Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

Since Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend this year, why not start off your day with these delectable White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes?


White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

My husband is out of town for work right now so I’m spending Valentine’s Day with my littler love, my toddler son, who is a huge pancake fan. For awhile IHOP was one of his favorite restaurants, so I had the opportunity to check out their menu on many occasions. The last time we ate there I tried the white chocolate raspberry pancakes. They were tasty but super sweet and a bit artificial. I knew I could do it better!

I made a raspberry puree using frozen raspberries, not in any kind of sugar or syrup, since I knew the white chocolate would make the pancakes sweet enough for breakfast. To add to the festivities, I made the pancakes heart-shaped. To do this, I placed a metal heart-shaped cookie cutter, about 5 inches in diameter on my griddle. I poured about 1/4 cup of batter into the cookie cutter and spread it around evenly. When it was time to flip the pancakes, I left the cookie cutter in place to ensure the batter did not spread outside the boundaries of the heart. After flipping I gently pushed down the pancake to ensure it was in contact with the griddle. Toward the end of cooking each pancake I carefully removed the cookie cutter. My son was so delighted by the heart shaped pancakes. He told his daddy on Skype “I’m eating heart shaped pancakes for breakfast!” Aw! If you don’t have heart shaped cookie cutters, though, the round pancakes were just as yummy!

White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones! I hope you enjoy these beautiful and delicious White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes as much as we did!

White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

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White Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

Yield: 10 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk (any kind is fine)

1 egg

3 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup frozen raspberries

fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the milk, egg, and butter and whisk together until fully combined. The batter may remain a little lumpy. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
  2. Heat your pancake griddle on high (I have the Cuisinart Griddler and heated mine to 425F).
  3. For heart-shaped pancakes, place a metal cookie cutter onto the griddle and fill with about 1/4 cup of batter. Let cook until bubbly and golden brown on the bottom, then flip, keeping the cookie cutter in place. Gently push down the pancake to ensure it remains in contact with the griddle. When nearly done, carefully remove the cookie cutter.
  4. For round pancakes, drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the griddle. Let cook until bubbly and golden brown on the bottom, the flip and continue cooking until golden on both sides.
  5. Meanwhile, for the raspberry sauce, place the frozen raspberries into a small saucepan on the stove on medium. Cook until warm and slightly reduced, so the fruit becomes more of a sauce.
  6. Top the pancakes with raspberry sauce, garnish with fresh raspberries if desired, and serve right away.

Note: if you like a lot of sauce on your pancakes, you may want to increase the frozen raspberries to 2 cups.

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Strawberry Pomegranate Rice Pudding

This post is part of a Valentine’s Day themed Blog Swap and comes from Chef Mireille at East West Realm. Her blog features an amazing array of recipes from around the world. I just drool looking at the pictures and will be trying out some of her recipes very soon! The recipe she shared for the blog swap is perfect for Valentine’s Day, with gorgeous red colors and delectable flavors. I’ll let her tell you the rest…

I am Mireille of Chef Mireille’s East West Realm. I am honored to have the opportunity to do this guest post for Jessie’s Dinner Pages. If you have a chance to hop on over to my site, you’ll notice that I experiment with cuisines from throughout the world, including both authentic recipes and fusion recipe. You’ll find everything from Ghanian Tatale to Mexican Goat Stew. For today’s Valentine’s Day themed recipe, I took inspiration from Thailand.

Rice Pudding -edit

Most people automatically think of chocolate when it comes to Valentine’s Day desserts. Not every woman on earth is a chocolate fanatic and I am one of those exceptions. Give me fruity or creamy desserts and I’ll always choose them over chocolate. Even as a child, I always preferred vanilla ice cream.

I love desserts that are creamy and luscious – my faves include flan, pannacotta and rice pudding. I am a rice pudding fanatic. One of my favorite places to visit here in New York is Rice to Riches, a restaurant that makes nothing but rice pudding in more flavors than you can possibly contemplate.

Just about every culture in the world has a version of rice pudding. There is Indian Kheer, the milky liquidy version and there is Champorada, the Filipino chocolate version and then there is the thick, creamy spiced version of the Caribbean.

I took the Caribbean methodology for making this rice pudding, but infused it with flavors of Southeast Asia. If you love Thai food, you’ll love this luscious version of rice pudding as the flavor of the lime leaves comes through strong.

Strawberry Rice Pudding -edit

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Strawberry Pomegranate Rice Pudding

Serves 4-6

Rice Pudding Ingredients:

• 2 cups water

• 2 Kaffir lime leaves

• 3 cloves

• 5 green cardamom pods

• 13.5 oz. can coconut milk

• 1 cup evaporated milk

• 1 cup long grain rice

• 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Strawberry Pomegranate Compote Ingredients:

• 1 lb. strawberries, quartered

• ½ cup pomegranate seeds

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

• 1 tablespoon rum

• 1 tablespoon cornstarch

• ¼ cup water

Topping:

• 4 tablespoon sweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil with the lime leaves, cloves and cardamom. Add remaining water, coconut milk, evaporated milk, and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove lime leaves, cloves and cardamom. Add sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil again. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

Strawberry Rice Pudding - sbs photo

To make compote, combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Add to strawberries and cook for 2 more minutes.

Strawberry Rice Pudding - sbs

To serve, spoon some of the rice pudding in a dish. Add a little of the fruit compote. Top with coconut.

Notes: I prefer my rice pudding warm, however many eat it cold. The pudding will thicken as it chills so you may want to add a little extra milk/water if you plan on eating it chilled. 

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If you want to see more from Chef Mireille, check out:
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Below the collage are links to all of the posts that participated in our

Blog Swap Meet: Valentine’s Day Recipes

Hosted by

Edward from If You Can Read, You Can Cook and Kristin from Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Stop by and visit them all!

vday blog swap meet collage

If You Can Read, You Can Cook posted on Anyonita Nibbles

Anyonita Nibbles posted on If You Can Read, You Can Cook

The Dinner Pages posted on Chef Mireille’s East West Realm

Chef Mireille’s East West Realm posted on The Dinner Pages

Dizzy Busy and Hungry posted on The Quest for Noms

The Quest for Noms posted on Kneaded Creations

Kneaded Creations posted on Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve been working on several treats to fit the theme of the day. You’ve already read about Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream and “Go Red” for Heart Health Snack Mix and there are more coming up this week. But this one here is the piece de resistance. Since I’m currently living south of the Mason-Dixon, what could be a more iconic red dessert than red velvet cake?

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

I’ve made red velvet before, with okay results. The color is usually gorgeous but sometimes it’s just too dry for my liking. Making a molten lava cake definitely bypasses that issue! The ooey gooey cake batter just flowed, once releasing the individual cakes from their ramekins.

For me, though, the frosting makes the cake, not just for red velvet cakes, but for all cakes. It’s not infrequent that I’ll lick the frosting off a cupcake, just to chuck the rest of cake because it’s too dry or bland. So I knew I had to highlight the classic cream cheese frosting flavors that red velvet is also known for. As you know, I love making my own ice cream and trying out new flavors. And the cool creamy consistency of ice cream is the perfect match for molten lava cake batter!

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

So here’s a recipe for rich amazingly delicious Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes to be paired with Cream Cheese Ice Cream. Both are easy and not too time consuming to prepare, though I recommend making the ice cream in advance since it can be tough for ice cream freezers to work well in a warm kitchen, which might happen when heating up your oven to bake the cakes. If you make them concurrently, plan out your timing well, because you want to serve the cakes as soon as they’re ready and not be waiting around for ice cream to freeze while the molten lava solidifies!

Melt together white chocolate and butter, then add sugar and cocoa powder. Slow add in to beaten eggs.

Melt together white chocolate and butter, then add sugar and cocoa powder. Slow add in to beaten eggs.

Add in red food coloring and flour

Add in red food coloring and flour

Divide into 4 ramekins

Divide into 4 ramekins

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes

Run a knife around the edges then carefully invert the ramekin onto a dish. Let sit for 2 minutes then remove

Run a knife around the edges then carefully invert the ramekin onto a dish. Let sit for 2 minutes then remove

This is a gorgeous treat to cap off your Valentine’s Day dinner. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

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Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes with Cream Cheese Ice Cream (adapted from thespiffycookie.com and Epicurious.com)

Yield: 4 individual serving cakes and 1 quart ice cream

For the cakes:

6 ounces white baking chocolate

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons red food coloring

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate and butter until smooth. This will take approximately 2 minutes; stop the microwave to stir every 20-30 seconds to avoid burning. While the chocolate and butter are melting, use the remaining butter to thoroughly grease the ramekins.

2. Add in the cocoa powder and sugar and stir until combined.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add in a small amount of the chocolate mixture and stir together to allow the eggs to warm slowly (temper) to avoid scrambling. Repeat 2-3 more times then add in the remaining chocolate batter and stir until fully combined.

4. Stir in the red food coloring, flour, and pinch of salt. Divide the batter among 4 well greased 3/4-1 cup ramekins.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges right away. Invert each ramekin onto an individual serving plate and let sit for 2 minutes, then carefully lift up the ramekin. Top with cream cheese ice cream (or whipped cream) to serve.

For the ice cream:

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

8 ounces neufchatel cheese (lowfat cream cheese), softened

1 cup skim milk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixture with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, sugar, and salt until smooth. Then pour in the heavy cream and beat on low speed until just combined. You can also do this step with a blender or food processor.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freezer according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container to store. Let come slightly to room temperature before topping the Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes.

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“Go Red” for Heart Health Snack Mix

February is Heart Health month and today, February 7, is “Go Red for Women” Day, an event to raise awareness of heart disease in females. So to help support this cause, I’m sharing a recipe for a delicious snack mix that not only has beautiful red cranberries to help us “go red,” but also has some heart health benefits. Plus with Valentine’s Day only a week away, this is a great snack to share with your Valentine, young or old. And that’s excellent for your heart too!

"Go Red" for Heart Health Snack Mix

I’ve never thought too hard about “recipes” for trail mix or the like since you pretty much toss together a bunch of yummy snacks in a bowl or bag and go. But I came across this delectable combination of dried coconut, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips in a packaged snack mix and loved the flavors and figured I could do it myself for a fraction of the cost.

Coconuts are pretty trendy in the food world now and there is lots of research going on in the nutrition and medical fields regarding potential benefits of coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil, and just plain old coconut. Some studies have shown advantageous effects on cholesterol from ingesting coconut oil. Point 1 for heart health!

Then we come to cranberries. Polyphenols, which are found in cranberries as well as other foods, are thought to be great for cardiovascular health also by improving cholesterol as well as through some anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Yay cranberries!

And finally chocolate. No one needs to give me any scientific argument to eat (and enjoy) chocolate. But just in case you need a heart healthy reason to indulge, here you go…just like cranberries, flavonoids are found in cocoa and chocolate. They have anti-oxidant properties which also have anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory benefits. They also might help lower blood pressure which improves circulation to the heart. Yes please! Benefits are the best with dark chocolate (which includes the semi-sweet chocolate used here).

image from American Heart Association website

image from American Heart Association website

I recommend not using the shredded dried coconut from the baking aisle and rather finding actual dried coconut pieces from the dried fruit section. The flavor and nutrition benefits are so much better and since it’s one of only three ingredients in this snack, it is really highlighted, so the better quality coconut is totally worth it. I found mine at Costco but I imagine it’s available at some supermarkets as well as natural food stores.

"Cocoa"-Nuts for You Snack Mix

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“Go Red” for Heart Health Snack Mix

Yield: approximately 3 cups

2 cups dried coconut chunks (we found them at Costco), chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Share with someone you love! Store leftovers in an airtight container.

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Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Wondermom Wannabe

Bring some heat to your Valentine’s Day with this Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! I know it’s the middle of winter, but in my opinion, ice cream is a key part of a balanced diet year round. One of my best friends and I have a (not so) secret dream of opening up an ice cream shop someday. Granted right now we live on opposite coasts and are employed in a totally different line of work but we still talk about our future ice cream shop almost every time we chat. So each time I try out a new ice cream flavor I can chalk it up to future job training, right?

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Anyway, I first made Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream a few years ago. It was actually my dessert entry for a chili cook off and I won for that category. This ice cream is smooth and very rich. Cinnamon adds most of the spice but if you really want to feel the heat, you can also add a crushed dried pequin chili pepper. Almonds and chocolate chips add texture to this otherwise silky dessert.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

I started off by melting bittersweet and unsweetened baking chocolate in a double boiler while simultaneously bringing milk and cream to a boil in a large saucepan. I added the just boiled milk and cream to egg yolks beat with brown sugar, while whisking constantly to avoid scrambled eggs! Once combined I poured it all back into the saucepan and stirred constantly until it reached 170F on a candy thermometer, creating a custard, which I strained through a fine sieve.

Once strained, I stirred in the melted chocolate, cinnamon, and a touch of Kahlua, which is optional. Then I poured the mixture into the bowl of my ice cream machine and let the magic happen. I’m lucky enough to have a self-cooling machine, so I don’t have to let the mixture cool first (yay for less waiting for ice cream!) but depending on your ice cream machine you may need to let the mixture sit in your fridge to cool down for a bit before freezing.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

At the very end of the freezing process, I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and toasted blanched almond slivers. This is where the crushed pequin chili pepper goes too if you’re using it. I skipped it this time around knowing that my toddler would be begging for a taste but I’ve used the pepper all the other times I’ve made the ice cream and it does add heat but is totally bearable since you have the cool creaminess of the frozen dessert to counteract the heat of the peppers. Just a note: make sure to wear gloves when crushing up the chili…the oil is no joke if you accidentally touch your face afterwards!

So spice up your Valentine’s Day, or any other day, with Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! XOXO!

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

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Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 quarts

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup skim milk

6 large egg yolks

1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)

1/3 cup toasted blanched almond slivers

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon crumbled pequin chilies (optional)–this is 1 chili pepper

Directions:

1. Melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

2. In a large saucepan, combine the cream and the milk and bring just to a boil. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the brown sugar. Add the cream mixture to the egg yolks in a steady stream, whisking continuously, then return the mixture back to the saucepan.

3. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches 170F on a candy thermometer. Strain through a fine sieve, then whisk in the melted chocolate, the cinnamon, and the Kahlua if using.

4. Let the mixture cool and freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the final few minutes of the freezing process, add in the almonds, chocolate chips, and crumbled chili pepper if using. Transfer to a freezer-safe container to store.

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