ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Foodie Friday Valentine's Day!

It's Foodie Friday at Gollum's!!

Thank you Michael for hosting- Allie and I absolutely adore this blog and the sweet lady who writes it. If you haven't already done so, run- don't walk, over to your favorite bookseller and check out "Consuming Passions- A Food Obsessed Life". You won't be sorry

It's been an insane week here at Casa Bramasole what with Valentine's Day and the impending 16th birthday of a certain teenaged food and decor blogger. Allie will be our Sweet 16 on Monday. 

It's not possible

It just isn't-she weighed less than 5 pounds just yesterday wasn't yesterday?? S-i-g-h..........

We'll be having a little girl's lunch for our girl this weekend and will share next week.

For today we're going to share recipes from our  romantic Tablescape Thursday  Valentine's dinner. 

Our first course will be a simple, but oh-so-flavorful Tomato Cream Soup with a swirl of Creme Fraiche

WARNING! This is made with real butter and real cream

This IS a Valentine's dinner for lovers

Decadence is expected and forgiven

Our dessert...

Perhaps an ending to the meal,

but definitely a beginning.......


Tomato Cream Soup

4 cups ripe fresh tomatoes, cored, peeled, and chopped (8-10) or canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed (not too liquid-y. If you're using canned tomatoes, drain excess liquid)
 4 cups homemade chicken stock (or low sodium boxed)
1 1/2-2 tablespoons fresh pesto
 1 cup heavy cream
 1 stick unsalted butter
  cracked black pepper
 lemon juice (optional)
Combine tomatoes and stock in saucepan.
 Simmer 30-45  minutes.
 Puree with the pesto, in small batches in blender. Return to saucepan, season with salt and pepper, swirl in butter and whisk slowly to combine. Add cream and stir over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and swirl in some creme fraiche or sour cream
Mango Cream Meringues
2 egg whites
dash of salt
good pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream whipped  to soft peaks with 1-2 tablespoons sugar.
1/2-3/4 cup pureed fruit-I used frozen mango, thawed for these today, but have also used passion fruit and various berries
Fold gently together
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. These can be made in any shape, but we did hearts for valentine’s Day. Using a 3-4 inch heart shaped cookie cutter as a guide, I traced 6 hearts on the parchment
     Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar till soft peaks form. Add the sugar VERY SLOWLY and continue beating till you have stiff glossy peaks. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag with a half inch tip (or a Ziploc bag with the corner clipped). Pipe meringue around the outline of the traced hearts and fill in-you should be able to get 6 hearts. Bake for 45 minutes, turn off oven without opening door and allow to cool for at least an hour.
Lay three hearts, flat side up, on a platter. Spread with cream filling and top with remaining 3 hearts, pretty side up :)
** These are exceptionally pretty accented with ruby red pomegranite seeds. I went to 4 different local stores and was unable to find any, but take my word for it-really lovely
*** Another thing I have done is made a tart with a puff pastry base and a creme patisserie filling. Simply “float” the meringue hearts on top and sprinkle with pomegranite seeds or drizzle with chocolate

Happy Valentine's Day

As Always,

Buon Alimento, Buon Amici,

Allie and Pattie


  1. Happy Valentine's Day to you both, and Happy Sweet 16 to Allie! I remember turning 16... seems like it was only yesterday. Too bad it was actually 25 years ago.


  2. As usual Patti and Allie- Wonderful post. The soup sounds delicious but I am absolutely fixated on those perfect meringues! Yum, Yum, Yum!
    And Happy Sweet 16th Birthday to my favorite teen blogger!!!!
    xo for Allie!

  3. What wonderful recipes, and such deliciousness! YUM! Thank you for sharing.

    Allie, I hope you have the happiest birthday ever! Happy Sweet 16! Enjoy!

    Happy Foodie Friday and Valentine's Day, too...


    Sheila :-)

  4. AWESOME!!! post, I love all the hearts. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Allie have a SWEET!!! and GREAT!!! 16th birthday.

    Come by and visit so you can enter my giveaway, it ends on 2/14.


  5. We adore meringues and these look fabulous. Will have to give them a try very soon.
    Happy Birthday to your daughter. I can barely remember 16! I do recall having a bit of fun, however...

  6. Beautiful photographs - I especially like the heart decorated with roses - and the recipes sound delicious too!

  7. Happy birthday Allie on your 16th birthday. They grow up so quickly, since my daughter is now 22.Happy Valentines Day also!!!!

  8. Allie is so beautiful and what a big day to turn l6. Happy Birthday to her. You table setting is just wonderful, everything is so pretty and your soup and dessert are so yummy looking. Wonderful. Hugs, Marty

  9. happy birthday to Allie! yea for February birthdays!

  10. Looks divine, as usual! Happy Birthday to Allie!

  11. The recipe looks wonderful. love all the heart shape, chocolate strawberries and etc.

  12. Beautiful! I love the sound of that creme filling!!! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  13. Allie and Pattie, Happy 16th Birthday such a milestone! Happy Valentine Day too. Beautiful vignettes! Noticed the 40's silverplate called First Love it is a classic. Will be trying the mango merinques.

  14. Allie -- Happy Birthday! You are a gorgeous young woman, and there are so many exciting years just ahead of you. :-)

    Pattie -- my sympathies! It's wonderful to watch them grow and become competent and beautiful women, but YIKES! My own "Ali," my daughter Alida, just turned 24 on 2/6. HOLY MOLY. That's a real grownup! (How did that happen and why don't I feel any older?)

    Lovely post -- and I LOVE that tomato soup recipe. Yum. I have to share that with my other daughter Anne; it's her favorite soup.


  15. First, every frame of the post is gorgeous, but your daughter is very lovely. I hope she has a wonderful birthday and that you both enjoy each others company. Blessings...Mary

  16. What a delightful post with valentines scape that fills with joy...

    makes me wanna scream joyfully...oh yeah LOVE IS IN THE AIR,SO IS ROMANCE....WISH YA LOADS OF IT @ 365

  17. Dear Pattie and Allie: Thank you for the nice comments on my daughter Tati's blog (she's the 13 year old). Just wanted to say something about turning 16. I grew up in Wisconsin. When you turned 16, all your friends would give you candy ribbons (bow with ribbons and candy taped down the ribbon). You would wear these all day and people would grab off candy! Kind of funny, huh? It really was a sweet 16! Allie, I hope you have a great one! Joni

  18. Such a beautiful and perfect Valentines Post!
    Everything looks fabby !!

  19. wow meravigliose queste ricette! sei bravissima!!
    ti faccio Tanti auguri per il tuo compleanno!!! baci!!

  20. Dropping back by on the day, girls, to wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day!


    Sheila :-)

  21. a beautiful post and a beautiful daughter!!! precious ~ simply precious~


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