I thought since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, wouldn’t it be nice to do a recipe for Valentine’s Day. Sandi Scott was kind enough to give me permission to share this recipe. This not only looks good but sounds good too. If you do make the recipe, please let me know how they turned out and how they taste.
RED VELVET VALENTINE COOKIES
Prep Time | Cook Time | Total Time
10 mins | 10 mins | 20 mins
These Red Velvet Valentine Cookies are decadent , rich and super easy to make – everyone will love how fun and flavorful they are!
In medium bowl, stir together cookie mix, butter, egg, cream cheese and red coloring until well blended.
Place rounded tablespoons dough 2-inches apart onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Spray the bottom of a glass jar with non-stick spray. Press down each ball of cookie dough gently until a 2 1/2 ” diameter circle of dough forms.
Bake 9-10 minutes.
Cool cookies completely.
To make cream cheese frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Spread on each cookie and top with holiday sprinkles.
Combine ground beef and dressing mix. Shape mixture into 24 meatballs. Melt butter in a skillet; brown meatballs on all sides. Add broth; and simmer 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm with toothpicks.
* Recipe only gluten free when made with all gluten free ingredients. Read labels of all packaged ingredients to determine whether they contain gluten.
RANCH BUFFALO WINGS
Prep: 5 MIN| Cook: 40 MIN| Total: 45 MIN
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 1-oz packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
24 chicken wing or drumettes
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, whisk together butter, hot sauce and vinegar. Dip drumettes in butter mixture; arrange in single layer in large baking pan. Sprinkle with Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix. Bake until chicken is browned and an internal temperature of 165 degrees F has been reached, about 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and your buffalo wings or hot wings are ready.
Serve with Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing and celery sticks.
Food. Who doesn’t like food? Whether you’re a vegetarian, Vegan or Meat & Potatoes kind of person(like me) we all eat some sort of food. I follow several people as do all of you but in the email today there was a recipe from this blog I just started following. It’s for Braised Short Ribs. Sounds yummy doesn’t it. The blog these recipes came from is Yankee-Belle Cafe. The blog link from the original post is: Braised Short Ribs Recipe . Also, the blog this recipe came from has a total of 5 authors contributing recipes. Now onto the good stuff, the recipes.
BRAISED SHORT RIBS RECIPE
What You’ll Need:
3-4 lbs. short ribs, you can use boneless or bone-in
1/3 cup flour
Bacon, cut into small pieces (about 4 strips if you’re using thick-sliced or 6 regular slices)
2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
32 oz beef broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Season your ribs with salt and pepper.
Then lightly dredge in flour.
In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook the bacon until all of the fat is rendered and the meat is crispy, but not burned.Remove bacon to paper towel.
Crank up the heat to high and add your oil to the bacon fat. Brown the ribs in batches.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Lower the heat and add carrots, onion and garlic.
Stir that around for a minute or so, then add a little bit of the beef broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate all those little bits of meat.
Add the remainder of the broth, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.
Now add your browned ribs and top with thyme and rosemary.
And don’t forget about that cooked bacon.
Cover and place pot in oven for two-and-half to three hours.
Remove from oven and allow to rest with the lid on for at least 20 minutes.
Oh, the aromas of this feast will have you counting the seconds.
You can whip up a batch of creamy cheese grits to serve with these. You can find the recipe Here . But if you prefer, mashed potatoes are an option, too.
Thank you Yankee-Belle Cafe and Mindy Obenhaus. Mindy Obenhaus can also be found at Mindy Obenhaus.
1/2 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
to taste pinch sea salt (optional/plus more)
add cacao nibs (optional/for topping)
Arrange 14 (amount as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch size)mini cupcake liners on a small baking sheet. Set aside.
Add 2 inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then set a glass or ceramic bowl on top, making sure it’s not touching the water (this creates a “double boiler”).
To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and let melt-2-3 minutes.
Once melted, add the maple syrup or agave nectar and use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined. Remove bowl and set on a flat surface. Also, turn off stove – top heat and set saucepan aside.
Add cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla (optional), and sea salt (optional), and whisk to combine until there are no clumps.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed. (amounts as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch size), but it’s completely up to how sweet you prefer your chocolate.
Carefully pour chocolate into 12 – 14 mini cupcake liners* (or 7 large cupcake liners//amount as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch) and top with more sea salt or cacao nibs (optional).
Transfer chocolate to the freezer or refrigerator to set – about 10 minutes.
Enjoy straight from the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a well – sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*You can sub up to 2 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written//adjust if altering batch size) of the cocoa butter with coconut oil in the recipe. However, cocoa butter is superior! Coconut oil tends to separate, get a little oily, and melts easily when touched.
*Between both raw cacao and cocoa powder the raw cacao tastes a bit more bitter, while the cocoa was a little less stark and had a more familiar taste on the palette. Cacao wins in health benefits, but cocoa powder wins in taste.
* To keep this chocolate raw, use cacao powder and (water bath).
*If you don’t have mini cupcake liners, lay parchment paper down on a baking sheet and spread the chocolate into an even layer. Once set, break into bark, or cut into bars.
*If you’re afraid to try cocoa butter, don’t be! It’s so versatile. Definitely worth it if you’re a chocolate fan!
4 Medjool dates, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained.
1 Tbsp. water.
1 tsp. maple syrup.
1 tsp. coconut oil, solid.
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract.
In a high-speed blender, whip up all the ingredients for the raw caramel sauce until completely smooth. Allow to chill in the refrigerator to cool down.
Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Melt 1/2 c. of the non-dairy chocolate chips. Place in a Ziploc bag with a slit cut out of the corner and drip 1 tsp. of chocolate onto the parchment paper, making circles. You may want to use the back of a spoon to flatten down a little bit.
For each chocolate circle, place 6 pecan slices on top of the chocolate in the position for the head, legs and tail. Fill in the remainder of the chocolate with smaller pecan pieces. Place the baking in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the sheet and pour the raw caramel sauce into a Ziploc baggie to pipe on top, about 1 tsp. worth. Freeze again while you melt the remainder 1/2 c. of chocolate.
Pipe the remaining chocolate on top of the caramel. Smooth out with the back of a spoon to ensure it is evenly spread. PLEASE READ: Do this one at a time because the warm chocolate hitting the items that have been in the freezer will cause the chocolate to quickly harden. If you wait too long, your chocolate will be unworkable.
Allow the turtles to fully set (either back in the freezer or if you keep them on the counter, they will harden as well).
Warm a large heavy bottomed pan with a lid, over medium heat until hot. Pour in the popcorn kernels and put the lid on tightly. Move them around frequently by gently moving the pan. They will start popping after about 30 seconds.
Keep watching/listening until the popping stops then remove from the heat but keep the lid on in case a rogue kernel decides to surprise you!
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Add the coconut sugar and water to a small saucepan and warm over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and it is just starting the bubble.
Remove from the heat and add the coconut oil, tahini and salt. Stir really well until it is smooth. It is normal to see some pale flecks throughout. If lumps persist or it doesn’t combine well put the pan over a low heat and continue stirring. It will come together.
Remove the lid from the popcorn kernels and pour over the caramel. Be careful as it will be very hot. Stir until evenly coated evenly.
Pour onto a baking tray lined with either Silpat or baking parchment and spread out into a single layer. Put in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes until crunchy and golden.
Melt the chocolate chips over simmering water, or gently in a microwave, then drizzle over the popcorn with a spoon.
Place the tray in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set. If you are in a hurry you can put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once the chocolate is set break into pieces and store in an airtight container where it will keep well for a few days.
Feel free to omit the chocolate if you prefer to just have caramel flavor.
Serving: 1 1/2 cup serving |Calories: 124 k cal | Carbohydrates: 18 g | Protein: 1.4 g| Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 3.4 g |Sodium: 53 mg |Fiber: 1.5 g |Sugar: 2112 g |Calcium: 51% |Iron: 4%
As you know I’ve done two cooking hacks post they can be at A Simple Cooking Life Hack and Christmas Cooking Hacks And Helpful Cooking Hacks……. So that got me to thinking what are some simple chocolate recipes and alternatives to chocolate are there. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Who doesn’t love chocolate? I love chocolate except for chocolate coffee. Yes I have tried chocolate coffee too. Vegan’s I didn’t forget about you. I will have a separate post for you. Because there are so many good chocolate recipes I’m only listing 5 but will give you the link for all the recipes for your recipes.
SOME SIMPLE CHOCOLATE RECIPES
Chocolate-Banana Pudding Ingredients:
2 cups of heavy cream.
tablespoons confectioners’ sugar.
3 bananas, thinly sliced lengthwise, plus 1/2 banana, sliced into rounds.
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped.
26 chocolate wafers.
In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium-high. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine. Let cool to room temperature.
Layer 13 chocolate wafers in a 2-quart baking dish. Add half the chocolate mixture, then top with lengthwise banana slices. Top with 13 more cookies and remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate until pudding is set and cookies are tender, about 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Top with round banana slices and serve.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Ingredients:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped.
1/3 cup of pistachios(optional).
1 pound large strawberries (about 20), washed and dried well.
Place chocolate in a bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat; then sprinkle chocolate-covered portion with pistachios, if using, and place on waxed paper.
Chill chocolate-dipped strawberries at least 15 minutes to set chocolate. (Strawberries should not be stored in refrigerator longer than 1 hour as condensation may collect on the chocolate.)
Total Time: Prep Time: Servings:
35 minutes 20 minutes Makes About 20
Peppermint Hot Fudge Sundaes Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream.
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips.
Best-quality vanilla ice cream.
1/3 cup light corn syrup, plus more to adjust consistency.
1 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Peppermint candy, coarsely chopped.
Combine heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir to combine, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and add chocolate and peppermint extract.
Whisk until chocolate is melted. If necessary, adjust consistency with additional corn syrup. Serve over ice cream. Garnish with chopped peppermint candy.
Peppermint extract can be found in most supermarkets.
Crispy Chocolate-Marshmallow Treats Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan.
1/2 cup granulated sugar.
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled).
1/2 cup of chopped nuts, such as cashews, pecans or walnuts.
1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar.
2 large eggs.
1 cup miniature marshmallows.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove mixture from heat; stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, then marshmallows and nuts. Bake until chocolate is shiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.
To prevent toppings from sinking into the batter, sprinkle them on after brownies are baked. An extra 5 minutes in the oven melts the topping together for easy slicing.
Total Time: Prep Time: Servings:
45 minutes 10 minutes Make 16
Ricotta Tart With Chocolate And Kumquats Ingredients-For Crust:
5 ounces chocolate wafers (about 24 cookies).
1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted.
Pinch of salt.
FOR THE FILLING:
1 1/2 cups ricotta. (12 ounces).
2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
5 kumquats, thinly sliced crosswise.
1/2 cup heavy cream.
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped.
For The Crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse wafers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in butter, sugar and salt. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes . Let cool.
For The Filling: Beat together ricotta, cream, sugar, and cinnamon until fluffy. Fold in half the kumquats and half the chocolate. Pour into cooled crust. Top with remaining kumquats and chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes ( or overnight) before serving.
Total Time Prep Time Servings
1 hour 10 minutes 8
To stay with my chocolate theme and to keep my promise below is what you can use if you don’t have chocolate handy or someone can’t eat chocolate this is what you can do.
5 HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO CHOCOLATE
1. Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is a mixture of many substances that are left over after cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans. One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa power contains about 10 calories, and has virtually no fat, cholesterol, or sugar. And because it is 100% cacao, it is jam-packed with antioxidants.
Try mixing cocoa powder with almond or coconut milk for a homemade hot chocolate, or add a scoop to plain or vanilla Greek yogurt or as an addition to your favorite smoothie. Cocoa powder can be used in savory dishes as well – especially in many traditional Mexican dishes (cocoa and chili pepper!). For a crunchy snack, try cocoa dusted almonds (lightly drizzle almonds with honey and roll them in cocoa powder).
2. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are basically Cocoa beans themselves, which have been roasted, removed from their husks, and broken into small pieces. In other words, they are a less processed form of cocoa. Cacao nibs are crunchy and taste similarly to unsweetened chocolate. They can be ground into a powder and used just like cocoa powder, or they can be eaten as is and added to yogurt, trail mixes, smoothies, or in your favorite baked good. Cacao nibs are naturally low in calories (just one ounce contains about 130 calories), are a good source of heart-healthy fiber, (9 g per ounce) and contain a number of beneficial minerals and antioxidants.
3. Dark Chocolate (at least > 70% cacao)
It is important to choose dark chocolate with at least 70%cacao in order to reap all the antioxidant benefits. Plus, the darker the chocolate (aka the higher % of cacao), the less sugar will be in the bar.
Carob is a tropical pod that is derived from a tree in the Mediterranean. Its pulp is roasted and ground into a fine powder that tastes very similar to cocoa powder. Carob is naturally low in fat, high in fiber, contains calcium, and unlike cocoa or chocolate, does not contain caffeine or theobromine (a good alternative to those who are sensitive to caffeine or migraines). Additionally, it is naturally less bitter than cocoa, so it does not need additional sweetening.
Carob comes in many forms which can be used in cooking, such as powders, liquids, and carob chips. Add carob chips to trail mix, fruit, yogurt, or use it as a substitute for chocolate chips in baking (but set your oven about 25 degrees lower or it could burn!).
I can’t think of a better way to satisfy a sweet craving while still staying within a healthy eating plan than with fruit. Most fruits are high in vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, fiber, and health-promoting phytonutrients. Generally, the darker the fruit’s color pigment, the more nutrients it will have! Strawberries and whipped coconut cream, anyone? Or try mixing up a medley of cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds, with some carob chips or cacao nibs sprinkled over top for a delicious and healthy treat!