Before I get to my delicious Valentines Day food on February 14, I want to mention the Cup cakes Wars which are put on by Food Network. Remember a couple weeks ago I told you about Natalie who owns Babycakes Cupcakery here in Tennessee; she is competing in the Cupcake Wars.
Since that letter, I was so happy to hear from Beth, one of readers in Florida, telling us about another competitor in Florida. After doing some reading, it appears to me that Hollis Wilder from Sweet by Good Golly Miss Molly in Orlando has already won. I am just becoming familiar with Food Networks Cupcake Wars so I am trying to find out how it works.
This appears to be a reality show and from a huge list of contestants, four are chosen each week to compete in three elimination challenges until only one competitor remains. The winner receives a $10,000 prize and the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes. This all seems really exciting to me because I love a good contest, especially involving food. Thanks for the tip Beth! As soon as I get back to Florida, I plan to visit Sweet by Good Golly Miss Molly and sample their cupcakes.
What better place to celebrate with good Valentines Day food than an Italian restaurant. Ask any Italian and they will tell you that they put extreme importance on romance. So combine a quiet romantic atmosphere with good food and the result was Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant in Kingsport, Tennessee.
A special menu was presented with Valentines Day food. Although this offered great holiday selections, we preferred choosing from Giuseppe’s extensive dinner menu. Our waiter Jared was very informed about the details of the menu and quite helpful in our selections.
We started our dinner with an exceptional fresh crispy dinner salad with delicious hot bread. Jared also brought us each a small bowl of lobster bisque. It was a special presentation on the menu of Valentines Day food and it was delicious. I must tell you that this lobster bisque is comparable to that of our favorite French Restaurant at Disney World.
With Jared’s help I chose the Chicken Giuseppe’s dish and the other entrée at our table was Tilapia Francese. Both of these dishes have some lemon juice, herbs and other ingredients to blend for special flavors. Neither of these dishes could have been any better seasoned. Actually, my selection, the Giuseppe’s chicken is very much like a favorite recipe of mine.
Talipia Francese Below
LEMON CHICKEN RECIPE with pine nuts
Pound chicken breasts until about ¼ inch thick.
Combine the chicken stock, wine, carrot, onion, vinegar, pepper flakes, and lemon rind in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced to about 2 cups (about 1 hour)
Strain and season with salt if needed.
Evenly divide butter between two large skillets over moderate heat.
When butter is hot, add chicken and sauté on each side.
Remove chicken to a platter and keep warm while finishing sauce.
Once again bring the chicken stock to a boil and whisk in ground pine nuts, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon parsley.
To serve place a light layer of clean and dried fresh spinach leaves over a dinner plate.
Spoon hot cooked angel hair pasta over the spinach, letting spinach show around the edges of plate.
Place cooked chicken breast to the side of the pasta.
Pour sauce over the chicken and garnish with toasted pine nuts and remaining parsley.
My thanks to Jared and Giuseppe’s Restaurant for all the delicious Valentines Day food and for a wonderful visit. If any of you readers are ever in the Kingsport area, please stop in and see what you have been missing.
YELLOW CUPCAKE RECIPE
Cupcakes always make a great Valentines Day food; all you need is the frosting and some hearts.
Combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt; sift together 3 times.
Cream butter in mixing bowl gradually adding sugar; beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time beating thoroughly after each.
Add flour to creamed mixture alternating with milk; blend in vanilla.
Measure ¼ cup batter into regular size paper lined cupcake tins.
Bake in preheated oven at 375F degrees for about 18 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
ORANGE CUPCAKE RECIPE
These cupcakes make a delicious Valentines Day food when frosted in white and decorated for the day.
Measure flour, baking powder and salt; sift 3 times.
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; set aside.
Cream shortening adding sugar gradually; beat until light.
Add egg yolks, honey and orange rind to shortening mixture; mix well.
Add dry ingredients alternately with orange juice to creamed mixture; mix only until blended.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into batter until blended.
Measure ¼ cup batter into each regular size paper lined cupcake tin.
Bake in preheated oven for about 18 minutes or until pick comes out clean.