February 14, 2007

Saint Valentine Day Celebration

We aren't big celebraters but we do like to eat good food! Certain days get a more festive-looking fare and today is one of them. Reds (martyr), Pinks and White (purity)... of course!

Breakfast was homemade bagels with plum cream cheese.
Notice that a couple of the bagels even took on a slightly heart-shaped appearance. The plum cream cheese was just cream cheese beaten with plum jelly we made last fall. I did have to add in a couple drops of food grade coloring to make it pink enough to my Valentine day liking! Strawberries were suppose to be part of breakfast but the local store had the poorest selection.... sighhhh....

My latest food experiment has been homemade bagels. Here is my recipe with my every-day white bread recipe:
1-1/2 Tbl Yeast
2/3 c Sugar
2 c warm water
Let sit 10 minutes til frothy.
Add in:
1/4 c Oil
1-1/2 tsp Salt
6 c Flour
I make mine in a kitchen aid so I just use the spiral (or C hook), and gradually add in the flour on speed 2. When blended stir for 2 more minutes. Or you can knead til smooth and elastic.
Let rise 40 minutes.
Put on a large spaghetti pot 1/2 full of water to boil.
Divide dough into 12 balls.
Poke your finger through the middle and pull to make a 2 inch hole in the middle... should look like a donut. Place on a floured place (counter or a pan). Let rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (how do you make that degree symbol?!)
Place 3 bagels into pot and boil 1 minute, flip the bagels over and boil 1 more minute.
Place wet bagels on paper towels to dry. Blot out any excess water.
Place bagels on a *very* lightly grease pan (just enough so they won't stick).
Bake for 35 minutes flipping once 1/2 way through baking.

Lunch was Mozzerella Cheese, Summer Sausage (they were suppose to be heart shaped but I couldn't find my cookie cutter and carving them wasn't something I was interested in doing!! Of course my dear husband later asked me why I didn't just cut a notch down the top of the summer sausage at the beginning before slicing.... why didn't I think of that?!) and Crackers. Strawberry Yogurt (Stoneyfield Farm of course!), Red Peppers and Radishes with dip and for dessert we had heart-shaped brownies (found these neat heart tin foil shapes at the store) and some candies from grandma et all. I did offer everyone some red food grade coloring to put in their milk but there was no show of hands for that one! We never eat gum around here but they received some in a Valentine's Day card so they had a bit of a chew (*sitting at the table*.... yeah, I got alot of gum in my hair as a child!!). Their favorite part of course was watching me blow bubbles.

Dinner was Pork Tenderloin on Garlic and Parsley Spaghetti, Salad with several red things... peppers, radishes and grape tomatoes and White Chocolate Chip *Biscuits" (they were suppose to be muffins but muffins become biscuits when you forget to put in the baking powder!) Still no one showed any hands for pink milk, however strawberry flavored red drinks are much more acceptable.

Pork Tenderloin is made just like Chicken Parmesan. Dip the tenderloin in egg then in Italian Bread crumbs. I like double dipping so then I dip in egg again and again in the Italian Bread crumbs. Then deep fry til the breading has browned. Place in a pan with a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom. Then pour more sauce over the top. Cover with mozzerella and parmesan cheeses. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then remove covering and bake another 10 minutes. As a friend of mine would say "delish!" Since this is pork, be sure to check for done-ness.

For the salad I use my SILs salad dressing recipe which is so simple but far more "delish" than anything from a store (I must get a good blue cheese recipe... anyone?) Anyway just put 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c vinegar, 2/3 c oil and a tsp of salt into a canning jar with lid. Shake very well (separates very quickly) and pour over. Store the remainder in the fridge. Same said SIL also taught me this little trick for crunchies. Take a package of ramen noodles and crunch them up and stir fry them in a tad of oil til slightly browned. I added in some garlic granules too. Let cool and sprinkle over salad.

Desserts included heart shaped brownies for lunch intended to be brownie sundaes but we were just way too full. And for supper the dessert was Almond Cheesecake in a chocolate cookie crust, almonds, caramel topping and whip cream. The Snickers Bar is the King-sized... from my valentine.
I think I am adequately full to last me til Easter Sunday! If I had more room I would have tried BethAlice's Cranberry Cookies.

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