Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes
From Real Simple magazine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
Kosher salt and pepper
2 8-ounce bunches spinach, trimmed
8 eggs, separated (yolks kept whole, if possible)
4 ounces cream cheese (optional)
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it begins to wilt, 1 minute. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
- Beat the egg whites until foamy, about 30 seconds, then pour them over the spinach mixture. Carefully place the whole yolks over the top. Bake until the whites are set, 20 to 22 minutes.
- Divide among individual plates. Add dollops of the cream cheese, if desired.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 128(28% from fat); FAT 4g (sat 1g); SUGAR 4g; PROTEIN 13g; SODIUM 547mg; FIBER 6g; CARBOHYDRATE 12g
Beet and Cheddar Risotto
From Food & Wine magazine
1 medium beet, peeled and quartered
2 cups loosely packed beet greens, stems trimmed
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup arborio rice
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
- Place the beet in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the beet greens and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and vegetable broth to a simmer.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the beets and beet greens and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the broth to the large saucepan, 1 cup at a time, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, 20 minutes.
- Add the cheddar; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until the risotto is creamy and thick, 3 minutes longer.
- Serve in deep bowls, passing the Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.
Beginner Heart Cake
From Kraft Foods
1 pkg. (2-layer size) cake mix, any flavor
2 cups thawed cool whip whipped topping
1-1/3 cups shredded coconut
Red food coloring
2 tbsp. cinnamon red hot candies
- Prepare and bake cake mix as directed on package, dividing batter evenly between 8-inch square cake pan and 8-inch round cake pan. Cool completely.
- Cut round cake in half. Leave square cake whole.
- Place square cake on serving tray in diamond position. Using small amount of whipped topping to hold pieces together, place half circles against top two adjacent sides of square cake to resemble a heart.
- Frost cake with remaining whipped topping.
- Tint coconut pink with food coloring; sprinkle over frosting. Decorate with candies. Store in refrigerator.
Expert Heart Cake
From Matt Lewis of Baked
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp. red food coloring
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, , room temperature
1 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup melted dark chocolate, for decorating
Speckled Cinnamon Frosting, recipe below
- Preheat oven to 325°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Butter an 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet, line with parchment paper, butter parchment, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1/4 cup boiling water. Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and shortening on high speed until smooth. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir buttermilk and vanilla into cocoa mixture.
- Into another medium bowl, sift together flour and salt. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until incorporated.
- In a small bowl, mix together vinegar and baking soda until baking soda dissolves; mixture will fizz. Add to batter and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared baking sheet, smoothing the top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes, rotating pan after 10 minutes.
- Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Using a 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 12 hearts.
- Place 4 strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy susan. Place 1 layer on the cake plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake; top with another heart, bottom side up.
- Cover entire cake with a thin layer of frosting and transfer to refrigerator for 10 minutes. Repeat process with remaining ingredients.
- Remove cakes from the refrigerator and cover each cake with a generous layer of frosting, smoothing as you go around to create a flat surface.
- Place chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip; decorate as desired.
Makes six 4-inch heart-shaped cakes.
Speckled Cinnamon Frosting
From Matt Lewis of Baked
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Food coloring, in desired color
- Whisk together sugar and flour in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add milk and cream and place over medium heat, whisking occasionally until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until cool.
- Reduce speed to low and add butter; mix until well incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and cinnamon and continue mixing until combined.
- Add a couple drops of food coloring while continuing to mix, until desired color is reached.
- If frosting is too soft, chill slightly and then remix to proper consistency. If frosting becomes too firm, place bowl over a pot of simmering water and remix to proper consistency.
Makes enough for six 4-inch cakes.
Chocolate Dipped Caramels
From Southern Living magazine
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons shortening
- Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 7 minutes, without stirring.
- Stir in condensed milk, and bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 10 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 245°.
- Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Pour into a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined 8- x 8-inch baking dish. Let stand 8 hours at room temperature.
- Cut caramel into 1/2-inch squares, and shape into balls.
- Melt chocolate and shortening in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat.
- Dip balls into melted chocolate mixture; place on wax paper. Chill 8 hours.
Makes about 10 dozen.
Filet Mignon With Truffled Mushroom Ragout
From Bon Appetit magazine
3 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
12 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, quartered
1/3 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 1-inch-thick filet mignons (about 6 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil*
- Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add chopped garlic and marjoram; sauté 30 seconds.
- Add mushrooms; toss to coat with butter. Sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook until mushrooms have released their juices, about 13 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, wine, and whipping cream and bring to boil. Cook uncovered until mushrooms are tender and sauce coats mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Season mushroom ragout to taste with salt and pepper. (Ragout can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover skillet and refrigerate.)
- Heat heavy medium skillet over high heat until hot. Add peanut oil and tilt skillet to coat evenly.
- Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper.
- Add to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
- Transfer steaks to plates. Rewarm mushroom ragout in skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently. Spoon ragout partially over steaks and onto plates. Drizzle mushrooms on each plate with 1/4 teaspoon truffle oil.
* Available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets.
From Fine Living
1 1/2 oz. Courvoisier or other type of cognac
1 oz. amaretto
Dash of chocolate syrup
- Fill pint glass with ice.
- Add the cognac, the amaretto, and a dash of chocolate syrup.
- Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass.
Related: recipes, valentines day, Cocktails, drinks, brownies, happy hour, cognac, amaretto, chocolate month, chocolate syrup, fine living, Brownie Cognac
Pom Lime Vodka Cocktail
Modified from Cooking Light magazine
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cups club soda
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
3/4 cup vodka
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
lime slices (optional)
- Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool.
- Combine sugar syrup*, club soda, pomegranate juice, vodka, and lime juice.
- Place ice in a martini shaker; add about 3/4 cup pomegranate mixture. Cover and shake. Strain into a glass.
- Garnish with lime slice, if desired. Repeat procedure with remaining pomegranate mixture.
*When I doubled the recipe, I kept simple syrup recipe as is. I prefer a less sweet drink.
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Hearts
From Martha Stewart
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil or pure vegetable shortening
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until combined.
- On slow speed, beat in flour and salt until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until 1/16-to-1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts with a 2-inch heart cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to an ungreased baking sheet; chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 300º with a rack in the center. Press the tines of a fork into each cookie to make designs.
- Bake until just beginning to brown around the edges, about 18 minutes. (Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.)
- In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil.
- Dip half or one third of each cookie into the chocolate mixture. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to dry, or place them on a piece of parchment paper in the freezer for 10 minutes. Serve.
Pink Passion Martini
From Inside SCV
3 oz Asti Spumante
3 oz sparkling pink lemonade
1 dash of sweet and sour
- Shake in a martini shaker and serve in a martini glass.
- Garnish with a raspberry or pink edible rose pedal.
Makes 1 cocktail.