Love Actually *is* all Around, Part Deux

Love Actually *is* all Around, Part Deux

February 14, 2011

18

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

A couple weeks ago Sues and I each received packages from Stonewall Kitchen with some of their delicious and all natural products. I immediately opened up the ranch dressing, sliced some cucumbers and enjoyed a really good and healthy snack as I thought about ways to use the rest of the items that were sent to me. I’m thinking of incorporating the strawberry peach jam into some sort of cookie and the roasted peach whiskey sauce will definitely be used on poultry.

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Then there was the Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix. Which I knew I couldn’t eat all alone. Because it just sounded that good and I knew I wanted to spread the love. Yesterday, my friend Missy was planning on coming over so my roommate, Liza, and I planned an impromptu Valentine’s Day Brunch and invited my friend Heather and Liza’s friend Laura who both live in our area to enjoy a nice girl’s day.

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Making the pancakes was just about the only thing I knew I was going to make when I woke up yesterday morning, so I quickly threw together a menu, tossed on some sweats and my winter boots, went to the grocery store, and started cooking when I got home. Everything was done in about an hour or so. Something is definitely a little “different” with me because I actually enjoy cooking and entertaining under pressure. I kind of get a little rush 😉

So, the final menu included:

Fenugreek dusted baked bacon

Maple Sausage links

Stonewall Kitchen Double Chocolate Pancakes. Missy got here a little early and flipped the pancakes which was a big help. We tried using my heart pancake mold but it didn’t work so well so we nixed the idea and just made regularly shaped pancakes. You should know, this mix has little tiny chocolate chips in it. No better way to feel loved than finding little morsels of chocolate in your pancakes!

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A simple addition to a brunch menu is always fruit. In the mix were sliced strawberries, blueberries, a bit of sugar, and a couple dashes of vanilla extract. As a dip for the fruit I used Chobani honey Greek yogurt. That, with fruit, is delicious.

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I also served Martha Stewart’s Oven-Roasted Home Fries which were so simple to make but packed big flavor.

For them, I used:

• 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 3/4″-inch cubes
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper (seeded), chopped
• crushed dried rosemary (to your liking)
• olive oil
• salt and ground pepper

To make them:

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a rimmed baking sheet, add potatoes, onion, red pepper, rosemary, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
• Toss vegetables until they’re coated with oil, bake until tender, about an hour. When they were done baking, I wanted to brown them a bit more, so I stuck them under the broiler for a couple minutes.

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For the main dish, I made Martha Stewart’s Easy Eggs Florentine which I will definitely be making again.

To serve 5 people, I used:

• 5 slices of Iggy’s sourdough bread (a personal favorite!)
• olive oil
• salt and ground pepper
• 2 scallions, thinly sliced
• 1 pound fresh baby spinach
• crumbled fresh goat cheese (to your liking… which for me, is a lot!)
• 5 large eggs

To make the Eggs Florentine, here’s what you do:

• Heat broiler, with rack roughly 4 inches from heat. Place sourdough on a baking sheet and brush both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and broil about 1-2 minutes on each side. Make sure it doesn’t burn 😉

• In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and a handful or two of spinach. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the first batch of spinach is wilted. Continue tossing spinach and allowing it to wilt before adding more spinach to the skillet, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in goat cheese and transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl, covering to keep warm.

• Now you’re going to fry the eggs. Wipe the skillet and heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Gently crack eggs into the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg whites are almost set, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the eggs stand until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 3 minutes.

• Top each piece of toasted bread with the spinach mixture, followed by an egg. Along with topping the egg off with additional ground pepper, I sprinkled a little more goat cheese over the top, too. No harm. 😉

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Laura arrived with a bottle of champagne, so we made some mimosas, which are always necessary.

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And Heather arrived with a dozen roses in one hand and red velvet cupcakes that she made in the other hand. I easily devoured two in one sitting 😉

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The final Valentine’s Day Brunch spread, for 5 lovely ladies!

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We all piled in on the couches to eat and watch very girly TV. Like a few episodes of Kourtney and Kim Take New York, the Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel movie Life as we Know it, and some Grammy Red Carpet coverage.

And then we got silly. Maybe the mimosas just kicked in? 😉

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I love Missy’s face in this photo, hahaha:

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Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Whether you’re married, in a relationship, or single (like all of us ladies at brunch!), it’s always important to celebrate LOVE! And this year in particular, I feel very lucky and blessed to constantly have the support of lots of best friends, the greatest family, and my wonderful roommate 🙂

How are you spreading the love today?

Love Actually *is* All Around, Part I

[Chels]

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18 Responses to "Love Actually *is* all Around, Part Deux"

  1. Elizabeth says:

    There are so many of my favorite things in this post: stonewall kitchen, brunch, cupcakes. I’ve had Stonewall’s regular pancake mix, but never the chocolate chocolate chip. That’s going on my list of things to try.

  2. kimz says:

    How fantastic in so many ways. The food looks delicious, but the company seems to be absolutely wonderful. You’re very lucky to have such close girlfriends around. So very important 🙂

  3. Erica says:

    LOVE Stonewall kitchen! The pancakes look fantastic. And just the whole menu overall- YUM! Josh and I did some mini celebrating last night with waffles! Today- a few mini goodies and another nice dinner 🙂

  4. Stonewall Kitchen is one of my pantry go-tos. Love this idea and what a chic brunch! Will have to try that recipe for Eggs Florentine!

  5. Lauren says:

    What a fantastic brunch spread!

  6. What a fabulous Valentine’s Day brunch! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  7. Amy says:

    oh my, all of that looks delicious! every christmas eve, my girlfriends and i exchange gifts over brunch. this year we kept it simple with fruit and bagels, but this post makes me want another brunch with my ladies! looks AMAZING!

  8. Ann says:

    Brunch is such a great meal for entertaining! Any meal where it’s acceptable to eat bacon and drink champagne is good with me. And in the Valentine’s theme, I think one of the best ways to show someone you love them is to cook for them 🙂

  9. Shannon says:

    LOVE the V-day brunch spread! Stonewall Kitchen treats are the best!

    Not doing anything crazy for V-day… just a dinner at home with the boy and a movie on the couch!

  10. sweeter salt says:

    Yum yum, it all sounds so good. I’m a total Stonewall devotee. I work down the street from their Portland store which is dangerous! The free samples aren’t too shabby though!

    Laura

  11. Aww, what a great way to celebrate by getting together with some other single friends and having a blast. 🙂

  12. Monique says:

    I love when friends get together on Valentines Day! its all about the love whether its romantic or straight up gal pal bff love! such a great way to spend the day!

  13. Sharlene says:

    Such a fabulous way to spend the holiday. Brunch is one of my favorite meals but I don’t make it at home nearly as often as I would like!

  14. Sharon says:

    Your Valentine’s Day brunch sounds delicious especially the fenugreek dusted bacon! What a great way to celebrate. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Chels!!

  15. Karen says:

    Just caught a glimpse of both of you on tv tonight during a preview of tomorrow’s Chronicle!

  16. I’d love an invite to that brunch:-)

  17. Jennifer says:

    WOW!! This brunch looks amazing! You really know how to put out a spread. I need to make that fruit mix…vanilla! Yes!

  18. Katie says:

    Aw that looks like so much fun!! I’m definitely going to be making those yummy home fries soon. And I watched that movie this past week too haha

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