Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Feb. 14, 2007

A feast fit for a valentine

by Mary Donahue, Online Managing Features Editor and Ellie d'Eustachio, Online Photo Staff
This Valentine's Day, Silver Chips Online sent two staffers off on a mission: to help you hopeless, and, more importantly, helpless romantics find the perfect Valentine's Day meal for your expectant Valentine. Seven grueling hours and two gallons of devils food cake batter later, those two staffers emerged (covered head to toe in flour and cocoa) with what could quite possibly be the fool-proof Valentine's Day feast.

So this year forego the Whitman's samplers and stuffed teddy bears and give your pookie-bear a fantastic culinary experience that they will not easily forget. Of course, we assume no responsibility for any catastrophes that you may face when it comes time to make the jello hearts...

Breakfast

Heart shaped pancakes
Serves 4, recipe by Paul "Trust-me-when-it-comes-to-romance" d'Eustachio (better known as Ellie's dad)
What better way to surprise your Valentine than with heart-shaped pancakes? Ellie d'Eustachio
What better way to surprise your Valentine than with heart-shaped pancakes?

Kitchenware:
- greased skillet
- spatula
- large mixing bowl
- heart shaped cookie cutter
- oven mitt


Ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 and 1/2 cup milk
- 3-4 tbs. butter, melted
- additional butter

Preparation:

1. Combine first three ingredients in a large mixing bowl

2. Add the beaten eggs and milk. If desired, add additional milk to make the batter thinner. Stir the melted butter in last.

3. Grease the skillet and heat. As the skillet is heating, grease the heart shaped cookie cutter generously with butter. Lay the cookie cutter on the hot skillet and slowly pour the batter inside the cookie cutter to desired thickness. Cook batter until there are few or no bubbles or golden brown on bottom side (about 1 minute). Remove cookie cutter using oven mitt (it will be hot), and flip pancake over with spatula. The pancake should retain its heart shape. Cook until golden brown on the second side.

4. Serve with butter and syrup, if desired.


Lunch

Heart shaped red and white sandwiches
Makes 1 sandwich

Kitchenware:
- knife
- heart shaped cookie cutter (optional)

These heart-shaped sandwiches are so cute, you'll eat them right up. Ellie d'Eustachio
These heart-shaped sandwiches are so cute, you'll eat them right up.

Ingredients:
- 2 pieces of bread
- healthy serving of cream cheese
- a smothering of jelly

Preparation:

1. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese and then a thick layer of jelly on one side of the bread. Top with the second piece of bread.

2. If desired, lay the heart shaped cookie cutter on top of the bread and cautiously cut out the shape. We do not advise that you try and push the cookie cutter through the sandwich because it will smush. This sandwich goes well with carrot sticks and milk.


A cookie snack
Makes about 3 dozen heart shaped cookies
Recipe modified from "Rose’s Christmas Cookies Cookbook"


Kitchenware:
- rolling pin
- greased cookie sheets
- large mixing bowl
- electric mixer
- shaped cookie cutters (optional)


Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 level cups of flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 12 tbsp. butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. water
- Royal icing (recipe follows)
Prepare freshly-baked cookies to warm up your Valentine's heart. Ellie d'Eustachio
Prepare freshly-baked cookies to warm up your Valentine's heart.

Preparation:

1. Cream together the sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until well blended. In a small bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter mixture, beating until blended. Add a few drops of water at a time, blending to help the dough form. Do not over beat the dough.

2. Using lightly floured hands form dough into a ball, handling as little as possible to prevent the cookies from being tough. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, though no more than 3 so the dough does not dry out.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to a 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place on greased cookie sheets. Re-roll scraps and repeat until dough is finished, including the second half.

4. Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Allow cookies to cool completely on cooling racks after they are done baking. Frost with royal icing and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


Royal icing

Kitchenware:
- small bowl
- egg separator


Ingredients:
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 large egg whites or egg white substitute


Preparation:

1. Lightly beat the egg whites with a fork until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar at about a ½ cup at a time. Beat until well combined using either a fork or an electric mixer. Keep adding powdered sugar until the icing has a sheen to it and forms loose peaks. To thicken add more powdered sugar, to thin add a few drops of water at a time.


Dinner

Heart shaped pizza
Makes a normal sized pizza, recipe by Lynne d'Eustachio

Kitchenware:
- a large pizza pan, or just a large, flat pan
- large mixing bowl

Mama Mia!  Pizza ingredients for a lovely dinner. Ellie d'Eustachio
Mama Mia! Pizza ingredients for a lovely dinner.

Ingredients:
- 1 tsp. dry yeast
- 3/4 cup room temperature water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- flour
- 1 jar tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (or as needed)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or as needed)
- other desired toppings

Preparation:

1. Add 1 teaspoon dry yeast to room temperature water, salt and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Combine well.

2. Add flour until the mixture becomes firm enough to knead easily. Allow this to rise in room temperature for 1 hour. The dough can be put in the

fridge to rise slower if more time is needed; the colder the temperature the slower the dough will rise.

3. Before taking the dough out, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spread 1 tbsp. of oil onto the pizza pan. Stretch and knead onto an oiled pan in the shape of a heart. Fold over the edge in order to make the crust.

4. Spread tomato sauce over the dough and sprinkle a generous layer of the two cheeses over the sauce. Add toppings (peppers, olives, pepperoni, sausage, etc.) as you see fit. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust golden brown.


Dessert

Decadent devils food chocolate cake
Makes two 8-inch round cakes, recipe adapted from "A Piece of Cake Cookbook"

Kitchenware:
- two greased and floured 8-inch cake pans
- large mixing bowl
- electric mixer

Top your meals off with this mouth-watering Valentines cake. Ellie d'Eustachio
Top your meals off with this mouth-watering Valentines cake.

Ingredients:
- 2 and 1/4 cup flour, whisked smooth
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk or 2 tbsp. lemon juice mixed with 1½ cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- One recipe of buttercream frosting

Preparation:

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour cake pans.

6. Whisk together dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

7. In a large bowl, cream butter and add eggs, one at a time and beating well after every addition. Beat in the vanilla. Alternatively add flour mixture and buttermilk to the egg mixture. Slowly blend with the mixer after each addition.

8. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Chocolate buttercream icing
Makes enough to frost and decorate two 8-inch round cakes, recipe adapted from "Wilton Cake Decorating"

Kitchenware:
- large mixing bowl
- electric mixer


Ingredients:
- 1 cup butter or shortening
- 4-6 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 2-10 tbsp. milk or water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

1. Cream together butter and extracts.
2. Whisk together powdered sugar (start with 4 cups) and cocoa powder.
3. Slowly add sugar mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined, alternating between adding sugar and a tablespoon of milk. By adding the sugar you will be increasing the quantity, so if you want more frosting add the additional 2 cups of sugar. To thin the icing or make it creamier, add milk by the tablespoon.


Failed snack attempt

Jello hearts
Makes one successful heart
These jello hearts may be a disaster to make, but your hard work will be endearing and adorable. Ellie d'Eustachio
These jello hearts may be a disaster to make, but your hard work will be endearing and adorable.

Kitchenware:
- 13 x 9 inch pan
- medium mixing bowl
- heart shaped cookie cutter


Ingredients:
- one packet cherry flavored jello
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup boiling water

Preparation:

1. Boil 1 cup of water and add to flavored jello packet in a mixing bowl. Stir for at least 2 minutes Add 1 cup cold water and combine. Pour into the pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

2. Try to cut out at least one heart, it never really works. We ended up piling jello into a general heart shape for photography purposes, but we recommend trying to put the cookie cutters into the jello before it goes into the refrigerator. Even then we don't know how you'd get the hearts out intact, though.


Happy Valentines Day!






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  • aficionado on February 14, 2007 at 11:52 AM
    WOW! if you guys made the cake in that picture, then that is awesome!
  • yum on February 14, 2007 at 12:10 PM
    These pictures look fantastic, and the food looks amazing...

    yum.
  • Alex on February 14, 2007 at 2:32 PM
    Awwww. These are soo cute! Good job you guys! Great photos Ellie!
  • Yummy! on February 14, 2007 at 6:01 PM
    The cake in the photo makes me want to get a valentine JUST to eat that cake with them.
  • Secret admirer on February 14, 2007 at 6:21 PM
    Ellie-Thank you so much for taking decent pictures of food for SCO!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me!!!

    Mary-Thank you so much for making decent looking food for SCO!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me!!!
  • st. val on February 14, 2007 at 9:01 PM
    these recipes are well done and the pictures are so cute! awwww.
  • Jon B on February 15, 2007 at 1:04 AM
    Mary ~ I love you! You are so amazing, and you may have just inspired me to make my own pizza!!!!!!

    YAY SILVER CHIPS FOOD!!!!
  • librarian on February 15, 2007 at 6:20 PM
    Fantastic food photos- they look professional. The secret to jello shapes is on the box- use less water. It makes the jello stiffer. Heat the cookie cutter before using. Better yet, use individual heart shaped jello molds like my mother had.
  • chips staffer on February 16, 2007 at 11:52 AM
    Eeee! That stuff all looks so tasty - and I know the cake was good. Hmmm, next time you do that tell me and I'll "help" cook with you guys...right.
  • shayenne on February 20, 2007 at 12:08 PM
    ooo i love them heart.
  • LA on March 11, 2007 at 9:42 AM
    wow.....
    can i have some please, i never had such Appetite in my life..hahaha
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