Friday, January 13, 2012

A Romantic Valentine's Dinner for Two

Turn the lights down low, select quiet music to help set the ambience, get out the candles and special tablecloth. Set the table just right or even spread a picnic blanket on the floor, because this is the night when anything is possible and romance is in the air. Valentine's Day dinner for two. There is no such a thing as being "too old" to rekindle old sparks or kindle new ones! And yes, it's possible to do this without breaking the bank. The beverage of choice can be a white or rose wine to complement the game hens and accompaniments. You can always sip a bit of Grand Marnier along with the dessert. Here's to love...

A Romantic Dinner for Two

APPETIZER (optional)
Cheese Puffs - a bit of a spicy to way to introduce a rather sweet meal. Nice mix. Or there is always cheese fondue if you prefer an all-evening event!

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
note: You can use Pepper Jack cheese and leave out the jalapeno peppers
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 green onions, diced
1 (16 ounce) package wonton wrappers
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1.In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeno peppers, garlic and green onions.
2.Fill wonton wrappers with approximately 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture each. Fold wrappers into triangles and press the edges with a moistened fork to seal.
3.In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Drop 4 wontons at a time into the oil and quickly fry, turning once. Remove when golden brown and drain on paper towels.

Waldorf Salad

Cornish Game Hens for Two

1 (8 ounce) package dry bread stuffing
2 Cornish game hens
3 tablespoons seasoning salt
1 (16 ounce) package frozen green
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chicken broth

1.Prepare dry bread stuffing mix according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Using fingers, separate the skin and meat of the Cornish game hens, and rub 1 tablespoon seasoning salt into the meat of each hen. Rub remaining seasoning salt into the cavities of the hens. Stuff each cavity with about 1 1/2 cups prepared stuffing. Sprinkle hens with lemon juice and approx. 1 tbsp of rosemary, each.
3.Place hens and green beans in an oven bag. Bake 90 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
4.Drain hen drippings into a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, stir in flour until bubbly. Gradually mix in chicken broth. Stirring occasionally, cook until a thick gravy has formed.

An alternate stuffing would be a mixture of cooked (cooled) long-grained white rice, finely chopped dried apricots, raisins, pecans or almonds and 1/4 c of chicken broth. Best served with either green beans or asparagus. Should be served without gravy.

Strawberries for a light, sweet finish to a perfect meal.
Strawberries Romanoff

1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup sweetened whipped cream
1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur, or to taste
2 c fresh strawberries, hulled
2 springs mint leaves for garnish
shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish


In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. Gradually stir in the orange liqueur. Divide the berries between two parfait glasses, and spoon the cream mixture over them. Garnish with mint leaves and shaved chocolate.

Note: If you are looking for a more substantial dessert, or one for a picnic atmosphere, why not serve Old- Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake? Just modify to serve on individual biscuits or on little individual flans. You can even briefly flambe using a bit of the Grand Marnier (orange liqueur).

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