Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Recipe Roundup

I've put together my favorite recipes for those of you looking to make a special meal for Valentine's Day. In this recipe roundup I'm just going to do 2 recipes for each course: simple & fancy. All of the simple recipes are great for beginners or if you want to save time. The fancy may involve some more specialized recipes and take a longer time to prepare. Figure out which ones you can make for your loved ones and grocery list away!
Appetizer

Simple: Petite Caprese Sticks
This is possibly the simplest recipe I have on this blog. Nothing needs to be cooked and very little chopping is involved. Put all these ingredients on a stick for a fresh appetizer with great flavor.
Fancy: Homemade Artisan Bread
This bread recipe is actually pretty simple, but because of the prep and planning time I put it as fancy. Show your sweetie your baking skills with this yummy bread recipe. I recommend serving it with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Main Dish

Simple: Savory Stuffed Shells 
This is a great beginner recipe that tastes amazing. Simply cook the pasta, fill it with the cheese mixture, add some sauce, and bake! It's pretty hard to mess up. Its a great dish to make ahead of time. I love to serve it with some Italian sausage, peppers, and onions.

Fancy: Ina Garten's Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese
This is not on my blog yet, but I've made it before and it is sooooo delish. Like almost sinfully good. It doesn't require tons of ingredients, but you do have to work with raw chicken (which I know some people don't like). After everyone's tasted this they will think you are secretly a 5-star chef. Serve it with some green veggies and rice for a complete meal.

Dessert

Simplest: Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
I gave this recipe a category all its own because it is semi-homemade. I use a box brownie mix and raspberry pie filling to create a decadent brownie in mere minutes. Great if you are short on time.


Simple: Chocolate Peanut Clusters 
I shared this recipe last week. If any food should be in love it is chocolate and peanuts so this recipe just melts my heart. It pairs 3 types of chocolate with dry roasted peanuts for a very simple and tasty dessert. If you're just making it for two people I would halve the recipe.


Fancy: Chocolate Ganache Tart
This recipe will knock your socks off. I learned how to make it in a cooking class I took over a year ago. Since then I've bought a tart pan and made it several times. It takes some time to make, but it is pretty simple as far as tarts go. You can fancy it up even further with hazelnuts or fresh fruit. I don't know if I would try it for the first time on a special occasion, but you need to try it.

Drinks
Now I'm just a college student and I'm always on a budget, but here are some of my favorite wines.
Red: Mark West Pinot Noir (wait until it goes on sale!)
White: Clos du Bois Chardonnay (also goes on sale periodically)
Bubbly: I love Champagne and this is a great holiday to drink it, but I don't know enough about it. I usually buy something in the $10-20 range.

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