Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’
If you’re like me and have a the-darker-the-better mindset when it comes to chocolate, you’re probably wondering why on earth I used white chocolate to make this drink. I’m with you, trust me, I am. Although I don’t enjoy white chocolate on its own (it’s just so sweet!), somehow in this drink it really works. Make it and you might be a convert. (more…)
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you probably know that I’m not the biggest meat eater; in general I really don’t make roasts (except roast chicken, which is a specialty of mine). For the most part I gravitate towards fish or veggie-based meals, so I don’t blame my hubby at all for being completely impressed (actually, shocked is probably a better word) when he came home to this lovely roast beef one day. (more…)
One of the things I love most about food blogging is checking out my fellow bloggers’ sites. I am inspired to no end by you guys! When I first started blogging (which feels like forever ago) I came across a recipe for hasselback potatoes on Sea Salt with Food. I thought they looked pretty fantastic and jotted the site down on a piece of scrap paper…and thus began my “to-make” list, which is now 12 typed pages long and ever-increasing. (more…)
I don’t know about you, but I prefer a romantic Valentine’s Day meal at home over a meal at most restaurants. That way you get to enjoy a quiet meal with your loved one in the comfort of your own home without any waiting or traveling…and I’m guessing the food is just as good (or better!), not to mention cheaper. The only downside is the clean-up, but that’s where enlisting your Valentine’s help comes in. ;)
Most of us agree that it just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate…but for me, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without Chocolate-Covered Marzipan Hearts. I discovered them even before I met my real Valentine (and no I don’t mean dark Swiss chocolate…I’m talking about my hubby ;) ). (more…)
This is the final course of our homemade Valentine’s Day meal. And it really goes out with a bang. It’s not your typical mousse, since you won’t find any eggs here. Instead I used Greek yogurt to make it a little healthier (let’s face it, this meal was not light on calories, so we might as well make up for it a little bit ;) ), and also because with this method the dessert is literally made in minutes. This mousse is so decadent you won’t miss the eggs.
I’m sending this mousse over to Natasha of 5 Star Foodie for her 5 Star Mousse Makeover!
If you haven’t done so yet, head over to All Through the Year Cheer for our Valentine’s Day event!
A Note on the Sweetness: This mousse isn’t overly sweet, so before you serve it make sure to taste it so you can add more sweetener to taste.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
(Yield: 2 to 4 servings)
1 (3.5 oz) good quality semi-sweet chocolate bar (I like to use 60% cacao), chopped
1/2 c heavy cream
7 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 TB honey or other sweetener (or more to taste)
Strawberries for garnish (optional)
Strain the Greek yogurt in the fridge overnight to make it extra thick. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave and let it cool slightly. Whip the cream and in a separate bowl, whisk together the cooled chocolate and honey, and then whisk in the yogurt. Gently fold the whipped cream into the yogurt mixture, being careful not to over mix (it’s okay if there’s some white spots left). Serve garnished with strawberries if desired.
Here’s the next part of our Valentine’s Day meal, the blush pasta and individual beef roulades. (For the full recipe, see my post here.) To finish off our Valentine’s menu, soon I’ll posting my recipe for dark chocolate mousse! :)
First up in our fancy homemade Valentine’s Day meal are the cute little drinks and the salad. The two are tied together through strawberry slices, which are perfect for Valentine’s Day since they look just like sweet little hearts.
The Strawberry Spritzers are so easy to make that it isn’t even really a recipe…and for very little effort you get something that is absolutely adorable! I made a caramelized onion dressing to serve with the salad (because I also use caramelized onion for the pasta and beef recipes), but you could make it even easier and use your favorite prepared salad dressing…I think anything with a balsamic vinegar base would be fantastic since the strawberry/balsamic combo is delicious!
With the drinks and the salad out of the way, stay tuned because I’ll be posting the recipes for blush pasta and individual beef roulades soon! Don’t forget to check out All Through the Year Cheer…Brandy is hosting our Valentine’s Day event and she made some incredible looking cookies! ;)
(Yield: 2 servings)
1 liter sparkling strawberry-flavored water (or any flavored sparkling water you like)
A handful of strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
Pour the sparkling water into glasses and float the strawberry slices in the water.
Savory Strawberry Salad
(Yield: 2 first-course servings)
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 c chopped walnuts, toasted
About 1 c strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
About 3 c lettuce (I like to use red or green leaf), washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
Caramelized Onion Dressing (see recipe below; or you can use any dressing you like)
Caramelized Onion Dressing:
1/4 of a very large onion, thinly sliced
2 TB olive oil, divided
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
To make the dressing: In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil over medium-high heat until the oil starts to ripple, then add the onion and a pinch of salt, and stir to coat the onion with the oil. Cook until the onion starts to soften and turn color (stirring occasionally). Lower to the heat to medium-low and cook (stirring occasionally) until the onion is a rich caramel color. You can add a splash of water at any point in the process if the onions start to stick to the pan too much. In a blender or food processor, puree the caramelized onion with the remainder of the dressing ingredients; add a splash of water to thin out the dressing until it reaches your desired consistency (it should have a creamy texture).
Arrange the lettuce on two salad plates then top with the strawberries, goat cheese, and walnuts. Drizzle the dressing on top (you will have extra dressing).
For Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special not only for my hubby, but also for all of my wonderful readers. I don’t know how much you spend when you go out for a fancy, romantic meal for two, but I do know it’s not cheap…it’s not unheard of to spend upwards of $100. When you can make your own fancy meal in about an hour for about a quarter of the price in the comfort of your own home, and at the same time do something special for your significant other, I think it’s definitely a win-win situation! :)
I decided to make a lovely romantic meal complete with drinks, a salad course, a pasta course, a meat course, and a dessert all for around $25 (the total came to $25.54, to be exact). In the cost of the meal I included the cost of all unique items that need to be purchased (even though in a few cases we won’t use the entire quantity that we purchase – take the sundried tomatoes for example…we’re buying a small jar and only using 1/4 cup); however, I didn’t include the cost of pantry staples, such as oil, salt, pepper, honey, etc. I based all prices on the cost at my local grocery store.
My menu and shopping list (including prices) are below to whet your appetite. I’ll be making and posting the dishes this week so you’ll have all the recipes well before Valentine’s Day. ;)
Savory Strawberry Salad
(Goat cheese, walnuts, strawberries, & caramelized onion dressing on lettuce)
(Fettuccine tossed with goat cheese, caramelized onions, walnuts, & tomato-cream sauce)
Individual Beef Roulades
(With goat cheese, caramelized onion, & sundried tomato)
Dark Chocolate Mousse
Shopping List & Prices:
1 liter sparkling strawberry water (for drink)…$.79
1 pint strawberries (for drink, salad, dessert garnish)…$3.99
4 oz goat cheese (for salad, pasta, beef)…$3.49
1 very large yellow onion (for salad dressing, pasta, beef)…$.99
1/2 c walnuts, from the bulk bin (for salad, pasta)…$.75
1 lb fettuccine pasta noodles – you’ll use about 1/3 lb (for pasta)…$1.39
1 small jar oil-marinated sundried tomatoes – you’ll use 1/4 cup (for beef)…$3.99
2 thin-sliced beef cutlets (about 1/2 lb) (for beef)…$ 2.50
1 small head red or green leaf lettuce (for salad)…$.99
1 small jar tomato sauce – you’ll use 3/4 cup (for pasta)…$.99
1 c heavy cream – you’ll use 3/4 cup (for pasta, mousse)…$1.49
7 oz plain Greek yogurt (for mousse)…$1.59
1 (3.5 oz) good quality semi-sweet chocolate bar; I like 60% cacao (for mousse)…$2.59