Valentine Recipes

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Clementine Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe Recipe

My garden is filled with ripe citrus fruits right now, so I gathered two full baskets of clementines. Even though the rain hasn't been all that great this season, the fruit is incredibly sweet. We're lucky! I usually peel fruit right after dinner, leave them at the dining table and let everyone help themselves right away. But this time, before peeling the clementines, I gathered the zest to make my husband Lulu's favorite: chocolate lava cake. It might look complicated, but fear not, it's just a matter of timing. Like love!

If you're planning to surprise your sweetheart for Valentine's Day this year, a decadent chocolate dessert should be at the top of your list. First, it's delicious, and second, I love the idea of Googling aphrodisiacs in preparation for Valentine's Day!


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Foie Gras Poele with Granny Smith Apples Recipe

I love foie gras. I don't get to have it as much since moving to the States, but I received some from my  very kind friend Steve over at The Milk Pail Market. And if you like this French delicacy, you will love what I accompanied it with. I sautéed diced Granny Smith apples in the rendered fat from the foie gras. It's a very simple dish but for sure will wow your Valentine if s/he likes refined French cuisine. My foie gras poêlé aux pommes Granny Smith is a delight.

The best part is that there are not a lot of ingredients involved in this dish. I simply used foie gras, Granny Smith apples, freshly pressed apple juice, apple cider vinegar and a little chicken stock. For a contrast of crunch you could add coarsely chopped hazelnuts with a drizzle of hazelnut oil as garnish. Toasted gingerbread would also make a great addition.


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Madeleine Cookie Recipe (+Giveaway) Recipe

Whenever I have time, I prepare breakfast in bed for my husband. And since madeleine cookies are his favorite, I prepared the batter the day before and stored it in the refrigerator to surprise him today. It took me less than 15 minutes to bake them the next morning and I was able to serve hot, straight from the oven vanilla-flavored madeleines to Lulu. If you're planning to serve breakfast, keep these French cookies in mind; they're absolutely delicious and not that difficult to make. Just read my secret to the characteristic bump for an authentic version of madeleine cookies and these cookies are guaranteed to turn out well.

Vanilla is a great flavoring in general, and I think it adds another dimension to madeleines. I can't imagine a home baker's pantry not having a bottle of vanilla extract around the holidays. I used Nielsen Massey vanilla extract in this recipe. In case you’re not familiar, Nielsen Massey vanillas are full flavored and there are distinct differences between the varieties. It may be vanilla, but it's definitely not plain! The folks at Nielsen Massey were kind enough to provide one (two-ounce) bottle of each Tahitian, Mexican & Madagascar vanilla extract and "A Century of Flavor" cookbook as today’s giveaway. Be sure to enter for a chance to win (click on the link).

Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and Nielsen-Massey Vanillas or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extracts #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom: http://bit.ly/uiJfq9". Good luck everyone!


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Lemon Tiramisu Recipe Recipe

Lemon Tiramisu Recipe

02.16.11 by Jackie

Lemon tiramisu is a great dessert to end a very romantic dinner. Yesterday, I served my Valentine a dinner that is reminiscent of our recent trip to Rome. Instead of the traditional ladyfingers in between the layers of mascarpone cream, I used chocolate chip biscotti instead. I flavored the mascarpone cream with Meyer lemons, which paired wonderfully with theItalian chocolate cookies.

We looked at the photos of our trip to Italy, while feeding each other from the dessert cups. My favorite place was, of course, the Vatican (thanks for the link, Bill!) with its magnificent frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Oh so romantic!

Rome, Italy Travel Picture


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Seared Scallops with Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

Papa (my dad) cooks only a few times a year. He cooks on Maman's birthday and on Valentine's Day. And I can already predict what he's going to make: my mom's favorite, coquille Saint-Jacques (scallops).

First he sears the scallops, then finishes the cooking in the oven. Papa doesn't cook very often but he cooks scallops to perfection. He's always been very macho, saying he doesn't help with the housework, but I know he's a true romantic. Every week he brings my mom her favorite flowers and he serenades her with Vietnamese songs (he just bought an electric guitar). They've been married for 36 years now. My husband Lulu and I have been married only for 6 years and I hope we're still as happy as my parents in 30 years. Lulu might not make me coquille Saint-Jacques, but I can always hope!


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