Sunday, February 14, 2016

Silent Sunday 2-14-2016




Happy Valentine's Day!










Saturday, February 13, 2016

Friday Favorites from Delish, From the House of Edward, Martha Stewart, Brit + Co. and More




Good morning! Are you braced for the Polar Vortex coming this weekend or are you lucky enough to be in the parts of the country experiencing record warm weather? I am going to be in polar-land, I think it is supposed to be 0 degrees this weekend. That means I will be hunkering down next to the fire and eating a bunch of comfort food. 




You are probably wondering how this is different from every other Winter weekend, well its Valentines day so I'll probably have a vase of flowers next to my pile of books and a big box of chocolate as well.


Fabulous Everyday Chocolate Chip Cookies


OK, first things first, get all of the ingredients that you need to make a batch of these cookies, you can thank me or hate me later but they are so, so, so GREAT! I made these for myself, my husband and many friends to have this weekend. You can find the recipe at Once Upon a Chocolate Life.


Creamy Three Cheese Spaghetti

While you are at it, you might want to get a few things at the store to make a nice bowl of any one of the 50 Best Spaghetti Dishes featured at Delish
Or maybe you want to celebrate Valentine's day weekend with a cocktail? Martha Stewart has a few that you might like. 


If you are looking for some romantic entertainment this weekend, Pamela at From the House of Edward has listed her favorite romantic movies.


Image Here


Perhaps  you would like to read a romantic book instead, check out 11 Romantic Reads to Gift Your Valentine from Brit + Co.


I hope that you have a great weekend, stay warm and have a happy Valentine's day!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

How Do You Celebrate St. Valentine's Day?




Did you know that an estimated 1 billion Valentine's cards are sent to commemorate the holiday, this makes it the second most popular card sending holiday second to Christmas. Not surprisingly, 85% of the cards are sent by women. 





I have been reading a lot this week about people who get depressed on Valentine's day because they do not have a significant other, someone they love, to celebrate with. When in fact love is all around them; their family, friends and more. I might add that most people are surrounded by love all of the time. So why should we celebrate that only one day a year?







I know that Valentine's day is supposed to be a romantic holiday filled with hearts, flowers, cupids and chocolate. But frankly I like to spend it celebrating love, all kinds of love not just "romantic" love. The love of good friends, family, my husband and even sending a few cards to people that I know who have lost their loved ones. After all, who doesn't want to be told they are loved and cherished?




I personally think Valentine's day should be about celebrating that. Life is so short and very precious. Why not spend this Valentine's day telling your husband, wife, kids, family, friends and more telling them how much they mean to you, how special they are and how much you love them. 

Make them a special meal, bake them a little treat, and definitely give them a handwritten card or note.

On second thought, why wait for Valentine's day? Why not tell them today? 

Have a great day!





Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Easy Almond and Chocolate Danish Pastries




Good morning! How was your weekend? Did you watch  Super Bowl 50 or  attend a party? We stayed home this year and did have the game on, not really rooting for the Panthers or the Broncos but watched the commercials. I loved the Heinz Weenie Dog Commercial the Helen Mirren Budweiser and the Avacados of Mexico commercial. What about you? Did your team win? What was your favorite commercial? Did you have some tasty treats?




I made two kinds of incredibly easy but fancy looking danish for breakfast yesterday and they were delicious. Almond Danish and Chocolate Danish Pastries were the two that we made but you could basically put anything into the middle of the puff pastry, fruit, cream cheese, jelly and more and end up with a beautiful and scrumptious treat.




Almond Danish Pastry 

Dough

1 (17 oz) package frozen puff pastry, thawed


Filling Ingredients for Almond Pastry

8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
7 ounces almond paste, frozen until firm and then grated with hand grater
1 cup sliced almonds, divided

For Chocolate Pastry

1 65% dark chocolate candy bar

Icing Ingredients
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon softened butter
⅛ teaspoon almond extract

sliced almonds for garnish




Directions

Unfold thawed puff pastry sheet onto greased or silphat lined baking sheet. Spread half of the filling(almond) down the center third of the puff pastry. On each side of the filling cut 8 strips about 31/2 inches into the center of the pastry dough. Starting at one end of the pastry alternately fold a strip from each side onto the center filling to make a "braid" design. Pinch the ends to seal the pastry. Repeat with remaining pastry. 
Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let pastry cool and then drizzle with icing and garnish with almonds. 

For chocolate pastry unfold puff pastry, lay chocolate bar in the center and fold the dough strips over the center chocolate alternating strips until you reach the end and then seal the ends. 

Alternative: Chocolate and Almond pastry, down center of dough spread almond mixture, then lay chocolate bar onto and braid the dough. Bake until golden brown. 

Icing Directions
Combine all icing ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. If icing is too thick add a little more milk until it is the consistency you like. 




What do you think? Is this a breakfast that you might try? Or do you have your own versions of this danish?


If you have more time and would like to make something a little more challenging and fancy than you could try this Buttery Almond Braid. It is sweet, buttery, and delicious. 




Or you could try this Swedish Pastry a treat that has been made in my family for over 40 years. 



Enjoy and have a great day!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday Favorites from The Food Charlatan, Will Cook for Smiles, The Balance Project, Once Upon a Chocolate Life and More

Good morning! It's the biggest weekend in the world if you love football. In all honesty I am not a fan of football but I am definitely a fan of the food! 


Image The Food Charlatan

This week I made  Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork from the Food Charlatan which in itself is delicious. 





But I made it so that we could make it into these Cuban Sandwiches which I think would be an excellent addition to your Superbowl party food!


Hot 7 Layer Dip from Will Cook for Smiles

Speaking of which, a party would not be complete without a, little ok a big bowl of some sort of dip. There are 10 Superbowl Party Dips here that all look delicious.  I will be making Hot 7 Layer Dip from Will Cook for Smiles .



Image HERE


Do you ever dream of buying a chateau in France and fixing it up? An Australlian couple purchased Chateau de Gudanes, a chateau from the 1700's are are restoring it, little by little. You can follow along HERE. After seeing all of their hard work I think I might save my pennies and find one that is already finished. 


Are you a busy woman looking for balance in your life? Than The Balance Project created by Susie Schnall is something you will want to check out. After all aren't you curious to see how other women manage to "have it all?"

If you love to read the book before the movie here is a list of 19 Books to Read Before The Movies come out in 2016. Are you a fan of books to movies? More often than not I prefer the book what about you?
Since it is the weekend I thought you might like to indulge a little and try this Chocolate Babka French Toast, if you don't want to make your own bread you can always buy a loaf to use instead. Or if you only want to make the bread to eat hot from the oven the recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.




And if you want to make something else chocolaty and delicious for your Valentine this week be sure to read my post from Monday of  The 25 Best Homemade Chocolate Valentine Treats


I hope that yo have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy the Superbowl or whatever else you have planned. 



Thursday, February 4, 2016

The 25 Best Homemade Chocolate Valentine's Day Treats

Good morning, how is your week so far? I am excited because according to our furry friends, the groundhogs, we are going to be seeing an early Spring. I'm not sure how accurate they are but we can always dream can't we?


Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


I have been thinking this week about Valentine's Day because I was making and sending Valentine's cards and treats to my niece's, nephew and the grandkids. Typically, my husband and I exchange cards, make an interesting dinner and I always make some dessert. I thought I would share twenty-five treats with you today that I make often, just in case you need a recipe or two for your special Valentine. If you are not a fan of chocolate than you better skip to the end!


Chocolate Cheesecake Bars


Moist Chocolate Cake



Flourless Chocolate Cake


Chocolate Pancakes


Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies


Chocolate Tapioca Pudding


Tripple Chocolate Blondies


Decadent Dark Chocolate Torte

Trisha Yearwood Brownie


Tripple Chocolate Cheesecake


Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats


Oreo No-Bake Cheesecake

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Banana Cake


Baked Chocolate Fudge


Magic Bars, Hello Dolly Bars


Joy the Baker Brownies


Brownie Tart Sundae



Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream


Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake


Skor Toffee Bar Cheesecake


Caramelized Almond Dark Chocolate Bark


Cookies and Cream Brownies


What do you do for Valentine's Day? Do you celebrate? Go out do dinner, exchange gifts? Or something else?

Whatever you do I hope that you celebrate love, the love of family, friends, pets, and whoever else you love.

Have a great day!




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