My Favorite Holiday and a Recipe of Course!

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Does Valentine’s Day seem like a strange holiday to be my favorite?

One of my V-Day rituals is to ask my husband and children if they will BE My Valentine, to which they reply YES of course!  This entitles me to shower them with some of the traditional goodies designed for this day and the best part, there is little to no expectation for something grand so it’s just plain FUN.

assorted chocolates

This is part of my love for February 14th, but it’s mostly the fact that I am literally surrounded by all of my favorite things.  I love all of the romantic girl-things like the color PINK, hearts, flowers, chocolate, and champagne.  AND I take 100% liberty this time of year, to mix pink and red in my outfits and feel boldly fabulous doing it!

assorted roses piled high

In my younger days, I relied on my husband to shower me with my favorite things on this momentous day, after all, it seemed like his job as my guy.  I will say that he has never let me down.  Most years I receive a big beautiful bunch of flowers, usually red roses, and a package or two of some of my favorite chocolate morsels and life is good!

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Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I can be my own best Valentine.

Lighting a beautiful candle at my desk, picking up a small bunch of pretty flowers at the grocery store or making a batch of chocolate truffles to enjoy in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day (recipe below).  I can even open a bottle of my favorite French sparkling wine to enjoy…on a weekday! Treating yourself in a special way makes you feel good and it’s a lovely thing to do!

Being YOUR own best valentine was part of my inspiration for Its Valentine’s Day- An Enchanting French Experience, the exclusive winter A Taste of Paris event scheduled for February 7th, from 10:30-2:30.

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I wanted to create something dazzling around Valentine’s Day and the idea occurred to me that I could assemble MY FAVORITE things to share with YOU!  There are still a few tickets left.  For all of the delightful details CLICK HERE!

And for one of the last tickets, CLICK HERE!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Chocolate truffels in a bowl

Spiced Rum Truffles

Truffle

1 cup heavy cream

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon spiced rum

Finishing

½ cup cocoa

½ cup powdered sugar

Heat heavy cream on medium heat in a double boiler until cream is simmering.  Add rum and vanilla and remove from heat.  Add chocolate and butter, stir until completely smooth.  This may take a few minutes.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  To finish the truffles, mix powdered sugar and cocoa in plate.  Using a spoon and your hands, scoop a walnut sized amount of chocolate and roll into a ball.  Drop the truffles into the cocoa mixture, roll to coat the surface.   Store the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to eat and for up to 2 weeks.

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It’s Valentine’s Day -An Enchanting French Experience

pink flowers and petals

When I set out to create the winter A Taste of Paris event for Valentine’s Day, I knew it had to be something really special.

While reflecting on Valentine’s Day, one word kept coming to mind, PASSION.

Curating an experience with one purpose in mind; to spark or reignite passion for the participants, became my goal and I am thrilled to share this exclusive opportunity with you.

It’s Valentine’s Day- An Enchanting French Experience is a French inspired event, held at the stunning Toulouse, Legacy West.  The day starts with 3 sessions focusing on beauty and pleasure.  French people are pleasure seekers, this passion prone quality stems from their Latin roots. This is one of the many mysterious qualities that makes French women so alluring and for the day we will act as they do!

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Beginning of course with chocolate!  You will hear from a passionate chocolate maker that hand-crafts the very finest ganache and fillings and finishes them in the elegant French style…the best part?  Tasting!

pink flowers and petals

I was deeply inspired by the simple floral arrangements in the Provencal villa where I stayed this past September that I thought this was the ideal chance to share these ideas with you.  You will see a gorgeous arrangement made by an expert in the field, right before your eyes.  I think you will be inspired too!Christian Dior logo

French women just seem to have that special something, that je ne sais quois.  The regional director of Dior Beauty and his team, will present Savoir Faire, an interactive experience designed to unlock the mystery of the alluring French women, Christian Dior the man and this iconic brand.

 

After fanning the flames of passion, we will take a break for a flute of champagne before heading to the table for a lovely 3-course French meal.

At the conclusion of the day, guests will be presented with a gift valued at over $65.00.

I hope you will join me for this exclusive A Taste of Paris event offered 1-time only

Friday, February 7th 10:30-2:30 It’s Valentines Day-

An Enchanting French Experience 

See YOU soon!

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Tickets are available ONLY from Eventbrite, DO NOT accept tickets from any other source.

 

Decadent Red Velvet Brownies

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  Will you be making a sweet treat for someone you love?  Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting may be the most decadent treat on earth!

Ingredients to make Red Velvet Brownies spread out on a counter top.

This is such a great recipe because it begins with 2 boxed mixes so there is very little measuring required!

Baked Red Velvet Brownies, in a glass dish inside the oven, oven door opened.

Just mix by hand and pop them in the oven.

Baked Red Velvet Brownies with bowl of prepared Cream Cheese Frosting

Let the brownies cool completely before slathering with rich cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

I like to sprinkle the tops of my Red Velvet Brownies with a tiny bit of unsweetened coco, to hint that there is chocolate here!   Make a batch today, your Lovies will be so happy!

Red Velvet Brownies

Batter

1 package family size dark chocolate brownie mix

1 package yellow cake mix

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

¾ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

1-ounce red food coloring, I used Wilton

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl mix all wet ingredients including red coloring until well blended.  Place both brownie and cake mix in a large bowl and whisk until mixed well, add chocolate chips.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until no lumps remain.  Spread batter into a greased 8×11 glass baking dish.  Bake for 50-58 minutes until edges are beginning to brown.  Let brownies cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature

2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

Using a hand mixer combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla and mix well.  Add sugar slowly until all is combined.  Frost cooled brownies.

I hope to see YOU in an upcoming Cooking Class!  I have new titles just added TODAY!

There are still a few seats remaining for the extraordinary 2-day culinary event; Food and Wine Workshop on March 21-22nd.

I hope you will join me!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Chocolate Lava Cake for your Valentine!

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Chocolate Lava Cake is the PERFECT Valentine dessert.  Nothing melts the heart quite like the molten center of a rich chocolate cake! And a bonus, this recipe is simple to make, no mixer required. Just stir up the easy batter and fill your ramekins. Remember to chill the prepared cakes before baking as an insurance policy for those luscious liquid centers!

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Chocolate Lava Cake

1½ sticks butter

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

6 eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

Butter 6 (6 ounce) ramekins well and dust with flour.  Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between each heating and let cool.  In a bowl combine flour and sugar.  Add eggs to the chocolate mixture one at a time and incorporate well before adding flour and sugar.  Mix to combine.  Using a kitchen scoop, spoon batter into prepared dishes and place the dishes into the refrigerator to rest 1-2 hours or for up to 3 days.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let rest 3 minutes before inverting dish onto a plate, dust with powdered sugar if desired.

For fabulous recipes and a great time, join me for an upcoming cooking class, Click Here for a full schedule of events.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Goodies on FOX 4 Thursday, February 8th

I am deeply saddened by the news of the fallen Richardson police officer.  My heart goes out to his family and the city of Richardson.  The chocolate segment has been cancelled.

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Tune in to FOX 4, Good Day on Thursday morning, February 8th around 8:30 for Chocolate Goodies.  I’ll be cooking LIVE with the #1 morning crew in Dallas!

Chocolate Truffles are one of my favorite things to make.  People are usually surprised at just how simple it is to create these decadent morsels of yumminess.  I’ll also give you the secrets to the perfect Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.

chocolate dipped strawberries

Here is a sneak Peek at the recipes!

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Spiced Rum Truffles

Truffle

1 cup heavy cream

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon spiced rum

Finishing

½ cup coco

½ cup powdered sugar

Heat heavy cream on medium heat in a double boiler until cream is simmering.  Add rum and vanilla and remove from heat.  Add chocolate and butter, stir until completely smooth.  This may take a few minutes.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  To finish truffles, mix powdered sugar and coco in plate.  Using a spoon and your hands, scoop a walnut sized amount of chocolate and roll into a ball. Drop the truffles into the coco mixture, roll to coat the surface.   Store the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to eat and for up to 2 weeks.

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This French Bark features dried apricots, dried cherries and pistachios

French Chocolate Bark

1 12 ounce package of 60% cocoa chocolate chips, I use Ghirardelli

½ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

½ cup raw pistachios, coarsely chopped

½ cup coconut

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.  Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals stirring well in between, each time.  Spread melted chocolate on parchment paper creating a thin sheet of chocolate. Sprinkle with fruit and nuts and slightly press into the chocolate.  Chill the candy in the refrigerator until set and break into pieces. Keep bark refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

1 pint fresh strawberries

1 ½ cups 60% cocoa chocolate chips, I use Ghirardelli’s

¼ cup white chocolate chips

Wash and thoroughly dry berries.  Refrigerate berries so that they are cold when dipping.  Melt dark chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals stirring each time until chocolate is smooth. Dip chilled berries into chocolate and place them on waxed or parchment paper.  When chocolate is set, melt white chocolate in the same manner as dark.  Pour melted white chocolate into a zip top bag.  Clip one tip with scissors making a small whole in the bag and drizzle strawberries with white chocolate.  Serve within 4 hours.

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Valentine Party with Texas Living Magazine!

Look what I found in the mail box today!  I was thrilled when the folks at Texas Living Magazine asked me to help them create a Valentine party for the pages of the February issue.

What could be more fun than a room full of mothers and daughters?  Adding chocolate of course! The ladies all enjoyed beautiful Red Velvet Parfaits while creating lovely chocolate treats to enjoy and share.

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The girls spent their time crafting colorful cake pops.

While the moms made lucious Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

A fantastic time was had by all, including me!

Thank you Lori Rourk of Lori Rourk Interiors for inviting me to assist with this project in the perfectly appointed home you just decorated. And a huge thank you to Texas Living Magazine at http://www.txlivingmagazine.com for the lovely photos that bring my food to life!

Saty tuned in the coming days for more recipes and details of this fun project

XOXO
Lorie

Red Velvet Parfait

2 cups chopped red berries

1 Red Velvet Cake

1 recipe Chocolate Ganache

1 recipe Whipped Cream

Assemble red velvet parfaits in a large trifle bowl or in individual clear glasses.  Start with a layer of cake, add a small amount of chocolate ganache, then berries and cream and repeat until glasses are full.  Top with a bit of cream and a raspberry.  Refrigerate until serving. 

Red Velvet Cake

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

1 cup water

2 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

1 ounce red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 9×13 glass baking dish by coating with nonstick cooking spray and a dusting of flour.  In bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and set aside.  In a small sauce pan over medium heat bring water coco and butter to a boil, add food coloring and mix well.  Add liquid to flour mixture and mix.  Add eggs and buttermilk and stir well.  Pour batter into prepared pan and cook for 28-32 minutes.   

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat cream in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer.  Remove pan from heat, add chocolate and vanilla and stir well.  Pour over cooled cakes.

Whipped Cream

1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients in a cold bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.