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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day - Lotsa Food, Lotsa Snow

We were all home for Valentine's Day yesterday due to the big storm.............
As we shoveled our rather long driveway, the snow was still coming down.

After finishing the part down near the road,
we still had our large area up top to finish!

DH shoveled some of the drifting snow off our deck
for Bailey to be able to get out.

We got about 10+ inches with this storm after all was said and done. DH and I spent a romantic Valentine's Day shoveling snow, only to have the wind kick up and undo quite a bit of our work. DH had to dig out again this morning and I'm sorry to say the wind blew all day long and we had to shovel a bit again to get him up the driveway tonight. I decided not to take DS to Tae Kwon Do or we'd have to shovel a third time! I think I'll start up a snowblower savings account and start putting away some money NOW! And I think I'm done with snow........

I had plans to do laundry and clean yesterday, but mostly I did a lot of cooking with very little cleaning. After all that shoveling, eating and champagne, I was too tired to clean up my colossal mess, so I had quite a disaster to deal with this morning. Oh well, it was worth it. We ended up making a batch of cookies, a batch of muffins and a special Valentine's Day dinner for all four of us. More on the muffins and cookies later.

We started off with an appetizer recipe I'm trying to develop. The taste was great, but the execution needs quite a bit of work, so no recipe or photos to share, I'm afraid. While I worked on the appetizer, DH worked on the main dish of lump crab saute over pasta. Yum! Sorry, no pictures of that either - I couldn't justify letting beautiful lump crab get cold while I fussed over the perfect photo! We served the crab and pasta with some lovely green beans I picked up at Sam's Club - much better than the green beans I generally see in the grocery stores.

I hadn't really planned on a dessert, but decided that a Valentine's Day dinner cries out for dessert, so I came up with something that's pretty easy to throw together at the last minute, is nice enough for a special occasion and best of all, it's chocolate. I think I've mentioned these here before, but I didn't have a photograph to share, so I'm resurrecting this recipe for a more thorough review, along with a proper photo.

Warm Brownie Cups
This dessert is one of my all-time favorites and was posted on the CLBB. It's about as easy to throw together as a pan of brownies, but more fun. The recipe calls for serving these in 8-ounce ramekins - I use 6-ounce and get 6 nice-sized servings. It's a rich dessert and I find that you don't need too much, especially after a large meal. The brownie cups are firm and brownie-like on the top and gushy and pudding-like on the bottom. I overcooked them a bit this time, so they weren't quite as pudding-like as usual. I have tried them with both regular cocoa and Dutch process cocoa and prefer the Dutch process. You can assemble these ahead of time and then put them in the oven to bake while you're eating dinner. Or if you're having a large meal, put them in to bake after dinner to give yourself a little time to digest before serving dessert.

All in all a pleasant day off for all of us. Today it was back to school and work for DH and the boys. I got clean-up duty...........

6 comments:

  1. I love the idea for the Warm Brownie Cups, they look delicious!

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  2. You know, overcooked or not, that brownie cup is still better looking than the one I had last night at a semi-fancy restaurant. I love going out and have always believed myself to be fairly easily impressed, but it kind of bugs me that for the money I spent on a dried up piece of cake, I could have bought ingredients to make two good ones.

    The trend in my town right now is serving chocolate cakes with sour cherries soaked in grappa. What I'm starting to think is you could get away with serving Ding Dongs so long as you accompany them with soaked cherries. Come to think of it, a Ding Dong would have been better than last night's dessert.

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  3. Freya - They are wonderful - I hope you give them a try!

    Anna - I find that I am rarely ever impressed with dessert when we dine out. They either seem like they are of the previously made, frozen variety or they just aren't impressive at all. Between usually being too stuffed to order dessert anyway and then being disappointed when I do, we often go to the bar and order a glass of wine or port for "dessert" instead. :)

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  4. I always try to save room for dessert even if it means just two or three bites. I like the idea of Port, though! Every once in a while, we order some, but usually we stick with coffee.

    We used to go with whatever chocolate thing was on the menu, having had our share of dry, boring chocolate cakes, we now ask the waiter or waitress what's really fresh and order that -- even if it's something we don't usually love or eat.

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  5. Pretty picture, and perfect for Valentine's Day - hope it was a good one. :)

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  6. Hi Cate. It was fun to all be home for an unexpected day off, so yes, it was quite nice. Well, except the shoveling part...... ;)

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