Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

     Ahhhh... Can you smell it? Love is in the air, my friends. That sickeningly sweet smell that makes you want to vomit profusely and punch someone in the face. Repeatedly. Whaaaat? I kid, I kid. Maybe. I may be a semi anti Valentine's Day-er, but at heart I secretly want it to be a special day. Really, I do. I guess I just would rather guard myself from disappointment, cuz we are usually very strapped for cash around then. Not that I'm materialistic, because I'm not. AT ALL. I'd be happy to have something made for me. (And I truly mean that. I'm not one of these broads that says that and then gets her panties in a bunch because you didn't buy her a diamond.) But no one around here is gonna make anything for me. At least anytime soon.  It's ok, no worries, I've come to terms with it. hehehe

     Growing up, there was ALWAYS something left out on the kitchen table for me from my mom and dad on Valentine's Day morning. The ever popular heart of candy (you know, the one with the chocolates that you stick your nail into to see if you want to eat it or not? Come on, we ALLLL do it!) or a little basket of assorted candies, or one of those pretty shiny foil balloons. It always made me SO happy to wake up and see what was waiting for me. So, whether Mike and I get anything for each other or not, I still try to make it a bit special for the kiddies. Some years are much slimmer because of our finances, or lack thereof, and those times make me a bit sad. This was one of those years for sure, but I did what I could. *smile*


 Egg in a Hole, Chicken in a Basket... Whatever you want to call it, I call it oh so easy and so so yummy. Most people crack the eggs right into the hole, but we really don't like our eggs that way. I do it separately.



What You Need: (to make 2 servings of 2 pieces each)

  • 4 pieces of bread (use your favorite kind of bread, a nice thick slice of Texas Toast works awesome, if I may suggest.)
  • butter
  • 4 eggs
  1. Crack your eggs into a bowl or a liquid measuring cup (I use the measuring cup because it has a pour spout making it easy to pour the egg into the hole.) and give em a little scramble.
  2. Heat up your frying pan or griddle. Spray with non stick spray or melt some butter in pan.
  3. Butter BOTH sides of your bread and cut hole into center of each slice with a heart shaped cookie cutter. (don't have one? use a sharp knife and give that a shot, or just use a small juice class to make a circle cutout.)
  4. Place bread in pan and let cook for a minute.
  5. CAREFULLY pour juuuuust enough egg into the hole of each slice of bread. You want enough to reach about even with the top of the bread, but NOT too much that it overflows out of the bread.
  6. Cook, covered, for 2-3 minutes on medium low heat.
  7. Carefully flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until egg is set and cooked to your liking. Don't freak out if it gets messy on the second side. That's the ugly side, just place that side down on the plate. ;)
  8. Serve it up!
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Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cupcakes

You Will Need:
  • 1 box Devils Food Cake Mix 
  •  1 (3.9oz) box Chocolate Instant Pudding 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp of Raspberry extract 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcake wrappers.
    2. In a large bowl,  combine cake mix and chocolate chips. Give it a stir to combine. To this add the chocolate pudding mix (NOT prepared, just the powder), vegetable oil, milk, raspberry extract and eggs. Stir well  for about 2- 3 minutes..
    3. Scoop batter into each cupcake wrapper.
    4. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until they pass the handy dandy toothpick test.
    5. Let cupcakes cool in muffin pans for 5 minutes or so.
    6. Once cupcakes are completely cool, carefully slice the top of cupcake off, horizontally, level with the top of the wrapper. 
    7. Set the cupcake top aside and frost the top of the main cupcake with your frosting. You can tint store bought, or use mine below.
    8. Now with a small heart shaped cookie cutter, (or a sharp knife) carefully cut a heart out of the cupcake top. Place top back on the cupcake and give a little press. Voila!
    Raspberry Frosting:
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup shortening (I use the Crisco Butter flavor one)
    • 6 cups powdered sugar
    • 2-4 Tbsp milk (depends on the consistency)
    • 1 and a 1/2 to 2 tsp Raspberry extract (to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take out!)
    • Red food coloring (as little or as much as you need to reach the shade of pink or red that you like)
    1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the shortening.
    2. About a cup to a cup and a half at a time, add in the powdered sugar while beating.
    3. Add the milk a Tbsp at a time until you reach the consistency that you like.
    4. Add the Raspberry extract and red food coloring and give it a good mix with the beaters for another 2 minutes or so.
    5. Taste, adjust the raspberry extract level if needed and frost your cupcakes, man!
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    Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Pretzel Rods and Oreos.
     
    You Will Need:
    • 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 Tbsp of shortening
    • whatever you plan on dipping in chocolate (strawberries (cleaned and DRIED VERY WELL), pretzels, cookies of any kind...etc)
    • baking sheet lined with wax paper
    1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt your chocolate chips and shortening together for about 1 minute. Remove and stir. If not melted, microwave again in about 15 second increments, stirring each time. Be careful not to burn. Watch it very closely.
    2. Once melted, dip strawberries (or whatever it is you are dipping, I promise, I won't judge!) in chocolate, one at a time, with a fork. (again, first make sure they are completely dry!) Carefully tap the excess chocolate back into the bowl and place on wax paper lined baking sheet.
    3. Repeat until you have dipped everything you want in chocolate. Or til you run out. Cuz really, I'm a broad that wants everrrrrrything dipped in chocolate. ;)
    4. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for an hour or two til chocolate is set. If you can wait that long. (I couldn't.)

    Anyways, Happy Valentines Day to you and yours. Hope you all get shown lots of extra love today. *smile*

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