What's Valentine's Day without something sweet and indulgent?
Last week I shared a classic and easy pasta dish for a holiday at home main course, and today's dessert makes for a perfect pairing. It's a new twist on the classic chocolate covered strawberries and an easy icebox cake.
With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought I would share a couple of recipes over the next week or so that can make for a special dinner at home. Let's start with a main course.
Pasta can be quick and easy while also being comforting, homey, and kind of impressive all at the same time. This makes a no fail pasta dish a no brainer for a Valentine's date at home, especially if you decided against getting a babysitter. In my experience, most children enjoy pasta, especially when the dish includes lots of melty cheese.
Admittedly, it's not as pretty or impressive as a classic lasagna. However, cavatini makes up for lacking in these areas by being flavor packed and easy to make. I've even managed to make a gluten free version that's quite tasty and has a good texture to it, at least the day its made.
General rule of thumb, don't make any gluten free pasta dish with the intention of having leftovers. It just does not reheat well, becoming either gummy or complete mush upon reheating. Its better to keep portions small enough to be finished in one meal.
I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Cranberry rolls a few weeks back, but since then I began to wonder, how would cranberry rolls work out? So, I tried making some, and honestly, I kind of like them better than the pumpkin rolls.
Again, you will want to start by making the sweetened cream cheese filling and a batch of cranberry sauce. You can find both recipes here. Set the cream cheese filling aside. You'll want it to be at room temperature when spreading for best results.
Now for the cake...
We're right smack dab between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I thought it was high time I posted another recipe for holiday entertaining. These lovely rolls are a lot easier to make than they look. Freezing them is all part of the process, so they're a perfect "make ahead" dish to have on hand this time of year for those last minute gatherings. Just thaw and serve.
You'll want to start by making your filling, so it has time to chill just enough to prevent being squished out entirely when you go to roll the cake.
12 oz. Fresh Cranberries
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Salt
Dash of Black Pepper
Wash your cranberries and take out any that have gone bad. Add them to a medium sauce pan along with the orange juice, water, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries pop and the sauce begins to thicken just a bit. Add the pepper just before removing from the heat.
Use a strainer to separate out the syrup from the cranberries before it cools and save both in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Now to make the cream cheese portion of the filling...
Today's recipe is one for the coffee lovers in your life. It's simple and easy to make, and it's one of those dishes that gets even better if you make it a day ahead.
It's a variation on an icebox cake, so it's perfect for late spring and into summer. It packs a lot of coffee flavor, and each bar is quite rich. So a little goes a long way.
If your family is anything like ours, mornings are hectic and a bit rushed. Don't let that keep you and yours from having a good breakfast though. Here are a couple of make ahead ideas you can whip up one morning or afternoon when you have more time that will keep all week long and only take a minute to reheat.
As you can see from the images, both of these recipes use muffin tins. If you want to make both at once or need to make lots of both to feed a larger family, I would highly suggest investing in two of the large one dozen muffin trays. It just makes things a lot faster on the day you make them. Two dozen omelette cups and about a dozen and a half oatmeal muffins works pretty well to keep my family of four fed for a full five or six days.
Valentine's Day is coming up next week. I thought I would share a fun and simple cookie recipe with an impressive presentation you can make for your someone special.
Chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered cherries are a Valentine's staple. They're delicious, but they can be a bit predictable. This recipe shakes up the concept just a bit by incorporating those classic flavors in cookie form. They're a variation on the classic Jello cookie, and you can make them in any flavor variation you like.
The batch pictured above was made using strawberry because that's what the dollar store I went by happened to have in stock, but I'd imagine they'd work just as well with any fruit flavor you might dip in chocolate.
Today's recipe was our family's go to "someone has a cold" soup before we realized wheat was causing all of us problems. I put the herb lore I researched when writing "From the Ashes" into use when writing the recipe all those years ago, and even if the results were only psychosematic, it's still a tasty soup.
I haven't attempted to create a GF version, but I'd be happy to do so if there's interest. Just comment and let me know if you'd like one.
I never was much of one for radishes. They were pretty with their bright red peels and dark, leafy greens, but raw radishes are a bit too earthy for my tastes. So, when the girls picked a bundle of radishes as their new fruit or vegetable to try a year or so ago, I didn't know what to do with them.
I looked up ways of cooking them, and I came across a few interesting ideas. I combined what I found with a pared down way of preparing carrots that's a favorite of our family, and root salad was born. It's extremely simple. It barely even counts as a recipe, but after trying a few "dressed up" versions, this sweet and simple recipe still wins.
The earthy bite of the radishes balances out the sweetness of the carrots. It's a mild yet flavorful, hot side dish that compliments fish or chicken very well.
You can use any kind of carrots you prefer. We enjoy the "Rainbow" mix you can get at Sprouts or other health food stores because of the range of tastes, and it just turns out beautiful.
Today's post is the first recipe here on the blog. I hope you find it useful.
These ginger peach muffins are warm and lightly sweet. The ginger makes them perfect for settling a queasy stomach, but they're welcome anytime.
We're a gluten free household out of necessity, so I will be providing GF and standard instructions.
Amanda is the artisan behind all the products made and sold by Contented Comfort.