Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015 Dinner & Dessert Ideas

My Little Valentine
Happy Valentine's Day! Are you doing anything fun? I have to admit, I have nothing planned so far. Greg, Wendy, and I were going to use our free breakfast coupons at Chick-Fil-A this morning (I know, we are fancy), but then Greg ended up taking a class to renew his CPR certification that he needs in order to be a sailing instructor. So Wendy, my little Valentine, and I are just taking it easy and hanging out. I will probably go out to the store later to grab some groceries for dinner, but I am not sure yet what I am going to make. I put together some dinner and dessert ideas for myself and for you, in case you are also wondering what to make for your special Valentine's Dinner. I never go out to dinner on Valentine's Day because I hate to fight the crowd (and because Greg never plans anything..haha). It is okay though, it is supposed to be in the single digits tonight and I'd much rather have a warm dinner at home with my family. Hope these dinner and dessert ideas help to inspire you today. Enjoy!

Valentine's Day 2015 Dinner & Dessert Ideas

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken (only takes 5 hours in the slow cooker, so it'd still be ready for dinner tonight)!
The Best Cream of Crab Soup
Lemon Garlic Pasta with Sausage and Baby Spinach
Not So Sloppy Turkey Sloppy Joes (quick and easy)
The Best Cream of Crab Soup
Eggplant Parmesan Burgers
Delicious Cauliflower Burgers
Italian Wedding Soup
Maryland Lump Crab Cakes with a Lemon-Parsley Butter Sauce
Baked Chicken Taquitos
Restaurant Style Chicken Fajitas

Creamy Nutella Pie
Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes
Salted Caramel Brownies
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes with Whipped Cream & Cacao Nibs
Chocolate Pretzel Treats (more of a snack/fun treat but always a winner)

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Salted Caramel Brownies
After putting these recipes together, I decided that I am probably going to make the Eggplant Parmesan Burgers. If I do dessert, I think I will do the warm chocolate pudding cakes. I haven't made them since last year and they were SO good!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Creamy Nutella Pie

World Nutella Day occurred last week! Did you know that such a day even existed? It seems like there are days to celebrate anything and everything, so of course Nutella would be on the list. February 5th was declared World Nutella Day and Nutella lovers united! I have to be honest, I think that every day should be World Nutella Day. I want you to know that if you missed it last week, it is definitely not too late to celebrate! I made this delicious pie made with an oatmeal crust and a filling of Nutella, whipped cream, and mascarpone. Yum yum yum yum - you know you want some. So go ahead, open up a jar of Nutella and make some Creamy Nutella pie. Enjoy!

*For less prep work, you can use a pre-made crust if you want. I made an oatmeal crust but a graham cracker crust would work well here too. You and I both know it is really all about the filling.

Recipe for Creamy Nutella Pie

For the crust
3/4 cup of quick oats (Quick oats are finer than rolled oats so you won't need the food processor)
5 Tbsp. of light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
8 Tbsp. of butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the rolled oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, and salt into a mixing bowl and then pour the melted butter over. Then use your hands to gently incorporate all the ingredients and form into a ball. Press the mixture down onto a buttered glass pie pan so that the bottom is covered evenly and then use your hands to push the mixture up onto the sides so an edge is formed.  Put it in the oven and bake for 9 - 11 minutes. Remove from oven, place on wire rack, and let it cool completely. You don't want the crust to get too hard; so watch it carefully as it cooks. If any of it comes down from the edges while it cooks, you can push up after it cools a little.

For the Creamy Nutella Filling
1 cup of Nutella
1 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
7 ounces (about 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) of Mascarpone cheese
 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Put the Nutella, sugar, Mascarpone and heavy whipping cream into a large bowl. Use an electric hand mixer set on medium speed to mix until ingredients are well incorporated. Then increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Then spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust. Put the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set before serving. Serve chilled.

For serving: Top pie with fresh whipped cream and grated dark chocolate. 

Pie crust adapted from: Show Food Chef
Nutella filling inspired by: A Cup of Joe, originally by Alania Pouliot of Fabtastic Eats

Read about some handy dandy Nutella facts here!