Friday, February 3, 2012

The Month of Love

If love, that blessed nomad, is your guest, treat him well-Pelagia

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.–Virginia Woolf

It’s February.
The month of Love.
Sure, sure. Hallmark has generated a lot of February’s buzz. But the month holds a lot of allure on its own.  It’s the month of my wedding anniversary. 38 years. Gotta love that.  We’ll probably celebrate eating out. And if you love football, February is your month for friends and food. Did you know we Americans are expected to eat more than 1.25 billion chicken wings on Super bowl weekend? 
Lovin’ that. 
Hey, what do you think they do with all those necks? 
And of course, there’s Valentine’s Day.
A day that just wouldn’t be the same without that scrumptious food we love. Chocolate.
Estimates are that we Americans will buy around 58 million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to February 14th.  I’ll be carting home a few pounds. 
Love and eating go hand in hand. In honor of February, I'd like to share a couple of recipes that I think you’ll love.  They come courtesy of a dear friend of ours who recently graced our plates and palates with these fine foods.

Katie's Grilled Brie Sandwiches 
A distinction of this sandwich is the Granny Smith Apple which brings a crisp, tart and juicy element. The fig butter has such a distinctive fruit flavor; full and wonderful.  And what’s not to like about the savory mild and slightly sweet Brie?
Make these like you would a regular grilled cheese sandwich. Butter the outside of the bread.  Butter the inside with the fig butter.   Layer the sliced brie cheese on the bread.  Then layer the thinly sliced Granny Smith Apples.  Close the sandwich and grill. 

Sourdough Bread
Brie Cheese
Fig Butter
Granny Smith Green Apples

Katie’s Snowflake Chocolate Chip Cookies 
These are some of the best chocolate chip cookies I have had. Ever. Try them and tell me what you think.  The sprinkled sea salt is a touch that takes this traditional cookie to a new class.  Plus the dough lends itself to many variations, like using peanut butter chips, instead.  

Sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars together
Add and mix in eggs and vanilla
Stir in the chocolate chips
Plastic wrap dough and place into freezer for a short while to chill before baking.  Or place in refrigerator overnight.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
Make your dough balls about the size of ping pong balls on steroids.
Sprinkle the tops with sea salt.
Bake until golden brown. About 20 minutes.
Eat happy

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons Cake flour
1 2/3 cups Bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
¾ Cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Madagascar)
2 large eggs
1 pound chocolate chips
Sea salt for garnish

February reminds me of December; lots of good cheer packed into one month. 
Seriously, shouldn't we spread the love?  Wouldn't it be cool to blend the best elements of December and February throughout the year?
I like the idea.
Once upon a time according to legend, this guy named Valentine refused a Roman Emperor’s edict and was thrown into the slammer. Refusing an emperor never ends well.  While behind bars, Valentine met the jailer’s daughter who proceeded to visit him regularly. Probably brought in chicken wings and baked cookies while they talked about whatever. Soon sparks flew and love was in the air. 
Cupid had shot his arrow. 
The evening before his execution, Valentine wrote his love a note that would forever change her life and ours. 
He signed his beloved’s note, "From your Valentine."
Gotta love it


Michelle M said...

Yum!! The Brie sandwiches sound especially amazing!

Angela said...

You cannot go wrong with chocolate chip cookies.

mangiawithmario said...

Michelle, thanks for the comment. Those sandwiches are truly amazing.

Angela, i agree with you 100 per cent! The world is always a better place with a chocolate chip cookie!

firefoodie said...

Those little toasties look inviting. And, you're right, I just see so many chicken wing superbowl things at the mo, didn't realise it was such a big thing from over here in the uk :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mario!!!!! Thank you again for your visit!

Unknown said...

hello!!thak you for your visit in my blog! bye

honey82 said...

Ciao Mario!!!
Un saluto a te e a tutta la tua famiglia..:-)
Un abbraccio

Drizel said...

Happy anniversary, thats really lovely and I wish the two of you guys many more happy years together.
Thanks for popping by to say hi.
Have a lovely February.

janet@fromcupcakestocaviar said...

happy Anniversary! Thirty eight years is wonderful in this day and age of throw away marriages!

I'm not sure which I want more; the sandwich or the cookies :-)

Unknown said...

Love chocolate cookies! Your blog is really good made! Do you have Italian origins?


Reiza said...

Mario, you've put a smile on my face, a warm fuzzy feeling in my chest, and saliva in my mouth. Hahaha! While I don't have access to chocolates and all the goodies you have in the bush, I am definitely going to pour myself a glass of wine. Cheers to love and food! And happy anniversary, by the way.

Andrea said...

Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving such a delightful comment. I love getting such wonderful feed back from other bloggers. I have been writing a family blog for over 6 years but very new to the food blog. I am dying to make these cookies. I feel like I have perfected the chocolate chip cookie but these sound pretty special. I think the sea salt is what got me. As soon as I go out and buy sea salt I am making these for sure. Looking forward to sharing recipes and stories with you.

Alida said...

Thank you for the lovely comment about my biscuits on "Have the cake" and thank you for leading me here. Your blog is very interesting and very professional. I am keen follower now! Ciao!

Maíra Dias said...

Querido Mario é tão prazeroso quando vejo suas palavras em meu blog, sempre palavras de carinho e motivação! Eu vou bem e você, como está o ano novo? Espero que cheio de amor e luz! Enquanto houver amor no mundo eu hei de continuar escrevendo! Seu português está otimo! beijos

Christine's Pantry said...

Happy Anniversary! Great recipes.

mangiawithmario said...

Firefoodie, I was never really into the wing thing, but this year I ate a boatload. My son in law made some fantastic wings for the Superbowl. Very delicious.
Fly, thank you for stopping by and visiting!
Luisa, thank you for both the visit and for following Mangia
Ciao Daiana! Grazie, grazie. Tu sei molto gentile. Un abraccio.
Drizel, thanks for the well wishes. A great February to you, too.
Janet, thanks so much. As far as the sandwich or the cookie...have them both!
Nicole, grazie per la tua visita. Il mio nonno (in il lato di mia madre) era italiano. Il suo cognome era Rosetti.

Carmen Anderson - Video Editor/Producer said...

The chocolate cookies look delish!!! Great post, thanks for sharing

mangiawithmario said...

Reiza, what encouraging words. Thanks. These cookies ARE really good. I think you should open up a chocolate shop there in the bush. All imported chocolates. You'd be a big hit. Cheers to love and food.
Andrea, thanks for the nice comments. Your right, the sea salt does put these over the top. Let me know how yours come out. Ciao!
Alida, thank you for visiting and following.
Maira, Obrigado! Como sempre, você tem agradáveis palavras para dizer. Você é uma pessoa amável. Abraços!
Christine, thanks for the well wishes.
Carmen, thanks for stopping by. And yes, these cookies are delish! Very!

Thaís de Miranda said...

Que delícia de espaço!
Primeiro, preciso dizer que amo VirgíniaW. Adoro de paixão. Já morei um tempo na Flórida, tive o prazer de conhecer a Califórnia e acho que moraria por aí facilmente... Tenho minhas dificuldades com inglês, mas na época, as dificuldades eram maiores que essa...
Vou não só desfrutar do blog, mas aproveitar e treinar esse inglês...
Um beijão!

Dee said...

Che buono!
Bravo Mario!

BeadBag said...

Hi Mario - lovely recipe - will be making some of these. I love your up-dated Valentine story :)
Shirley xxxx

Tammy said...

Ciao Mario! February has been a good month indeed! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that March is just as good! The Super Bowl was epic for sure!
And I hope you had a wonderful anniversary! Congrats to you!
The cookies look and sound fantastic! And since I have a CCC obsession, I can guarantee you that I will definitely be trying them!

Ellen ♥ said...

Hello Mario! :)

thanks for dropping by on my (dying) blog. hahaha :D

Ughh.. I'm jealous you know how to cook and bake cookies. >_<

Have a great day!

Ellen Reviews

Precy Larkins said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog this week and for the kind comment. I love your food blog (I love food!). I'm now following you. ;)

Have a good day!

Smareis said...

Oi Mário,
Sua postagem esta recheada de coisas gostosa. Que maravilha esse sanduíches .
Adorei a receitinha do Floco de neve.
Obrigada pela partilha.
Beijos grande amigo!

Lilly said...

Hi Mario! I hope you are well and that life is great! I wonder what you have in store for us this year. Love the recipes you posted. Especially the cookies…JUM! Take care and I’ll see you around!

Claudia said...

Salut Mario,

Ciocolata pare delicioasa, s-ar putea sa o incerc si eu.

Toate cele bune!

mangiawithmario said...

Ciao Thais! Obrigado por seus comentários gentis. Você conhecer Califórnia? Como é maravilhoso! Abraços!

Ciao Basil! Grazie per la tua visita. E grazie per la tua parole gentile. Abraccio!

Shirley, Thanks for your encouraging words. You are always so supportive.

Tammy, I think CCC obsessions are a common condition for people everywhere. And I think we are proud of it. Thanks for the visit and comments. Cheers!

mangiawithmario said...

Hi Ellen! Thanks for the visit. I actually didn't bake these cookies. But I sure knew how to eat them!

Thanks Cherie! I love food, too! And thanks so much for following. Have a great week.

Hi Smareis! Como você está meu amiga? Obrigado pela sua visita. Suas palavras sempre são animadores. Você gosta de cookies, tanto quanto me? Abraços!

Hi Lilly! Yes, life is great but oh sooo busy. Never too busy to stop and have a cookie or two or three! How are you? I hope that life is wonderful for you, too.

Salut Claudia! Vă mulţumim pentru vizita dumneavoastră. Da, sunt de acord. Ciocolata este delicios. Toate cele bune!

Emily Malloy said...

These recipes are enchanting :)

Ale said...

Quantas sugestões maravilhosas!

LUCIA said...


running4him said...

Great quote!! Cool post!! Nice blog too!! Keep up the good work!! You are invited to check out or follow my blog anytime!! Have a great day!!!

Cass @foodmyfriend said...

You had me at grilled brie sandwiches! I have a love affair with food. I'm glad I'm not alone :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mario, thanks for the visit (i love that song to ) I love your blog 2.. thank you for sharing the very special family stories!
I am so hungry now:)have a great day!