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It's almost Valentine's Day - one of my favorite occasions for whipping up an extra special treat!
But I have to confess that I'm just not into adding about 1,000 drops of food coloring to any given combination of butter and sugar in order to make something that looks Valentine's Day appropriate.
What I really love is being able to celebrate the holiday by giving my husband and son something that's distinctive from the usual 'hearts and candy' fare, something that's thoughtfully made to truly nourish their hearts and souls.
So this year, I turned to a couple of farm-fresh ideas to make a simple pound cake into a heartwarming Valentine's Day dessert.
First, I added a little touch of hibiscus powder (Yep- hibiscus! I get mine from Stock + Spice) to this cake's glaze to make it perfectly - but naturally! - pretty in pink. Not that you need more reasons to eat a slice or two of this delicious cake, but here's a little article about the health benefits of hibiscus.
Then, forgoing the expected candy hearts or red hots I opted to sprinkle on a few tiny fresh blossoms. These might be chamomile flowers, or maybe some type of asters... Hmmm... please comment below if you happen to know what they are!
I think they're so dainty and sweet. They make this cake just right for a modern farmhouse Valentine, don't you think?!
(Cake recipe originally from The Vanilla Bean Blog)
- 1 cup (2 sticks | 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups (594g) granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
- 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cardamom
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup powder sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons hibiscus powder
We thought we'd share the easy-peasy appetizers and cocktail recipes from our Scandinavian-inspired party table setting with you.
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bottle champagne
Recipe via Mon Cheri Bridals
- 1 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 T cold vegetable shortening
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 3-4 T ice water
- 1 c heavy cream
- 1 extra large egg
- 2 extra large egg yolks
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
- 4 oz. quality blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries
- 1/3 c granulated sugar
- 1/3 c packed light brown sugar
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 t chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 t kosher salt
Recipe via The Galley Gourmet
- 1 wheel of brie
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pistachios, lightly crushed
- 1/4 cup honey
Recipe via Home.Made.Interest.
If your life looks anything like mine does from early November right through to New Year's, you're going to need this!
Running around shopping, decorating, and gathering with family and friends is always great, but I'd rather eliminate the stress of trying to figure out what I should make to put out before big dinners, let alone what to bring to all the cocktail parties, tree trimming get-togethers, and celebrations we're invited to.
These Cranberry & Brie Bites are the perfect party food - they're easy to make, they look sophisticated, fancy, and festive, and they're delicious. While I can't take credit for the recipe - that goes to Nicky of the wonderful Kitchen Sanctuary blog - I do find myself making them again and again.
Nicky actually did a handy (and really cute) video tutorial on exactly how to make the Cranberry Brie Bites here.
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 4-6 T melted butter
- enough for 20 1" squares brie cheese
- 1 c cranberry sauce or preserves
- 20 small fresh thyme sprigs
Take my word for it and keep the ingredients for these yummy nibbles on hand all holiday season and you'll be good to go, no matter when a celebration pops up!
(If you need more simple + quick party food recipes, these are a few of my other go-to's)