Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Food Love

I show my love with food. I don't know if people appreciate this kind of lovin' but I sure enjoy cooking for those I care about.

Valentines Menu:
Homemade Wheat Bread
Roasted Red Potatoes with Mushrooms
Roasted Asparagus
Baked Salmon in an Orange Sauce
Brownie with Ice Cream and Homemade Chocolate Sauce

My new favorite bread recipe is from Gwen's-Nest, the only thing I substituted was whole wheat flour. This bread is so easy and makes the best pizza crust! I'm not even going to bother giving you the directions for this bread because Gwen does it better. Check out her recipe here

I LOVE oven roasted potatoes (skillet potatoes). I rarely make them the same way twice. For last night's meal I quartered the potatoes, tossed the potatoes into a pan of boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes...just until potatoes are a little tender - easy enough to poke a fork into but not too soft. I find that the potatoes cook a little more evenly when I boil a bit before putting in the oven. At this point I strained the water, put the potatoes in skillet (I love my cast iron for this job) and coated with Wildtree Tuscan European Dipping Oil (grapeseed oil), sprinkled with sea salt, pepper, and garlic. Baked for 20-45 minutes. I checked the potatoes occasionally and added more oil when needed (when the bottom of the pan was dry and the potatoes were getting stuck to the pan). I also added some mushrooms that I had dehydrated last fall. I also make these potatoes with chucks of sauteed onions and peppers.

Salmon is my favorite fish. I think I could eat it every day. Last night I decided that I needed to finally try a new (new to me) Wildtree product and cracked open a bottle of Outrageous Orange Sauce. About an hour or so before putting the salmon in the oven, I marinated it in the refrigerator with 1/2 cup of the orange sauce. After marinating, I coated a baking pan with Wildtree Zesty Lemon Grapeseed Oil and added the salmon along with the sauce. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. I loved the flavor.

I used Wildtree Zesty Lemon Grapeseed Oil on the asparagus also. Fresh asparagus spears were drizzled with oil and the juice of half a lemon, sprinkled with coarse sea salt, a little pepper, a little parsley and some minced garlic. Baked at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

And finally, dessert! I mean, what says I love you more than chocolate? Luckily my husband loves chocolate just as much as I do.
Heart-shaped Brownies were made with a few adaptions from The Nourishing Home's Decadent Brownie Recipe. Here's how I made the brownies:

Decadent Brownies 
1 1/2  cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1/2 cup unsweetened *fair trade cocoa powder 
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp pure vanilla extract (except I decided to "eye ball" this and accidentally poured in much more....maybe 2 T. This mistake actually made the brownies REALLY good!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Very lightly grease 9x13 cake pan with coconut oil. 

Cut the butter into chunks. Then, place the butter chunks into a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and the cocoa powder. Stir until the chocolate chips begin soften. Then, remove from heat and continue stirring until the chocolate chips are completely melted and the mixture is well combined. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined. Then, slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate-butter mixture, using a rubber spatula to get all of the chocolate mixture out of the saucepan.

Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet while whisking vigorously. our the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle about a scant 1/4 cup of chocolate chips evenly across the top of the batter. 

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

After the brownies had cooled I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to "cut out" my brownies. 

I was hoping to top this with homemade ice cream but I ran out of time. Store bought will do. My homemade chocolate sauce (similar to "Magic Shell" but tasting much better) topped the brownie and ice cream. 

Chocolate Sauce:
Melt one stick of butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Tada. That is it. Store in refrigerator. 

So my Valentine boys were loved up last night with food. I don't know about them, but I loved it. 
Shared on Penniless Parenting's Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Hearth & Soul Hop

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