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Valentines-Dinner-2012

Caesar Salad

1 head romaine lettuce
2 cups croutons, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
½ cup olive oil

Clean and chop lettuce, set aside.
Crush 5 or 6 of the croutons in a deep mixing bowl. Add the garlic, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Blend thoroughly in a mixer and slowly add olive oil until creamy.
Pour dressing over the lettuce, add parmesan, remaining croutons, toss and enjoy.

Double Tomato Bruschetta

6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 French baguette

Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Spicy Steamed Shrimp

1 quart water
1 pound tiger prawns with shell
3 ounces Old Bay Seasoning
1 (12 ounce) jar cocktail sauce

In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil.
Place shrimp in a steamer basket and place on top of the pot; cover. Do not submerge shrimp. Remove some water if necessary. Season the shrimp with Old Bay seasoning.
Steam shrimp until pink.
Eat by removing shells as you go and dipping in cocktail sauce.

3 cups penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, dvided
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 (270g) tub Philadelphia original cooking crème
½ cup kraft 100% parmesan shredded cheese
½ cup shredded cracker barrel extra old cheddar cheese
2 slices light rye bread, cut into ½ in cubes

Creamy Baked Penne and Cheese

3 cups penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, dvided
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 (270g) tub Philadelphia original cooking crème
½ cup kraft 100% parmesan shredded cheese
½ cup shredded cracker barrel extra old cheddar cheese
2 slices light rye bread, cut into ½ in cubes

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup cooking water.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and thyme; cook and stir 5 min. Add reserved cooking water, Cooking Creme and cheeses; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until cheeses are melted. Add pasta; mix lightly. Transfer to 9-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Drizzle remaining oil over bread cubes; toss to coat. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake 12 min. or until pasta mixture is heated through and bread topping is golden brown.

Tiramisu Layer Cake

Cake:
1(18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
¼ cup coffee
1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur

Filling:
1 (8ounce) container mascarpone cheese
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

Frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

Garnish:
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans.
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.
To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

AND DON’T FORGET A NICE BOTTLE OF WINE OR CHAMPAGNE!

http://allrecipes.com

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