Thursday, February 16, 2012

She Will Cook on Valentine's Day

As mentioned in my last post, my goal is to make each and every holiday a special event in our household.  I use holidays as an opportunity to try out a new recipe and find new favorites!  Below is a breakdown of the three new recipes I got off of Pinterest!

Mini Puffed Oven Pancakes
Degree of Difficulty: 3
Mess Factor: 3
Taste: 8
I got up early to ensure I had time to make breakfast and get both Matt and Morgan out of the house and on their way to daycare/work by 8am.  I was originally planning to make regular pancakes, but I am so glad I found this recipe instead.  It was super easy and had breakfast on the table in 20 minutes! 

The recipe called for 4 ingredients (3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup milk, 2 eggs and 1/8 t salt) and was put together in the mixer.  This was not only useful for quick mixing, but also easy pouring into the mini muffin tins.  They popped into the oven for 16 minutes and tasted perfect with a little bit of melted butter, powdered sugar, and fresh fruit. 

The only comment I would make is that when combining the ingredients in the mixer, add all of the wet ingredients first then add the flour last.  If you add the flour first, it doesn't always mix very well and can cake itself to the side of the mixer.  This happened with my first batch, not that it made much difference taste-wise. 

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast
Degree of Difficulty: 5
Mess Factor: 4
Taste: 7
This was a fairly easy slow cooker recipe in that all of the ingredients were dumped into the crockpot, I set the temp to low and 6-7 hours later we were eating dinner.  The elevated degree of difficulty and mess factor is due to the last step which requires you to use the remaining sauce/jus to make a gravy with water and cornstarch.  Work had been a little stressful and I was still getting calls from clients, so I skipped this step and just served the pork.  I agree that the gravy probably would have made the dish even more flavorful and would have been a great addition to the rice, but what can you do?

This is a pic of the pork once we had taken it out of the crockpot.  It's a little dry without the gravy, but all in all pretty tasty.  I am thinking about geting some rolls and honey BBQ sauce to serve it with later this week. 

Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Degree of Difficulty: 7
Mess Factor: 7
Taste: 9
Let me start off by saying, I HATE working with caramel!!!!  It's sticky, messy, takes forever to melt, and is so darn difficult to clean!  With that being said, these are so tasty, I would probably make them again.  The graham cracker crust and the cheesecake filling (used up 3 packages of cream cheese) were pretty easy to make.  The caramel glaze is really where I fell apart. 
Above is a picture of the cheesecake after it was baked.  The last step is the caramel glaze and even though it didn't actually have many steps, as I have already stated, I really don't do well with caramel.  I needed to melt 10 caramel chews (how I even had these leftover in my house is beyond me, Matt usually eats them) until they were creamy enough to mix with the dulce de leche and whipping cream.  I did not melt them enough and ended up with a giant clump of caramel in my dulce de leche whipping cream mixture.  I enlisted Matt's help (he is soooooo much more patient than me) to complete this step and once completed, the entire dessert went into the fridge to chill.

We cut into the cheesecake a little too early as I think it would have benefited from setting up a little more, but all in all it was delicious.  It tastes even better the 2nd and 3rd day.  I have no doubt it will taste equally as delicious the 4th and 5th day.  If it lasts for a 6th day I will be amazed!

Hopefully work will calm down enough for me to work on some craft and sewing projects, but who knows!  Until then, I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!


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