All recipes have been tried and tested by Kristen Vandevender (and her family). A wife, mother & career woman with a passion for farm to table organic cooking and baking. She also manages to find time to run Honest to Goodness Baking. Find her and more of her amazing recipes on Instagram @honesttogoodnessbaking
Spice Up Your Life!
Happy Valentine’s Day! This is such a fun day and not in the sense that I (as a woman) expect gifts or a surprise but that my husband and I can cook a beautiful meal together for the whole family to enjoy and spend some quality time together. We find that cooking together has become a passion and a common interest and together we would like to share a few of our favorite meals that will Spice up your life (or day anyway!)
Valentine’s Day Breakfast:
This is one of my all time favorites and if you make this little treat for your sweetheart for breakfast on Love day they are absolutely going to love you right back!
I personally love to use Dave’s Killer Bread but any type of toast will do topped smashed avocado on the bottom, layered with 1-2 scrambled eggs (or over easy if you prefer) and finalized with fresh spinach and tomatoes. And of course, the Just Chili Sauce will steal the show… Happy Valentine’s Day Breakfast!
When you know you are going big for dinner we are all about the light and protein packed lunch to get us through the afternoon. One of my husband’s favorite things is salmon and his plating skills are always impeccable! But on this big day to break up your amazing dinner the following is always tasty…
Baked Salmon at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes for a 5-6 ounce filet topped with olive oil, squeezed fresh lemon, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, red chili flakes and sliced jalapeno. Of course, we always add our Just Chili Sauce on top to give it the extra kick that it needs. Serve with white or brown rice and steamed broccoli or even a light kale salad topped with a vinaigrette and candied pecans and you won't disappoint anyone with this spiced up meal!
Valentine’s Day Dinner:
This is always my favorite meal on Valentine’s Day because it is so elegant and can be a variety of different things but I am a sucker for a good filet or prime rib. Prime rib is easier than you would think and is something that doesn’t have to be super expensive either. You can actually go and get just the amount you need sliced and it is cheaper than going out! I cook my prime rib on 400 for the first 30-45 minutes to get a good crust on the outside since I rubbed olive oil, salt and coarse pepper on top. Then I let is go low and slow for another 2 hours (mine is usually no more than 2 lbs) and I let the juice rest in the bottom until it comes out and I can re-baste or use it as Aus jus sauce. I then take my homemade whipped horseradish sauce and add a touch of the Just Chili Sauce to give it an extra kick and you won't regret it! Pairs really nicely with the Prime Rib…
I serve this with my buttermilk mashed potatoes and a veggie of your choice but my favorite is broccolini… I steam my organic broccolini (2-3 bunches trimmed) and place it in a nice dish topped with toasted chopped pecans, craisins or pomegranate seeds and a light vinaigrette that offers a sweet and sour kick to the beautiful vegetable. I put the following into a mason jar and let is sit in the fridge until I am ready, give it a good shake and lightly pour over the broccolini:
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 ½ tbsp cup cane syrup
1tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
And what Valentine’s Day meal isn’t complete without some homemade chocolate covered strawberries. I always go and buy the largest berries I can find and the rest is simple. Heat up over the stove (with a little heavy cream) in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water and continuously stir until melted or place your semi-sweet chips in the microwave for 3-4 minutes as you continue to stir throughout the process. Lay out your wax paper flat or on several paper plates and begin to dip your strawberries and twist them as you pull up and lay them flat on your paper. I usually let my berries sit out a good 20 minutes or so before I dip them because the chocolate tends to stick better that way. Also, make sure they are completely dry before you dip them as the water will repel the chocolate…and that is not what we want to happen!
Place in the freezer for a quick harden or in the fridge overnight for the big day and you won't be disappointed!
1 Rotisserie Chicken-pulled apart
1 Can of organic black beans
1 Can of organic pinto beans
1 Can of organic corn
2 cans of organic chicken broth
2 cans of Hatch organic green chili sauce medium or hot
2 big cans of diced green chilies
2/3 cup of water
Put all into your trusty crock pot overnight on low (or on high in the am) and it will be perfect for lunch or dinner the next day! I also take my pizza cutter and cut out tortilla strips from corn tortillas and put into a Ziploc bag with olive oil and salt to taste. Bake at 375-400 degrees for 15 minutes and voila! Your own tortilla strips. Also, pairs well with sliced avocado. This is a trusty recipe and is GREAT for a rowdy crowd!