What is there about February that makes everyone think about chocolate and CHERRIES? You have to admit, when you think of February, you think of Valentine's Day (chocolate covered cherries, roses and wine) and the first long weekend of the year - Presidents' Day - and the lore of chopped-down trees and cherries!
Even though cherries are not a fresh crop until the middle of summer, we usually try to save some for a cold winter day! This fruity and delicious cherry filling is not only perfect for a homemade fresh cherry pie, but also good on cheesecake or drizzled over creamy vanilla ice cream.
So ever since Philadelphia Brand came out with Bacon Flavored Cream Cheese, I have been obsessing with ways to incorporate it into some of our favorite recipes!
My kiddos LOVE our homemade French Onion Dip, and this flavorful variation had them licking their chops and threatening to double-dip! I served these with ruffled potato chips (yum!) and Garlic Baguette Chips. This dip is so savory and flavorful,, I'm still thinking of ways to serve it up. If you have some time and want some colorful and pretty appetizers, you can cut small red, yellow and orange baby peppers in half lengthwise, and then fill with some of this dip. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before you want to serve, garnishing with some extra caramelized onions and bacon bits - SO GOOD!
This is also pretty darn wonderful smeared on a bagel, and I think we'll try this as a spread on some ham sandwiches. What do you think? Sounds good!
Ahhhhhhh....Raspberry Buttercream Frosting. Have you ever seen anything prettier in your life?
This creamy buttercream is LOADED with fresh raspberry flavor - it will knock your socks off! The perfect topping for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, or just about anything special that you might be whipping up for Valentine's Day!
Okay - we can pretend! This deliciousness is obviously not for breakfast, but it sure tastes great! The funny thing is, I catch the little ones eating the entire bowl of this - granola and all - they don't pick out just the candy and gummies!
I start with our favorite homemade maple granola as a base, and we add in our favorite Valentine candies, which tend to differ from batch to batch, year to year.
So Skipper and I were walking thru the market, and we saw boxes of natural maple water - for $3.50 each. I know he was thinking about the grove of maple trees we have in the back yard, and wondering just how much effort would go into tapping those beautiful trees for some maple water - but that would just be crazy. Or would it? We pondered how trendy maple water has become - and agreed that we much prefer the harvested maple water boiled and reduced into delicious maple syrup, which is perfect for baking and cooking.
Have I mentioned how much we love salmon? I thought so! This flavorful salmon dish is so fast and easy to make. From start to finish, I had dinner on the table in 25 minutes - 5 minutes of prep, 10 minutes baking time for the salmon, and 10 minutes for roasting the fresh vegies.
With our large family, I usually buy fresh halves of salmon at Costco, and slice into individual pieces after cooking to serve - everyone gets exactly the size they want! You can double the glaze ingredients if you are preparing a half salmon filet.
The delectable sauce is a flavorful maple syrup (the real stuff - not pancake syrup!) and Dijon glaze. Truth be told, I usually make extra sauce to glaze over my oven roasted vegetables as well.
Tonight I roasted some fresh whole green beans with garlic and carrot matchsticks, and drizzled the Maple Dijon glaze over the top just before serving. So good - there wasn't a fork (or spoonful) left!
Over the years I have learned that a warm, home-baked cookie will turn around just about any bad mood! Whether I have a little one helping me to mix up a fresh batch, or one of the kids has had a bad day and just needs to spend some time talking, there is nothing like the smell of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies to turn around a frown.
And there is nothing better than the combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips! We really go crazy with these - adding milk chocolate & peanut butter chips, along with a healthy dose of semi-sweet chocolate chips..