Monday, February 19, 2018

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

 
My husband wanted to make reservations to take me out for Valentine's Day but I'd really much rather fix an elegant dinner at home (that was one of my gifts to him). I knew this tart was going to be dessert!  Super easy, with just a few ingredients yet it really LOOKS like it took you forever!
The crust is Oreo cookies ( I used the thin ones since I didn't really want a lot of the cream filling in this) crushed in a food processor and mixed with melted butter then baked in a tart pan with removable sides.
The recipe calls for dark chocolate (which I'm not a fan of) so I did two bars of dark and one of milk chocolate. You really would NOT want to do this with all milk chocolate - I think it would be way too rich!
Coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.
Pour your heated heavy cream over the top, covering the pieces and let sit for 4 minutes.
Once it sits, you'll be able to blend the chocolate into this smooth, glossy goodness.
Pour into your cooled crust and refrigerate a few hours.  ( I actually only had mine refrigerate about half an hour before decorating and it was fine.)
Top with fresh raspberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
It was SO SO SO good - my husband was very impressed and we enjoyed our dessert with coffee and a small glass of Amaretto.
How fun are these cups? 
I made one of these for my husband (I got the idea from Pinterest of course!). He is such an amazing man that it was very easy to come up with 52 things that I love about him!

We started off our meal with a caprese salad with balsamic reduction


Then we moved on to a super easy and tasty Crab Bisque. and bread sticks formed into the shape of hearts.


Next we enjoyed our steak dinner with herb roasted potatoes and asparagus



It was a lovely evening and in my opinion, SO much better than going out to a crowded, overpriced restaurant!


Recipe from House of Nash Eats

Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups 24 Oreos, finely crushed in a food processor or blender
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
Filling
  • 12 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Finishing
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries
  • Optional powdered sugar or chocolate curls for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. 
  2. Mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl, then press the crust ingredients firmly into the bottom and 1 to 2 inches up the sides of a tart pan.  It can help to use a glass or flat-bottomed measuring cup to do this step.
  3. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.  Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until very hot but not boiling.
  5. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for four minutes. Then stir using a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the chocolate and cream are combined.
  6. Pour the chocolate ganace over the Oreo cookie crust and smooth out the top, if necessary.
  7. Place in the refrigerator and let set for 2 hours. When done chilling, decorate the top with raspberries by arranging them with the conical side up, closely touching. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Garlic Knots

 

Eventually I need to get back to CRAFTING rather than baking but for now, here's another thing I just tried, Garlic Knots.  I was visiting my friend Diane at Lavender Dreams and she had posted about making these Garlic Knots from a recipe she found on Allrecipes.
You can use store bought dough but since I'm enjoying my KitchenAid dough hook attachment, I opted for making my own dough.  You can see the recipe on Diane's site.


After the first rise, I divided the dough into four pieces.


This dough scraper is one of my favorite tools because you can use it to measure, cut and then clean off your cutting board.


Just head on back to Kindergarten and roll those 'snakes' of dough (quite therapeutic).


Form the knots loosely so they can rise and still keep their shape.


Nice and puffy and ready for the oven. I like that these rose quickly both times so start to finish it's just about and hour and a half, plus baking time.


Hot and fresh from the oven and ready for a nice, garlic butter bath!


I went a little light on the garlic (just my preference) and I didn't have the 'good' shredded Parmesan but I do like how they turned out and they made a wonderful compliment to several dinners.  Thanks Diane for sharing these with us!

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Best Banana Muffins - REALLY!

We've gotten just about a foot of snow so far this weekend with another 6-8" expected tomorrow so what's a winter-hater like me to do but bake.  
Now I think we ALL have made our share of banana breads and muffins in our lifetime that claimed to be the 'best'. That being said, toss all the other recipes because baby, THESE really, truly ARE the best banana muffins I've ever made!
I like going to Allrecipes.com even more than Pinterest because on Allrecipes, you can find recipes by rating/review, how many times it's been made, etc.  This muffin recipe has been made 15,000 times, has 9,758 reviews and is a solid 5-star rating! So I knew I just had to try these Banana Crumb Muffins  (click on link to go directly there but I'll also give you the recipe below)
The only change I made to the original recipe was based on other reviews that suggested substituting the melted butter with oil.  The crumb topping really is amazing. I like to use my mini-food processor to make my crumb toppings because it creates a fine, uniform crumble to sprinkle on top.
We will be enjoying this with a crock pot of chili and some homemade cornbread for dinner tonight!

Allrecipes.com Banana Crunch Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday