Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Ideas

This is for any of you last minute planners out there or those of you who may not have plans but are now scrambling to do something special for you loved one(s). The following are some of my favorite dishes to make for that someone special. They all taste special, but they also all don't require a ton of cooking time, leaving you more time to spend with your loved ones on the day and less time in the kitchen. Since Valentines Day is on a Saturday I'm going to include my favorite breakfast idea too.

Pain Perdu with Berry Compote - This is one of our favorite breakfasts, but because of how sweet it is, not something I make too often. It's for those special mornings when I want to do something extra special, perfect for Valentine's Day. I usually serve these with sausage patties, but recommend using this more recent recipe instead. For the berry compote you can use frozen or fresh berries.

Pomodori al Forno - These take a couple hours to make, but they are largely unattended hours, just turning the tomatoes occasionally. And they are full of flavor, plus the nice red color is always good for Valentine's day. Since plum tomatoes aren't really in seaons you can easily use canned whole San Marzano tomatoes and it's just as tasty.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Pear
- This is another super easy afternoon munchie, that looks oh-so-special. If you are able to have a lazy Saturday afternoon, this is the perfect thing to kill any afternoon cravings before dinner.

Blueberry Steak - I know blueberries aren't in season, at least not in Canada and the US. They have been on sale at the grocery store lately but if you don't want to buy from Chile or Mexico or wherever the blueberries are coming from these days, I'd check out the frozen berries for this. You should be able to just throw the frozen berries in the pot and season according to the recipe, being mindful that the sauce may need a bit more reducing due to the frozen berries. This is great with some oven roasted potatoes.

Roast Chicken - Now I know this isn't the most romantic entree on the surface, but if you rarely make a roast chicken it's actually quite a nice thing to make for someone you love. It's homey and comforting and if you are having a nice night in with your sweetie it's the perfect way on a cold night to show someone you care.

Vegetable Tian - I love this side dish. It's another super easy one one with tons of flavor. I've never made it with the blueberry steak, but it's perfect with a lemon and herb roasted chicken.

White Chocolate Berry Cake - I just posted this earlier this week and it's a nice special treat to make for a loved one.

"Hostess" Cupcakes - These are special because they take a bit more effort than a standard cupcake and they are rich and chocolatey making them perfect for Valentine's Day. To make the cupcakes pictured above you can use the chocolate cake and fluff icing recipes from this post and use the icing to just frost the cupcakes rather than fill them. You could even throw some red hot hearts on top to make them extra special.

Hope these help you come up with some last minute ideas for your special day. Enjoy!

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