Saturday, February 14, 2009

In Pictures...

So all of my preparations are done, and now I'm just waiting for The Contender to get here, which will probably be another hour, so I thought I'd share some photos from my food prep.

The Menu
Beef Stew, Mom's Recipe
Salad (Blend from a bag that I fell in love with last week, my only cheat!)
Tomato, Basil & Garlic Bread

French Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Port Reduction and Fresh Whipped Cream.

Go ahead, wipe the drool from your chin. I'll wait.

Done? Okay, so...

My snazzy place setting. How freaking fantastic are those bowls? They were on sale at Fish's Eddy and I simply HAD to have them!

Tomatoes, waiting to be oven-dried.

Carmelized Garlic and Oven-Dried Tomatoes, ready to go into the bread dough.

The Bread. There are 2 more loaves in the freezer.

Phase one of Raspberry Port Reduction, which I made up on the spot and is soooooo good! Recipe below.

Raspberry Port Reduction
1 small carton raspberries
1/8 c. port wine
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch Cream of Tartar

Reserve 5 or 6 raspberries for garnishing if desired and add rest to small sauce pan with port and sugar. Simmer until berries just start to come apart. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree (be careful! The steam will make the lid want to fly off!). Once blended, force mixture through a strainer to remove seeds (this will take longer than you think). Return mixture to sauce pan and bring back to a simmer. Add a small pinch of Cream of Tartar (optional) and stir constantly with a spatula until the bottom of the pan stays clear for a moment before the mixture closes back in. Transfer to glass bowl to cool.

Dessert! I have been dying to try this cake recipe for years, and no, that is not an exaggeration. I bought "The Chocolate Cookbook" when I was studying abroad in 2000. This is the first time I've had an excuse to make a whole cake!

And thus concludes the photos so far. The stew is in a pot on the stove and, if we're being honest, stew is not all that photogenic... but it tastes fabulous!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

Princess Pointful said...

Will you be my Valentine?
Because, seriously? Yummmmm.
Hope he appreciated it!
PS. You should totally FB find me!!