Saturday, February 06, 2016

#FreshTastyValentines ~ Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes





Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines day 6! Join us for a full week of wonderful recipes to inspire your fresh and tasty Valentine's Day meals. We are sponsored by some pretty amazing companies this year and will get to highlight some amazing products and ingredients thanks to their generosity. Please visit the Kick-Off post here to see the FANTASTIC giveaway information!



If you've never roasted garlic before, please start soon. It is about the happiest smell EVER. I love it. And am dreaming of all the things I can smear roasted garlic on. It's the best ever.


These potatoes are perfectly creamy and deliciously seasoned by the roasted garlic. They were an absolutely delicious side to accompany the red wine and garlic strip steaks we had for dinner the other night (steak recipe coming tomorrow)! Definitely give these a try soon - they are really wonderful and I can't wait to enjoy them again.


Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes adapted from Self Proclaimed Foodie 

Ingredients 
1 head garlic
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons butter, cut into slices
1/2 cup sour cream
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the very tips of a bulb of garlic off and place in a Casabella garlic roaster - drizzle with about 1/2 TBS olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 40 minutes.
  2. When cooked through, set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add potato pieces. Simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. When potatoes are tender, drain and pour them into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  5. When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove from roaster and squeeze / peel roasted cloves out of their casings and place in a small bowl. Use the back of a fork to mash them into a paste.
  6. Scrape mashed roasted garlic into bowl with potatoes, along with butter, sour cream, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Blend on low to medium speed until mixture is smooth and creamy, and reaches desired consistency. Taste test and adjust as needed.















*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from the #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for the purpose of recipe testing and review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Friday, February 05, 2016

#FreshTastyValentines - Rose Wine Dark Chocolate Truffles



Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines day 5! Join us for a full week of wonderful recipes to inspire your fresh and tasty Valentine's Day meals. We are sponsored by some pretty amazing companies this year and will get to highlight some amazing products and ingredients thanks to their generosity. Please visit the Kick-Off post here to see the FANTASTIC giveaway information!


I have never made a truffle before - I've made Oreo balls and that's about as close as I've gotten. These are incredibly easy and absolutely knock your socks off special.


I cannot think of a better Valentine's Day treat to make and share with your special someone! There is a hint of that gorgeous red wine in there, and such a punch of flavor and depth from the amazing Pacari chocolate.


My truffles came out very, very soft because I think I used a "heaping" 1/2 cup of whipping cream instead of a level or scant one, so keep that in mind if you make a batch. If you like a firmer texture to your chocolates, use a little bit less whipping cream. If you like them ooey gooey deliciously creamy and soft go for a generous 1/2 cup! And definitely don't forget the glass of Woodbridge Pinot to accompany these rich treats!


Rose Wine Dark Chocolate Truffles adapted from Table For Two

Ingredients
1 cup chopped Andean Rose Geranium Pacari Chocolate (I used a 1.76-oz bar of this and regular dark chocolate to reach 1 cup; took about 3 of the 1.76-oz bars)
1/2 scant cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBS Woodbridge Pinot Noir
Cocoa Powder for dusting (about 1/4 cup)

Instructions
  1. In a small pot, bring the heavy whipping cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped dark chocolate (which should be in a microwave safe bowl). Let stand for 3 minutes, then add the red wine and whisk chocolate mixture. Mixture should be thick and smooth.
  2. Cover with saran wrap, pressing the saran wrap onto the top of the chocolate mixture. Let chill in refrigerator overnight.
  3. When ready to assemble, remove saran wrap from bowl and using a melon baller, scoop chocolate out and roll gently into a ball with your hands, then toss in the cocoa powder. Place onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  4. Continue until all chocolate has been used up. Refrigerate baking sheet of truffles for 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Store in the refrigerator. 











*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from the #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for the purpose of recipe testing and review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

#FreshTastyValentines ~ Strawberry Champagne Cocktails



Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines day 4! Join us for a full week of wonderful recipes to inspire your fresh and tasty Valentine's Day meals. We are sponsored by some pretty amazing companies this year and will get to highlight some amazing products and ingredients thanks to their generosity. Please visit the Kick-Off post here to see the FANTASTIC giveaway information!



This is a quick and easy champagne cocktail that would be a perfect way to start and / or end your upcoming Valentine's Day festivities! You can prep the glasses with the strawberries and liquer well in advance of finalizing the drink, so it's a great one for make ahead.


I tried both Triple Sec and Grand Marnier as the orange liquers and they will yield very different results. The Triple Sec has a cleaner, more simplistic flavor, while the Grand Marnier yields more of a "mixed drink" flavor and has more depth. Both are very tasty options.


Make sure you have something delicious to eat alongside these beautiful, refreshing cocktails - or trust me they will go straight to your head! :)


Strawberry Champagne Cocktails from Maison de Pax

Ingredients
frozen strawberries (enough to fill about 1/3 of each glass - I used about 4 frozen slices per glass)
orange liqueur (I used triple sec and grand marnier - pick your favorite)
Sweet Rose Champagne

Directions
  1. Place frozen strawberries in the bottom of each glass.
  2. Top with about 1 TBS orange liquer. Allow to thaw / marinate for 30 - 60 minutes.
  3. Top glass off with champagne and serve immediately.




Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Shot Glasses for the HP Fan in Your Life!



I received these two super cool shot glasses for the purpose of review - and having a big Harry Potter fan in my house, they will be well loved and appreciated in the coming years (and I'm referring to my sister by the way!)


They are nice quality with the print easy to read and evenly placed on the glasses.


I used the shot glasses to help me make some yummy strawberry champagne cocktails (by pouring the Grand Marnier and Triple Sec into them ahead of time) which I'll be posting first thing tomorrow - definitely come back and check out the recipe!


Disclaimer: I received product at no cost for the purpose of review via Tomoson. 








#FoodieExtravaganza ~ Grapefruit Pie





Welcome to the February reveal day for #FoodieExtravaganza! Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. Our hostess this month is the lovely Wendy from A Day In The Life On The Farm.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to our Facebook page to join. We would love to have you! Follow our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest board for past events and more deliciousness!



Grapefruit Pie... I'd sure never heard of it before - but at the suggestion in our #FoodieExtravaganza group I pulled up Pinterest and hit search. Lo and behold there were lots of grapefruit pie recipes! Who knew?! So, I browsed through and found the one I wanted to try the most and this beautiful, tart, creamy concoction was born. I think this pie is a quintessentially summer pie. It is bright and fresh with the juice and fruit from the grapefruit and oh so decadently creamy and lightly sweet from the heavy whipping cream and melted marshmallow base. What an amazing combination of textures and flavors. I think this kind of pie should be eaten on your back deck, feet propped up, watching the sunset and listening to the sound of the evening nightlife... it just gave me that vibe. My sister is unfortunately not a grapefruit fan, so the majority of this is going with me to work this week, but you can bet I'm saving a piece (or two!) just for me - and I will be closing my eyes and fast forwarding to a warm summer breeze while I enjoy my pie.



Check out all the beautiful pies this month!

BLT Pie by Georgina of G'Gina's Flavors Palatte
Cheddar Leek Potato Pie by Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook
Cheeseburger Pie by Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Grapefruit Pie by Rebekah at Making Miracles
Ham and Broccoli Quiche by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm
Homegrown Blackberry Pie by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee
No Bake Peanut Butter Pie by Lauren of From Gate to Plate
Peaches and Cream Pie by Elaine at Cookin and Craftin
Penne Pie by Terri at Our Good Life
Red Velvet Pudding Pie by Teri of The Freshman Cook
Tar Heel Pie by Tara of Tara's Multicultural Table
The Impossible Coconut Pie by Stacy of Food Lust People Love
Walnut Crumble-Topped Apple Tart by Caroline at Caroline's Cooking


Grapefruit Pie adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients
32 large marshmallows
1/2 cup grapefruit juice, divided
2 or 3 large red grapefruit (enough peeled sections to equal about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 baked pie shell (9 inches) (see recipe below)
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Directions
  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the marshmallows and 1/4 cup grapefruit juice. Cook and stir with a rubber spatula over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Peel the grapefruit of all the exterior rind and also the interior membrane as well (here's a post on "how to peel and section grapefruit", FYI). Stir the grapefruit, remaining grapefruit juice and marshmallow mixture gently into the prepared whipped cream (use a spatula to gently fold mixture until well and evenly combined). 
  3. Pour filling into the prepared crust. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. 
  4. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or until filling is set. Cover loosely and refrigerate any leftovers.
Pie Crust IV adapted from Jan Bittner on allrecipes.com (makes a single crust)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter flavored vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/3 cup cold water
Directions
  1. Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or a pastry blender until very crumbly. Add ONLY as much water as needed to hold together, and mix lightly with a fork.
  2. Roll gently on a lightly floured surface to about an inch larger than pie plate. Fold carefully in half, lift to pie plate, and unfold. Press into pan.
  3. To pre-bake for this recipe: Preheat oven to 425. Prick prepared dough with a fork all over and blind bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool while preparing ingredients for the pie filling. 


#FreshTastyValentines ~ Beef Tips in Red Wine Sauce



Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines day 3! Join us for a full week of wonderful recipes to inspire your fresh and tasty Valentine's Day meals. We are sponsored by some pretty amazing companies this year and will get to highlight some amazing products and ingredients thanks to their generosity. Please visit the Kick-Off post here to see the FANTASTIC giveaway information!

Today I am sharing a man-pleasing hearty beef dish that will leave you full and satisfied. Serve this alongside any fresh green vegetable for a lovely meal. The red wine adds a fantastic flavor and depth to the sauce. We happily ate this one up in no time flat, and would definitely make it again. I used a cheap cut of stew beef to see how it would come out, and when they were cut down to bite sized pieces they became tender within about an hour of simmering and were just delicious coated in the tasty sauce with mushroom and onion alongside. I forgot to sprinkle with the parsley before snapping pictures - but this dish definitely can use that pop of fresh color!


Beef Tips in Red Wine Sauce adapted from Just a Pinch

Ingredients
2 lbs beef tips cut into 1 inch slices
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 TBS flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
2/3 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Paste
1 cup Woodbridge Pinot Noir
2 cups beef broth
1 TBS Gourmet Garden lightly dried parsley

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and saute meat on all sides until well browned (season meat lightly with salt and pepper). 
  2. When meat is brown, add the diced onion and sliced mushrooms and cook for about 5 - 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, thyme, black pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour mixture over meat and vegetables and stir until dry mixture is absorbed into any liquid in the pan. Pour in the wine and beef broth, and add in the garlic paste. Stir until evenly combined.
  4. Bring to a simmer, cover and allow mixture to simmer for 30 minutes, or as long as needed until meat is tender (this time will vary depending on how large the meat pieces are and the cut of meat chosen - I used stew beef and simmered for about an hour). Taste sauce and adjust seasonings as needed (if sauce is too thick, thin with additional wine or broth, if it is too thin remove lid and allow some of the sauce to simmer off).
  5. When meat is ready, serve over garlic mashed potatoes or seasoned rice and sprinkle with parsley.










*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from the #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for the purpose of recipe testing and review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

#FreshTastyValentines ~ The Best Fruity Nutty Salad You've Ever Had



Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines day 2! Join us for a full week of wonderful recipes to inspire your fresh and tasty Valentine's Day meals this year. We are sponsored by some pretty amazing companies and will get to highlight some amazing products and ingredients thanks to their generosity. Please visit the Kick-Off post here to see the FANTASTIC giveaway information!


This salad? Ridiculously fantastically amazing. Seriously. I have never loved a salad I made at home so much. It had the perfect ratio of delicious toppings to lettuce, beautiful pairings of crispy salty bacon with creamy feta and sweet fruit?! Oh it was my happy place the night this salad was on the menu. I know we will be making it again, and again. And the fabulous thing about all homemade salads is you can easily tweak and adjust the add-ins to your own tastes.


This amazing dish features two sponsor products - the gorgeous firm and sweet Envy Apple, and a healthy sprinkling of deliciously crunchy Hemp Seed Hearts from Bob's Red Mill.


Adding these two delicious ingredients into this salad takes it over the top to perfection. The balance between the blueberries, sweet sliced strawberries and those crisp, sweet Envy Apples is really perfect. My sister is not a salad lover and the two of us destroyed this huge bowl of salad in no time flat. The tangy sweet poppy seed dressing is of course the icing on the cake. The dressing recipe makes a fair amount - we only used about 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of the full dressing  recipe for our large bowl. Refrigerate leftovers - if you can refrain from drinking it.


Grill up some juicy chicken and slice and serve on top for a entree salad - I know we will definitely be trying that the next time we make this beautiful dish. This salad would be the perfect, romantic, fresh side dish to any protein for your Valentine's Day meal, or a lovely light entree meal with strips of grilled chicken served over the top or alongside. You will certainly impress your special someone with this beautiful dish!


Apple Bacon Walnut Salad (aka The Best Fruity Nutty Salad You've Ever Had) adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

Ingredients
5 loose cups chopped / torn romaine lettuce
1 large Envy Apple, thin sliced
2 thick cut slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup blueberries
5 large strawberries, thin sliced
1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbles
1 - 2 TBS Bob's Red Mill Hemp Seed Hearts
1/2 cup caramelized walnuts (recipe below)

Apple Poppy Seed Dressing Ingredients
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (more / less depending on how tangy you want the dressing)
1/4 cup honey
3 TBS sugar
1 TBS poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry minced onion (optional)
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions
  1. Place salad greens in a large bowl and sprinkle all remaining salad ingredients over the top.
  2. Combine dressing ingredients either in a small bowl and whisk to combine (until smooth and creamy), or in a mason jar and shake well to combine. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Drizzle salad with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. 
Candied Walnuts from Carlsbad Cravings

Ingredients
1 cup walnuts nuts
¼ cup sugar
1 TBS butter

Directions
  1. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat and add nuts, sugar, and butter. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for approximately 5 minutes, or until the nuts are evenly coated in the melted sugar/butter.
  2. Immediately transfer nuts to a silpat to cool; let the nuts harden together and break them apart with your fingers once cooled. The nuts and coating will harden in 5-7 minutes.









*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from the #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for the purpose of recipe testing and review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.