A Valentine's Day Menu
Valentine’s Day is the day dedicated to love. Everyone has their own ways to celebrate, be it buying gifts, flowers, boxes of dessert and chocolate or even dining out for a romantic but terribly over priced and dare I say over hyped meal. Gifts are always welcome but the ones that take extra effort are always cherished more. Instead of booking a table at a restaurant you’ve possibly already frequented or even spending exorbitant amounts of money on such restaurants, you could opt to stay in and celebrate in your own private romantic space. They way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but the key to winning a woman’s heart is, of course, a home cooked meal. This year take a little extra effort to prepare a simple but effective dinner and win over your valentine. This 3-course menu should help you through.
Click here for the easy to make starter.
Picture Credit - http://www.youne.com/
Starter - Stuffed Mushroom with Cheese
Starter - Stuffed Mushroom with Cheese
2 packages mushrooms, cap size doesn’t really matter
1 (8 ounce) packet cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) packet sausage(optional you could use caramalised onions as well)
1/4 cup butter (melted, quite optional!)
1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and separate the mushroom caps and stems while cleaning the mushrooms.
2.Start cooking the sausage in frying pan, at a medium temperature. If you’re adding onions then start to cook them in balsamic vinegar till they caramalise.
3. While the sausage is cooking, you could add a bit of garlic or even some paprika if you like it slightly spicy. You can add the chopped stems to cook in the pan along with the sausage. Mix the onions/ sausage or a mixture of both to the cream cheese and include the chopped stems as well.
4. Mix it all together and fill the mushroom caps with the mixture and place it in a pan and straight into the oven.
5. Bake these for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are crusty and the mushrooms have turned dark.
6. Once they’re done, serve them warm. They reheat well, so you can make them ahead of time if you like and pop it into the microwave just when you want to serve it
Picture Courtesy - www.mountainmamacooks.com
Click here for the Italian main course.
Main - Spaghetti Carbonara
Main - Spaghetti CarbonaraIngredients
1 pound linguine or spaghetti
6 strips bacon, diced
4 egg yolks
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks thoroughly. Once whisked add the parmesan to the egg mix and blend it in.
3.Add the pasta along with a little bit of the pasta water. You can drain out all the water but just add a spoonful to the egg mixture with cheese and add the pasta and fried bacon bits to it.
4. The egg mixture needs to be mixed with the pasta while the pasta is still hot (not warm)so that the egg cooks with its heat. It can get tricky so this must be done immediately. You can add the bacon last but the egg and cheese mixture needs to be tossed into the hot pasta.
5. Toss the pasta in this mixture well so that it coats the pasta.
6. Add the salt, pepper, parsley for garnish.
7.Serve immediately. (The heat of the pasta cooks the eggs, but not thoroughly.)
8. You can add generous amounts of grated parmesan on top to serve.
Picture Courtesy - http://www.sunset.com/
Click here for the easy dessert.
Dessert - Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake
Dessert - Frozen Strawberry CheesecakeIngredients
1-1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs - can be any digestive biscuit as well
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 package (10 ounces) strawberries chopped
3/4 cup cranberry-raspberry juice or strawberry juice if you can get that
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy whipped cream
1. Coat the bottom of an ungreased pan with cookie crumbs for the base.
2. In a large bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until its smooth.
3. Beat in the strawberries, 1/2 cup cranberry-raspberry juice and lemon juice until it’s all blended.
4. Fold in the whipped cream and then pour it onto the crust.
5. Spoon remaining 1/4 juice over the cheesecake; cut through batter with a knife to swirl and mix it.
6. Layer it so that it is even on top and all corners so that when it sets it isn’t uneven.
7. Cover and freeze the cake overnight.
8. Remove it from the freezer only 15 minutes before your serving it.
Picture Credit - zoomyummy.com/
Article By - Roxanne Bamboat