Special Valentine’s Edition of What’s Cooking with CALYgirl?

Meet my friend and loyal follower Cassie and her family! She lives in Vermont with her daughter and husband and is pregnant with their second daughter due in April. Cassie loves to cook with her family and her food always looks SO yummy (wish we were neighbors) so I thought it would be fun to highlight her plans for Valentine’s Day and how she will be celebrating with her beautiful family!


Meet Cassie…

I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I love any reason to celebrate, I love “love”, and I LOVE pink, – so Valentine’s Day is the perfect day for me! Plus, it’s a nice day to look forward to when you are thick in the middle of the endless cold Vermont winter. 

Sometimes I think it is so fun to go out for date night to celebrate (although we usually would go the day before Valentine’s Day to beat the crowd), but this year is different of course! And I’m still looking forward to it just as much. The day will be spent at home with my 3 Valentine’s (my husband, my 2-year-old daughter, and my dog!). Falling on a Sunday that leaves many options for delicious meals to cook and eat together throughout the day. A celebration isn’t complete without great food! Below you will find some ideas for breakfast, dinner, mocktails, and, of course, dessert. 

BREAKFAST

I love sweet breakfasts! Pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes, you name it. If it has syrup on it, I’m sold. I tried something a little different for our Valentine’s Day breakfast this year, and my sweet tooth was satisfied without it being too much (since I knew more sweets would be coming throughout the day). I served these scones with some Bonne Maman strawberry preserves and a delicious berry smoothie (strawberries, blueberries, banana, scoop of protein powder, and almond milk). Perfect way to start our Valentine’s day (especially if you use a heart shaped cooking cutter!).

Maple Oatmeal Scones

Ingredients: 

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling 
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound cold unsalted butter, diced 
  • ½ cup cold buttermilk 
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.
  2. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 to 1 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 3-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten and adapted by Diane Morrisey on Instagram.


HAPPY HOUR

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and my daughter is only 2.5 so happy hour looked a little less boozy this year (although I think this would have been so good with a little vodka, or some rose wine, or even a splash of prosecco). 

Love Potion Number 9

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint raspberry sherbet
  • 3 cups Sparkling berry lemonade

Instructions: 

  1. Combine the fresh raspberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl, and mash them together with a fork until you have a berry puree.
  2. Place a generous spoonful of puree at the bottom of 6 glasses. Top with a small scoop of raspberry sherbet, and fill the cups to the brim with sparkling berry lemonade. Garnish with a few more fresh berries, if desired, then enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Sugar Hero.


DINNER

I didn’t say this day was going to be healthy! But still, such a fun “date night with the family at-home” recipe. A luscious cheese fondue and plenty of dippers makes the meal more of an experience! The three of us had so much fun enjoying this dinner together.

Cheese Fondue

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 pound firm alpine-style cheese such as gruyere
  • 1/3 pound fontina
  • 1/3 pound gouda
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc (*I used chicken broth instead)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (*I omitted this)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions: 

  1. Grate all of the cheeses. In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses with the cornstarch, tossing thoroughly to coat all pieces.
  2. In a stove-safe fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine, garlic, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheeses to the simmering liquid a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy, mustard, and nutmeg.
  3. Arrange an assortment of bite-size dipping foods on a platter. If necessary, carefully pour the fondue into a fondue pot. Serve with fondue forks or wooden skewers. Dip and enjoy!

For the dippers I did: roasted fingerling potatoes, roasted broccoli, ciabatta bread, apples, and pears.

Recipe courtesy of Well Plated.


DESSERT

My favorite meal of the day! Told you I have a sweet tooth! I normally opt for the traditional Chocolate Covered Strawberries but thought it would be fun to switch it up this year and have another chance to hang out with my littlest Valentine while we bake cookies together! ‘What’s Gaby Cooking’ recipes never disappoint me and these were no exception! 

Hint: you might want to make the dough earlier in the day because the recipe calls for chilling the dough for 2 hours!

Giant Valentine’s Day M&M Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temp but NOT melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 11- ounce bag of milk chocolate M&Ms

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in 1/2 of the bag of M&M’s.
  3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Scoop out some dough, and roll it into a ball. It should be about the size of a golf ball.
  4. Roll the ball of dough around in the additional M&M’s, making sure the M&M’s stick into the dough, and place the cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place 6 cookies on a sheet since they will spread due to their size.
  5. Bake for 14-15 minutes until just slightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let rest on the baking sheet. If you want to flatten them out, carefully bang the baking sheet on the counter to release any excess air in the cookies. Note: They might look a little under baked in the middle – but don’t fear!! They will continue to bake a bit once removed from the oven.

Recipe and photo courtesy of What’s Gaby Cooking.


Thanks for following along! I have been having so much fun cooking through quarantine, and Valentine’s Day gives me an excuse to pull out some extra celebratory meals. And a special thanks to Jennie at CALYgirl STYLD  for spotlighting me this week! I am always looking for food inspiration and look forward to the #cookingwithCALYgirl series every other Sunday.

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s day celebrating all those you love (near and far)!

~Cassie 

Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my cooking adventures! @cassiegendron

Click HERE for a printable version of these recipes.

Please tag @calygirlstyld and #whatscookingwithcalygirl when you make yours!

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