Monday, March 8, 2010

Catching Up... Fondue, Valentines and the Furbaby!

So, once again I broke my promise and did not upkeep this little blog... my bad. It's been a busy few weeks and the cold weather makes me want to hibernate whenever possible. Now that I have seen the sun and the temperatures cleared the 50 degree mark, it is time to catch you all up!
The most amazing fondue... ever.
The Mr. and I received a fab fondue set as a wedding present. Almost a year ago. And never used it. I know, I know... why did we even register for it. Well, now I know! This recipe. We wanted to do something different and special for our first married valentine's Day. I scoured the Internet for a decent broth fondue recipe and stumbled upon RecipeZaar. The Mr. picked up some scallops and shrimp from our favorite seafood shop and I grabbed a New York Strip, some portabella mushrooms and a beautiful yellow pepper.
The result? Fabulousness!

-2 Bay Leaves
-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
-2 cans, Swansons Beef Broth
-1/2 bottle White Wine (I used a bit more... like 3/4 the bottle)
-2 c. Water
-1 packet French Onion Soup Mix
-1/2 bottle Cocktail Sauce

-Turn fondue pot on medium heat.
-Saute the garlic in 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil until fragrant (about 1 minute)
-Add remaining ingredients and turn fondue pot on high.
-Bring mixture to a rolling boil then reduce heat. Let broth simmer about 1 hour.
-When you are ready to eat, return heat to high and enjoy!

**Each fondue manufacturer provides their own cooking guidelines. Make sure you follow the correct temperature and cooking time as stated to avoid eating undercooked food.

I also made the Mr's favorite dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. I searched high and low for the BEST recipe and found Bridget's Red Velvet Cake Comparison. I followed her advice and chose this recipe, originally from Apple a Day. They were very tasty; moist, beautifully red, and full of flavor. Try them for your sweetheart!

-2 1/2 c. Cake Flour (you must use cake flour, not all-purpose)
-1 1/2 c. sugar
-1 tsp. Baking Soda
-1 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
-1 tsp. Salt
-2 Eggs
-1 1/2 c. Vegetable Oil
-1 c. Buttermilk (I used 1% because the Mr. prefers it)
-2 Tbsp. Red Food Coloring (If you are creeped out by the thought of so much red dye, feel free to scale back)
-1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
-1 tsp. White Distilled Vinegar

The Process:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Prepare muffin tins with cooking spray or use silicone baking cups.
-Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa and salt into medium bowl.
-Beat together eggs, vegetable oil, milk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar with electric mixer.
-Add dry ingredients to wet and beat until smooth.
-Pour batter into cupcake tin or cups, 2/3 full.
-Bake about 15 minutes and then check if cupcakes are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of cake. If it comes out clean, the cakes are finished... if not, bake additional 2 minutes, then try toothpick again.
-Let cupcakes cool 5 minutes, then invert onto wire baking rack. Let cupcakes cool completely.

For the frosting, I used this recipe and her method of cutting a cone out of the top of the cupcakes and piping in the icing. They were so tasty I forgot to take a picture! So i will leave you with a pic of the Mr. and our furbaby, Sophie. Guess it was a good meal!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you like my recipe from Bridget's site. Keep up the great work!