Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick,Easy,Romantic Valentine's Day Dinners

My Valentine’s Day gift this year will be a trip to Las Vegas the week following the holiday and that is what my sweetheart is getting too. We’ll be staying home and cooking steaks on the grill with baked potatoes, green beans, rolls, and maybe a nice chocolate dessert. What if it is snowing and we can't grill outside? Well, here are two other delicious, romantic and very easy to prepare meals that you could also make for your sweetheart:

Meal #1
Baked Chicken
Roasted Potatoes
Green Beans
Crescent Rolls
Chocolate Mousse
This is a tasty meal and is easy to prepare if you are pressed for time or hate to cook. Pick up a rotisserie chicken, 2-3 baking potatoes, and 1 can of green beans, a can of crescent rolls, a package of instant chocolate pudding and a tub of Cool Whip. You should have Butter Pam, seasoned salt, milk, and butter at home. Be sure to allow time for the Cool Whip to thaw before beginning. Preheat oven to 375 degrees about 1 ½ hour before you want to eat. Wash and cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam and arrange potatoes. You can also add carrots or other vegetable chunks. Spray vegetables with Pam and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Put chicken in a separate baking dish and bake with vegetables for one hour. Cover chicken with foil if you want it to stay moist or leave uncovered if you want a crisper chicken. Season the green beans with salt and pepper and simmer in a small saucepan while chicken is baking. Prepare mousse by whipping instant pudding and 2 cups cold milk for 2 minutes. Blend in 1 cup thawed cool whip. Spoon into dessert cups or wine glasses and garnish with remaining cool whip. Refrigerate. Shape crescent rolls and place on greased cookie sheet. Remove chicken and vegetables when done and start baking rolls. The rolls will only need to bake for about 10-12 minutes so you can arrange the chicken, potatoes, and vegetables on a pretty platter and set the table

Meal # 2.
Garlic Bread
Neapolitan ice cream

If you have ever seen Lady and the Tramp, you know that spaghetti is a romantic meal. It is quick and easy to prepare also. Pick up a pound of spaghetti, a jar or can of Spaghetti Sauce (I recommend Del Monte), a package of frozen meatballs, bag of salad, salad dressing, loaf of garlic bread, and a pint of Neapolitan ice cream. One hour before serving: Preheat oven to recommended temperature needed to bake garlic bread. Combine sauce and meatballs(you probably won't need the whole package of meatballs) in a large sauce pan and simmer for about an hour. I like to add a tbsp of sugar to my sauce for a sweeter flavor. Stir frequently and you may also need to add a little water if sauce gets too thick. Meanwhile, start heating a large pot of water on high until it begins to boil. Set the table. Wash salad and arrange on salad plates. Spoon ice cream into dessert dishes and refreeze. Fifteen minutes before serving, arrange garlic bread on cookie sheet to be reheated. Add spaghetti to pot of boiling water, stirring frequently and boil for 10 minutes, reducing heat slightly so spaghetti will not boil over. You should put garlic bread into oven as soon as the spaghetti begins to cook. After 10 minutes, drain spaghetti and toss with 2 tbsp. of butter to prevent stickiness. Pour sauce and spaghetti into serving dishes. Remove garlic bread from oven, slice, and arrange in napkin lined basket or platter. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and garlic salt if desired.

For a really special and elegant dinner: Chill a nice wine or make a special drink. Light some candles. Put on some relaxing music. Set your table with pretty linens, dishes, silverware, and flowers. Wear something that makes you look and feel good. Smile and make good conversation.

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