Chocolate Bowls with Triple Sec Whipped Cream & Berries

I made this dessert for Valentine's day and can I just say I am glad I only made two because if I had made more I would have eaten them all!  These not only look fancy, but you taste buds will be throwing a raging party at the first bite.  You have to give it a go.  For the full recipe (serving size 8), check out www.alagraham.com.

Ingredients:
Balloons
Chocolate 
1/2 Pint heavy cream 
1 Tablespoon Triple Sec (or other flavored liquor) 
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Fresh Berries
Chopped Almonds



Directions:
Blow up the balloons (you want them small and round, like little bowls). If you are making several of these, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you are making only a couple (like I did), you can put foil on the bottom of a tupperware container. Boil water in a pan and reduce to simmer.

Set another pan or microwavable bowl on top of the simmering water and put in half of the chocolate, stir continuously and let it melt. Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate until smooth. Drop  melted chocolate on parchment paper to make disks…you are creating the bottom of the bowls (so they stand up). 

Next, carefully dip each balloon (about 1/2 to 3/4 of balloon) into the melted chocolate and set on top of the chocolate disks on parchment paper/foil.


Let set in fridge for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes take the cookie sheets out and let the bowls sit for about 5-10 minutes. While pinching the tops of the balloon snip or poke a hole to release the air…SLOWLY. 

Hopefully, the balloon will release freely. If it doesn’t, do not pull the balloon away from chocolate just let it sit for a few more minutes and the chocolate should release the balloon on its own. 

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer with a wire whisk combine the heavy cream, Triple Sec and powdered sugar. Whip on low for about 30 seconds so it doesn’t splatter. Increase to high and whip until peaks form and can hold their shape…about 3 – 4 minutes (don’t over mix). 

Rinse and slice your berries, and chop almonds to preferred size.  .


 Bring the chocolate bowls out of the fridge.  Spoon in whipped cream and top with berries and almonds.
  

Will be making these again! 

<3 Saleena

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Satisfying Salsa

Pinterest has done it again.  I saw this pin which led me to Mountain Mama Cooks blog, where I found the recipe to this amazing salsa. It is amazing for two reasons; the first being because it tastes so stinkin' good, and second, it's cheap to make!  I had everything already excepts for the Rotel, and that was about a buck.  




Ingredients:  

1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes 

1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel

1/2 small onion, roughly chopped 

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)  

1 teaspoon honey  

1/2 teaspoon salt  

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin  

small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed  

juice of 1 lime



Directions:

First, throw the onions and jalapeño in the food processor and pulse it a bit.  

Then throw all of the other ingredients in until everything it finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos
 Serve with chips or over tacos.  Delish. 

<3 Saleena


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Chicken Spinach Pesto Soup

Yes, it has been perfect weather for making soup here in So Cal, which means it is probably soup weather in most of the country.  Have you made a good soup lately? I would love to give it a try :]  Post a comment below with a link to the recipe and I just may feature it.   I found this recipe on EatingWell.  
 
Ingredients:
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divide
1/2 cup carrot (or if you're funny about cooked carrots, use bell pepper)
1/2 onion, chopped (I added)
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram (I didn't have any, so I used a mixture of Thyme and Basil)
6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add carrot (or bell pepper) and onion; cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. 


Stir in broth and marjoram (or basil & thyme); bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.


Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.


Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.

 Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. 


Serve with croutons, french bread, or saltines :] 


This soup is pretty darn good.  And the best part?  It's healthy!
According to EatingWell, the nutrition facts are as follows:

Nutrition

Per serving: 204 calories; 8 g fat ( 2 g sat , 4 g mono ); 29 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 6 g fiber; 691 mg sodium; 529 mg potassium.


Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (110% daily value), Folate & Vitamin C (20% dv).

You can't really beat that.

I've already made this twice in two weeks!  Which is a big deal, because I am always making new things.  Can't wait to try out your soup recipes!  Leave a link below :]

<3 Saleena



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