Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lobster Tails!

As seen in my previous Valentine's Day Dinner post, my house is home to a rather large box of delicious lobster tails, thanks to my boyfriend and his fabulous work-vendor connections. It was a lovely surprise to have them for dinner on V-Day and again for our date night dinner this past Thursday. We served them with spinach, mashed sweet and yukon potatoes, and breadcrumb-crusted steaks. A superb full-bodied red accompanied our surf and turf meal!

Red Velvet Cookies!

This recipe was another Pinterest find, courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life blog. The secret ingredient to these soft, cakey cookies? Boxed cake mix! An addition of dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips made these cookies a total knockout and my new favorite cookie. A huge tupperware full of them was gone by lunchtime in my office's break room!

Macaron Mania!

A new, adorable macaron pastry shop opened up recently in nearby Delray Beach. Naturally, I've already gone twice and spent an embrassing amount of money on flavors that include basil white chocolate, passionfruit, and Colombian coffee. Yum! Check them out over at Le Macaron.

Chocolate Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting!

One of my girls at work recently left, and I wanted to go all out for her 'goodbye cupcakes'. I bought some new frosting tips and finally, finally made a rose design with frosting! I was so happy and it was ridiculously easy - I just never had the right tip! (It's Wilton 1M by the way). The recipe for the cupcake and frosting are both courtesy of Barefoot Contessa over at Food Network.

I was very interested in making a peanut butter frosting after one of my girlfriends mentioned it to me in passing, and I was so pleased with the result. This is definitely in my top 3 of frostings! The peanut butter whips up beautifully with butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. It pipes wonderfully, and together with the moist chocolate cake - delicious! I garnished the cupcakes with some cute little pink heart picks (thanks Michael's post-Valentine's Day sale) and drizzled melted dark chocolate on a few.

Valentine's Day Dinner!

This year's holiday was very special. It is the first in my relationship for us as living together, and the day itself fell on my boyfriend's day off. I came home to a beautifully set table, a delicious dinner, and beautiful roses. My man cooked lobster tails in melted butter, and roasted yellow and red cherry tomatoes in olive oil and basil. The flavor of the tomatoes were incredible - they were roasted almost to bursting out of their skins, and so sweet thanks to the basil. They went great with the buttery lobster meat! I love you sweetheart <3 I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!

Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Red velvet is one of my favorite flavors to bake with. Everybody loves red velvet, the color is fabulous, and few people know that it is really just a fancypants chocolate dessert. Shh! I've made red velvet cupcakes before, but for these I tested out a different recipe, from Paula Deen over at Food Network. I was intrigued by this cupcake recipe - no butter or eggs! (The lack of pounds of butter being uncharacteristic of Paula Deen, for sure.) The cupcakes came out fluffy and lovely. I used a basic cream cheese frosting, and added some cocoa powder to make it more chocolatey.

This is how I packaged them for the girls at work. I saw the idea on Pinterest and it is so fabulous! A cupcake fits into a small 10 oz plastic cup, wrap in cellophane, tie with a colorful ribbon and cute tag! They are easy to transport, they won't move around or get messy, and they look cute!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Brussels Sprouts!

I will admit, I wasn't always a big fan of brussels sprouts. Up until last December, I would not have thought of ordering them in a restaurant. After going to an amazing tapas place in D.C. with my best friend, my worldview changed. I wanted to create that delicious dish of crispy brussels sprouts with lots of olive oil and bacon. To accompany this side dish, I decided to try a recipe for yogurt chicken I had seen a few times in Pinterest (recipe). The only difference was that I used plain yogurt instead of mayo for the chicken. It came out moist and well-seasoned!

Ricotta Yellow Cake!

My boyfriend's favorite cake is Ricotta Yellow Cake. I've made it for him three times, and he always requests it for his birthday. The recipe is very simple, and I always use the same one from Allrecipes. This year I decided to make it in two tiers and decorate with a simple whipped cream frosting and blueberries. Happy 26th my love!