The Cioccolato Festival!

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Waffle dipped in luscious chocolate

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate AND nothing beats a chocolate festival in Italy. Have any of you had dreams about food? Sadly, I have to admit I have had a reoccuring dream about chocolate but wake up empty handed.  I am happy to say this dream came true on Valentine’s Day. As I was walking around the chocolate festival in Florence with my friends it occured to me that I accomplished something that needed to be accomplished- attending a chocolate festival of course.

We tried chocolate truffles, chocolate cannoli’s, cake, strawberries covered in warm melted chocolate and even chocolate liquor! One item served at the festival that stood out to me was a light and fluffy waffle dipped in chocolate. When I get inspired by something because it is 1) unlike noting I have ever tasted before and 2) is simply out of this world, I go home and try to recreate it. So, I went to the grocery store right by my apartement and got belgium waffles that were on sale, nutella, and caramel gelato- mission complete. Recipe below 🙂

 

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My favorite truffles!

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Pounds of fresh chocolate

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SO HAPPY!

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Hearts for V-Day

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Every kind of truffle you can imagine

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Belgium Waffle Recipe: 

*serves 4

  • 4 already made belgium waffles or homemade waffles
  • 1 C nutella
  • Caramel gelato or your favorite flavor
  • 1 C sliced strawberries or your favorite fruits
  • Powdered sugar for top

Directions:

Warm waffles in oven on 250 or on a skillet on medium heat or make your favorite belgium waffle recipe. Remove from oven and place on plate. Spread about 1/4 C. nutella on top. Top with a spoonful of gelato and strawberries. Sprkinke powdered sugar on top.

Enjoy!

-Niki

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Apple Pie

Nothings better than a perfect sweet +tart apple pie..especially when it is for the holidays.  This pie is definitely a crowd pleaser. If you can make a pie that is not too sweet, not too tart, and has a crunch to it then you’ve got a good recipe!

I made a few pies from chocolate pumpkin (so good) to apple pie and this is always the winner for me. I didn’t know I could make so many pies in 2 days. I went through a bag of flour and 4 bags of apples. My face tasted like sugar and my dog Tucker was covered in white speckles of flour. I felt like I was in some sort of pie race, flour throwing at the people around you show-little did I know I was just racing myself…. The pies went from an OK apple pie to great apple pie after making so many variations and fixing little things like how thick to cut the apples and the thickness of the crust. All of I have to say is I am so glad I ran at the St Louis Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning,  before I ate so much food if you know what I mean. I know you will like it so dive in! Hope everyone had a tasty Thanksgiving!

 

Tart organic granny smith apples from Trader Joes.

Apples and spices yum

Finished product. Can bring edges together with a fork or flute them! I prefer fluting the edges after trying the pie so many ways. If you use a store bought crust already in the pan then you don’t have to worry about the thickness of the crust and other difficult things but it also doesn’t usually taste as good.

 

Ingredients:

  • Recipe for double crust flaky pie crust
  • 8 apples
  • splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/4 C golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulate sugar
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t apple pie spice

 

Instructions:

Make flaky pie crust according to your favorite recipe.

To make the filling, peel and core granny smith apples. Slice apples 1/4 in. thick. In a large bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, melted butter, sugars, and spices. Stir until blended.

Preheat oven to 4oo.

Roll out a bottom and top crust and line with a 9 in. pie pan. Make sure not to make too thick or else bottom crust won’t cook. Put apple mixture in and smooth out. Put on top crust and flute edges.

Bake for 15 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350. Bake until top of crust is lightly browned and apple filling is bubbleing. about 45 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes.

*If using a thick pie pan you will want to cook the bottom crust first in the oven for about 15 minutes to ensure that it bakes.

Peach Pie

Take the skins off after boiling the peaches for 45 seconds. They slip right off!

Flaky and perfect with vanilla ice cream!!:)

I wanted to make something that 1, required my favorite pie crust, and 2, peaches since they are in season. This is the first peach pie that I have made and I loved it! My mom was so excited I made something with fresh organic fruit and even more excited once she tasted the pie. I couldn’t believe how many slices she had! My whole family loved it considering most of the pie was gone at the end of the night. I do have to mention a few things about the crust. I have a recipe from my mom’s Aunt June that my grandma used (you get the picture). But anyways, it is the best pie crust that I have ever made and tasted! My mom and I have been talking about if we should let the secrete to the pie crust get out or not. I think we have come to a conclusion that it would be ok if I did a blog, just about the pie crust. Look out for that blog! It will be a good one!

Happy Monday!!

Niki

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 6-8 peaches sliced
  • 5 T sugar
  • 2 t fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 recipe flaky pie crust for a double crust pie (the one I used is soon to be coming out on my blog!;)

For topping on top of crust

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 T heavy cream or milk
  • 2 t sugar

Make the pie crust you choose to use and refrigerate to chill as directed.

For the filling, bring a saucepan three-forths full of water to a boil. Put the peaches in boiling water for about 45 seconds, then transfer to work surface. Take the skins off with your hands (picture above). Cut the peaches in half and take out the pits. Slice lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick (make sure not to go too thin or else is will turn to mush when baked).

In a large bowl combine peaches, sugar, salt,flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Stir until coated. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out half of your dough for the bottom crust and line a 9 inch pie pan. Add filling evenly. Roll out the top crust and put on top or roll out the crust and cut into lattice strips (long strips) and place over pie for a lattice topped pie. Flute edges. Brush crust with egg and milk mixture. Sprinkle with 2 t sugar.

Bake pie until edges of crust are golden brown (about 15 mintues). Reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake until crust is lightly browned and peach filling is bubbling. About 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.