The Sweetest Affair

The Sweetest Affair

The Sweetest Affair
Set the stage with red drinks, scrumptious desserts, and thoughtful accents (hearts, of course!) for a brunch to celebrate everyone dear to you.



Sparkle and Blush Cocktail  Makes 1 drink  1 cup crushed ice  1 ounce Campari®  3 ounces pink grapefruit juice  2 teaspoons simple syrup  Chilled Stellina di Notte® Prosecco  Pink grapefruit-peel twist  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, Campari, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. Shake until very cold. 2. Strain into a Champagne flute. Top with chilled prosecco. Garnish with twist. Serve immediately. *Note: To make simple syrup, mix 1 cup each sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Sparkle and Blush Cocktail
Makes 1 drink

1 cup crushed ice

1 ounce Campari®

3 ounces pink grapefruit juice

2 teaspoons simple syrup

Chilled Stellina di Notte® Prosecco

Pink grapefruit-peel twist

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, Campari, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. Shake until very cold.
2. Strain into a Champagne flute. Top with chilled prosecco. Garnish with twist. Serve immediately.
*Note: To make simple syrup, mix 1 cup each sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Big Heart Red Velvet Cake

Makes 18 to 20 servings   CAKE   Baking spray  2 boxes red velvet cake mix  2 1/2 cups water,divided  2 cups sour cream, divided  2⁄3 cup vegetable oil, divided  6 large eggs   FROSTING   2 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, at room temperature  2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature  8 cups powdered sugar  2 teaspoons vanilla extract  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 12-inch heart-shaped pan with baking spray. 2. In a large bowl, combine 1 box cake mix, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup sour cream, 1⁄3 cup oil, and 3 eggs. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. Pour batter into pan. 3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake but leave oven on. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn cake out of pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. 4. Meanwhile, wash and dry pan. Coat pan with baking spray. Make a second batch of batter with remaining cake mix, water, sour cream, oil, and eggs. Bake and cool as directed. 5. For cream cheese frosting: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. 6. Using a long serrated knife, trim tops of cakes so that they are flat. Save trimmings. Place one layer on a cake plate. Spread frosting over layer. Place second layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake. 7. Crumble cake trimmings into a bowl to make fine crumbs. Press crumbs over top and sides of cake.

Makes 18 to 20 servings

CAKE

Baking spray

2 boxes red velvet cake mix

2 1/2 cups water,divided

2 cups sour cream, divided

2⁄3 cup vegetable oil, divided

6 large eggs

FROSTING

2 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, at room temperature

2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature

8 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 12-inch heart-shaped pan with baking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine 1 box cake mix, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup sour cream, 1⁄3 cup oil, and 3 eggs. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. Pour batter into pan.
3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake but leave oven on. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn cake out of pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Meanwhile, wash and dry pan. Coat pan with baking spray. Make a second batch of batter with remaining cake mix, water, sour cream, oil, and eggs. Bake and cool as directed.
5. For cream cheese frosting: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
6. Using a long serrated knife, trim tops of cakes so that they are flat. Save trimmings. Place one layer on a cake plate. Spread frosting over layer. Place second layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake.
7. Crumble cake trimmings into a bowl to make fine crumbs. Press crumbs over top and sides of cake.

Nice Nibbles  Strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta: In a small sauce- pan, bring 1⁄2 cup of balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until reduced by half. Cool to room temperature. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush 12 slices ciabatta or other Italian bread with olive oil. Grill bread 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Spread grilled bread with goat cheese. Top with strawberries, add salt and pepper, and drizzle with balsamic syrup. Sprinkle with basil. Makes 12 servings.

Nice Nibbles
Strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta: In a small sauce- pan, bring 1⁄2 cup of balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until reduced by half. Cool to room temperature. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush 12 slices ciabatta or other Italian bread with olive oil. Grill bread 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Spread grilled bread with goat cheese. Top with strawberries, add salt and pepper, and drizzle with balsamic syrup. Sprinkle with basil. Makes 12 servings.

Tenderloin Toasts  Makes 36 toasts   SAUCE   1⁄3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry  1⁄3 cup mayonnaise  1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard  1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves  1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper  1 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon ground black pepper   TOAST AND ROAST   1 baguette, cut into 1-inch-thick slices (about 36 pieces)  2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing bread  1 garlic clove, cut in half  1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin  Salt and coarse-ground pepper Coarse salt  1. For sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine peppers, mayonnaise, mustard, thyme, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and chill until serving time.   2. For toast: Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush bread slices with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Rub warm toast with cut sides of garlic clove. Let cool completely. Turn oven to 400°F.   3. For roast: Season tenderloin with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 130°F.   4. Transfer meat to a platter and allow to cool. Wrap and chill roast for at least 4 hours. 5. To assemble, slice meat very thinly and lay on toast. Top with sauce. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Tenderloin Toasts
Makes 36 toasts

SAUCE

1⁄3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry

1⁄3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

TOAST AND ROAST

1 baguette, cut into 1-inch-thick slices (about 36 pieces)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing bread

1 garlic clove, cut in half

1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin

Salt and coarse-ground pepper Coarse salt

1. For sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine peppers, mayonnaise, mustard, thyme, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Cover and chill until serving time.


2. For toast: Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush bread slices with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Rub warm toast with cut sides of garlic clove. Let cool completely. Turn oven to 400°F.


3. For roast: Season tenderloin with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 130°F.


4. Transfer meat to a platter and allow to cool. Wrap and chill roast for at least 4 hours.
5. To assemble, slice meat very thinly and lay on toast. Top with sauce. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Heart-y Party  Pretend you’re back in school and make valentines with your best chums. On a table arrange piles of red and pink cardstock, decorative brads, satin ribbon and other embellishments (such as stickers or vintage wrapping paper), as well as scissors, glue, and various types of hole punches (including a scalloped edge heart shape). Display a few sample cards to get the ball rolling, then let your guests get crafty.   Passion Play  Transform your sitting room into a love nest by tricking it out with dozens of red and pink accents in the form of heart-shaped paper doilies in varying sizes and shades. Using glue dots, tack hearts on your flower arrangements, window panes, and furniture; scatter them about on tabletops and use them as coasters. You can even tack doilies on comfy red throw pillows picked up for the occasion and outline windows with heart shapes and decorative tape.   Think Pink  To fashion centerpieces of utter elegance, think tall. Fill a few fancy urns or fluted vases with all-pink clusters of snapdragons, lilies, gerbera daisies, tulips, and whatever else you discovered in the silk-flower department. A hunk of florist foam can steady the bouquet. Insert the tallest stems first, then add one type of bloom at a time, working around. Be sure to keep the arrangement symmetrical.

Heart-y Party
Pretend you’re back in school and make valentines with your best chums. On a table arrange piles of red and pink cardstock, decorative brads, satin ribbon and other embellishments (such as stickers or vintage wrapping paper), as well as scissors, glue, and various types of hole punches (including a scalloped edge heart shape). Display a few sample cards to get the ball rolling, then let your guests get crafty.

Passion Play
Transform your sitting room into a love nest by tricking it out with dozens of red and pink accents in the form of heart-shaped paper doilies in varying sizes and shades. Using glue dots, tack hearts on your flower arrangements, window panes, and furniture; scatter them about on tabletops and use them as coasters. You can even tack doilies on comfy red throw pillows picked up for the occasion and outline windows with heart shapes and decorative tape.

Think Pink
To fashion centerpieces of utter elegance, think tall. Fill a few fancy urns or fluted vases with all-pink clusters of snapdragons, lilies, gerbera daisies, tulips, and whatever else you discovered in the silk-flower department. A hunk of florist foam can steady the bouquet. Insert the tallest stems first, then add one type of bloom at a time, working around. Be sure to keep the arrangement symmetrical.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Cake

Makes 8 servings  Cooking spray  1 pouch (17.5 ounces) double chocolate chunk cookie mix  1 cup Bisquick baking mix  1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  1 cup chocolate milk  2 tablespoons vegetable oil  1 cup frozen cherries  1⁄2 cup cherry preserves  2 tablespoons light corn syrup  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, combine cookie mix, baking mix, and cocoa powder. Add chocolate milk and oil and beat with an electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into cake pan. 3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely. 4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine frozen cherries, preserves, and corn syrup. Microwave on medium (50%) about 4 minutes, or until preserves are melted and mixture is heated through. 5. Cut cake into wedges. Top each serving with some of the cherry mixture


Makes 8 servings

Cooking spray

1 pouch (17.5 ounces) double chocolate chunk cookie mix

1 cup Bisquick baking mix

1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup frozen cherries

1⁄2 cup cherry preserves

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine cookie mix, baking mix, and cocoa powder. Add chocolate milk and oil and beat with an electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into cake pan.
3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine frozen cherries, preserves, and corn syrup. Microwave on medium (50%) about 4 minutes, or until preserves are melted and mixture is heated through.
5. Cut cake into wedges. Top each serving with some of the cherry mixture

Totally Tiki

Totally Tiki

Birthday Surprises

Birthday Surprises