I love the combination of blueberry, coconut and vanilla. You probably have seen this combination in my blueberry & vanilla soy milk oatmeal post. For this dessert I warmed up blueberries with cream of coconut and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream served on a cookie. The cookie’s ingredients support this dessert with flavors of coconut, vanilla and chocolate chips. Topped with a thin slice of banana and chocolate shavings makes this dessert a very simple yet tasty treat for any occasion.
A Quick Journey into the History of Valentine’s Day
As Valentine’s day is upon us we honor our spouses, partners or friends. We look to buy the biggest and reddest roses, the best chocolate money can buy and send the biggest cards out to our loved ones. It is truly a beautiful day to spend the evening together and celebrate a lovely friend ship or marriage. But where is this tradition originated and why are we celebrating Valentine’s day?
Did you know?
To make a long story short: According to the history books and online archives. St. Valentine who lived around A.D. 270 was a priest from the Roman Catholic church who married young soldiers before they went to war. The only problem was that the Emperor Claudius had forbidden soldiers to get married, because he thought these men are vulnerable and don’t make strong warriors compared to single men who have nothing to lose. St. Valentine ignored these regulations and kept on marrying soldiers in privacy. Once the Emperor Claudius heard of that he ordered St. Valentines to be killed. In his prison cell he was alleged visited by a maid to bring him food and drink. Before his death he wrote her a letter whith the ending words “from your Valentine”. This is almost 2000 years ago. Tell me Culinary Traditions aren’t powerful? Of course there are other theories about St. Valentine, maybe you know a different one.
What will it be? Chocolate, Flowers or jewelry.
According to an online survey published on about flowers; men buy flowers, candies and chocolate to show their affection to a loved one, while women use this opportunity to honor their relation ships to mothers and female friends. Chocolate is the most bought item for Valentine’s Day, followed by flowers and jewelry. Valentine’s Day is the second busiest Holiday after Christmas. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
3.5 oz / 100 g / 1 1/4 cup organic quick cooking oats
2 tbsp coconut flakes
12 oz / 345 g / 3 cups unbleached organic flour
4.5 oz / 130 g / 1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
Blend butter, sugar, eggs and cream of coconut until well incorporated.
Add all other ingredients.
Scoop 1 1/2 oz cookie dough onto a greased baking pan, or on a silicon mat.
Flatten dough with fingers or spoon.
Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius for 7-9 minutes.
Place baked cookies on rack to cool.
I used a confection oven, which speeds up cooking time. For regular ovens add about 2-3 minutes baking time.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cream of coconut
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Juice from one lemon
5 oz / 140 g / 1 cup organic blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp Orange liquor
In a sauté pan melt all ingredients except berries and liquor over medium heat.
Cook sugar mixture until it is reduced to half.
Now add the blueberries.
Once the blueberries come to a boil move pan away from fire and add the liquor.
Bring blueberries one more time to a quick boil and serve immediately
Serve warm blueberries to your favorite ice creams or puddings. It also taste delicious with crepes, pancakes or French toast.
Cookies taste best after they have just cooled out. Although you can store them in a cookie jar and munch on them for days to come. For this dessert I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream and warm blueberries. Decorated with a slice of banana and chocolate shavings. You can create your own ice cream cookie with any type of berries and your favorite ice cream.
Happy Valentine’s Day
What are your favorite cookies?
What is your favorite dessert using cookies or ice cream?
Do you like warm blueberries or do you prefer other berries?
Try this easy to prepare Rack of Lamb in less than 60 minutes. It’s ideal for Valentine’s Day. I had this dish for New Year’s dinner. I know it’s a bit late, yet I didn’t plan to post it on my blog, either. I love the taste of a grilled rack of lamb. It can can be cooked in so many ways, the possibilities are endless. Lamb never gets boring, that said if you like lamb. Well I guess you wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t like lamb for that matter.
Ideal for Valentine’s Day
If both of you are meat lovers than this dish is great for Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to cook and assemble and makes an even better presentation. So why not surprise your Valentine with a grilled rack of lamb. Serve it with a Pinot Noir, Rioja, Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. Regardless of what wine you’ll be drinking, use that same wine in your sauce. Why? Because it will make your taste-buds dance in harmony, literally. Like to learn more about wine? Check out my three wine pairing principles.
Rosemary the Perfect Match for Lamb
Rosemary reminds me of a tradition I used to do in my first years of working as a chef. I would place a few bunches of rosemary on the hot grill. Guess what happened? The scent of the roasting rosemary permeated the entire kitchen, calming my senses for a busy upcoming lunch business.
With or Without Bone?
Don’t like the bone? Just ask your butcher for a lamb loin. Usually one loin is good for one person. When buying a rack of lamb – tell your butcher you want it frenched. Which means that all fat around the bones (the rips) up to the loin is removed. It lends for a better presentation. ( the rack of lamb I used was not frenched )
Need a timesaver? Leave the marinade out; brush a little oil over the meat, season it with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Grill or saute it over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Place it on a backing pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for another 8-15 minutes, depending on your temperature preference. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. To learn more about cooking temperatures jump over to: How to cook the perfect steak.
I always finish cooking bigger cuts of meat ( more than 8 oz ) in the oven, after I give it some grill marks. The heat of the oven penetrates the meat more evenly yet indirectly, which results in a juicier steak. Almost all chefs of steakhouses and other fine restaurants take advantage of the oven when it comes to bigger cuts of meat.
I find it fascinating how every country has its own culinary cultures, not only with lamb but with any other meat. Whether it’s Ireland and the famous mint jelly. Asia with soy or teriyaki sauce and the Caribbean and India where curries are prevalent. Lamb is cooked more in Europe and America while goat is traditionally preferred in Asian and Caribbean countries. Why the latter countries choose goat over lamb I have no idea. Maybe you have the answer? Drop me a line if you care. I can only tell from experiences while cooking in the Caribbean, that almost all locals eat goat. That said lamb and goat are two different species.
Which Lamb Tastes Best
Well that’s up to your personal taste preference. The two biggest importer to the US are New Zealand and Australia. Both offer excellent meats. I like to buy locally grown lamb, so I know where it comes from and what it was fed. For more info on lamb in the US check out the fact sheet of the usda.gov website.
How to Cut a Rack of Lamb
It is actually pretty easy. Hold the rack upright with the curved rips pointing slightly towards you. Place a sharp knife next to the bone and cut straight down with a sawing motion. If you hit cartilage or bone you simply have to turn the rack around ( 180 ° ). Important is that you keep the knife as close as possible to the bone. When done right your knife goes through the lamb very easy. That’s it. Just let the lamb rest for a minute and serve.
How do you like your lamb prepared?
Where do you buy your lamb?
What herbs do you use with lamb?
What are you cooking for Valentines Day?
Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir infused Honey Rosemary Sauce
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
2 Rack of lamb
Some Vegetable oil for sauteing
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme leafs
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper
3 sprigs of rosemary
1-2 tsp honey
1/2 cup of good Pinot Noir
1 tsp tomato paste
1.5 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Keep some extra rosemary sprigs for decoration.
In a food processor blend all ingredients until smooth.
Smother the lamb with mustard marinade and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator.
Roasting the [url:1]Lamb[/url]
Before sauteing remove the marinade, but hold on to it for later.
Heat up oil in heavy bottom pan over high heat. Don’t let it smoke. (It isn’t healthy)
Place rack of lamb on its meaty side first. Do this with a pair of tongs so you don’t burn your self.
Saute lamb until golden brown than turn onto the other side.
Once lamb is golden brown place it on an oven pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for 8-15 minutes.
For a rare lamb cook less and for well done cook more than 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
Use the same pan you just seared the lamb in.
Over medium heat sautee onions until slightly caramelized.
Add rosemary sprigs, honey and stir – enjoy the scent 🙂
De-glace with red wine.
Now incorporate the tomato paste and let it brown evenly.
Add a tbsp of the marinade to the sauce.
Fill up with vegetable broth reduce to half.
Strain sauce and season with salt and pepper.
If you wish you could thicken the sauce with a little heavy cream (2 tbsp) at the end. Suggestion: Serve the lamb with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes.
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