Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Dinner for a Special Occasion


Let's go back in time to two weeks ago...

It's been a Valentine's tradition for the past few years that I make a special dinner AND dessert. Yes, making two recipes in one night is an accomplishment for me and I can't help but pat myself on the back every time I do that. Since Tomas' favorite meals are hearty ones, I always try to find something along those lines (even though it is sumer here and maybe hearty dishes aren't the most seasonally appropriate, but it's what he likes!)


For this Valentine's Day, I decided that I wanted to make Baked Ziti, but with a little extra "something" to it. So, I did what I always do...I hopped on the world wide web and started looking for recipes. I found THE recipe with that extra something, and that extra something would be sausage and pancetta. While I try to steer clear of red meat, I cannot turn down pork...so, Baked Ziti with Sausage & Pancetta it was! And boy was it good. My only frustration was that it did not photograph well at all. Why is it that some of the most delicious dishes look the worst in photos? I apologize that it's not the prettiest, but we shouldn't be judging food just by its appearance now, should we? In this case, we should not. ;-)

Baked Ziti with Sausage & Pancetta

Now, for dessert....

Earlier in the week, I was watching Ingrid Nilsen on YouTube and she had teamed up with Claire from the Kitchy Kitchen to showcase three special dessert recipes for Valentine's Day, and I chose to make the recipe for Chocolate Molten Cake (see the video here and click ahead to 7:40 minutes for the recipe). I'd never attempted to make a molten cake before, because honestly I thought it was something that was out of my skill league. But, as it turns out, it's not hard at all, and takes no time!


The only thing I did differently was substitute the salted caramel for dulce de leche (then I added a little bit of coarse sea salt to create my own salted dulce de leche).

In the future, I plan to make the following adjustments to this recipe:
1.) I will not fill the cakes with SO much dulce de leche. I think I overdid it.
2.) I will use less sugar...I say this only because I think the chocolate that we have here is sweeter than the chocolate in the US. For example, in the US there are various types of chocolate to choose from and here it's not like that so I just bought a regular chocolate bar, which I think was sweet enough without adding additional sugar.
3.) I will cook my molten cakes for 1-2 minutes more because when I went to remove the cakes from their ramekins, they broke and I think if I cooked them just a tad more they would have held their form.

Broken, but oh so delicious!

Warning: These cakes are VERY sweet, so one small cake per person is more than enough! My ramekins were on the smaller side, so I was able to make three cakes from the recipe that was intended for two cakes, but in the end the smaller cakes worked out well! We weren't even able to eat the third cake....well, not until the next morning at least ;-)

What is your favorite meal to make for a special occasion?

32 comments:

  1. Wow, you're a really good cook! Don't worry about the pictures, these dishes look AMAZING and I'm quite sure they tasted just as good :)
    I have a sweet tooth so here I am craving for that chocolate moten cake (to me, there's not such a thing as "too much dulce de leche" lol!!!)
    I really suck at cooking :( but I kind of enjoy baking, tho! :D
    xx

    http://www.stylebydeb.com (my blog is back, yay!)

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    1. Aww, thanks Deb! I only took an interest in cooking a few years ago, and since then I have improved quite a bit, but I still have so much to learn! If you like baking, I suggest you try out the chocolate molten cakes. They are super easy to make---only take a few ingredients and about 15 minutes in total to make!

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  2. Oh, I Like your blog and your style of writing! Also I’d like to say that you have beautiful photos! Great job! I know that it requires so much time to update blog, but keep doing it!)
    I’ll be happy to see you in my blog!)

    Diana Cloudlet
    http://www.dianacloudlet.com/

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    1. Thanks, Diana! Glad you enjoy my posts! :-)

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  3. My b-friend would always go for the hearty stuff. no matter which season ;)
    I think you did a great job, pasta is always a good idea and the desert looks delicious!!!!
    yummy! as far as i remember i never did two dishes so congrats!
    xx, Sarah

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    1. I guess most boys think alike---always go for the hearty food no matter what!
      Thanks, Sarah! There haven't been many other times that I've made two dishes or more for a meal, so next time I will try for three!

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  4. Oh my goodness, it all looks so delicious! Baked ziti is one of my favorite comfort meals and the cake looks divine :)

    lovejoanna.com

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    1. Thanks, Joanna! Looking back on this post now is making me hungry again!

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  5. my go to recipe i make is oh she glows avocado pasta. it is SO good.

    http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/

    & i know what you mean about food not photographing well. that's how i feel about my buffalo cauliflower. maybe it will be photogenic some day!

    christina
    www.cityloveee.blogspot.com

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    1. YUM, that sounds delicious! I'm checking out that recipe ASAP. And, I still have to try your buffalo cauliflower! xx

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  6. Looks great, I love making desserts and always try to make healthy versions so I can eat as much as I want:)

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    1. Thanks, Helena! What are some of your favorite healthy desserts to make? I'd love to try out something a little healthier because I have a big sweet tooth, and knowing how many sweets I eat, I should probably opt for the healthier versions if there are some! xx

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  7. umm yummy post, I want this desert

    have a nice day
    www.lessismoreblog.com

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    1. Thanks! It's currently 10:30am here and I'm dreaming about having this dessert for breakfast ;-)

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  8. That dessert. I can't even gather a response. Yum!!
    xoxo

    Kaley

    My Closet Life Blog

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    1. It was heavenly! I will for sure be making it again!

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  9. I think you did a wonderful job especially considering it was your first time. x

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! I'm constantly trying to learn new recipes and improve my cooking skills!

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  10. Some of the tastiest foods & ugly & that's okay. Hehe. I can tell the baked ziti would taste divine. That molten chocolate cake looks like it fell from heaven. YUM!

    :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. Isn't that such a shame? At least you know what I'm talking about! Looking at the pictures of the molten chocolate cake is making me crave it so badly!

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  11. spaghetti is hands-down my fave special meal! with coconut cake for dessert :)

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    1. Pasta is always my go-to meal, and for special occasions I try to put an extra spin on it. And I LOVE coconut cake! My Mom makes a coconut cake with lemon curd filling.....AMAZING!
      What recipe coconut cake do you make?

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  12. Oh girl, it still looks SO good to me! If it had photographed any better I'd be salivating at my computer haha!

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    1. Hahaha Thanks, Rach! I'm currently salivating at my computer. I really want that molten chocolate cake for breakfast. Self-control, Chrystin....self-control...

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  13. It looks super delicious when it's broken I have to say! Great post
    Have an amazing weekend!

    xx Girl in the Bunny Ears
    www.girlinthebunnyears.com

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    1. Thanks, Cissy! It probably would've looked even better in video form, now that I think of it! A video of oozing dulce de leche sounds divine to me! xx

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  14. Mmmmm... Looks yummy. Making me hungry. Love the post. Please follow me on Instagram: @theskimplelife

    Hazel =)
    www.theskimplelife.com

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    1. Thanks, Hazel! Looking at this post again is making me hungry, too!

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  15. Oh wow, those chocolate desserts look incredible! I'm a chocolate fiend! Will have to try those!

    Marie x
    titchytombie.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks, Marie! You would love these cakes! They are incredibly decadent and so easy to make!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love hearing what you have to say :)