Tag Archives: Valentines Day

Nutella Chocolate Stuffed Puffed Pastry

Nutella Chocolate Stuffed Puffed Pastry

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Nutella Chocolate Stuffed Puffed Pastry

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The other day I was watching Bobby Flay’s Brunch show and it was the day prior to Valentine’s Day. The whole morning line up was devoted to chocolate. Bobby created a puff pastry stuffed with Nutella and Chocolate. It comes together super fast and easy but tastes as if it was created by a Chocolatier. I made it for Valentine’s Day morning and was a little embarrassed because it was so simple but my wife thought it was the best thing ever.

You get the crusty outside with oozing warm chocolate with each bite. Pair it with a glass of cold milk or cup of coffee and you have a great start to your morning.

I must say the puff pastry game is pretty strong. They have really great quality dough and makes using it as a savory or sweet pocket of love super accessible. So when you are thinking of a sandwich, pie, pizza, hot pocket try a puff pastry every once in a while to change it up.

Ingredients:
I am not going to give measurements because you can use as much or as little as you like based upon your palate. For mine I didn’t use much filling but for Jill’s I packed it pretty full.

Store Bought Puff Pastry
Nutella
High Quality Chocolate Chips
Vanilla extract
Egg (egg wash)
Powdered Sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Thaw and unroll your puff pastry. Cut them into whatever shape you want (square, rectangle, dumpling, triangle)
2. In a glass mixing bowl add Nutella, Chocolate Chips and Vanilla and warm it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it spreadable.
3. Beat an egg and wash the edges to help the dough stick. Fill the pastry and enclose it in dough and crimp the edges to make the two sides become “one”. Wash the top and cook in a pre-heated oven according to the package or until browned.
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Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes
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When I see “best” on any recipe, I am torn between “yeah right” and intrigue. I mean what if it really is the best ever? What if I miss out? So I was on Yummly trolling for some recipe ideas the other day and spotted the “best buttermilk pancakes” posted by the Smitten Kitchen. While I wasn’t looking for pancakes I did know I was going to make some for Jill on the weekend so decided to give it a try.

For some reason pancakes recipes all are very similar but yet these special differences make people peacock over “their” recipe. These are good pancakes no doubt. They are somewhat fluffy vs chewy or dense. I added some blueberries and a little lemon zest and the flavor was bright. Like Spring in your mouth. Solid pancake base recipe.
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Ingredients:
2 cups of AP flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
Pinch of Kosher salt
3 tbs of sugar
2 eggs
3 cups of buttermilk
2 tbs of melted butter
splash of vanilla extract

Fresh blueberries
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
maple syrup
butter
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Directions:
1. Pour your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well. Sift if you must.

2. Add your wet ingredients and mix well. Set aside for 20 minutes or to let the baking soda and powder do their thing.

3. Right before putting them on the griddle fold in your fresh blueberries and lemon zest.

4. Using a large (sprayed) cookie scoop place each cake on the griddle that is medium low heat blessed with butter.
Depending upon the heat watch for bubbles and the edges to turn light brown before the flip. Flip with confidence…one fluid motion. IMG_9506
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Enjoy with coffee, tea, OJ, milk or a protein.
Caution: If you are serving these to kiddos, please be aware that the blueberries get really hot on the inside. I would let them sit for a few minutes. I know we all like “hot” cakes but those blueberries might burn some little hungry mouths.

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Cinnamon French Toast

Cinnamon French Toast

  • Servings: 2-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Cinnamon French Toast
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Growing up my Mom always gave us a proper send of breakfast. Four kids can run through a lot of food. It seemed liked toast always made the plate in three forms: butter, cheese or cinnamon. I can picture the pan of 8 slices of toast in her oven.

It was a toss up for me cheese toast with the american cheese that just started to turn black with that big bubble housing the gooey cheese. The other winner was her cinnamon toast. Slathered in too much butter with a cinnamon sugar mixture. When the ratios worked out you would get this crunchy cinnamon sugar shell with the buttery under tones. I loved the stuff.

I’ve been traveling a ton and just returned from a ridiculously long trip. It snowed in Dallas and I could tell Jill’s treads were a little worn so we prepared for a weekend inside. Jill loves breakfasts and in particular french toast, pancakes, muffins etc.. As I was leaving she was getting sick and stocked up on a few items. She had purchased a sourdough round but didn’t eat much of it and I noticed it was hard a brick which is perfect for French Toast. I was thinking of trying a cinnamon toast french toast. Crunchy on the outside and creamy and soft on the inside. See that crusty exterior? IMG_9499

Jill said it was the best French Toast she has ever had. It was pretty darn good. Every time I make something I immediately think how to tweak it for next time. This one needed no tweaks. Set aside some extra treadmill time in the afternoon.
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Ingredients:
Four thick slices of old Sourdough
5 eggs
1 cup cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup of Orange juice
Splash of Vanilla
Pinch of salt

Butter
Cinnamon
Sugar

Directions:
1. Take a glass dish and crack the eggs in it (saves you from washing a bowl). Tilt it to one side and whisk the eggs well. Pour in your milk, cream, orange juice, vanilla, and salt. IMG_9473

2. Lay your toast in the mixture and turn it over. Cover the top with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. You can let it soak over night if you wanted. Turn it when you walk by it to make sure it’s coated well on both sides.

3. Right before you are ready to cook it. Mix together a sugar and cinnamon mixture. I used probably 2 tbs of sugar and about 1.5 tbs of cinnamon. Mine is good when it looks like the picture below. IMG_9475

4. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture on top. In medium heated nonstick pan or griddle melt a pat of butter and put the cinnamon sugar side down. IMG_9478

5. While that side is cooking sprinkle the naked sides with the cinnamon sugar. When you get a nice crust of caramelized sugar and cinnamon, flip to the other side.

Serve with powdered sugar and/or a little maple syrup.
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GZ’s Ricotta Gnocchi

GZ's Ricotta Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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GZ’s Ricotta Gnocchi
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On Saturday morning, I have developed a habit of watching “The Kitchen” on Food Network. This last episode they have a segment called Geoffrey’s Sunday Dinner or something like that. GZ cooked up a really simple ricotta gnocchi that seemed really good or the other hosts were good actors.

Jill has been traveling and so I thought it would be a perfect dish to make to welcome her home. For the most part I followed GZ’s recipe. My grocery was sold out of pancetta so while I could have used bacon instead, I went with prosciutto. Given it wont render out the fat that pancetta or bacon would, I added it with the garlic because it will crisp up pretty quickly. I also had a red onion on top for a salad I made earlier so I used that.

This turned out perfectly. Overall really simple but serves and appears sophisticated. The gnocchi is super soft and delicate and the simple tomato sauce is just a perfect comforting dinner. For the guys out there, this might be a good Valentines Day dinner.

The link to Geoffrey Zakarian’s recipe on FoodNetwork.
 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/geoffrey-zakarian/ricotta-gnocchi.html?oc=linkback
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Ingredients
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups AP Flour
Basil leaves to garnish

Prosciutto Tomato Sauce
1 package of prosciutto diced. GZ used pancetta
1/2 cup diced  red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
smidge of anchovy paste
One 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup of Red wine (Malbec)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Make your gnocchi by combining the ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, eggs and 1 tsp of Kosher salt in a bowl.  Whisk until well combined and then add the all purpose flour in the thirds. First third of flour,  stir until mixed together and then the 2nd third, stir and finally the last third of flour.   Make the a ball and set the dough aside. Olive got hit with some flour
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2. Make your sauce by softening the red onion in a oiled pan on medium heat.  Once sweated out add your prosciutto and garlic and stir for another minute or two. Pour in your tomatoes and let that mixture simmer.
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3. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil while prepping your gnocchi.  Dust a counter or cutting board with a little flour. Take your dough in three batches. Roll it into a “snake” shape you used to make when you were a kid playing around with play dough.

Cut little bite sized pieces and place them on a cooking sheet lined with parchment and semolina flour or AP flour.  Once all the dough is cut, cover with a towel until you’re ready to boil them.
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4. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove with a spider and add them into your sauce.  Cook and and let the gnocchi absorb some of the sauce.
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Serve into a bowl and top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
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