Southern Valentine

Submitted by Christi

We have a winner of the Fabulous DonnaDots! The winner is . . . . Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul! Congrats Sarah! Send me your mailing address and the pattern you would like and I’ll get it to Donna! Hope you all enjoyed Donna’s Fabulous DonnaDots!

The first piece of jewelry my husband ever gave me was a tiny little gold key charm on a chain. He said it was the key to his heart (is that sweet or what?). This year for Valentine’s Day, I set a table with that key in mind.

Valentine Key

Valentine Key

A cozy table in front of the fireplace.

A cozy table in front of the fireplace.

A little candlelight.

A little candlelight.

Our wedding china with cut out hearts.

Our wedding china with cut out hearts.

Romantic layers.

Romantic layers.

Ready to dine with the love of my heart!

Ready to dine with the love of my heart!

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day! Check out all the fabulous tablescapes today at

with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:¬† Savory Coeur a la Creme
A fabulous recipe by Ina Garten that is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bottle chutney (recommended: Cross and Blackwell Major Grey’s)
  • Crackers, for serving

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until it is firm like whipped cream. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick.

Line a 6-inch coeur a la creme mold or 6-inch sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth, allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Fold the excess cheesecloth over the top of the cream. Place the mold on a plate or suspend the sieve over a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, unmold the creme upside down onto a plate and pour the chutney over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Serve chilled with crackers.

Southern Valentine

Submitted by Christi
Still happy after all these years.

Still happy after all these years.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Personally, I’ve never really been a big fan. When I was a kid I enjoyed making the Valentine bags from white paper sacks and red and pink construction paper. I liked exchanging the little paper Valentines with all my school friends.

When I got older the expectations changed. If you were not in a relationship you always hated Valentine’s Day. If you were in a relationship, you hoped it would live up to your expectations and it caused a lot of pressure on you and your sweetie.

I’ve been happily married for a little over 11 years now and I actually enjoy Valentine’s Day a little more now. I don’t have a lot of expectations. We are usually too busy to do too much. Maybe a nice dinner with dessert. We rarely ever have dessert around here so that is a big deal. We usually even make our own Valentines and don’t bother with store bought and don’t even exchange gifts. This is fine with me. Now it is just kind of a day to reflect that we are happy with each other and still in love . . .

That is not just enough, that is a lot!

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Today’s Lagniappe: Christi’s Chocolate Chocolate Pudding Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Note: This is my easier version of Emeril Lagasse’s chocolate chocolate pudding cake with chocolate ganache. If you are more ambitious, you can make his original version.

  • 1 chocolate cake mix baked according to package directions
  • 3/4 cups Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 pkg. chocolate¬† pudding made according to directions
  • 2 cups heavy cream 1-1/2 lbs. semi-sweet chocolate squares, chopped

Bake the chocolate cake according to package directions. Make 2 layers. Using a serrated knife, cut each layer in half horizontally.

Brush 3 of the layers with 1/4 cup Grand Marnier each.

Make the chocolate pudding according to the package directions. You may use regular or instant.

Place one of the soaked layers on a round piece of cardboard on a wire rack. Cover with 1/3 of the pudding. Repeat with 2 other soaked layers and top with the 4th layer.

Trim cake if necessary to make it smooth on all sides. Chill the cake for 2 hours.

Combine the cream and chopped chocolate in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir to cool, lifting the mixture out of the pot several times with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until it cools slightly. It should be glossy and slightly thick. This is the tempering process.

Spoon the mixture onto the top of the chilled cake, allowing the overflow to drip down the sides. Cool slightly. Carefully remove the cake from the wire rack. Chill for at least 6 hours.

Garnish with chocolate curls.