Posts tagged valentine's day
Valentine's Day Marbled Sugar Cookies
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I. AM. SO. FULL. Of love! Just kidding. Sort of. Love ya, Reuben! Seriously, though... I'm so full, I feel like I'm going to pop. It has been a very big weekend of eating for us. What else is new?? We attended our 3rd annual Dim Sum Beer Brunch on Saturday. It's not a fancy beer pairing where each course has a beer perfectly selected to sip on. It is more like a giant feast where dumplings and peking duck is coming out every minute and everyone is crushing beers like they are college freshman. It's a lot of fun. The beer was provided by Fort Point Beer Company and the event was held at Hong Kong Lounge, which made things pretty convenient for us. It was a 10 minute walk from our apartment, so we were able to burn off like 2 dumplings. That's something! I love this event so much. It combines Reuben's love of beer and my love of dim sum. Plus we get to enjoy it with our friends and meet some kind new strangers too! I think bonding over dumplings is the best way to make new friends : )

On Sunday we feasted again. Where are my stretchy pants?? Our friend, Will, generously prepared for us and about a dozen of his other friends an enormous southern feast. I helped out in the kitchen by doing what I do best... frying balls. Balls of boudin, fried and breaded balls of pork sausage and rice. And I tried turducken for the first time! The concept of turducken sort of disgust me. The idea of an animal being stuffed inside of another animal... and then another animal. I but I tried it for the sake of food research! I liked it! It was an interesting medley of flavors and textures. The meal was big, porky, beany, turduckeny, and pudding-y. There was banana pudding and I almost died. I don't think I have told you this before, but I LOVE BANANA PUDDING. I find it so odd that I love it, because I am not a huge fan of soft desserts. I love me some crunch and crispy bits. But banana pudding is where I make an exception. I love the sweet spot where the custard has just softened the vanilla wafers. The best texture! I've never made banana pudding for myself before, due to fear of me sitting alone all night eating the entire thing until I puke. That's a real fear. So I was super excited when Will told me there would be banana pudding. I scooped myself a big glop of pudding, blissfully enjoyed every bite, and then realized that my stomach had reached it's limit. I'll wait another year to more banana pudding. Too dangerous. 

So this next week will be full of vegetables, low on carbs, and maybe some running. I have I told you I started running?? It's sort of awful but I sort of like it. Valentine's day is this Wednesday though, so we will probably have carbs and a few select vegetables that day. Reuben is making pizza! I'm sort of hopping that he makes it heart shaped, but I think that's too cheesy for him. Did you see what I did there??? hehehehe

Valentine's Day is not a huge event for us. Instead of buying each other presents, we normally make something edible for each other. Reuben makes pizza typically. But for our first Valentine's Day he brought me dim sum in bed and I was like "oh, damn. he's the one." In years past, I've made him crappy gluten free bacon scones, mediocre everything bagels, and a delicious lamb dinner. I've getting a little better with my gifts each year obviously. I'm not exactly sure what I'll make this year... but inspiration can strike at any second! Since we feel so stuffed at the moment, I'm sure he'd be happy if I just made him a salad for Valentines Day.

Cookies! These are a V-Day twist on my Marbled Tahini Sugar Cookies! Instead of regular and black tahini, I kept these as plain old sugar cookies with the added pink color from beet powder. Crushed freeze dried strawberries work as well! That's what I was originally going to use, but my strawberries got a little stale and weren't crushing properly. Food coloring is totally acceptable too, if you don't have random pink powders in your pantry. They are classic cookies, not too sweet, slightly buttery, and soft with a subtle crisp edge. The perfect cookie for an easy stress free Valentines Day! Or Galentines!!


Valentine's Day Marbled Sugar Cookies

makes 28 cookies

steps:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of your standmixer or with an electric beater, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in egg and almond extract until combined.

Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat at low speed until dough is evenly mixed. 

Scoop out half to two thirds of the dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge.

Add in beet powder or pink food coloring into the remaining dough and beat until incorporated. Place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for at least one hour. Chilling the dough helps the cookies keep their shape.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide both doughs into 3 equal parts. Arrange the dough balls in a 2x3 arrangement, alternating colors. Give it a quick knead to get the marbled affect. Try not to over knead so the color doesn't get too muddy.

Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4" thick. Lightly dust the dough with flour if the dough is sticking. You can divide the dough in half if it is easier for you to work with that way. Lightly flour your cookie cutter and cut out your cookies.

Arrange cookies on parchment lined baking sheets, about 1" apart from each other. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Bake for less time if your cookies are smaller.

Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

materials:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (16 Tbsp) butter - softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp beet powder or crushed freeze dried strawberries
(or pink food coloring works too)

Valentine's Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I know Valentine's Day is sort of silly... but I really love all the cute love cards and heart shaped foods that float around this time of year. Reuben and I don't really buy gifts for each other on Valentine's Day, instead we make something edible for each other! Last year I made him homemade everything bagels, which made for super yummy breakfast sandwiches, and he made me an amazing pizza. Reuben literally makes the best pizza. THE BEST. He's been perfecting his recipe for the last 2 years and I think he is ready to go professional. I've asked him if I could share his recipe here but he said no... you might need to buy him a bunch of beer to get that recipe out of him.

This year I'm planning on making a lamb dinner, that's all I got at this point... typically something more creative comes to me while I'm wandering around the aisles of Whole Foods. For a sweet treat I've made these white chocolate covered strawberries. For the record, I am definitely on Team White Chocolate. I know I know I know, white chocolate isn't real chocolate. I've heard that about a billion times. It's my favorite and I don't care about the haters.

Chocolate covered strawberries make for a great gift for your boo, especially if you've procrastinated and its February 13th and you haven't bought anything yet. These only take about 30 minutes to whip up and won't disappoint.

Fun Fact: I actually briefly worked at a chocolate shop in high school. I was getting paid $7 an hour to stock truffles, decorate caramel apples, mix milkshakes, and dip EVERYTHING in chocolate. There was a great perk of taking home any chocolate that fell on the ground (2 second rule?) or a caramel apple that was a little past selling to someone but perfectly fine to still eat. 

Looking back on my experience there, it was in theory the perfect job for me. My hours were spent making confections but then also convincing people to buy sugar. It's what I do now, but without the $7 an hour. While working there, I learned how to really work with chocolate. Chocolate can burn, did you know that? It can burn really easily too. I loved making the chocolate covered strawberries. It was relaxing and getting that perfect drizzle was really satisfying. I discovered that I have a great wrist for chocolate drizzling!

I'm happy to say that I haven't lost my strawberry dipping skills. I've continued making them over the years. Last year when my family was out West visiting me, I forced them to go strawberry picking with me on a farm near Santa Cruz. It was beautiful and a little windy, and they had sweet strawberries and the most amazing scones. Check out Swanton Berry Farm if you want to go berry picking sometime! We took home an assload of strawberries and covered them in chocolate to treat ourselves to.

Alright, Valentine's Day is a day away. You have plenty of time to make these! This recipe uses only white chocolate, but you can easily swap in milk and/or dark chocolate. I added crushed up freeze dried raspberries to naturally color my white chocolate. It adds an extra berry and slightly tart flavor to the chocolate that I'm really into. Good luck and have a lovely love day!


Valentine's Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries

20-24 Strawberries

Materials :

20-24 Strawberries

16 Oz White Chocolate

2 Tbsp Finely Crushed Freeze Dried Raspberries (crushed in mortar and pestle)

1/4 C Finely Crushed Graham Crackers (crushed in mortar and pestle) - Optional

 

Steps :

  1. Rinse and pat dry your strawberries.

  2. Bring a small pot of water to boil OR for Microwave method see note at the bottom. Place chocolate in a bowl that is larger than the mouth of your pot. Once water is boiled, lower heat so that the water simmers. Place bowl of chocolate over the pot to create a double boiler. The chocolate will slowly melt from the hot steam. Use a rubber spatula to slowly mix the chocolate. Chocolate should be smooth and silky after 3-5 minutes. It is ready if the chocolate easily drizzles when you lift the rubber spatula in the air.

  3. Divide the chocolate evenly between 2 small bowls. In one bowl mix in the freeze dried raspberries.

  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  5. Take a strawberry and grasp it by the leaves. Dip the strawberry into the chocolate. Shake off any excess chocolate, you want the chocolate to stop running off the strawberry. Place it on the sheet pan to cool and harden. If your chocolate starts to solidify in the process just pop it into the mircowave for 10 seconds.

  6. Get creative with decorating! Dip the strawberries into the graham crackers immediately after the chocolate for a cheesecake style. Drizzle in alternating colors for a classic effect. Or do a double dip in each color (let the first layer harden first before the second dip).

  7. Let cool and harden. Share with someone you love!

* If you are going to microwave your chocolate, microwave in 10 second increments and stir. It will seem like nothing is happening in the beginning but you just have to be patient. Chocolate needs to melt slowly to get the right shine and consistency. After about 60-90 seconds your chocolate should be ready. Be patient!