Sunday, February 13, 2011

Funny Valentine

Valentine....My Funny Valentine...I love that song. Valentines Day, not so much. Since losing the love of my life 11 years ago I've had a hard time with this time of year. The purple iris was always my favorite flower but when I received a huge bouquet of them on Valentine's Day and I had just received the most devasting news I just can't bear the scent or sight of them again. So I've decided to shower myself with a new favorite flower...Peonies! They are such a beautiful flower and the fragrance is so divine. I remember growing up and having a huge bush in the backyard. The hot pink flowers would burst in clusters and butterflies would flock to the scent.
Now that we have had the worst snow storms this year, I'm ready to welcome spring. Peonies and Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake will do the job. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would always make this strawberry cake in the spring and it still remains my favorite.
Sorry...This isn't vegan or healthy for that matter - It's just good. Good for a broken heart on Valentine's Day.
My your day be filled with love - no matter where you find it. Enjoy...
Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake
1 Box White Cake Mix
3oz Strawberry Jello
15oz Frozen Strawberries with juice, thawed and pureed
4 lg Eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Water
Pecans or Walnut (optional)
Butter Cream Frosting
1 Stick Butter, Softened
10 oz Frozen Strawberries, thawed and pureed
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
Fresh Strawberries for Garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degress and lightly grease a baking pan.
In a large bowl combine the cake mix and jello. Add the eggs, strawberries, oil and water. Beat on medium until throughly incorporated and smooth. Add pecans or walnuts if you desire and mix in.
Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 20 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pans for 20 minutes and then remove from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the Frosting:
Cream together the butter and the strawberries and then mix in gradually the powdered sugar. Mix with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Put in refrigerator and let it chill so it spreads well when icing the cake.
Spread icing in between layers of cakes and then cover the cake all over with remaining icing. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries.
I like to chill the cake before serving. The icing has a tendancy to get soft easy because of the butter.
Cut a slice, smell the peonies and enjoy your Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Butternut Ravioli w/Sage Butter

An ice storm has paralyzed us in North Texas this week and I have been feeding all the boys in the neighborhood. So my pantry and fridge a close to empty and I had to rummage for something to fix for dinner tonight. In the freezer were some butternut squash cubes and in the fridge was some wonton wrappers and fresh sage. So I thought I would make a quick version of ravioli and it hit the spot.

2 cups Butternut Squash Cubes, Thawed
1/4 cup Parma Parmesan Cheese (Vegan Parm Cheese)
1 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter
Wonton Wrappers
Fresh Sage
Salt & Pepper

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter. Mix until throughly combined.

Lay out the wonton wrappers and place a small scoop in the center of the wonton wrapper. With water on your fingertip, touch the edges of the wonton wrapper all the way around and then fold over and seal.

Repeat until all of the filling is gone.

Boil some water and season with salt. Throw in the ravioli's and cook for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to let them stick together and handle with car so they don't burst open. Remove with a slotted spoon.

In a saute pan, melt the remaining 3 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter and add the sage. Saute the ravioli's in the butter until coated on both sides.

Transfer the ravioli to a plate, pour over the butter sauce and garnish with some grated parm cheese.

Mix up a side salad & Voila! Dinner is served.