Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Orange-Scented Hot Cocoa

In Recipes on January 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Yield: 6 servings

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

There’s nothing like a warm cup of cocoa on a cold day.  In this recipe we combine chocolate with a hint of orange.  It’s a really nice spin on a classic homemade cup of hot chocolate.  For another twist, you could add a shot of espresso to each up to make an Orange-Scented Mocha.

1 3/4 cups whole milk or half and half

1 tablespoon of arrowroot

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

12 strips of orange zest


Combine 1/4 cup of milk and arrowroot in a bowl to make a slurry.  Mix until smooth and silky.  The arrowroot is flavorless and will help thicken the cocoa.

Place the remaining milk into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. When the milk begins to bubble whisk in the sugar.  Then whisk in the arrowroot mixture until the milk thickens – 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the chocolate.  Continue mixing until the chocolate has completely dissolved.

Divide among mugs and drop in a one or two pieces of orange zest.


Snowed In!

In Features on January 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Snow, wind, cold.  Not a recipe for a get together, but celebrate the weather and relax with one these classic cold weather dishes.  Consider the snow day a excuse to check out of the “real world” and have a party for yourself!

Veal Blanquette with Mushrooms

Individual Chicken and Root Vegetable Pot Pies

Ratatouille with Farfalle

Check out a few other ways to pamper yourself and celebrate being stuck inside.

Set the Scene– Even if it’s just you, light your candles and dim the lamps.  The low light will mellow the mood, helping you relax and make the most of your day home.

Grab a Warm Drink– Try kicking up the classic hot chocolate or herbal tea with a little liquor.  Any of the Godiva liquors taste wonderful in Cocoa and Rum goes beautifully with hot tea.

Take a Nap – How often do you get to curl up with a cozy blanket and close your eyes in the middle of the day? There is no better way to rejuvenate your mind and body.  To maximize your nap time try turning off the TV and opting for a good novel.





Veal Blanquette with Mushrooms

In Recipes on January 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

Yield: 3 servings

Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours

This classic french entree (Blanquette de Veau) is a perfect soul warmer for a cold day.  It is a tad labor intensive, but your efforts will payoff! The cream sauce and the tender veal will be sure to satisfy.


1 sprig fresh parsley

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 dried bay leaf

1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 1/2 pounds boneless veal stewing meat, cut into 2-inch pieces

4-5 cups Chicken Stock

1/2 yellow onion, cut into quarters

1 clove garlic, sliced

Salt and Pepper

1/4 pound frozen pearl onions, thawed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 oz fresh mushrooms

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream


Wrap parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine.  If you don’t have cheesecloth, just throw the ingredients in but make sure to fish out the steams before you serve.

In a large saute pan, brown the veal in some canola oil. Remove and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the veal, stock, onion quarters, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low, and simmer until the veal is just tender, about 1 hour.  Discard the parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and onion quarters.

Add the pearl onions to the saucepan and simmer until the onions are fork tender, 10-13 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer veal and onions to a bowl.  Bring the cooking liquid to a rolling boil and cook until reduced to about 1 cup.  About 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan, over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter with the flour.  Mash until it forms a smooth paste. Slowly whisk the paste in to the simmering stock.  Once you’ve added all the paste, simmer until thickened, whisk constantly, about 1 minute.

Return the veal, pearl onions and add mushrooms.  Simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.  Add the cream and return to a simmer.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

*Try serving over mashed potatoes or white rice.

Warm Spiced Cider

In Recipes on January 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

This is a fan favorite! A quick tip, if you have a slow cooker, combine all the ingredients in it and let it simmer.  You can even serve the cider out of the cooker for the party.  Saves time and dishes! Try topping it with some whipped cream.  Yum!!

Yield: 12

Cooking Time: 30

2 quarts good apple cider

1 tablespoon allspice berries

6, 4 inch cinnamon sticks

8 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Rum or brandy to taste


In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the cider and all the spices.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain the cider to remove the spices.

Add in rum or brandy to taste.  Garnish with whipped cream and serve warm.

*If you choose to use a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and heat on low for 3-4 hours.

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