Just a touch of chocolate is all you need to remind that special someone how you feel. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy any of these scrumptious chocolate delights morning, no...
Tag: Valentine’s Day
Whether or not you have elaborate Valentine’s Day plans (or a valentine) on Tuesday, it’s practically required that you indulge in a few sweet treats to mark the holiday. But what if you’d prefer to spend time with your someone special instead of baking the perfect Red Velvet Layer Cake or indulgent Molten Lava Cakes? Then rely on our quick-to-prepare, no-bake recipes to serve up a lovingly made dessert in a flash. With chocolate candies, mousse, strawberry cheesecake and more, our list of Valentine’s Day desserts is sure to please your sweetie’s sweet tooth.
A generous splash of brandy offers after-dinner decadence to Alton’s two-bite Chocolate Truffles (pictured above), made with bittersweet chocolate and cream. Gently roll these beauties in soft cocoa powder, sweet coconut or crunchy chopped nuts to add a touch of texture and flavorful elegance.
Nothing says love like a home-cooked meal, right? This Valentine’s Day, forget about making restaurant reservations and serve your someone special a romantic dinner or dessert for two at home. Food Network’s top five Valentine’s Day recipes are elegant yet traditional dishes that you can easily make with love.
5. Shrimp Scampi With Linguini — A quick-cooking seafood, shrimp dress up classic pasta with garlic, lemon and white wine.
4. Chocolate Covered Strawberries — These two-bite treats are covered in smooth semi-sweet chocolate.
When I was in college, I had a friend who insisted on wearing all black on Valentine’s Day. It was her way of protesting the hubbub and commercialization of the holiday. Though I could see her point, I didn’t follow suit. I remained utterly charmed by a day devoted to love.
However, as I’ve gotten older, I have become a little disgusted with how much money people think it takes to do Valentine’s Day right. If you believe the marketing, you need a second job to make your sweetie feel loved. Restaurants take particular advantage of our expectations and raise their prices for the day. A meal that would regularly cost $50 doubles to $100. Wine and cocktail prices ratchet up precipitously, as well.
Here’s my suggestion. Instead of blowing through wads of cash on a meal out, treat your honey to a special-occasion, home-cooked meal. You’ll spend a fraction of the cash you would on a fancy-pants dinner and with just a few carefully placed candles, you won’t lose even an ounce of the romance.
A recipe that works really well for a cozy dinner for two is Giada’s Short Rib Lasagna Rolls. It can be made over the weekend (this is The Weekender, after all) and stashed in the fridge for February 14. All you have to do when you get home from work is pop it into the oven, make a salad and pour glasses of something bubbly.
Chocolate lovers won’t just lick these bowls clean — they’ll eat them whole. To make some yourself, temper one pound semisweet chocolate. Dip the top of a partially inflated balloon in the chocolate, flip the balloon back up and twirl it to distribute the chocolate. Hold the balloon upright and let dry for about a minute. Repeat the dipping process two more times, then spoon some melted chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and center the balloon, bowl-side down, on the melted chocolate base. Repeat with more balloons, reheating the chocolate as needed (1 pound chocolate will make 4 to 6 small bowls). Refrigerate until hard, about 1 hour, then pop the balloons and peel them away. Store the bowls in a cool, dry place for up to three days.
Photograph by James Wojcik
Sure, lots of brownie mixes are good, especially when dolled up with special touches. (Paula, Giada and the Neelys all have short-cut, dressed-up mix recipes.) So why bother baking from-scratch, homemade brownies – measuring, melting and mixing with precision? Your brownies will be different. . . in a good way. Just browse recipes and start making choices: cakey or fudgy, bittersweet or semi-sweet, melted bars or cocoa powder, nuts or no nuts, chips or no chips? In a crowd of boxed brownie taste-memories, yours will stand out from the crowd. So get baking!
Our Top Brownie Recipes:
What’s your favorite brownie recipe?
Every Valentine’s Day I try to make an elaborate dessert for my sweetheart, but this year I have been invited to a Ladies’ Valentine’s Day brunch. Instead of bringing chocolate love, I am going to take a savory approach to the food, with beautiful bubblies alongside for sipping.
I am making Blinis with Crème Fraiche and Smoked Salmon from the elegant brunch master, Ina Garten. This petite platter will includes my favorite Norwegian smoked salmon from the local fish market, a dollop of crème fraiche, cucumbers and a green scallion or dill garnish. To dress up the salmon I plan to serve it on a pink hot salt plate creating a very pretty-in-pink Valentine’s Day presentation that will surely impress the ladies.
What are you making for Valentine’s Day?