February – the month of love with Valentines Day smack in the middle of it! And so of course the theme for Four Seasons Food had to be ‘Food From the Heart’. But in all honesty, this was a super easy theme to participate in as I think all food you make should really be from the heart. If you cook for your loved ones; husbands, wives, kids or friends, then that is all food from the heart in my book.
It’s fair to say that if you shoved a Pot Noodle in the microwave, it probably wasn’t made from the heart. But even a humble sandwich or a bowl of nourishing soup can be a thing of love. So whilst I share all these brilliant entries from this months challenge, I also hope that everyone continues to cook from the heart for the people they care about, every meal of every day, of every single month, not just famously lovey-dovey February. (oh shut up Anneli, you soppy mare!!)
And so lets crack on with the 31 entries from this month There is plenty here to inspire us. It might sound cliched but I am shameless and happy to be corny if it means we get to eat food as good as this lot everyday – Sprinkle everything with a little extra love I say!!
Gluten Free Shortbread by Laura from I’d Much Rather Bake Than…
Laura is clearly a shortbread expert with a list of exciting sounding versions she has made before. And now this gluten free version made with love for her coeliac housemate. A very thoughtful gesture no doubt she will be asked to repeat often as this looks absolutely perfect!
Beer Battered Haggis Balls by Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe
I think these look really interesting and are no doubt a little addictive! And frying them in batter with Scottish beer called Sheep Shaggers Gold just makes them all the more fun!
Black Bean Brownies by Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
These are very clever brownies…made not just from the heart, but pretty good also for the heart by containing black beans and almonds. I love that they were made out of a desire to bake and a rummage through tins at the back of shelves. They look delicious Elizabeth !
Rosewater Mini Rose Bundt Cakes by Caroline from Caroline Makes…
Beautiful rose shaped cake mould resulting in pretty little cakes which are bright pink inside and scented with rose water! I would be tempted to say stuff the red roses next year, I’ll have a bunch of these please anyone who is listening!
Swirl Bundts by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog
Choclette has gone ‘Bundt balmy’ making 2 types with her new mould – both sounding absolutely delicious. The Chocolate Orange and Matcha version has beautiful swirls, just about as perfect as a marbled bundt can be.
Blanquette de Veau by Me from Delicieux
This is a creamy French veal stew – comfort food at it’s most chic! When it’s cold outside and you are feeling glum, a big plate of this will make you feel much better. It was made with love to cheer my family up one cold Sunday evening. And it worked.
Chocolate & Cacao Nib Heart Cookies with Lime Cheesecake by Laura from How to Cook Good Food
Oh my…these look divine. These are grown up cookies bursting the lime cheesecake filling, utterly beautiful and perfect with a nice glass of champagne. That is how you do romance…
Strawberry & Champagne Aphrodisiac Cheescakes by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen
The title of these little treats says it all I think. All the ingredients to make a Valentines night go off with a bang! The secret ingredient of Horny Goat Weed in the jam has not been proved though. Either way, they look yummy!
Chicken Provencale by Caroline from Caroline Makes…
What a beautiful heart shaped Le Creuset dish! This would make a wonderful presentation of a meal for your loved one and Caroline fills hers with a delicious garlicky, tomatoey Provecale chicken. Packed full of flavour and love.
The Love Pie by Louisa from Eat Your Veg
What a brilliant name for a pie! The filling is made from super tender, slow cooked meat, pepped up with herbs, mustard and even Marmite. Then topped with this clever little heart shaped pastry crown, this is indeed a love pie that I would love to eat!
Raspberry & Basil Financiers by Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker
I am intrigued by the combinations of basil and raspberry here, something I would be very interested to try. These look so beautiful punctuated with the pink raspberry and peppered with flecks of green basil. Very striking.
Chocolate & Beetroot Bundt Cake by Caroline from Caroline Makes…
The colours on this cake are just fantastic. The bright pink icing drizzled over the dark, fudgy cake contrasts wonderfully. I love the addition of beetroot in chocolate cakes so I just know that this one tastes delicious!
Cauliflower Croquettes by Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen
Just like me, Alida is not the biggest fan of cauliflower but here she has managed to create something I really would love to eat! She cooks the cauliflower and mushes it with cheese before making these balls and frying. Crunchy little bites of cauliflower cheese – yes please!
Chocolate & Raspberry Zebra Cake by Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker
I love the pink stripes running through this cake. And it has a generously thick layer of chocolate icing which I just want to gorge on! This was all baked in a lovely cake mould that gave perfect heart shaped slices. Very clever!
New York Cheesecake with Damson Compote by Andrea from Shabby Chick
I love the look of Andreas heart shaped cheesecake – New York style being my favourite! She has packed the base with pecans and cashew nuts which just sounds divine and paired with the tart damson compote, this is indulgence at it’s best.
Hazelnut & Chocolate Shortbread by Katharine from Leeks & Limoni
Crisp and delicious shortbread hearts, beautifully dusted with icing sugar. These would make someone a perfect Valentines gift. Katharine also used salted butter in her recipe…salty sweet heaven…
Carrot & White Chocolate Cake Pops by Louisa from Eat Your Veg
Fun to make and to eat! These are just so cute. Dipped in chocolate and adorned with sprinkles, these are treats that kids will love. And I wouldn’t say no either! All made with a rather clever Lékué cake pop mould.
Double Choco-Love Cookies by Tina from The Worktop
These look seriously good. Chunky and crumbly and sprinkled with sea salt, I would not want to share these with anyone! With some great tips to achieve the perfect cookie with chewy center, these are the ultimate cookies.
Beef Vegetable Soup by Katie from Thyme for Cooking Blog
This is super chunky and hearty, a perfect restorative Winter meal. Inspired by soups Katies Mother used to make, this is full of nostalgia and love. Packed with seasonal veggies, beef short ribs and even pasta, this would certainly satisfy your hunger.
Paneer Methi Kofta Curry from Thou Shalt Cook!!
Little spiced balls floating in delicious curry sauce, this looks and sounds wonderful. Such interesting ingredients with Paneer, fenugreek, khus khus seeds and cashews all in there somewhere. I would really love to taste this one.
Tuna Steak Au Poivre by Nutritious Deliciousness
I have never tried pepper sauce with tuna before but this looks really tasty and I imagine the meatyness of the fish carries it well. This is a perfect pepper sauce, creamy and rich with a flash of warming brandy and this would make a lovely romantic meal.
Chocolate Fridge Cake by Charlene from Food, Glorious Food
Who doesn’t love the simplicity and super sweetness of a fridge cake? This is a lovely one made in a heart shaped mould, packed with maltesers and cranberries. Quick to make and addictive, this makes a lovely treat.
Beef Casserole with Gluten Free Dumplings by Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist
The colours in this casserole are so warm and rich I just want to dive in! The idea of making gluten free dumplings is brilliant and Kate describes them as clouds of scrumptiousness – now that sounds lovely indeed.
Raw Brownie Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting by Janet from The Taste Space
Oh my gosh – this looks sooo chocolatey and unctuous! A wonderful use for chocolate and avocado mousse made firmer with the addition of Medjool dates which is such a clever idea. This cake would put a smile on a loved ones face for sure.
Tomatillo Tortilla Casserole by Katie from Whole Nourishment
This is a really interesting and colourful dish. I love all the spices in there with the tortilla chips layered with spice tomatillo sauce and finished with Swiss cheese. This is comfort food with a kick!
Bunny Chow by Gayathri from Spices Galore
What a great name this dish has!! It’s a wonderful vegetable and bean curry, packed with spices and served in a bread bowl. I love the story of how Bunny Chow came into existence. This is a great recipe and post.
Lemon & Raisin Pancakes by Camilla from Fab Food For All
I just love Scotch pancakes and Camilla’s look perfect! They are plump and golden and dotted with raisins and then spread with home made lemon curd! My mouth is watering at the very thought…
Serendipity Eggs by Spicy, Quirky & Serendipitous
I LOVE this post. It really touched me and is written beautifully. This is what Food From the Heart is all about….what inspires us to cook for those we love and letting all that love speak through a delicious plate of spicy eggs. Just wonderful.
Tomato Rice from Spicy, Quirky & Serendipitous
A simple dish that holds memories of romance, this is spicy and simple and comforting. Dishes like this that become staples in your arsenal of recipes stand the test of time. Long may you continue to make it and enjoy it.
Mini Egg Muffins Filled with Quinoa by Spicy, Quirky & Serendipitous
These look and sound very interesting! Again, posted alongside a great little story on empathy which makes you think. Another dish made with love and very happily enjoyed…
Slow Cooker Molten Chocolate Mocha Pudding by Sarah from Tales From The Kitchen Shed
Well this is clever! Pudding in the slow cooker – sounds wonderful to me! Pop it all in and leave it to do it’s thing and it will be perfect for your guests. A lovely shot of booze in there will put an extra big smile on their faces!
Thank you to all of you who entered this months challenge. I asked my co-host Louisa to pick this months winner for me. And here is what she had to say:
“Such a mouthwatering array of delicious romantic dishes but the recipe I was particularly drawn to has to be The Gluten Free Alchemist’s Beef Casserole with Gluten Free Dumplings. I could have happily dived in there and come out a very happy lady! I love nothing more than a hearty winter casserole and having the added delight of dumplings on the top clinches it. And not just any dumplings but an incredibly tasty sounding recipe for coeliacs or not! Food from the heart most definitely, and particularly gorgeous that Kate developed her recipe especially so her daughter could try a good ol’ dumpling!”
So well done Kate – you are our winner of the Food From the Heart Challenge!
The March Four Seasons Food Challenge is now open, hosted this month over on Eat Your Veg. The theme is Something Fishy! and there is a great prize offered by Fish is the Dish. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.