Sunday, February 19, 2012


I made breakfast nachos for Sunday brunch this afternoon and as my fiancé and I chatted and nibbled around sides, we realized that we had created a masterpiece ;-) I had to share this, it was very serendipitous....Oh, and in my opinion very very cute!!!

Hope you enjoy!!
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Sunday, February 12, 2012


Steak au Poivre for Two 

2 beef tenderloin steaks (5 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon whole white or black peppercorns, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup port wine1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup condensed beef consomme, undiluted
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Brush steaks with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with peppercorns and salt. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook steaks in 2 teaspoons oil for 4-5 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°). Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute shallot in remaining oil until tender. Add wine and vinegar, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add beef consomme and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Add chocolate, stirring until melted and sauce is thickened. Serve sauce with steaks.

Pairs well with home style, fried, or mashed potatoes as well as asparagus.

Courtesy of Taste of Home Pin It


Bacon, Cremini & Brie Potatoes for Two

2 medium potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 bacon strips, chopped
1/4 pound sliced baby portobello (cremini) mushrooms
2 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Scrub and pierce potatoes. Rub potato skins with oil; sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400° for 50-60 minutes or until tender.

In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Saute mushrooms in drippings.

Cut a 2-in. "X" in tops of potatoes; insert cheese slices. Top with mushrooms, bacon and chives. 

Courtesy of Taste of Home
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Almond French Toast Hearts 

6 slices of bread**
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
2 tablespoons plus 
1 cup butter, divided
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Additional confectioners' sugar
Sliced fresh strawberries

Cut out bread slices with a 3-3/4-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter; discard trimmings.

In a shallow bowl, combine the eggs, milk and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Dip bread on both sides in egg mixture. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Cook bread hearts for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

For almond butter, in a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and remaining butter and extract; mix well. Sprinkle French toast with additional confectioners' sugar. Serve with almond butter and strawberries. 

**you will need a 3-3 1/4in. heart shaped cookie cutter

Yield3 servings.

Courtesy of Taste of Home
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Friday, February 10, 2012


A Valentine's Day Table for Your Dearly Beloveds

This is a fun and chic way to decorate your tabletop for a colorful and interesting Valentine's Day Affair. It is easy to make and you will enjoy every step.

Make a love statement. Say it with papier-mâché letters ($4 each, Joann) découpaged in pretty paper (Pacon Spectra, $10.89 for 100 sheets, Trace the letters onto your paper and cut them out. Use a print for the edges and a solid red for the front and back. Stick the paper shapes onto your letters using a foam brush and a few top coats of Mod Podge ($4.12 for 8 oz.,

Hit the grocery aisles for a festive, budget-friendly centerpiece! You'll need two vases, one that’s clear and big enough to hold the smaller vase.

Fill the smaller one with water and a bunch of light and dark pink carnations, and place inside the larger vase. Fill up the space between the vases with red pistachios!

Surprise your loved ones with simple valentines wrapped around their dinner napkins. Cut out hearts from colored paper, then use rubber stamps and ink pads from Michaels to stamp on a few cute images with greetings to match. Here, we paired a cup of joe with "I like you a latte." Punch a hole in the top of each heart, thread with ribbon and tie around napkins. A 12-inch lace paper doily (craft or grocery stores) slipped under everyone's plate makes for a sweet place mat.

Use delicate laser-cut filigree cupcake wrappers ($13 for 12, to pretty up after-dinner treats like colorful chocolate candies.

And voila, there you have a masterpiece for the heart!!

Courtesy of 
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Thursday, February 9, 2012


Caramel Cream Crepes for 2 

2 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 tablespoons egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ounces fat-free cream cheese
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fat-free caramel ice cream topping, divided
3/4 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons white wine or unsweetened apple juice
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted

In a small bowl, whisk the milk, egg substitute, butter and vanilla. Whisk in flour until blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Lightly coat a 6-in. nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into center of skillet; lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry and bottom is golden; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 tablespoon caramel topping until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon down the center of each crepe. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping; roll up.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine raspberries and wine. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds or until warm. Using a slotted spoon, place berries over crepes. Sprinkle with almonds. 

Yield: 2 servings.

Courtesy of Taste of Home
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Thursday, February 2, 2012


Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so I thought I start the month sharing a few delectable ingredients to start getting you in the right groove to set the mood for your sweetheart!

6 Aphrodisiac Foods to Get You In the Mood

While aphrodisiacs (foods thought to increase your sexual desire and prowess) aren’t scientifically proven, they’ve been around for centuries. You may have already heard about chocolate and oysters, but did you know about asparagus? Read on for little known ways to feed your appetite — and your sexual one too.

The earthy, pungent aroma of these fungi reminds us of the musky scent of many colognes. Since you typically catch a whiff when you’re close to your man, you may associate the smell of both musk and truffles with sexual experiences.

Well, it is an egg after all! This indulgent food also has a high zinc content, which is essential for blood flow (if you know what we’re saying…).

Back in the day, any food resembling human sexual anatomy was thought to be an aphrodisiac. (Which definitely explains the oysters!) So given its phallic shape, asparagus’ libido-boosting rep as an aphrodisiac shouldn’t be a complete surprise. Did you know that in 19th-century France, bridegrooms were served multiple helpings to help their lovemaking? But there’s more to asparagus than its appearance: with its high nutrient content — including potassium, fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and B6 — asparagus boosts histamine production, which is necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both sexes.

Legend has it that strawberries were considered an aphrodisiac back in the day because of their many tiny seeds, which was thought to symbolize fertility. And literary and artistic references to strawberries as “fruit nipples” have been found. Okay, so that’s not a scientific connection, but come on, they’re just a sexy food.

Cinnamon has been shown to increase appetite (both physical and sexual). Some people even rub cinnamon oil onto their bodies to produce powerful sexual stimulation. Or, you could just eat it.

There’s a reason it’s called a “honeymoon.” Honey has long been associated with sexual desire — it’s been called the nectar of Aphrodite (yes, the goddess of love). In medieval times, people would drink mead (a fermented honey drink) to increase sexual desire. Not enough basis to give you a sweet tooth? Well, honey is rich in B vitamins, the same vitamins needed for testosterone production.

Courtesy of 
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