Have I mentioned how much I love Valentine’s Day? It must be all the hearts and hot pink that sucks me in. I went paper crazy over the weekend, picking up some little cards and gifts and paper straws to get me in the spirit. And that heart cookie-cutter came in handy while making some  rice krispy treats a little extra special for a SuperBowl party on Sunday! What about you? Valentine day lover or hater?photo2photo

Need some more Valentine’s Day inspiration? Follow my Pinterest board here.

This year I’m serving up a punch for my signature cocktail: Champagne Clementine Fizz. It’s a little pink, and a little bubbly, and with the cute bows I found at the craft store to tie on my champagne glasses — it’s even a little glittery! Want to whip up a batch for yourself? In a large drink dispenser, combine two bottles of champagne — feel free to use the cheap stuff, I promise no one will know, one bottle of sparkling clementine soda (you can find this at Trader Joe’s) and a few ounces of St Germain or another elderflower liquor to taste. Mix it together and throw in some frozen cranberries for color and to keep the drink cool. Cheers to 2013!

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Baking can  be a daunting task when you have a tiny apartment kitchen, but I powered through the minimal counter space dilemma this weekend and made some mini pecan pie tarts. The recipe was simple and it was a nice relaxing way to spend my Sunday afternoon.  Now if only doing the dishes was as rewarding as popping those sweet little bites in my mouth!

This weekend I had major order envy when one of my girlfriends had an amazing eggplant caprese sandwich while we were out to lunch on Newbury Street. I was still thinking about yesterday afternoon and decided to make a salad version for dinner with my own twist. Breaded eggplant with some tomatoes and mozzarella, topped with sun-dried tomato pesto — it was such a nice combination of fresh summer flavors!

 

It has been a zillion degrees in my apartment for the past few weeks with this heat wave in Boston, which means I have been quite lazy with making dinners at home. I saw a recipe that required no stove time in this month’s  House Beautiful and it finally inspired me to cook something up besides take out. This recipe was a perfect simple summer meal;  I added on some grilled corn for a little extra color and flavor, and it turned out delicious!

My boyfriend bought me the new Gwyenth Paltrow cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter” and I have been reading it over and over again drooling over the delicious pictures inside. I bookmarked a few of the recipes to try out this week — a salad dressing and stuffed artichokes — and over the course of my cooking experiment I learned that:

1. Artichokes are very photogenic. Dinner may have been a bit late because of an impromptu photo shoot.

2. Gwyenth Paltrow  knows her way around a vinaigrette. I’m having dreams about her chive dressing.

3. Turns out, I don’t really love the taste of artichokes. But the French bread and tomato stuffing? Scrumptious.

Black raspberry, blackberry, really berry anything is my favorite — I love the  flavors but think I’m also drawn to the delicious looking colors too. This blackberry buttercream frosting recipe is definitely getting stored away for a special occasion — it’s mouthwatering just looking at it.

via Kitchen Trial and Error

I took my gazillion recipe cards and print outs and tears from magazines and finally organized them all in clear sheet protectors in a binder that matches my kitchen. It feels good to be organized and makes the “what am I going to make for dinner” nightly dilemma a bit more manageable after a long day of work.

I put this off for a long time because I had a lofty goal of writing all of my recipes out on pretty letterpress recipe cards and storing them in a recipe box. But this was a much more practical solution and is protecting my recipes from the splatters and crumbs in the cooking process. How do you organize your recipes?

It’s an all-carb day here at DomestiKatedLife… first bread, now sweet treats! I took my new Flour Bakery cookbook for a test run today and made milk chocolate hazelnut cookies for my New Years Eve party on Friday. The taste as good as they look, and they smell even better.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy of the book, it’s a little complicated but with some precision and patience, the results are very, very worth it. I have to try out the infamous sticky-bun recipe next!