Posts Tagged ‘Menus’

Christmas Brunch Menu

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

‘Tis the month of December…a month of celebrations, and we all know that so many holiday festivities revolve around food.  While recipes for holiday cookies, appetizers, and drinks abound, I haven’t seen many full holiday brunch menus.  I know that many people (my family included) eat brunch on holiday mornings and because of this, I wanted to come up with a holiday brunch menu to share with all of you!  Throughout the next few weeks I’ll be posting recipes for the items on the menu…enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Easy Cheddar-Studded Bread & Peach-Strawberry Fizz Drinks

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

If you decide to make just one of my recipes, I highly recommend you make this bread.  It requires only minimal ingredients and effort, but still tastes like a million bucks.  You can make your own pizza dough if you have the time, but I made this recipe as part of my Mother’s Day Menu on a day when I was seriously pressed for time…and it came out perfectly.  My hubby who was born and raised with Arabic bread (and normally isn’t tempted by baguettes, country breads, or fresh, yeasty loaves of any kind) said that this was the best bread he ever had.  I kid you not, he actually said that.  And I have to say, I think I agree.

Easy Cheddar-Studded Bread

(Yield:  1 loaf)

28 oz store-bought pizza dough (or homemade if you have the time)

4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

A light dusting of flour (for kneading)

1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water (for eggwash)

Butter (to grease the pan and for serving)

9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan

Let the dough sit at room temperature in the package you bought it in for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the weather – the hotter it is, the less time the dough needs to sit out). 

Preheat the oven to 375F and butter the loaf pan.  Flour your hands and sprinkle a light dusting of flour on your kneading surface.  Turn the dough out of its package and work it out with your fingers so it is about 10 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle the cheese on top and knead about 10 times, or just until the cheese is incorporated. 

Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan (seam side down), and lightly cover it with plastic wrap; let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.  Lightly brush the top of the dough with eggwash (you will not use all the eggwash).  Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. 

Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.

That bread is a tough act to follow but this drink is pretty, refreshing, and delicious in its own right.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful meal.  Or the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon.

Peach-Strawberry Fizz

(Yield:  2 servings)

1 liter sparkling water

A couple of splashes of peach nectar (I used Goya)

A handful of strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced

Pour a splash of peach juice into the bottom of 2 glasses.  Pour in enough sparkling water to fill the glass.  Float the strawberry slices on top.

Roasted Corn Chowder

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Like many other veggies, when corn is roasted, its naturally sweet, nutty flavor is brought out.  The beauty of oven-roasting canned corn is that you don’t need to wait for outdoor grilling weather and corn to be in season to enjoy this delicious dish.  This chowder was served as a first-course as part of my Mother’s Day Menu.  The lovely flavor of roasted corn is highlighted in this easy dish that takes less than half an hour to make.

I’m sending this recipe off to Chaya of Sweet and Savory for My Meatless Mondays.  Be sure to check it out for some excellent vegetarian inspiration!

Roasted Corn Chowder

(Yield:  4-6 first-course servings)

1 can corn, drained (if corn is in season, feel free to use 2-3 ears of corn on the cob)

1 medium starchy potato, peeled and diced

1 leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced and cleaned

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 TB olive oil, divided

1 1/2 c milk (low-fat or fat-free is fine), plus a splash more if needed

1 chicken (or vegetable) bouillon cube

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

Fresh chopped chives (for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Toss the corn together with 1 TB oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Spread it in an even layer on a large baking sheet.  Roast for about 18 minutes (stirring once halfway through), or until it starts to turn golden brown in spots.

In a medium pot, heat the remaining 1 TB oil over medium-low heat; add the leek and sauté until softened but not yet turning golden brown (about 5-7 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the potato, milk, bouillon, and bay leaf, then turn up the heat to medium-high and bring it up to a simmer (uncovered).  Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat down a bit and let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Remove the bay leaf. 

Let the soup cool slightly, then transfer it to a blender or food processor and pulse until it’s almost smooth (leaving a few lumps is better than overprocessing; if overprocessed, the potatoes will turn gummy).  If you prefer a bit more texture, you can puree only half of the soup so there will still be whole chunks of potato. 

Transfer the soup back to the pot it was cooked in and add the roasted corn (add a splash of milk if the soup is too thick).  Heat the soup over low heat, just until warmed.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Serve garnished with fresh minced chives.

Crab-Stuffed Shells

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

When I think of stuffed shells I usually think of some kind of cheesy mixture stuffed inside pasta shells, topped with tomato sauce and melted cheese.  These shells couldn’t be farther from the norm.  As part of my Mother’s Day Menu, I wanted to make stuffed shells with crab…almost a deconstructed crab cake, stuffed in pasta shells.  Also, since crab in its natural form is found in shells, I thought it would be pretty cute to stuff a crab mixture into shells of a different kind.

I wanted to make a Béchamel sauce (this is a white sauce; it’s basically just milk that is thickened with butter and flour) to mix into the crab/veggie stuffing as a binder, and also to use as a sauce on top so the shells wouldn’t dry out while baking.  I had some extra cheese so I decided to add it to the Béchamel and turn it into a Mornay sauce, but you could probably skip the extra cheese (just as long as still sprinkle some cheese on top to melt!).  The smooth, richness of the sauce paired beautifully with the sweet crab and the fresh herbs really brought this dish to life.

Also, this dish reheats beautifully!  To reheat:  Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and heated throughout.

Crab-Stuffed Shells

(Yield:  About 8 main course servings)

12 oz large pasta shells

2 TB olive oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 large clove garlic

1 lb (16 oz) lump crab meat

1/4 c fresh minced parsley

Béchamel (see below)

3 oz Gruyère cheese (for topping)

Fresh minced chives (for garnish)


4 TB unsalted butter

5 TB all-purpose flour

3 c milk (low-fat or fat-free is fine)

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 oz Gruyère cheese (optional) – if you add this to the sauce it becomes a Mornay sauce instead of Béchamel

Butter, to grease the pan

9 by 13-inch casserole dish

Cook the pasta to just under al dente according to the package directions.  You will have more pasta shells than you need, which is good because some will inevitably break while cooking.  Since it’s much easier to stuff unbroken pasta shells, use the ones that didn’t break for this dish.  You can use the broken pasta shells for something else (toss them with some butter and fresh herbs and you’ve got an instant side dish).

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat; add the pepper, celery, and onion and sauté until softened but not brown (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. 

For the Béchamel:  In a medium pot over medium-low heat, warm the milk just until it comes to a very gentle simmer.  In a separate medium pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour.  Cook the butter/flour mixture (called a roux) for about 3 minutes (it will be a light blonde color), whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk the hot milk into the roux, then add 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil; let it boil for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Turn off the heat and whisk in 3 oz Gruyère.

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter the casserole dish.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, crab, parsley, 1 c of Béchamel, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stuff the crab mixture into the shells and arrange in the prepared dish; pour the remaining Béchamel on top.  Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 3 oz of Gruyère on top and bake another 10 minutes.  Serve garnished with fresh minced chives.

Happy Mother’s Day, Recipe for Strawberries & Cream Cake, & Giveaway Winner

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

I usually like to save the best for last, but since today is Mother’s Day I wanted to share the crowning jewel of my Mother’s Day Menu…dessert!  Strawberries and cream are a classic summer combination; I wanted to do a new twist on an old classic and so this cake was born.  I based this recipe on my double-crusted cheesecake (which was featured here on Delish…yay!).  This cake is light and fresh and very summery with the strawberries; it’s the perfect ending to a beautiful Mother’s Day (or any summertime) meal.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Strawberries & Cream Cake

(Yield:  1 cheesecake)

Oatmeal-Almond Crust:

2/3 c lightly packed brown sugar

1 c all-purpose flour

1 c whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)

1 1/2 c rolled oats

1 c almond meal/flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp pure vanilla powder

1 1/2 sticks salted butter, melted

Strawberry Filling:

1 quart (4 c) fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced

2/3 c sugar (more or less depending on your preference and how sweet your berries are)

3 TB cornstarch dissolved in 4 TB cold water

1 tsp lemon juice

Cream Filling:

8 oz Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature

2 large eggs

2/3 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tsp lemon juice

Butter (to grease the pan)

Springform baking pan

Preheat the oven to 375F.  In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients for the crust, then use a fork to mix the melted butter into the dry ingredients.  The mixture should have some lumps that are about the size of peas (you might find it easiest to use your hands to gently crumble the mixture until it has the right consistency).  Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan with butter.  Pour about 2/3 of the crust mixture into the greased cheesecake pan and reserve the other 1/3 for the topping.  Use a glass to help you press the mixture down evenly in the pan (press just firmly enough so that the mixture is loosely compacted).  Bake the crust for 8 minutes. 

Use a mixer to combine the Neufchatel cheese and eggs (adding one egg at a time); then beat in the sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until everything is just incorporated.  Pour the Neufchatel mixture into the pre-baked crust and bake for 12-15 minutes (just until the cheese is starting to set).

In a medium pot over medium heat, simmer the berries, sugar, and 1/4 c water (covered) for about 10 minutes.  Dissolve the cornstarch in cold water and add it to the berries, stirring constantly.  Boil for about 2 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice. 

Once the cheesecake is starting to set, remove it from the oven and spread the berry mixture on top; bake for 5 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and evenly sprinkle the remaining crust mixture on top of the berry layer.  Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the sides are bubbling up. 

Allow the cheesecake to cool completely to room temperature and then refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before cutting and serving (4 hours is preferred). 

I want to thank you all of you who participated in my last giveaway.  It was interesting to see which dishes are the toughest to clean…it looks like eggs and cheese are two of the worst culprits!  I used a random number generator to determine the winner…

A huge congratulations goes out to Sheila P!  Please email me your address and I’ll send out your prize.

Mother’s Day Menu & My Blog’s 1 Year Anniversary

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

If you haven’t entered my latest giveaway yet, there’s still time to do so…it doesn’t end until Saturday night!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers!  In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I wanted to share my family’s Mother’s Day tradition.  Every year we make my mom and dad a restaurant-quality meal and our whole family gets involved (we don’t do another meal like this for Father’s Day so our Mother’s Day celebration is really more of a Parents’ Day event).  I plan the menus (which is my favorite part!) and do most of the shopping and cooking.  Mike does the grilling, my brother is the waiter, my sister is the hostess, and my niece is the entertainment. 

Every year the menu is different, but it always includes several courses, with some form of surf and turf as the main course.  We also change the theme every year.  This year the theme is Coastal Café so the menu is based on New England-y coastal fare.  Here is this year’s menu:

(In the next few posts I’ll be sharing the recipes from the menu.)
Our decorations also change every year to reflect the theme.  Here are some of the linens for the table setting this year:
I’m excited to say that Mother’s Day coincides with my blog’s anniversary…I actually started my blog last May right after last Mother’s Day to share the meal we made for my mom.  This Mother’s Day my blog is turning 1!  I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by and how much I’ve come to enjoy blogging.  I want to send a huge thank-you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me, as well as a huge thank-you to my wonderful readers…honestly, you are the reason I write my blog.  Here’s to many more happy years of blogging!

How to Plan a Super Bowl Party

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Remember recently when I announced that I won $500 to host a Super Bowl party because of this mac ‘n’ cheese recipe (a big thank you goes out to Foodbuzz and Pace!)?  I decided I wanted to recap my party in a special way…I want to give you the entire run-down in case you want to throw a party of your own using the menu I came up with.  This menu would be great at pretty much any party so you don’t have to wait until next Super Bowl to make it.  I planned my party for 15 to 20 people, but you can easily adjust it for however many you’re expecting.  Here’s my menu, along with a game plan, shopping lists, general tips, and recipes. 


I just wanted to mention that I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until next Super Bowl to make the Layered Guacamole Dip again!  More than a few people said that it was hands-down the best guac they’ve ever had.  Even Mike who normally doesn’t like avocados (I know…who doesn’t like avocados?) loved it.


Baked Potato Bar

(Toppings:  Vegetarian Chili, Shredded Cheddar, Sour Cream, and Chopped Scallions)


Taco Pinwheels

(Tortilla Shells Wrapped with Cheese, Taco Meat, and Lettuce)


Southwestern-Style Bruschetta

(Zesty Cheese Melted on Toasted Bread, Topped with Scallions)


Layered Guacamole Dip with Tortilla Chips

(Layers of Zesty Cheese, Black Beans, and Kicked Up Guacamole, Topped with Shredded Cheddar, Scallions, and Black Olives)


Sweet & Spicy Popcorn

(Air-Popped Popcorn Seasoned with Sugar, Salt, and Chili powder)


Assorted Chips & Dips


Veggie Tray (Pre-made)


Cheese & Cracker Tray (Pre-made)


Assorted Cupcakes and/or Cookies (Pre-made)


Assorted Drinks


·         Up to 1 Week Ahead:  Grocery shopping (see list below)

·         2 Days Before:  Make Vegetarian Chili

·         1 Day Before:  Make Layered Guacamole Dip; make meat mixture for Taco Pinwheels; toast bread for Bruschetta and store it in an air-tight container at room temperature

·         Morning Of:  Grocery shopping (see list below); chill drinks; make Taco Pinwheels; make Sweet & Spicy Popcorn

·         2 Hours Before:  Bake potatoes (when they’re done cooking, turn off the oven and leave the potatoes in there to stay warm)

·         1 Hour Before:  Set up potato bar; spread cheese & scallions on Bruschetta; assemble all other foods, but keep in mind that you might want to want to bring out different foods at different times – save some goodies for halftime!  ;) 

·         Right Before:  Broil Bruschetta



·         8 c pre-shredded cheddar cheese

·         8 oz Monterey jack with jalapeno cheese

·         4 (8 oz) blocks Neufchatel cheese

·         2 c (1 pint) sour cream

·         3 c (1 1/2 pints) Greek yogurt

·         Assorted chip dip


·         1 lb lean ground meat (such as chicken, turkey, or beef)


·         20 starchy potatoes, such as russet

·         1 head iceberg lettuce

·         3 avocados

·         4 bundles scallions

·         2 large yellow onions

·         1 head garlic

·         1 bell pepper (and 1 jalapeno for the chili if desired)


·         4 (16 oz) jars Pace Picante sauce

·         1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

·         1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

·         1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans

·         2 (15 oz) cans black beans

·         2 large bags tortilla chips

·         Assorted chips

·         Popcorn  kernels to air pop (or unflavored microwave popcorn)


·         Assorted drinks

·         Ice

·         8 (10-inch) soft flour tortilla shells

·         1/2 c black olives (preferably from the olive bar)

·         Frilled toothpicks (for Taco Pinwheels)

·         Aluminum foil (for baking potatoes)grocery-shopping-day-of-pic


·         1 pre-made veggie tray (order ahead)

·         1 pre-made cheese & cracker tray (order ahead)

·         Pre-made assorted cupcakes and/or cookies (order ahead)

·         2 French baguettes



·         Since this is a Super Bowl party, keep it casual.  No need for fancy tablecloths, decorations, or even matching plates/cups/utensils.  If you decide that you want to decorate, you could use streamers in the colors of your favorite teams and maybe a banner to keep it simple.

·         Make sure your house is clean before the day of the party.

·         It’s your choice whether or not you want to use disposable plates/cups/utensils/napkins.  I like to use regular dishes, glasses, and utensils and disposable napkins.  Using regular dishes helps reduce waste, and it also gives people somewhere sturdy to set their food (which is important since my dining room table doesn’t seat 20, so most people had to hold their food or set it in their lap, which is never an easy thing to do with a paper plate).  Since I kept the party casual, it didn’t matter whether all the plates, glasses, and utensils matched.

·         When it comes to buying drinks, I like to plan on one drink per person per hour.  I’m usually left with extras, but that’s always better than having to leave the party to go buy more.

·         I like to arrange the food on a long table and let people serve themselves buffet-style. 



Baked Potato Bar with Vegetarian Chili & Other Toppings


(Yield:  Potato bar for 20)


20 starchy potatoes (e.g., russet), baked

Vegetarian Chili (see recipe below)

2 c sour cream mixed with 2 c Greek yogurt (you can strain this mixture the night before if you want it extra thick)

4 c pre-shredded cheddar cheese

2 bundles scallions, thinly sliced (white & green parts)


Vegetarian Chili (Makes about 6 c):

1 TB olive oil

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 bell pepper, roughly chopped (and 1 minced jalapeno if you like it spicy)

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes (with juices)

1 (16 oz) jar Pace Picante Sauce

3 oz tomato paste

1 tsp each cumin and chili powder

1/2 tsp each salt, garlic powder, & oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained


For the Vegetarian Chili:  In a 3-quart pot with a lid, heat the oil on medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper (and jalapeno, if using) and sauté until starting to soften (about 8 minutes).  Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add 1/2 c water, the diced tomatoes, Pace sauce, tomato paste, and all spices and bring up to a simmer; simmer for about 15 minutes (to let the flavors blend), then add the beans and simmer another 5 minutes.


To Assemble the Baked Potato Bar:  If you made the chili ahead, bring it up to a simmer before serving.  Put the sour cream/Greek yogurt mixture, shredded cheese, and scallions all in separate bowls (for a rustic look, the chili can be served out of the pot it was made in).  Arrange all toppings on a buffet table next to the baked potatoes.

img_5783-smallimg_5746-smallTaco Pinwheels


(Yield:  64 pinwheels)


8 (10-inch) soft flour tortilla shells

1 lb lean ground meat (turkey, chicken, or beef will all work well)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (16 oz) jar Pace Picante Sauce

3 oz tomato paste

1/2 TB cornstarch

1 tsp each cumin & chili powder

1/2 tsp each salt, garlic powder, & oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

8 oz Neufchatel cheese

2 c pre-shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded


Frilled toothpicks to hold the pinwheels together


For the Meat:  In a large skillet, brown the meat and drain the fat if necessary.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium to medium-high heat until softened (about 5-7 minutes).  Add 1/2 jar Pace sauce, 1 c water, the tomato paste, all the spices, and the cornstarch; bring it up to a simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered (stirring occasionally) until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick (about 15 minutes).  Allow to cool to at least room temperature before assembling the pinwheels. 


For the Cheese Mixture:  Mix together the Neufchatel cheese and 1/2 jar Pace sauce; stir in the cheddar cheese.


On each tortilla shell, evenly spread about 1/2 c meat mixture; then spread about 1/3 c cheese mixture on top of the meat, and sprinkle on about 1/2 lettuce.  Tightly roll up each tortilla; trim off the ends and slice each into 8 rounds.  Secure each pinwheel round with a toothpick.

img_5537-smallSouthwestern-Style Bruschetta


(Yield:  80 individual pieces of bruschetta)


2 French baguettes

8 oz Neufchatel cheese

8 oz Monterey jack with jalapeno cheese, shredded

1/2 (16 oz) jar Pace Picante sauce

1 bundle scallions, washed, dried, & thinly sliced (white & green parts)


Preheat the broiler.  Thinly slice the baguettes into 1/2-inch rounds (you should get approximately 40 rounds per baguette).  Toast the sliced baguette in the broiler until lightly golden brown (stay with it, because it goes fast).  (The bread can be toasted the day before; just store it at room temperature in an air-tight container.) 


In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses and Pace sauce.  Spread the cheese mixture onto each toasted baguette round, top with sliced scallion, and broil until the cheese is melted (stay with it because this happens fast).  Serve immediately. 

guac-smallLayered Guacamole Dip with Tortilla Chips


(Yield:  9 by 13-inch dish of dip)


16 oz Neufchatel cheese

1 c Greek yogurt

1 (16 oz) jar Pace Picante Sauce

3 avocados mashed with 1 TB lemon juice & 1/2 tsp salt

2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2 c pre-shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 tsp each cumin & chili powder

1 tsp each garlic powder & oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 bundle scallions, thinly sliced (white & green parts)

1/2 c black olives, chopped

2 large bags tortilla chips


9 by 13-inch casserole dish


To Make the Spice Mix:  Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Divide this mix in two because you’ll be using half in the Neufchatel layer and half in the avocado layer.


In a large bowl, combine the Neufchatel cheese, Greek yogurt, 1/3 jar of Pace sauce, and half of the spice mix.  Evenly spread this mixture in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish.


Use a clean kitchen towel to gently pat dry the beans.  In a medium bowl, mix together the beans and 1/3 jar of Pace sauce.  Evenly spread this mixture on top of the Neufchatel mixture.


In a large bowl, mix together the mashed avocado, 1/3 jar of Pace sauce, and half of the spice mix.  Evenly spread this mixture on top of the black beans. 


Sprinkle the cheese on top and then sprinkle on the scallions and black olives.  Serve chilled, with tortilla chips.


img_5487-smallSweet & Spicy Popcorn


Popcorn kernels

Salt, sugar, & chili powder to taste


Air pop the popcorn and season to taste with salt, sugar, & chili powder.  Serve same day so the popcorn doesn’t get stale. 


Sit back…relax…and enjoy the game (personally, my favorite part is the commercials ;) ).

Valentine’s Day Menu: Dark Chocolate Mousse

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

This is the final course of our homemade Valentine’s Day meal.  And it really goes out with a bang.  It’s not your typical mousse, since you won’t find any eggs here.  Instead I used Greek yogurt to make it a little healthier (let’s face it, this meal was not light on calories, so we might as well make up for it a little bit ;) ), and also because with this method the dessert is literally made in minutes.  This mousse is so decadent you won’t miss the eggs. 


I’m sending this mousse over to Natasha of 5 Star Foodie for her 5 Star Mousse Makeover!


If you haven’t done so yet, head over to All Through the Year Cheer for our Valentine’s Day event! 


A Note on the Sweetness:  This mousse isn’t overly sweet, so before you serve it make sure to taste it so you can add more sweetener to taste.

img_5694-smallDark Chocolate Mousse


(Yield:  2 to 4 servings)


1 (3.5 oz) good quality semi-sweet chocolate bar (I like to use 60% cacao), chopped

1/2 c heavy cream

7 oz plain Greek yogurt

2 TB honey or other sweetener (or more to taste)

Strawberries for garnish (optional)


Strain the Greek yogurt in the fridge overnight to make it extra thick.  Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave and let it cool slightly.  Whip the cream and in a separate bowl, whisk together the cooled chocolate and honey, and then whisk in the yogurt.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the yogurt mixture, being careful not to over mix (it’s okay if there’s some white spots left).   Serve garnished with strawberries if desired.


Valentine’s Day Menu: Blush Pasta & Individual Beef Roulades

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Here’s the next part of our Valentine’s Day meal, the blush pasta and individual beef roulades.  (For the full recipe, see my post here.)  To finish off our Valentine’s menu, soon I’ll posting my recipe for dark chocolate mousse!  :)



Valentine’s Day Menu: Strawberry Spritzers and Savory Strawberry Salad

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

First up in our fancy homemade Valentine’s Day meal are the cute little drinks and the salad.  The two are tied together through strawberry slices, which are perfect for Valentine’s Day since they look just like sweet little hearts. 

strawberrydrinkandsalad-smallThe Strawberry Spritzers are so easy to make that it isn’t even really a recipe…and for very little effort you get something that is absolutely adorable!  I made a caramelized onion dressing to serve with the salad (because I also use caramelized onion for the pasta and beef recipes), but you could make it even easier and use your favorite prepared salad dressing…I think anything with a balsamic vinegar base would be fantastic since the strawberry/balsamic combo is delicious!


With the drinks and the salad out of the way, stay tuned because I’ll be posting the recipes for blush pasta and individual beef roulades soon!  Don’t forget to check out All Through the Year CheerBrandy is hosting our Valentine’s Day event and she made some incredible looking cookies!  ;)


Strawberry Spritzers


(Yield:  2 servings)


1 liter sparkling strawberry-flavored water (or any flavored sparkling water you like)

A handful of strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced


Pour the sparkling water into glasses and float the strawberry slices in the water.


Savory Strawberry Salad


(Yield:  2 first-course servings)


1 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 c chopped walnuts, toasted

About 1 c strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced

About 3 c lettuce (I like to use red or green leaf), washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces

Caramelized Onion Dressing (see recipe below; or you can use any dressing you like)


Caramelized Onion Dressing:

1/4 of a very large onion, thinly sliced

2 TB olive oil, divided

1 TB balsamic vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper


To make the dressing:  In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil over medium-high heat until the oil starts to ripple, then add the onion and a pinch of salt, and stir to coat the onion with the oil.  Cook until the onion starts to soften and turn color (stirring occasionally).  Lower to the heat to medium-low and cook (stirring occasionally) until the onion is a rich caramel color.  You can add a splash of water at any point in the process if the onions start to stick to the pan too much.  In a blender or food processor, puree the caramelized onion with the remainder of the dressing ingredients; add a splash of water to thin out the dressing until it reaches your desired consistency (it should have a creamy texture).


Arrange the lettuce on two salad plates then top with the strawberries, goat cheese, and walnuts.  Drizzle the dressing on top (you will have extra dressing).


Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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