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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Post

If you are like me, Valentine's day isn't necessarily too high on your list of priorities. For me, this isn't due to not having a Valentine or anything of that nature, because I certainly do and he expects something on this coming day of love. He says he doesn't think much of Valentine's day either, but I know that if I did nothing his feelings would be hurt. I suppose that might be a vice versa situation too!

Being though that I want to celebrate Valentine's Day without spending a lot on dining out, expensive candies, or other items that can quickly empty my pockets (though I do love these things), I usually make some nice creations for my Valentine along with sending loving messages to his e-mail throughout the day. This way, he can anticipate an evening of coming home to an extra clean house with the fire going, candles lit, and a few items like these:

Easy Cheesecake Brownies (My Valentine's Favorite)
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/3 Cup Oil
1 Tsp. Vanilla
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Fresh Eggs
1 Tbsp. Strong Coffee (optional)

Cheesecake Topping:
1 Package Cream Cheese (softened)
4 Tbsp. Confectioner's Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
(whip sugar & cheese, then add egg & vanilla-whip till smooth)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees & butter a glass baking dish.

Make cream cheese topping as instructed above and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt thoroughly. In another bowl, mix the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and coffee till smooth. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mix in a gentle fashion. Pour into prepared glass pan (mine is 8 in. by 8 in.) or any pan that you know won't burn cake/brownies. Whack it against the surface to release any air. Pour your cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie mixture, and use a fork to mix and make designs if you like. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes. Enjoy the praises that only cream cheese brownies can bring!

Or instead of eating out----:

A night at home by the fire with homemade tomato soup & grilled cheese! What? It's red and everyone loves it! I drew the heart on with Photoshop if your'e wondering.

Tomato Soup for 2:
1 15 oz. Can Organic, Diced Tomatoes
2 small carrots-peeled & diced
1/2 onion-minced
2 cloves garlic-minced
1 Tbsp butter or earth balance
1 bay leaf
pinch of dry rosemary sprigs
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium)
salt and black pepper to taste
Whip Cream (optional but good)

In a soup pot, bring the butter to medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and allow to sweat for about 4-5 min. Add the can of tomatoes, broth, rosemary, bay and about 1/8 tsp of black pepper with a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, stir, cover and lower the heat to a low simmer. Allow to cook for about 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool a bit. Use an immersion blender to puree or leave chunky. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Make your favorite style of grilled cheese. We are making jalapeno jack on whole grain pita this year....

*And I leave you with a cute valentine for your blog or to send out in e-mails to friends. I love this one. It is one of Old Dame Penniwig's works. You can find more of her stuff here: http://penniwigs.blogspot.com/

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


  1. I sure do love my valentine!! Those brownies were deeeeelicious, and the soup was wonderful too!!!! The only problem is having the self control to keep from eating all of the brownies and getting extra valentine's love handles.

  2. Very cool background Stella, except for the fact that it reminds me of the 9 inches of snow I just had to shovel. Brownies look great!

  3. Your banner is beautiful, very creative! Love your site!
    Those brownies would be a hit at my house, Ill have to give them a whirl. Tomato soup is always welcome. Your recipe looks delish! From one Gypsy to another, Happy Valentine's Day! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hey. Saw this soup on yesterday so I made it last night. Delicious. don't really like to use canned stuff too much, but it was a superior brand out of Italy, I think. It was a very delicious soup, with little added-by-me sodium. We made grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. I would tell you another ingredient I put in the cheese sandwiches, but I won't (as you'd question my concern about "the can" and see my whole life is a dichotomy!)... Happy day today. Paula

  5. Those brownies look like they are right up my alley. I love chocolate AND cream cheese! I'm gonna have to make these this weekend for sure. Thanks for dropping by my blog! Have a happy V-Day!

  6. I think you've got the right idea of the spirit of Valentine's Day.

  7. I was wondering how you did that heart....

  8. I made the soup the other night and it was perfect. I'm going to make it again, not only out of desperation (can't drive here in Atlanta and basically have no groceries here at the house (no planning ahead as customary)). I see I have garlic, onion, nice big can of Italian diced tomatoes, cilantro (instead of the rosemary)... It'll be delicious, again! And gonna make those brownies when I get some butter or oil (when the roads clear - smile).... PHM

  9. Your soup and brownies look like the perfect dinner to me:)

  10. I love cheesecake and I love brownies. This is awesome. BTW, thanks for visiting my blog. I believe its my first time here..

    Nice to meet you..

  11. Thanks Half Baked! We liked it...

    Hi Peachkins. Yes, probably your first time here, b/c I found you just the other day-really liked your blog. Thanks for checking my blog out...

  12. Stella, I love tomato soup. I'd almost rather stay home and eat that than go out.


  13. My first visit and whoa....cheesecake brownies are my very yummiest things to eat :o) Lovely soup. I shall save the recipe for winter. Loving your blog btw. Thanx xx

  14. Soudns like you had a lovely Valentine. I do like cheeseckae brownies, but LOVE tomato soup. Yum

  15. i'm big on simplicity too. Co - incidentaly i made a batch of brownies too, but it was for me more than anyone else ... lol ! After 8 yrs of marriage you pretty much try to comfort yourself, n valentines is a perfect excuse to make brownies. Your look amazing, wish we could've swapped :)

  16. Hello

    I think it is a perfect menu for this day, that could be better than enjoying a delicious brownie and a rich soup. I hope you enjoy.


  17. Hi,

    thanks for visiting my space and leaving your sweet comment..

    I would love to make these for valentine , its a great recipe ...i also like to celebrate at home with homemade food but the only difference is my husband cooks on valentine for us so its better than going out right:)

    Lovely post will be back soon

  18. Wow, your brownies look delicious! So decadent and chocolaty...mmmm.
    I like your idea of eating in on Valentine's Day--that is what we did (and my hubby cooked, so it was awesome!). :)

  19. I would choose tomato soup over the brownies because it makes me so nostalgic. Great simple recipe I was just looking for a tomato soup recipe to go with my Ad Hoc's grilled cheese.

  20. Thanks Preety-sounds like you and Kelly both have a good man!

    Thanks Kelly! Tried to see your profile, but it wouldn't let me???

    Hi Bonnibella, this soup is great and so easy. Just perfect with grilled cheese.

  21. the soup looks fantastic :) homemade tomato soup is so comforting and rewarding. thanks for stopping by, i'm glad that it led me to your site!

  22. Thanks for visiting FFC! I am so thrilled I had the opportunity to learn about your blog. It is gorgeous. Your photos are great and your recipes are creative & they look delicious. I would love this tomato soup and the photoshop heart is the perfect addition!

  23. The brownies look scrumptious and I love the heart decoration on your tomato soup, how cute!

  24. Brownies are my biggest weakness! These look so amazing. Love the coffee in here!

  25. OOOOOOOOOOOOO SO FABULOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Bravo and well said about Valentine's Day. It should be Valentine's Day everyday. It's the way me and my late husband felt about this day. Though, I always made a special something....Cheesecake brownies.....delicious!

  27. Dear Stella - I find your blog absolutely charming or should I say Bewitching! I was always a big fan of the show growing up!

    Your cheesecake brownies are to die for & what a swell idea, combining the best of both worlds!

    Absolutely love the snowflakes...

    So glad you paid me a visit today! Please come by again..

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  28. Cheesecake brownies. What a terrific combination!

  29. I wish I had seen these before Valentine's Day. They're gorgeous but so easy! I'm sure they taste amazing! Great photo, btw :)

  30. Thanks for the wonderful comment Stella!

    Those cheesecake brownies look amazing! My two favourite desserts in one.. perfect!


  31. the brownies look delicious! n the tomato soup is a brilliant colour.....wonderful to have them both and I love your soup bowl ^^

    tq for dropping by. u have an interesting blog and I like you little remedies. I mite even try ur pineapple cake. it sounds delicious! have a good day. ^^

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