Tag Archives: Chef Valentine


Chocolate Love Loaf~Chef Valentine

 Last week, I found a recipe.

It is like cake, but like a quick bread too.

The recipe was in an old church cookbook from Half Price Books.

I tweaked it a bit….and Larry changed the name of it.

{say it in your best Barry White voice}

Chocolate Loveeee Loaf

 1 1/2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips {divided}

1/2 cup butter-softened.

2/3 cups brown sugar

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1 Tablespoon butter

 3 Tablespoons Half and Half

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Grease and flour 2 loaf pans {medium pans}

Preheat oven to 350

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips- set aside to cool

Cream soft butter and brown sugar till fluffy

Add eggs and cooled chocolate

Mix well

Add applesauce and vanilla

COMBINE- flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt

Add to cream mixture

Stir  in 1/2 cup non melted chips

bake for 40 min

Take out. Let cook for 20-30 min

make glaze.


Melt 1/2 cup of mini chips and 1 Tablespoon butter together

Stir in  half and half

Remove from heat. stir in confectioners sugar and vanilla.

drizzle over Chocolate Love Loaf


We enjoyed one loaf then sliced and froze the second loaf.

I call this…

Larry’s Chocolate LOVEEEEE Loaf.

Till next time,


Valentine’s Egg Sandwiches


Herbs grow crazy on our back patio…

and a rosemary bush stands in the front entry.

What is it about fresh herbs? Wholesome and comforting.

I use them daily and give them a haircut each weekend.

Yesterday, the chives were tall and we needed comfort food.

Larry asked for

Valentine’s Egg Sandwiches.

 many of you asked for the recipe….


Egg Sandwiches

{makes 4}


4 slices of your favorite bread {we use wheat}

8 slices of bacon or turkey bacon

4 lovely slices of tomato {lovely meaning not to thin}

4-8 slices of your favorite cheese (I use what is in the fridge}

4 eggs

kosher salt

4 Tablespoons chopped chives {chopped}


Cook bacon till crisp.

Slice tomato.

Heat broiler and toast bread on both sides.

Leave bread on pan while you work,

place 1 slice tomato on each slice.

Place 2 slices of crisp bacon on each slice.

Top the bacon with cheese, either one slice or two.

Now is time to place these under the broiler till cheese bubbles.

Bring them out and let sandwiches  cool while you fry or poach your eggs.

I fried ours.

When egg is finished, place on the top of cheese

and sprinkle with fresh chives.

Serve with lemonade.

Enjoy on the patio.

Can life get any better?

Till next time.


Funeral Potatoes ~ Chef Valentine and The Pioneer Woman

 I spent a lot of time resting this past month,

lying the big bed, knitting, reading and watching a little TV.

While watching one day, this recipe looked inviting.

Thank you Pioneer Woman!

Larry and I made it the following weekend.

Meal one was with baked salmon, and green beans. {Sunday}

Meal two was with turkey bacon and fried egg. {Monday}

Meal three was with brats and a salad. {Wednesday}

Needless to say, it was a hit.

It reheats easily and tastes amazing with each meal.



1 stick butter

1 medium onion finely diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup milk

2 cups cicken broth

Kosher salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups Montery Jack cheese

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup grated cheddar

2 cups kettle potato chips crushed

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 (20-30 oz) bag of  hash-browns (thawed)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease 13 X 9″ baking dish 1 tablespoon of butter

Heat large deep skillet over medium heat.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter add onions, stir till soft.

Sprinkle with flour and stir 2 min. whisk in milk and whisk out lumps.

Add broth and whisk again. simmer 3 min till thickens.

Add salt and pepper. Take off heat.

Stir in Jack cheese, sour cream and cheddar.

Add the hash browns and mix everything together.

Transfer to baking dish.

melt one Tablespoon butter in small pan.

Add crushed kettle cups and Parmesan stir.

Sprinkle over casserole.

Cover-cook 20 min.

remove foil and cook for 20 min longer.

Top will be brown and bubbling.

Rest 15 min before serving.

This was a great meal for a large group or for left overs….

Thank you Ree Drummond.

Please let me know if you try this…..

Till next time.


Cheese Puffs~ Chef Valentine

It seems like I have been making cream puffs/cheese puffs all of my life.

This recipe is my favorite for cheese puffs.

If you have never made them before,

read the recipe well and take the directions step by step.

Cheese Puffs

Ina Garten’s Precious Recipe


1 cup milk

1/4-pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 extra-large eggs

1/2 cup grated Gruyere, plus extra for sprinkling

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over medium heat, until scalded. Add the flour all at once and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Immediately add the eggs, Gruyere, and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/4 inches wide and 3/4-inch high onto the baking sheets. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyere. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.

40 cheese puffs

These cheese puffs are the perfect appetizer.

Very retro with a modern flair.


Till next time,


F. Scott’s Egg Breakfast~ Chef valentine

While in Paris, I do a bit of history investigation

as we play,visit friends and work.

Last year, a friend introduced me to a meal

that was said to be F.  Scott Fitzgerald’s Favorite breakfast.

After a long day {in Paris},

Larry and I made it up the stairs to our apartment.

He wanted breakfast for dinner

and I had just been given the recipe and story.

It is said that this recipe originated in Lyon, FR.

Hemingway was with F. Scott and they had a big breakfast

before starting a drive to Paris….


Fitzgerald’s Eggs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

10 eggs

2 Tablespoons cream

1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or course salt)

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 cup shredded mature cheese

1/4 cup chives

{I usually cut the recipe in half}

Heat butter in non stick skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper.

Pour into prepared, hot pan, cooking for about 4-5 minutes.

Stir occasionally {2-3 times}, to desired doneness,

adding cheese and chives just before eggs are set.

This has become Larry’s favorite egg dish.

Serve with your favorite breakfast meat and bread….

Serves 4-6 people

Bon Appetit.

Till next time.


Crêpe Day (and recipe)~ Chef Valentine

Yesterday, was Crêpe Day.

The Catholic holiday of Candlemas, on 2 February,

is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus.

In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière,* or jour des crêpes.

It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air.

If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.

I read one story, that February 2nd, was when the Baby Jesus

was presented at Temple in Jerusalem.

In the 1400’s in Rome,

the Pope handed out savory crepes to the crowd as the day was bitter cold.

Larry and I make crepes on Jour Des Crêpes. , usually for dessert.

The batter is from a charming cook-book that Rosemary gave me.



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

pinch salt

2 eggs

About 2 1/4 cups milk

Melted butter for frying


1. Mix, flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.

2. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and crack in the eggs.

3. Gradually mix the ingredients together, adding enough milk for the batter

to have the consistency of heavy cream

4. Do not over mix as this will make the crêpes rubbery.

5. Refrigerate batter at least one hours or overnight.

6. If the batter has thickened to much, add a bit of milk to make it the correct consistency.

Heat 6-7 inch heavy saute pan.. Brush in melted butter. Pour 3-4 Tablespoons of patter into pan and quickly swirl so the batter covers the inside.

Cook for 1 minute, then loosen the edges with a spatula, turn over and cook for another minute.

Slide out of pan, then repeat to make 10-12 crêpes.

{ I use a larger pan, and make 5-6}

Grease the pan after each crêpe.

*don’t worry. The first one is always a little wrong

**Keep the cooked crêpes warm.

Place them on a baking sheet, cover loosely with foil and place in over at 200 degrees.

We spread them Nutella and slice bananas over top.

You can fold them to make hand-helds….

but I just folded them over once and served them on plates.

The Cottage was a happy place

and there were no left overs.

Until next time,


Philly Cookie Bars~Chef Valentine

On Sunday, I cheated.

Dessert was made from things right out of the fridge,

This is super easy and overwhelmingly delish.

I served it with vanilla ice cream.


Philly Cookie Bars

1 package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese {soft}

1 egg

 1/2 cup sugar

1 {18 oz} roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease bottom of an 8 X 8 ” baking pan.

Cut cookie dough in half. Press 1/2 half into bottom of baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine soft Philly, egg and sugar till smooth.

Pour over crust.

Crumble 1/2 of the cookie dough on top, making 3rd layer.

Bake 40-45 min till toothpick comes out clean.

Cool then cut into squares. {i made 9 squares}

Store in refrigerator.

These were better the day after making them.

These were a huge cheat dessert


they were awesome!

Till next time,


The Chocolate Charm Cake~Chef Valentine

Every holiday,

it seems that I discover one more treasure for the recipe box.

This year 2016,

was the year of lets eat a lot of chocolate


I found a cake recipe that takes the blues away.

Take your time baking this Chocolate Charm.

It is the best chocolate cake I have ever made.

Till next time….enjoy.


Chocolate Charm Cake


Pam spray for misting the bundt pan

Flour for dusting the pan

1 package of chocolate cake mix.{Duncan Hinds is my favorite}

1 package chocolate instant pudding {3.9 oz}

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup rum

 1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Raspberry Sauce

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/4 cup rum

Chocolate glaze

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mist and flour a bundt pan.

* Place cake mix, pudding mix, water, rum, oil and eggs in large bowl. Blend with an electric mixer for a moment.

Scrape down the sides and continue to mix cake on medium speed for 3 more minutes.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into pan, smooth out batter as it will be thick. Place pan in oven.

* Bake cake  for 50-55 minutes, till it springs back when you lightly touch it. Cool for 10 minutes then invert onto plate.

Place cake pan next to inverted cake.

*NOW make the raspberry sauce. Measure raspberry jam and rum into saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly till ingredients are melted together. {about 3 minutes}

*Using a chop stick, poke holes in top of cake.

*Pour raspberry sauce into bundt pan.

*gently lift cake and place back into bundt pan. Take your time.

*Let cake set in bundt pan for about 20 minutes.

*Invert cake back onto plate and allow to cool completely.


When cake is cool, make chocolate glaze.

*Melt butter in small saucepan. Add cocoa powder and cream and stir until the mixture thickens. 2-3 minutes. DO NOT BOIL.

Remove pan from heat and stir in confectioners sugar and vanilla. stir till smooth. Spoon glaze over cool Charm Cake.

16 servings

Freezes well

Recipe~ Chaud Noix/Hot Nuts

Oui, I found this recipe in France.

Since I have been home, I have made 4 batches of it.

It is easy and flavorful.Translated, it means Hot Nuts.

You can taste a bit of heat with each bite…..Chaud!

Enjoy, Valentine


2  cups mixed, raw nuts, any combination

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel

2 cups of mini pretzel twists


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spread nuts on baking sheet and roast for 10 min, stirring once.

In medium bowl, mix together, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.

Add the hot nuts to the above mixture. Add the salt and pretzels. Stir till well coated.

Spread the mixture back on baking sheet.

Return to oven and bake for 15 min stirring once or twice during  cooking.

Remove from oven and cool completely,

Separating the nuts and pretzels as they cool.

This mixture can be stored in a container for one week.

Chef Valentine’s Italian Cheese Dip


If you are having a party this holiday season or need to take something to a party, this is a wonderful, easy dip that will vanish fast out of any holiday container you put it in.

Italian Cheese Dip

1 (8oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese~soft

1 tablespoon Milk

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 package Italian Salad dressing mix

2 Tablespoons sliced black olives

Place cream cheese in mixing bowl and stir in milk. Add cheese-salad dressing mix  and olives. Stir to mix. Make 24 hours before serving. Serve with sangria and any dippers you like.


Till next  time,