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Tasty Tidbits Thursday: My favorite Valentine’s dessert and some decorations

5 Feb

When we were in Hawaii we were able to go to dinner one night at Roys and have the amazing chocolate lava cake. This is my favorite dessert in the whole wide world!

Here is the recipe. This would make a fantastic, romantic Valentine’s dessert for your sweetheart or family! It is actually a simple recipe. The trick is using the best quality chocolate you can find. We have used scharfenberger. I heard that Roy’s uses Guittard. This recipe makes 4 little cakes. We use individual ramekins, but if you want it exactly like Roys, you can buy little rings, like little spring form pans.

8 oz. semi sweet dark chocolate
12 tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks

In a mixing bowl combine sugar and cornstarch. Have the eggs and yolks mixed together in a separate bowl. In a saucepan bring butter to a simmer. Add chocolate and mix until smooth. Continue to mix until chocolate begins to simmer along the edges. Mix until combined. Then add eggs, cornstarch and sugar and mix at low speed until mixture is smooth and sugar is dissolved. Add Pour into a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray each ramekin with non-stick cooking spray. (If using rings, line each metal ring with a strip of parchment paper and spray with pan release.) Place ramekin (or ring) on a square of parchment paper then onto a baking sheet. Fill the ramekin (ring) 2/3rds with the filling. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and serve immediately! (If using the ring, hold each mold with tongs, slide a metal spatula underneath and transfer to a plate. Gently lift off the mold and remove the parchment paper.) Sprinkle a little confectionary sugar on the top.

We like to serve these with ice cream and a little raspberry sauce.


And, I finally got my Valentine’s decorations up, and thought I could share them with you:

{Fun project to do with your kids!}

{Made with leftover Christmas Decorations}

I finished my Pay It Forward Giveaway prizes and I made an extra one to give away to you. I will share them tomorrow!

Have a Tasty Day!

Tasty Tidbits Thursday: Grandma’s Pierogies

29 Jan

We grew up far away from any family. Once a year we would pile in the station wagon for the annual summer 20-hour trip to see our relatives.

It was such an adventure and so much fun to see our cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. We spent many summers running around in the desert heat catching grasshoppers and running through the sprinklers. Eating toasted bologna sandwiches on hot summer afternoons and KFC in the park with all of the extended family under huge shade trees. 

  My grandma S. was a very petite, beautiful redhead. She was always very stylish and loved to wear jewelry and high heels. Once, she came up to visit me at college and my roommate whispered to me “she has on the cutest belt! I want it!”. She also had a great sense of humor and was a wonderful baker.

One of my most vivid memories of my Grandma S. is going over to her brick house and sitting in her kitchen while she made pierogies. I loved the smell of the butter and onions — heavenly!

Each New Years Eve I make them in memory of her.

Here is the recipe if you want to make some this year: Grandma’s Potato Pierogies Ingredients:

  • 12 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, divided
  • 3 teaspoons milk, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 1/2 (8 ounce) containers cottage cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • oil for frying
  • sliced green onions


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare dough by combining 1 egg, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 teaspoon milk and 1/2 cup flour. Once all the flour has been worked in, add another 1/2 cup flour, 1 tablespoon cream cheese and 1 teaspoon milk. When the dough is well blended, add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon cream cheese and another 1/2 cup flour; mix well. Finally, add the remaining egg, 1 teaspoon milk and 1/2 cup flour. If dough is too dry, add a little more milk; if too wet, add more flour.
  3. On a well floured surface, roll out 1/4 of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a glass, muffin cutter, or any rounded surface, cut out circles of dough. Flour both sides of the circle and set aside in a single layer on wax paper. Repeat process with remaining dough.
  4. Mash the potatoes with the cottage cheese, salt and butter. Place a spoonful of the filling slightly below the center of a circle of dough. Fold the dough over and seal edges with fingertips. Use enough filling so that you have to stretch the dough over it, but not so much that it squeezes out when sealed.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in pierogies, a few at a time. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they float to the top; drain.
  6. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry boiled pierogies in butter and onions until crispy.
What family recipes do you like to make?
Have a tasty Thursday! –Jen

Fall Food

23 Sep

It’s been raining and colder today so I decided to experiment with a Mexican beef stew. It is very economical and perfect for a busy family.

Mexican Green Chili and Corn Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
1 onion, chopped
2(10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
8-10 small, red potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 cups fresh corn from the cob, or frozen corn

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and brown the stew meat and the onions until onions are translucent; about 5 minutes
  2. Pour in the diced tomatoes, beef broth and chile peppers. Stir in the garlic salt and cumin. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add a little more beef broth or water if needed during simmering.
  4. Stir in cubed potatoes to the mixture and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Add corn about 15 minutes before serving so it doesn’t overcook.

Accompanied by a recipe for breadsticks which was given to me from my mom. She used to make it when I was growing up – delicious!

ic Breadsticks
In a large bowl dissolve:
1 package yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water

1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Set it aside and let it foam (5 minutes) then add: 2 c. flour to yeast mixture.
Mix well. Add more flour (about 1 – 1 1/2 c). Make a kneadable dough. Knead 3 minutes then roll out with rolling pin into a rectangular shape about 1/2 inch thick.

With a pizza cutter, cut in half lengthwise, then cut across to make 1 1/2 inch strips. You will have about 2 dozen breadsticks. Melt 1 cube of butter. Pour butter onto a jellyroll pan. Roll each stip in butter and twist it. Lay them in rows on the pan. Sprinkle each strip with garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Let raise 30 minutes. Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Take out of oven when edges are golden.

Enjoy! Have a great day!!!