Valentine’s Weekend Recipes- Saturday

This post is a continuation of the Valentine’s Weekend Recipe Series ūüôā ¬†Let’s face it, the only thing that makes a Valentine’s Day dish festive is it either being pink, red or heart shaped. ¬†So, use your imagination if these recipes don’t work for you.

Saturday-

Breakfast-¬†Maybe something light for breakfast, fresh fruit, yogurt, granola. ¬†Add something special with this twist on ‘guy kibbee eggs’.¬†(Recipe from ChefRecip.es)

‘I Love You Guy Kibbee Eggs’

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What you need-

Eggs
Bread
Cheese (optional)
Veggies (your choice, optional)

Directions-

1.  Assemble your sandwich, then butter one side of the bread. Separate the egg white and yolk into two bowls. Place the sandwich, buttered-side-down, in a pan over medium heat and grill until golden brown, then remove.

2.  Butter the uncooked side of the sandwich. Using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the center. Lower the heat slightly, then return both pieces of the sandwich to the pan, uncooked-side-down. Add just enough egg white to fill the bottom of the empty sandwich center, then carefully slip the egg yolk into the center.

3.  Cover the pan (this will help the egg cook quicker and melt the cheese) and let everything cook for a couple minutes, checking regularly after one minute to make sure nothing is burning. Once the egg appears to be cooked, immediately remove the sandwich and serve!

Lunch- Jon has been begging me to make pizza with him.  I thought that V-Day weekend would be a good time to do so.  It is super easy to make everything into a heart.

Heart Pizza

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Here’s what you need-

Mozzerella (Here in NYC, we have access to the best fresh mozzarella in America, but you can definitely go to the grocery store and settle for some Sargento brand in the cheese section.)
Sauce (Recipe for good marinara sauce- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/danny-boome/nonas-marinara-sauce-recipe.html, but no one would cry if you got the canned stuff from the grocery store.)
Pizza Dough (Recipe for good pizza dough- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/pizza-dough-recipe.html, but again, you can go for the packaged stuff in the grocery store)
Pepperoni (feel free to go the extra mile and cut them into hearts <3)
Any other desired toppings (peppers, olives, onion, etc)
Corn Meal

Directions-

1.   Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.   If using a pizza stone or cast iron pizza pan, sprinkle with cornmeal. If using a cookie sheet or metal pizza pan, grease with olive oil, then sprinkle with cornmeal.
3.   Remove bread dough from refrigerator and stretch or roll out to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Shape into a heart. Prick several places with a fork.
4.   Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes.
5.   Remove from oven and top with pizza sauce, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
6.   Sprinkle cheese over sauce.
7.   Place pepperoni all over pizza.
8.   Bake another 10-20 minutes until pizza is golden and bubbly.

Dinner- I am going to give a main dish and side dish recipe.  I also suggest a salad.  Maybe cut cucumbers into hearts using a cookie cutter, add craisins for some sweetness, and try to make a beautiful presentation.

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Easy Romantic Filet Mignon

Here’s what you need-

2 (8 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 pound total)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 slices bacon

Directions-

  1. Place oven rack in it’s highest position. Set oven to Broil.
  2. Rub steaks all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with onion powder, then with salt and pepper. Wrap one slice of bacon around each steak, and secure with a toothpick.
  3. Place steaks onto a broiler pan, and broil for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the steaks over, and sprinkle the tops with shallots. Broil for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to your liking.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Courtesy of Paula Deen)

Ingredients-
3 medium baking potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon (or more) whole milk, at room temperature or warmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1.  In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.
2.  Add the butter, sour cream and garlic. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a fork until the ingredients are blended.
3.  Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency.
4.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Dessert

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee (Courtesy of Anne Thornton)  Trust me, this recipe is easier than it looks.

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Ingredients
Custard:
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar, plus more if needed
1 vanilla bean
6 eggs
Brulee:
4 to 8 teaspoons sugar, divided
Berries:
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Special equipment:
4 (6-ounce) ramekins
a baker’s torch

Directions-

1.  For the custard: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place 4 (6-ounce) ramekins in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan. Fill a tea kettle or small saucepan with a spout with water and heat.
2.  Add the heavy cream and sugar to a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Using a sharp paringf knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean using the back of the knife to prevent the pod from breaking. Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan. (If any of the vanilla seeds get stuck to your fingers, grab some of your extra sugar and rub the sugar between your fingers over the saucepan to remove every last bit of vanilla seeds and let fall into the cream.) Whisk over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, the vanilla seeds break up and the mixture comes to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a large measuring cup or bowl with a spout and either discard the vanilla bean or reserve, dry out and add to your sugar bowl!
3.  Place a medium bowl over some wet paper towels, or form a dish towel into a circle or wreath shape and nestle the bowl in the center. This will help act as your third hand or as a base to hold the bowl in place when you start tempering in your hot liquid. Separate the eggs, add the yolks to the bowl and whisk to combine. (Reserve the egg whites for another use, or make meringues and store in an air-tight container for a sweet treat anytime!) Gradually whisk in the hot cream mixture, making sure to scrape any remaining vanilla beans into the mixture as well. Return the custard to the measuring cup. Pour the custard into the ramekins, or use either a 4 or 6-ounce ladle to help evenly distribute. Pour enough hot water from your tea kettle into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully transfer the baking dish into the oven. Alternatively, to make sure none of the water from the pan ends up in the filled ramekins, you can place the pan with the ramekins in the oven, and then add the water to come halfway up the sides.
4.  Bake the custards until the center is set but still jiggles a bit when you gently shake the pan, 30 to 35 minutes. Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, place into the refrigerator to cool completely.
5. ¬†For the brulee: Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar evenly over the tops of each custard, picking up the ramekin if needed. Position the flame of a baker’s torch 1 to 2 inches above the surface of the custard and move the torch around in an even circle to melt and brown the sugar, moving from ramekin to ramekin. Do not allow the sugar to burn. You can even pick up and tilt the ramekin to help even out the caramelized sugar. If you don’t have a baker’s torch, place all the ramekins on a baking sheet and pop under the broiler. Watch the whole time, and rotate the baking sheet as needed until the sugar melts and browns evenly.
6.  For the berries: Combine the raspberries, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. When ready to serve, spoon the berry mixture atop the custards.

Please, ‘follow’ along, Sunday’s recipe will be coming soon!

~Sarah

Valentine’s Weekend Recipes- Friday Night

Today, I am taking a small break from the Love Language series because it is only about two weeks before Valentine’s Day. ¬†Time to plan for some fun stuff for that!

I know that Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, so I actually chose to make a weekend specialty list of recipes. ¬†If you aren’t going away, don’t have a ton of money to spend on gifts or dates, but you do want to make the weekend special, here is a good list of recipes to get you started!

Friday-

Dinner- This is Valentine’s Day! ¬†How about making your husband’s favorite recipe? ¬†Something special that you aren’t able to often make. ¬†Maybe even something you have never been able to make? ¬†So, in the hopes that you can get creative here, I will refrain from giving a recipe. ¬†But, here is an idea… maybe choose to cook it in an outfit that he will love, something new, tiny and special. ¬†ūüôā

Dessert- Again, since it is V-Day, maybe stick to tradition and make some good old fashioned chocolate covered strawberries.  Here is a recipe, for those who have never made them

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You will need-

2c milk chocolate chips
2tbsp shortening
1lb fresh strawberries, leaves on.

Directions-

  1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
  2. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
  3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam and place in the refrigerator for the chocolate to cool.

If you want to add a twist to the norm, try hulling the berries and filling them all with cheesecake filling before dipping in chocolate.

Enjoy!!! ¬†I will post ‘Saturday’ later on. ¬†Please ‘follow’ along ūüôā

5 Love Languages- Physical Touch

Phsyical Touch
‘A man should fulfill his duty as a husband, and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife, and each should satisfy the other’s needs’~1 Corinthians 7:3
(This post is a continuation in the series on Gary Chapman’s ‘The Five Love Languages’.¬† For the intro post please follow this link. – http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/)
If your husband is someone who has a primary or secondary love language rating of physical touch, he feels emotional connection through being touched.¬† This love language is not just with the intention of sexual intimacy.¬† This means anything from a hug to a pat on the arm, these things bring him emotional fulfillment. Here is a blurb on physical touch from the five love languages website…

This language isn‚Äôt all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face ‚Äď they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.’

I used to have a good friend who is an orthodox jew.¬† We worked together in a school setting and were a little bit excluded from our coworkers because of many of our convictions, especially about sex.¬† One day, we went out for lunch and she shared something very powerful with me.¬† She shared with me that Jewish people are taught about how powerful touch can be, which is why she is so careful about it.¬† She gave the example of a waiter or waitress, explaining ‘when you have a waitress who is taking your order and walks away, you feel no connection to them.¬† They are your waitress.¬† That is it.¬† If they take your order, and then touch your shoulder or pat your arm while beginning to walk away, suddenly they become personal to you.¬† It is a natural reaction.’¬† That really effected the way I viewed touch from then on.

I was a member of a homeless ministry with my church’s youth group where we would go and visit the homeless people at the local ferry terminal, bring them food and care packages, and spend time with them.¬† About a year after that talk with my friend, I felt great compassion for a woman I was speaking to and rubbed her shoulder.¬† She broke down crying to me, saying that it was not uncommon for people from different hospitality ministries to come and feed them and speak to them, but no one would ever touch her.¬† She said that for the first time in years, she felt like a human.¬† This is the power of touch.

Scientifically, touch in a relationship is proven to relieve stress and reduce phyiscal pain.  Within a marriage, touch is a bonding agent, producing intimacy and connection.  It causes the feeling of safety, unity, security and more.

To crave touch and not receive it can be hurtful.  If a man initiates touch, and it is met with hesitance, this can cause rejection, which can breed a plethora of other issues.  He could even potentially feel like a freak or a pervert.  This is not ever how we should cause our husbands to feel.

It may not be your love language, and you may even feel mildly uncomfortable about being touchy-feely,  One of my best friends does not like touch, but since most of her friends have high ratings for physical touch in their relationships, she constantly makes an effort to embrace us physically, going out of her comfort zone.  She cares so much about her relationship with her friends and is willing to put her preferences aside to bond with us, and we appreciate that so much.  How much more should we sacrifice for our husbands?

Challenge-

For this next week, try to go beyond yourself and give your husband the touch he desires.  Initiate it.  Try for a week and come back and report how it effected your relationship.  Here are some things to try out-

Hug him spontaneously
When passing him, touch him
Cuddle him
Hold his hand
When sitting next to him, allow your elbows or knees to touch
Play footsies with him
Do “do’s” (gently running your fingertips over his arm, or behind his neck)

Extra points for-
Laying hands on him while you pray over him
Give him a full body massage
Initiating sexual intimacy

I am praying that this produces good things in your marriage.  Please come back and let me know how it impacted your relationship.

~Sarah

Intro :)

We have four days until our 3 month anniversary.¬† October 19th was the happiest day of our lives.¬† We may be still in the ‘newlywed’ stages of marriage, but I can say that it has been both the easiest and the hardest thing to get accustomed to.¬† We have never lived together so we are learning each other in so many new ways, even after 6 and a half years of dating. The Lord is opening our eyes to new things about each other, and molding us to be His masterpiece.¬† It was so easy before we were married to slip under the radar, now we are able to clearly see each other’s sins, shortcomings, strengths, blessings and gifts.¬† As “Iron sharpens Iron” (proverbs 27:17), we are learning to humble ourselves to correct as well as be corrected, and to gain maturity in Christ together.

We are both strong willed, we are both natural born leaders, we are both artists, we are both passionate.¬† We are now learning to compromise, learning to listen, follow and submit, learning to enjoy each other’s odd tendencies, and we are learning to be passionate together.¬† About each other and most importantly about the Lord.¬† We are no longer living for ourselves, but we are living for Christ and we are living for each other.

No one said marriage was easy, I know it wont be, but we can find joy in our marriage.¬† Joy in the Lord.¬† Ecclesiastes 4:12 says ‘… a chord of three strands is not easily broken.’¬† We are learning to lean on that third strand, for everything, we are strong in Him.¬† He is our help in times of trouble.¬† He is our provider.¬† He is our comforter, the list goes on and on…. He is everything we need.

This blog is going to be about my pursuit.  My pursuit of my husband and my pursuit of Christ.  It will have recipes, fun ideas, date nights, gift ideas, scripture verses, devotionals, you name it.  I am praying that this not only helps others, but that is helps me.  In all that I do, I do it for His Glory.

~Sarah

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