Feb 142012

Last week I shared a post with an image of peanut butter blossom cookies made with heart-shaped chocolates instead of chocolate kisses. As peanut butter cookies are a hot commodity around here, I knew a batch of Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Blossoms were in my future.

Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Blossoms for Valentine's Day

The recipe I originally pinned used a bagged cookie mix. While I’m not against shortcuts, I don’t usually keep those kinds of things on hand. But I did have all I needed to whip up some from the recipe my Mom gave me awhile back. Continue reading »

Feb 092012

I can’t believe Thursday is here already!  This week Matter of Cents and I have chosen the theme of Valentine sweets for Pin Me! Pinterest Thursday.  Baking and making Valentine’s Day treats is an activity I look forward to every year.  I’ve especially been looking for recipes that would mail well to include in A1’s care package; some of the ones I’m sharing below should do the trick!

Peanut Butter Blossom Hearts
Use heart-shaped chocolates (like Dove) instead of kisses.  These are a perennial fave of my hubby.
Valentine Sweets: Peanut Butter Blossom Hearts

Candied Strawberries
These look so pretty and are a nice change-up of a traditional candied apples.
Valentine Sweets: Candied Strawberries

Continue reading »

Feb 142011

Valentine’s Day Recipes

I hope everyone – single, married, partnered, dating, and anything in between – has a great Valentine’s Day!  Do something sweet for the ones you love – not just your significant others, but kids, parents, grandparents, friends, whomever – and then do something sweet for yourself!
Celebrate Valentine's with these Valentine's Day recipes
If you’re looking for a tasty treat to whip up for someone today, there are lots of tasty bites you could make.  I am planning to make Spaghetti with homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner and  Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes for dessert.  A little Lady and the Tramp nod, I guess :)  Spaghetti is one of my husband’s most requested meals, and the Lava Cakes make for a little special extra (and are much easier than you’d think!).   The sauce will make your house smell awesome; I have it on the stove right now and I’m starting to drool a little!   Here are my Valentine’s Day recipes:

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6-8oz each) cans tomato paste
2 (6-8oz each) cans tomato sauce
1/2 C minced onion (if you’re not big on onion, you could use a little onion powder instead)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (if you don’t have fresh garlic, you can sub garlic powder)
1/2 C water
2 T sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 T Italian seasoning
1 T kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T fresh parsley, chopped (can substitute dried if you don’t have fresh)
mushrooms, cleaned (1/2-1 lb fresh or 8-12oz canned; adjust for your level of mushroom love)
1/2-1 lb ground beef (depending on how meaty you like your sauce)
  1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, ground beef and mushroom over medium heat until no longer pink.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water.
  2. Add in the sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley.  Simmer and cover for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Note: if you’re in a rush, you can simmer until everything is heated through.  But the longer you let this sit, the better it is, because all the seasonings get a chance to meld.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

4 sq. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 C butter
1 C powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 T flour
whipped cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Butter 4 (3/4 C) custard cups, ramekins or souffle dishes.  Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl 1 minute, or until melted.  Stir with wire whisk until completed melted.  Stir in sugar.  Whisk in both eggs and both egg yolks.  Stir in the flour.  Divide batter between prepared dishes.
  3. Bake 13-14 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft.  Let stand 1 minute.  Run a small knife around cakes to loosen, and invert onto serving dishes (small dessert plates work well).  Dust with powdered sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.  Serve immediately.
I’ve had these recipes on cards for ever, so I apologize for not being able to link you to the sources.  But there are dozens of similar recipes out there (especially for the molten cakes), so feel free to search around for something that fits your tastes.  And with the sauce, always feel free to mix it up with whatever meats, add-in and seasonings that you love!