“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Have you ever noticed how many terms of endearment are related to food?
Just call me Honey, Babycakes, Sugar, Pumpkin, Cookie, Cutie Pie, Cupcake, Pudding, or Dumpling.
Of course I wouldn’t mind a little foreign flavor once in awhile, like “petit chou,” (little cabbage, French), “polpetto/a” (meatball, Italian), or “fasolaki mou” (my little green bean, Greek).
It’s all good, cause food is love, and love is food.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, we’re serving up a little three-course feast just for you, cause we love you more than chocolate . . . well, almost (and that’s saying a lot). 🙂
So put on your best bibs and savor these goodies to your heart’s content (feel free to smack your lips, lick your chops, and kiss your bunched fingertips).
❤️ APPETIZER: VINTAGE FOODIE VALENTINES ❤️
Oh, how I love old timey valentines! They take me right back to grade school. It was exciting to go to the five-and-dime with my mom to buy a pack of valentines for my classmates.
Back then, there weren’t any rules about having to give them to everyone in your class. On Valentine’s Day morning, we’d put our cards in a big box, and when we returned from morning recess, we’d find those addressed to us on our desks.
This was actually both a happy and sad experience, because some kids ended up with a big pile of valentines, while others only received a few. A ranking of popularity there on display for all to see. I still remember how sorry I felt for Ronald, because he only got one. This was over 50 years ago, and it still bothers me.
Anyway, a quick scan of vintage valentines (ca. 1950’s) revealed a preponderance of food-related puns. Some are sweet, some are groan-worthy, and some a little strange. Nevertheless, all harken back to a simpler time and are interesting for different reasons. It’s too bad that for the most part, we’ll never know who the artists were behind these designs. Hope you enjoy this little feast from yesteryear!
So, did you like those? I think my favorite is the Olive Oyl one. I did find a few raise-the-eyebrow-strange non-foodie ones, too:
I like that the practice of sending Valentine’s Day cards, flowers, chocolates, and other gifts started in the UK. Leave it to those clever Brits! And back in Victorian times, they exchanged fancy valentines made with real lace and ribbons before paper lace was invented. So cool.
Do you still send Valentine’s Day cards? More than just a nod to romantic love, this particular holiday is a wonderful time to celebrate friendships.
❤️ ENTRÉE: CHOCOLATE SOUP ❤️
Hungry yet? After all those foodie valentines, your stomach must be growling. Have no fear, Chocolate Soup is here!
I admit, Chocolate Soup sounds like another “excuse” to eat chocolate (not that we need one). That’s precisely what I thought when I stumbled across all the Chocolate Soup recipes online, which described it as something between hot chocolate and pudding. Okay, why not?
The list of ingredients certainly sounded like pudding. Whole milk, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. Lots of whisking, then thickening with a cornstarch slurry.
I could have sworn we were making chocolate pudding. Mr Cornelius thought so too, but to be sure, he tasted the soup at regular intervals. Sure smelled good! It was thickening beautifully and getting smoother and smoother. Ahhhhhh.
We carefully ladled the soup into two bowls and let it cool a bit.
Soup or pudding? Pudding or soup? By the time we actually tasted it with our whipped cream, cookie crumb, and jimmies garnish, we didn’t really care. All we cared about was how rich and velvety smooth it was. Delectable, divine, decadent. So good we had to hug ourselves every few seconds.
We’ve decided that sometimes chocolate pudding likes to call itself Chocolate Soup. It’s like wanting to wear a tuxedo or evening gown on occasion. That way, people can serve it in a cute soup bowl — a larger serving that a standard pudding dish. Like any tasty soup, it can be eaten at any temperature — warm and luscious, or chilled and cheeky. It’s all good. Because CHOCOLATE.
For Mr Cornelius, eating his soup spoonful by deliciously slow spoonful was the way to go. A true gourmand, he showed admirable restraint by not diving directly into the bowl.
Why not whip up some Chocolate Soup for your sweetie or special someone on Thursday? Guaranteed, they will love you more than they already do. 🙂 The trick is to use a good quality bittersweet chocolate, and to wear an extra large bib to accommodate enthusiastic slurping — unless you don’t mind sticky fur.
Chocolate Soup for Two
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces bar chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- soup garnish: whipped cream with chocolate curls or mini chips, chopped nuts, cookie bits, or pound cake croutons
- Stir together the milk, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a bubble.
- Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate, whisking in slowly until the chocolate starts to melt.
- Whisk the cornstarch and water together, then add this mixture a little at a time to the soup, whisking constantly until the soup is thick and smooth. After about 5-7 minutes, the bubbles should be gone and the chocolate adequately thickened.
- Pour into two bowls and add your choice of garnish.
~ Adapted from recipe by Heather Brand at HGTV
❤️DESSERT: RED VELVET CHEESECAKE SWIRL BROWNIES ❤️
So, I was just minding my own business when I heard the siren call:
“Hey! Look at us. Aren’t we beautiful? We’re oh so rich, chocolaty and RED! We’re JUST the thing for Valentine’s Day! Come on — make us, eat us, share us — you know you want to, you know you HAVE to!”
Hello, Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. They are impossible to ignore. Seems all the cool kids are making them and they’ve been a longstanding favorite every February.
It had been ages since I last had Red Velvet Cake, and I do love cheesecake, so why not satisfy my cravings in brownie form? Besides, there’s something so decadent about cream cheese, and if there’s ever a time to indulge, it’s Valentine’s Day. 🙂
The brownie batter came together quickly and it was fun to swirl in the cream cheese mixture before baking. I like how the cream cheese offsets some of the brownie sweetness. They do look pretty for Valentine’s Day and will keep in the fridge for up to a week (if they last that long). Mr Cornelius was confused as to how brownies could be red, but he had no trouble eating these. 🙂
Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper or foil, then spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- To make the brownie layer, first beat 2 eggs together in a small bowl, then set aside. Melt the stick of butter in a large microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments. Then mix in these ingredients in this order: 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon red food coloring, and 3/4 teaspoon vinegar. Next, whisk in the beaten eggs and fold in the flour until competely incorporated. Do not overmix. Transfer the brownie mix into the prepared pan, saving about 4 tablespoons of batter for the top.
- For the cheesecake swirl, beat the cream cheese, 1/4 sugar, egg yolk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with a hand-held mixer until smooth (about a minute or so). Dollop spoonfuls of this cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter, then cover with the reserved brownie batter. Create a swirl pattern by gliding a knife through the layers.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the brownies completely, then lift them out of the pan with the foil or parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares.
~ adapted from recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction.
We shall top off our little feast with a fine tune to give you a moment to digest your meal. There are so many great love songs out there, but since it’s Valentine’s Day week, it’s only fitting that I share “our song.”
Barry Gibb once said in an interview that “How Deep is Your Love” is his favorite Bee Gees song. When I met Len in London back in the late 70’s, we went to see “Saturday Night Fever” at the Putney Theatre. Our friend Jim came too (he was later best man at our wedding). We all loved the film, and Jim ate a big bag of popcorn as he always did at the movies. 🙂
Surely this is the best song from the SNF soundtrack, and it instantly became “our song.” I never tire of hearing it, as it takes me straight back to those luminous days in my favorite city in the world.
Do you and your significant other have a song too? If so, please share in the comments!
With that, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope it’s brimming with lots of chocolate, beautiful music, good friends, happy moments, many hugs, and BIG BIG BIG LOVE.
With extra ❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️❤️,
Mr Cornelius, the Alphabet Soup Kitchen Helpers, and Jama Meatball Dumpling
Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.