Monday, February 14, 2011

Cookin' in the Cave-Valentine's Day Edition

Just because I "CAN" doesn't mean I "HAVE TOO"....

That was my rule for Valentine's Day creations this year.   Its quite liberating really. I mean, really, is it genuinely necessary that I make a triple layer chocolate mousse fudge cake with dark chocolate ganache and chocolate curls? NO! Its not! I CAN do that, but to what end?  I don't need it, my kids won't eat it, and it takes alot of time, energy, and even a small portion of the grocery budget that I'm just not willing to part with right now.

Priorities.  Putting first things first  That's where we're at in our little Cave Hair Clan right now.  It was a priority to provide something fun, something special, and something the kids could help me with for a Valentine celebration.  It was NOT a priority to have it be excruciatingly time consuming, expensive, or "perfect".  Perfect is as perfect does, and a triple layer chocolate mousse fudge cae with dark chocolate ganache and chocolate curls may be "picture perfect" but if the family won't eat it, and I make myself into a martyr over the process...its not the perfect cake for US.  

There's only one martyr being celebrated on Valentine's Day, and it is not MOM.

So here's Valentine's Day celebration treats done Cave style:
Divine in all their crunchy, creamy, sweet, smooth, and tanginess, heart shaped Pavlova desserts are both a family favorite and a nod to our Australian heritage. To get sprinkles to stay on the meringues, add it before you bake. We did ours up in our own unique style, with lemon scented meringue, and creme fraiche instead of the classic whipped cream. I LOVED them made this way, even if it started out as necessary substitutions for other ingredients I lacked. I will be making them this way again, for SURE!

Ginger Gems
Did you ever start out with the best of intentions and then in a moment of honesty realize, you just weren't up to completing the task as originally planned? Its far too easy to just throw it all away at this point and adopt an "all or nothing" attitude about even the smallest of things. But knowing one's limitations does not require an all or nothing attitude. Not even close! Adaptability is the key. The dough for these ginger gems (featuring a healthy dose of ChefTess' Wise woman of the East Spice Blend...perfect with anything gingery) was originally intended to become beautifully decorated ginger people, personalized for each of 8 preschool class mates. Sunday afternoon rolled around, it had been a long and physically exhausting week, and I wasn't interested in spending my entire Sunday afternoon decorating cookies. Plus, the point was for Lily to help, and she LOVES to decorate, for about 3 minutes, then she's ready to move on to the next thing. Turning this ginger dough into "Ginger Gems" was the perfect solution. We took the chilled dough, rolled in balls, flattened out into a tray of non-pariels and stuck a heart on top of each one. Lily helped to the end, the turned out extremely festive, and every single cookie was decorated, baked, and cooling in under 30 mins (starting with previously mixed and chilled dough.)


for us...

which, after all, is really the point.


Lara said...

Okay. Those things look incredible! Please send some my way!

Chef Tess said...

So cool Lisa. How I love you!!