Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy New Year!!

Amy and Leslie hosted their first dinner and did it in fabulous New Years style!  It was gorgeous.  

The tablescape was beautiful and the clocks on the wall and ceiling added the perfect feel for their New Years theme. 

 Even the plates had clocks on them.  So fun!

We each had a card explaining to us "lucky foods for the new year"  the menu for the evening revolved around these lucky foods.

The sparkling cider bottles dipped in gold glitter had our place cards attached to them.

Appetizers: Roasted Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese, Frozen Grapes, and Caesar Salad  The salad in a glass was such a fun presentation.  And the grilled sandwiches were on of my favorites from the night. 

 All the decor went together so beautifully

Amy and Leslie our hosts for the evening

Pomegranate Fig Salad and Indian Daal Soup  

The main course was Grilled Maple Dijon Pork Chops with Fettucini Alfredo

Dessert was Lucky Snowballs (vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut), strawberries with chocolate drizzle, and chocolate ganache rings.  

Top row: Amy, Mandy, Brenda, Brandi, GG, Carrie, Alisha  Front Row: Emily, Leslie, Alyssa, Brittany, Corinne, Tanya and Katie

We had two take homes for the evening and I think the Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Hot Chocolate stole the show for the evening hands down.  Heaven (or heart attack) in a cup.  Mmmmm....

And...I'm pretty sure we all ate donuts for breakfast the next morning. Thanks Leslie and Amy for a wonderful night out!

Indian Dall Lentil Soup
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed very well
1 large onion, or a couple leeks, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced ginger root
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 15 oz. can of tomatoes; or 4 large, fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 cups stock
salt to taste
1 un-waxed, organic lemon
1. Rinse the lentils very well until the water runs clear.
2. Heat oil in a medium pot and sauté onions, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes until soft. Add a pinch of salt.
3. Add spices and stir for another minute or so, until fragrant.
4. Add tomatoes, 3 slices of lemon and rinsed lentils, then add vegetable stock. Stir well.
5. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice.
6. Serve hot with some cilantro, green onions or parsley on top with a slice of lemon. Delicious!
Serves 4
Recipe: Roasted Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese
  1. 2 large pieces sourdough bread
  2. 4-6 ounces roasted turkey breast
  3. 2 ounces blue streaked brie cheese (like cambozola)
  4. 3 tablespoons cranberry chutney
  5. 1 tablespoon butter
  6. Preparation time: 2 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Hot Chocolate
dark chocolate hot chocolate base
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cream or half and half
4 ounces 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

dark chocolate hot chocolate base
In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the milk and cream. Bring it to a simmer, stirring every few minutes. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the hot milk to the cocoa and sugar, mixing thoroughly to create a paste. Once the entire thing is wet, use a spatula to add it to the milk and turn the heat down to low. Whisk continuously until smooth (do not let it boil), then whisk in the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract.
for chocolate chip cookies and cream hot chocolate: before filling your mug, rub frosting (from the tub is fine!) or honey (you need a sticky substance) along the rim of the mug. Crush 2 chocolate chips cookies into crumbs and press the crumbs into the sticky rim. Fill the mug with hot chocolate, then top it with whipped cream, marshmallows, a big cookie and a cookies and cream HELLO chocolate.

Grilled Maple Dijon Pork Chops
3-4 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 cups water
2 cups apple juice
whatever fresh herbs or citrus I have on hand.
Throw everything into a small pot on the stove and heat it until the salt dissolves. Then add it to a large ziploc bag, add ice to cool it down, add the chops, zip it up and let it do it’s thing in the fridge for as long as possible. (We did this the night before)

About an hour before you’re ready to grill take the chops out of the brine, give a quick rinse and pat them dry.
Maple Dijon marinade
Here’s what you’ll need…for 4-6 medium sized chops
  • 1/4 cup grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, and thyme
  • drizzle of light oil like grape seed or similar (this just helps them to not stick on the grill)
Toss the pork chops in the marinade to coat and put them in the fridge for about 45 minutes-hour. (We did 4-5hrs)
Heat up your grill, and toss them on.
About 5-6 minutes on each side for a medium high heat. 

1 pint heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream cheese
.5 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Garlic Powder
In a saucepan combine butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Summer until all is mleted and mised well.  Add the parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Simmer this for 5-10 minutes on low. You may wish to season with a little salt and pepper.

Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/3 cup light or fat free sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
baking spray
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Special Equipment:  donut pan, gallon-size zipper bag
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the donut pan by spraying with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs then add the milk, sour cream, vanilla and canola oil. Beat until combined.
Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
You can use a spoon to pour the batter into the donut pan, or you can use the following technique. Fold down the top of a gallon-size zipper bag. Stand the bag up in a bowl or measuring cup. Pour the batter into the zipper bag. Get the air out of the bag and seal it up. Carefully cut just about 1/8″ of a corner of the bag. Pipe the batter into the donut pan, filling each well up about 2/3 full. 
Bake the donuts for 7 to 8 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and cool for about 3 minutes in the pan, then remove them and allow them to cool further on a wire rack.
Prepare the glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Dip the tops of each donut into the glaze then place them back on the wire rack to set…or into your mouth for quality control. 
Makes 12 donuts.

Chocolate Frosted Donuts

yield: 8 DONUTS

prep time: 30 MINUTES

total time: 40 MINUTES
These chocolate frosted donuts are baked, not fried - and are so simple to make! Cover them completely in sprinkles and you'll find yourself eating more than just one.



  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (gives them that "bakery donut" taste)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (65g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk1
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt2
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • rainbow sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the egg, brown sugar, milk, and yogurt together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease, as pictured and explained in detail above. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2 ∕ 3 –3 ∕ 4 of the way full.
  5. Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the pan and bake the remaining donut batter. Allow the donuts to slightly cool before glazing.
  6. Make the chocolate glaze: Place the chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup, and water in a medium bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each time, until completely melted and smooth. Dip the tops of the donuts into the chocolate glaze and then cover with sprinkles. I simply poured the sprinkles into a deep bowl and dipped the tops of the donuts into it. You'll likely have leftover ganache. It's great on ice cream!
  7. Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2 days.
  8. Make ahead tip: You can freeze the unfrosted donuts for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, warm up to your liking in the microwave, and top with glaze.

Additional Notes:

You can make this recipe into 8-10 muffins using a muffin pan. Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  1. Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk is OK.
  2. Nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK. Sour cream works too!

Winter Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts + Balsamic Fig Dressing 


  • 4 [DeLallo Fresh SaladSavors® salad topping packs |] (OR 2 cups raw walnuts, 1 cup dried cranberries and 8 ounces crumbled goat cheese)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups mixed greens (I used baby kale and spinach)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • arils from one pomegranate
  • Balsamic Fig Dressing
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fig preserves
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pick out the walnuts from all four of the Salad Savors packets and add them to the baking sheet. Toss the walnuts with the maple syrup, cinnamon, crushed red pepper and salt. Bake for 15-25 minutes, stirring 2-3 time throughout cooking until the walnuts are toasted and golden. Remove from the oven and spread the walnuts in one layer. Allow to cool.
Add the greens to a large salad bowl. Add the pomegranate arils and the cranberries from the DeLallo Fresh Salad Savors. Add the cooled walnuts and gently toss the salad. Add the goat cheese.
To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fig preserves and salt until combined. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Enjoy!
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes