Remember the Christmas cookie contest? Lynn was kind enough to send me this photo of the gingerbread family she made with the cookie cutters she won. That's eggnog being served with the cookies. I bet Santa loved stopping at her house!
I've been itching to try Elizabeth's Mushroom and Rice Casserole, so I made it on Saturday night when friends were coming for dinner. It was a hit all around. Brown rice is supposed to be so good for us, and there really isn't much sour cream in it when you consider how many servings the recipe makes. I think I'll be making this more often!
And now -- the last minute, late meeting, no time to stop at the store, don't have the energy to cook Valentine's treat. I quizzed one of my friends who doesn't cook much and she had all these ingredients on hand. So reach into your pantry, pull out the mixer and save the day! This recipe is from The Diva Paints the Town. If you don't care for the liquors in the recipe, feel free to use rum or Cointreau or whatever you have on hand. It's best served with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, however, any flavor ice cream will work. If your Valentine hasn't come home yet, make the batter but don't bake them until everyone is present. DO NOT OVERBAKE. No kidding. If you let it go past 13 minutes, the center won't ooze out in a chocolatey sauce. Of course, they're not just for Valentine's Day, either!
Mudslide Lava Cakes
1/3 stick butter
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 medium eggs
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups flour
dash of salt
1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee liquor
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
Grease six ramekins thoroughly with butter. If you don't have ramekins, ovenproof teacups can be used instead.
Melt the butter with the chocolate. (Hint: use the microwave on a low setting for 30 seconds until you can easily stir the chocolate with the butter.)
Beat the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Mix in the melted chocolate and butter. Add the flour and salt slowly and mix thoroughly. Add the liquors.
Pour into ramekins. Bake at 450 for 13 minutes. Gently loosen the edges of each cake and turn onto a serving plate. Flip the cake right side up. Serve plain, dust with powdered sugar, or add a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a sinfully delicious treat!
Note: The batter can be made a day ahead. Pour the batter into the ramekins, then cover each with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Bake at 450 for 13 minutes just before you want to serve them. They're at their best straight from the oven.
Happy Valentine's Day!