon wrapped beef tenderloin filet (at Walmart), and it's less than $5 for 2 filets. And on Valentines, I like to pull out the big guns and make red garlic mashed potatoes instead of the crash potatoes. Serve it with steamed asparagus or green beans, and you just saved yourself $50 at some fancy schmancy restaurant, PLUS you can wear your PJ's to the table.


    Romantic Dinner Idea #4: Spinach stuffed shells. What is it about Italian food that's so romantic? Am I the only person who can barely move after I eat it? I guess I'm just missing the "sexy" factor in it. Please enlighten me, readers.


    Romantic Dinner Idea #5: Finger foods! This is one of my favorite blogs I've ever written. So often I got caught up in finding the perfect meal, only to realize that there's no reason not have a taste of it all! I highly suggest this approach for a more casual, laid back Valentines evening. Not that I have children or anything (sorry, Mom), but most of these foods are kid-friendly and would definitely please the masses.



    Now on to the good stuff: dessert. Most of you aren't bound by the laws of boot camp as my husband is, which still enslave me. So I want you to choose one of these desserts and go for it. And think of me while you enjoy it.

    Dessert Idea #1: Chocolate bundt cake with glaze. This isn't an "in your face" type of dessert. It's more sophisticated and grown up. So, nothing like me. But maybe it suits you.

    Dessert Idea #2: Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Need I say more?

    Dessert Idea #3: Classic pound cake.This may sound boring, but there are a million things you can do with pound cake: top it with frosting, add it to a bowl of ice cream, cover it with chocolate sauce or add strawberries and whipped cream. See? Definitely not boring.

    Dessert Idea #4: A chocolately, cloudy miracle. I honestly can't remember where the idea for this came up, but thank goodness it did.

    Dessert Idea #5: Dark Chocolate Double Chunk Cookies. Is dark chocolate an aphrodisiac? If so, bake this with caution. I do not want to be blamed for any unplanned children.

    Well, folks, I've taken you as far as I can. The rest is up to you. Just remember: restaurants are great and all, but coking at home is much more intimate and inexpensive.

    Happy Valentines!
    Rachael



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