Getting Personal - February 2014

Rachael Perron, Kowalski's Culinary Director

This season we get to celebrate one of my favorite holidays – Valentine's Day! While the occasion holds special significance as the anniversary of my first date with my husband 22 years ago, today it's also a family affair, with our two little ones to share in the snuggling. Each year brings about adorable handmade trinkets and love notes often made at school, including this poem my daughter wrote me two years ago, which celebrates both our affection for each other and our shared fondness for cooking and food:

I Love You More Than…

I love you more than caramel,
than crisp apples and grapes,
than juicy plums,
and bubble gum,
and yummy vanilla cakes.

I love you more than big meatballs,
than sour orange juice and toast;
I love marzipan,
and lemon flan,
but I love you the MOST.

We often show how much we care about others with food. Frequently those gifts are homemade, time-consuming, decadent or sweet, but even a healthy meal can express "I care about you." I always feel there’s a little love in everything I make for the special people in my life, and this Valentine’s Day I’ll be making a play on some of my family’s favorites – Pain au Chocolat and raspberries. It’s my take on a recipe I was taught to make years ago by Lidia Bastianich (Chocolate Bread Parfaits, Pane di Cioccolato al Cucchiaio). Her recipe is great made with day-old bread (she made it for me with our Kowalski’s Vienna Bread).

Featured Recipe

Chocolate Croissant ParfaitCHOCOLATE CROISSANT PARFAITS permalink icon

4 croissants
12.5 oz. jar chocolate sauce, such as Stonewall
     Kitchen Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
3 tbsp. heavy cream
2 cups Sweetened Whipped Cream (see instructions
     below), plus extra for garnish
6 oz. raspberries, plus extra for garnish
- Kowalski's Sliced Almonds, toasted

Thinly slice each croissant horizontally into 5-6 slices; lay in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. In a microwave-safe dish, heat chocolate sauce with cream in the microwave until very loose (about 1 min.). Drizzle chocolate mixture over croissant slices (they will be soaked with chocolate). Tear apart and layer soaked croissant pieces in 4 parfait glasses with Sweetened Whipped Cream (click here for recipe) and raspberries. Garnish with extra whipped cream, raspberries and almonds. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Good to Know: Find croissants in the Bakery Department.

Warmly,
Rachael

You can reach me at rperron@kowalskis.com, find me on Facebook or follow @chefRachael on Twitter.

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