This book has completely changed how I do photography. I resource it back again and again. It is excellent for anyone wanting to improve their food photography skills. Between this and a fantastic three hour photography lesson in my home I have learned so much. I literally knew nothing prior to that. I am now on all the big sites regularly like Tasteologie, Tastespotteing, Foodgawker etc. If you want to get on these sites or just improve your photography this book is fantastic!!! It is a small investment with a big pay off!!! Just CLICK HERE to purchase this book. You just download it and you have it at the ready on your computer anytime you want it. No worry about it being misplaced, you always know where it is. I clearly can’t say enough about this book and how it has changed my photography skills. Click on in and have a look. It will change your photography for life!!!
I had made this for you for Valentine’s but ran out of time to be sharing it with you. So sorry it is late but this is a dessert that can be served at any time of the year. A very elegant but simple dessert. Served with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and it is out of this world good. Amber was a little freaked out about them, as they were cooked in wine but she had one taste and then gobbled it down!! I hope you try these as they are fabulous and so easy to do!! Enjoy!!
- 4 Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled
- 1½ cups red wine (Zinfandel or Shiraz)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- Mascarpone cheese
- Combine wine, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down so the wine simmers and add the pears. Simmer pears for about 18-20 min. turning them every 5 min. very carefully. Remove pears and let them cool. Boil the wine sauce until reduced by half. Pour sauce over the pears and serve with a dollop of mascarpone cheese.
Adapted from About.com
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be elaborate. It is meant to be with the ones you love!! So making and sharing something as easy as a smoothie can be all you need. We love smoothies here as you might already know. There are countless combinations. I also love the tropical addition of coconut to them. This smoothie I made for Amber and she could barely contain herself until a clicked the picture. Rich, creamy but full of goodness.
Try a little smoothie love on someone you care for!!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
- 1 whole pear, cut up
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1½ Tbsp. shredded coconut
- ¼ cup coconut yogurt
- ¼ cup skim milk
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
This recipe is from Savory Pies by Greg Henry. A wonderful collection of tarts, pies, hand pies, pastries and more await you in this wonderful cookbook. All very creative and eye popping, with flavors from around the world. Something to fit any appetite or mood like, Prosciutto-Wrapped Fig Mini Pies or Sweet Potato Tart Tatin or Irish Breakfast Pie. One of our lucky winners will be receiving this wonderful cookbook. So come on over to WIN!!
Our final day of our giveaway is tomorrow and I thought I would share with you this amazing pie that is one of the recipes from Savory Pies. It is a great rustic pie that is a comforting meal. It perfumes your home with all it’s wonderful smells as it bakes. A gorgeous winter pie that you will make again and again. We all loved this and I had it ready ahead of time for the family so all was needed was a nice big salad. The pie dough makes enough for two pies so I still have some in the freezer. Can’t wait to make another one!!
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. very cold European style unsalted butter, cut in ½” dice (I used regular unsalted butter)
- 2 or 3 ice cubes
- ⅓ cup cold water (additional if needed up to 2 Tbsp.)
- ¼ plus 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill, divided
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ½ cabbage, cored and shredded slaw-style (about 6 cups loosely packed)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced into slivers
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 5 oz. crumbled feta cheese, divided
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Flour for rolling
- 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water, for egg wash
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse the flour and salt 5-6 times until well combined. Add the 2 Tbsp. dill.
- Add the butter and pulse 10-12 more times until the mixture is crumbly and coarse with various sized chunks of butter throughout. Wedge 2-3 ice cubes in the processor’s feed tube. With the machine running, pour up to ⅓ cup cold water over the ice-filled feed tube a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together and begins to pull cleanly away from the sides of the bowl in jagged clumps. Don’t let the machine run too long, and don’t worry if you don’t use all the water. Overworked dough and/or too much water are the main culprits in making pastry tough or dense. However in warm or dry climates you may need up to 2 Tbsp. more cold water. You’ll learn to recognize the right balance or wet and dry.
- Move the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 2-3 times. If it seems quite sticky or wet, sprinkle in another few teaspoons flour. Give it a couple more quick, gentle kneads. Divide the dough in half and shape into 2 discs about 5″ in diameter and ¾” thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days) to distribute the moisture evenly, or freeze for up to one month.
- Remove the sausages from their casings and crumble the meat; set aside. Set a very large cast iron pan or other heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and toast until fragrant, shaking the skillet often, about 2 min. Add the crumbled meat to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until well browned, 10-12 min. Use a slotted spoon to move the meat to a plate, set aside.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and blanch for 2 min. Drain in a colander, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and dry-a salad spinner works well for this.
- Set the same skillet you used for the meat over medium heat. Add about 1 Tbsp. to bring the fat total to about 2 Tbsp. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 6 min. Add ½ tsp. salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 min. more. Stir in the cooked meat and then add the blanched cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is very tender and the cabbage is beginning to color, about 15 min. Add a generous grind of black pepper. Allow to cool some what. Stir in 3 ounces of feta, the remaining ¼ cup dill, and the parsley. Set aside to cool completely.
- Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 375F.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll a chilled dough disc. to about 13 inch round (depending on your baking dish), a generous ⅛” thick; save the second disc for another use. Carefully fold the rolled dough in half, slide onto a rolling pin, and transfer to a 10 x 7 x 2 inch-deep oval baking dish. Unfold, easing the dough gently into the baking dish and letting it drape over the long sides without stretching. Fill to heaping with cabbage and sausage mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 2 ounces of feta. Fold the dough edges loosely over the filling; they don’t have to meet in the center. Brush the exposed dough with egg wash, drizzling any extra over the cabbage mixture.
- Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is crisp and dark golden brown, 40-50 min. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
How lucky were we as a group to get this wonderful cookie press to try out. For our latest giveaway each of the five bloggers were given a cookie press to make cookies and blog. We also have one in our giveaway for a lucky winner. With the cookie press comes twelve discs for all seasons but we also received another 6 spring discs to try.
I have been very excited to try this as I don’t own a cookie press and have always wanted one. I have to say this was so easy to use. Just follow the instructions carefully and it goes without a hitch. Use an ungreased room temperature cookie sheet and the dough sticks right to it, no need for a knife!! In no time flat you have tray of cookies ready for the oven. I LOVED using this, so much fun, can’t wait to do another batch with Amber!! Good bye cookie cutters and hello cookie press!!!
I used the recipe that was included and it is so good. Run and I mean run to the store to get one of these. You will be thrilled!!
Here are my Valentine’s Day cookies for you all. Happy Valentine’s Day!!
COME ON OVER TO OUR GIVEAWAY TO ENTER TO WIN ONE OF THESE WONDERFUL OXO COOKIE PRESSES!!!
- 1½ cups unsalted better, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, continuously beating.
- Gradually add flour and cocoa powder, beating until well incorporated.
- Place the dough in cookie press with desired disk. Press dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 min. Rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time.
We are featured today at Bonbon Break with these lovely homemade marshmallows. Having fun in the kitchen with my family is what the holidays are all about and Valentine’s Day is no different. These pretty in pink marshmallows are a great hit for Valentine’s Day, something different from your usual cookies or cupcakes. We added a bit of coconut flavor and they melted in your mouth. Fun to make and share with friends too!
Come on over to Bonbon break for this recipe and all the wonderful things this fabulous magazine has to offer. Sit back relax and take a Bonbon break!!
Valentine’s Day is soon approaching and at #SundaySupper that is what we are featuring this week. It is a fun time of year to show family and friends that you care and love them. I was thinking of doing something savory this week, like a romantic dinner but when I was cleaning out the pantry, and that is a nightmare of a job, I came across my heart shaped mini cake pan and that was all the inspiration I needed. I immediately thought of white chocolate and raspberries but had to come up with a recipe. I tweaked one I had done before and then decided to cut out the middle of the cake creating a perfect cavity for a wonderful raspberry flavored cream. Yum were these good. Amber of course devoured them!! Valentines just came a bit early for the Nolands!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. French Vanilla Coffeemate
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- 4 oz. melted white chocolate
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 Tbsp. seedless raspberry jam
- Fresh raspberries
- Icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a six cup mini heart shaped pan.
- In a large bowl of a standup mixer with a paddle attachment blend butter and sugar together for 2 min. on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla extract and coffemate and blend. Mix flour with the salt and baking soda and add to the mixture. Mix in the yogurt/sour cream and the white chocolate that has been cooled but still melted. Beat for 2 min. scraping down the bowl often.
- Divide the batter among the cavities to ¾ full. I also made three cupcakes for the size of pan I had. Don’t over fill as you won’t have a pretty result with them oozing over the edge.
- Bake for 20-25min. Cool in pan for 10 min. Invert onto rack and cool completely. Cut the middle from the cakes and set aside.
- Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks and gently fold in the cooled chocolate and raspberry jam. You may see the little tiny bits of chocolate but they melt in your mouth when you are eating the cream. Place whipping cream in a piping bag and fill the center of each cake. Sprinkle with icing sugar and fresh raspberries. Serve at once.
Make sure you check out the other #SundaySupper participants to see what they’ve made for our Valentine’s Day #SundaySupper!
#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Breakfasts, Apps & Main Dishes:
- Asparagus, Clam & Bay Shrimp Pasta from Galactopdx
- Bacon Double Cheese Burger Bites from In the Kitchen with KP
- Cheese Stuffed Cannelloni from Curious Cuisiniere
- Garlic Shrimp Bruschetta from MarocMama
- Green Olive, Goat Cheese & Basil Crostini from Hip Foodie Mom
- Indian Shrimp Pulao from Soni’s Food
- Individual Beef “Phyll-ingtons” from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Ranch, Bacon and Cheese Crisps from Daily Dish Recipes
- Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Rissóis de Camarão | Portuguese Shrimp Dumplings from Family Foodie
- Spicy Red Cabbage Quiche | Veggie Quiche Recipe from Masala Herb
#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Sweet Eats:
- Banana Bourbon Blondies from The Messy Baker
- Banana Cream Napoleon from Food Lust People Love
- Brown Butter M&M Cookies from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
- Brown Butter Rolo Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies from Damn Delicious
- Chocolate Baumkuchen from Webicurean
- Chocolate Bread Pudding from La Cocina de Leslie
- Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Banana Cream from The Lovely Pantry
- Chocolate Covered Bacon from I Run For Wine
- Chocolate Covered Stuffed Strawberries from Country Girl in the Village
- Chocolate Mousse from Mom, What’s For Dinner?
- Chocolate Roll filled with Nutella Cream from Basic N Delicious
- Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream with Cherry Sauce from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas with Chocolate Sauce from The Roxx Box
- Coconut Sweetheart Cookies from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Coeur a la Creme from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cream Cheese Mints from Simply Gourmet
- Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Mousse with Coconut Cream from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Dark Chocolate Raspberry Torte from Kelly Bakes
- #GlutenFree Chocolate Almond Cloudless Cake from Cooking Underwriter
- Heart Shaped White Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Cream from Noshing with the Nolands
- Homemade Cherry Mash Candies from Juanita’s Cocina
- Maple-Date Bars from Diabetic Foodie
- Meyer Lemon Marmalade from Shockingly Delicious
- Mini Samoa Bundt Cakes from Ruffles & Truffles
- Molten Chocolate Lava Cake from Gotta Get Baked
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes from The Meltaways
- Pistachio and Chocolate Souffle from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Raspberry Custard Tart from Kudos Kitchen
- Raw Fudge Love from Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Red Velvet French Macarons with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwiches from Cravings of a Lunatic
- Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies from Magnolia Days
- Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars from Chocolate Moosey
- Red Wine Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting from The Urban Mrs.
- Strawberry Shortcake! from The Foodie Army Wife
- Strawberry Valentine Cake Hearts from Ninja Baking
- Tres Leches Tea Cakes with Honey Riesling Soaked Fruit from Neighborfood
- Valentine’s Bakewell Tarts from Happy Baking Days
- Valentines Chocolate Apples from Big Bear’s Wife
#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Drinks:
- Blood Orange Vodka Martinis from The Catholic Foodie
- Bloody Raspberry Cocktail from My Cute Bride
- Strawberry Gin Fizz from girlichef
#SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Tablescape: A Romantic Table For Two Please from An Appealing Plan
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today to talk all about Valentine’s eats and treats! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos!
Ground Beef Budget, Cookin’ for my Captain, Noshing With The Nolands, Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends, and Knead to Cook.
Giveaway starts 2/7/13 at 12:01 AM, and ends 2/15/13 at 12:01 AM.
It’s here again, another Monday!! Super Bowl was a very exciting game for us yesterday. Unfortunately the outcome wasn’t what I was hoping for but at least I got to see my 49ers in there again. I always enjoy watching the Super Bowl and munching away on Super Bowl foods. We kept it really simple with veggies and dip, nachos and wings. The usual fair, it was a good family time!
Now onto Valentine’s Day as it is fast approaching. This MWM is all about celebrating the love through food!!! Make the ones in your life something special for Valentine’s Day or even better, make it together. It is fun and it drags the kids away from their electronics for a moment!! It becomes part of celebrating the holiday together. Bake some cookies, cupcakes, cake or make a meal together. Embrace who you love and share with them.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Let’s start off with a cocktail. How romantic to sit back and share a special drink together. This Raspberry Rosewater Gin Rickey by Sweet Peas and Saffron looks so divine!!!
Now something for the kids, how about a Red Velvet Milkshake Shooter by Cake Merchant, aren’t these adorable!!
The main course should be something special, a master piece if you will and this glorious Honey Glazed Rack of Lamb by Greedy Gourmet fits the bill.
Now for the dessert part!! Sweets are what Valentine’s Day is all about, so I bring you three! First off is Strawberry Heart Mini Cheesecake Bites by The Happier Homemaker and they are perfect!!
As I was saying before it is fun to bring the family into the kitchen to make something special and this Valentines Dessert For Kids would be fun to make!! This dessert is brought to you by I am Mommy.
Lastly, something for everyone to enjoy, Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar by My Baking Addiction. They look simply delicious!!