Valentines Day is coming… so maybe you’re on the hunt for some date night ideas with your special someone, or maybe you’re casting your eyes to the ceiling and frantically grabbing for wine as you assemble your pack of single girlfriends. There’s also the possibility that you couldn’t care less about what day of the year it is. Anyway, regardless of your attitude towards the big day, you’ve gotta eat!
So whether you’re planning to celebrate with friends, family, or a date this year, let’s all take the spoon out of the Nutella jar and consider some other reasons for celebrating this romantic holiday. Perhaps most notably, an excuse to whip up the Valentines Day recipes below:
- 1 cup chopped dried figs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- French bread or specialty crackers
Be sure to make this appetizer a day beforehand, so they flavors can blend and you have less to cook on the day-of. So this seems like a bit of an exhaustive ingredient list, but hit the spice aisle at the grocery store, and once you throw this together it looks great and tastes delicious! The one time I made this for a few girlfriends, they congratulated me on serving my first adult dish. Despite this compliment-disguised insult, I knew they were impressed.
- Combine figs and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, and liquid has reduced. Remove from heat, and stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne. Add olives and garlic, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
- Unwrap cream cheese block, and place on a serving platter. Spoon tapenade over cheese, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with slices of French bread or specialty crackers. DELISH.
2. Shrimp Crepes
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4-1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
- 1 envelope Bearnaise sauce
- In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs and butter. Combine the flour, sugar and salt; add to milk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat; pour 2 tablespoons batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.
- For filling, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add broccoli, onions, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 7-9 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove mixture from the pan and set aside. Add the shrimp, wine or broth, and remaining garlic and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Saute until shrimp turn pink, about 4 minutes. Return broccoli mixture to skillet.
- Spoon filling down center of crepes; roll. Place in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile, prepare Bearnaise sauce according to package directions. Serve with crepes
3. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Look at you, making the quintessential Valentines Day dessert! Firstly, be sure to whip these up about an hour before your guest(s) arrive because they require a bunch of cooking paraphernalia and you’ll need to clean up. Also, you can pop them in the fridge so they’ll be delicious and cold by the time dessert rolls around. Not only are these bad boys a healthier alternative to heavier store-bought desserts, they keep really well in the freezer for days afterwards.
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20) washed and dried very well
- Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof bowls. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. As a ghetto alternative, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.
- remove chocolate from heat when smooth. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper, or whatever you have laying around. Holding the strawberries by the stem (if possible), dip them into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
- Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. Serve with champagne*
Happy Valentines Day!