Valentine’s Day Favorites

Happy (early) Valentines Day!  Even if all of the pink and red, hearts and cupids, love songs and mushy cards is too much for you (I know it is for me!), Valentine’s Day is still a perfect opportunity to celebrate the people you love– friends, parents, significant others, or even pets.  Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes to help you create an evening to remember!

Dinner for two- or more!

one pan pasta- beforeIf you’re looking to impress, but don’t want too much mess to clean up (or you’re a little nervous about your cooking abilities), try this quick and easy recipe for one-pan pasta.  It’s easily adapted to use whatever veggies you have on hand, and would be even more special with the addition of your favorite protein (chicken, steak, or even some Italian sausage would pair nicely alongside- or in- this dish).  Pour some Italian wine and imagine you’re in Rome- if you make this dish you’ll have plenty of time left over to day dream!

mushroom risottoIf you want something a little fancier, try risotto!  This recipe for mushroom risotto makes two generous portions, served alone for a light dinner or alongside your favorites (we served with steak and asparagus) for something heartier.  Plus, all that mixing can really steam up the kitchen (as if it weren’t steamy enough already!). If mushrooms aren’t your thing, check out this lighter and brighter lemon risotto, with recipes for a lemon basil chicken and roasted tomatoes a complete meal, already planned!

IMG_0311If you’re feeling REALLY ambitious, try your hand at making this homemade, pink, heart-shaped crab ravioli (or fill with your flavors of choice).  It is perfect and decadent when covered in this white wine cream sauce.  This was our first Valentine’s Day dinner- an oldie but definitely a goody!

Chicken Chickpea and Butternut Squash TagineCan you tell we love Italy- a lot of pasta recipes on this post!  If you want something less heavy, or not Italian (and if that’s the case…um, who are you and why are you reading our blog?!  Just kidding, we love too, but we’ll never understand you) try this chicken and squash tagine or this chicken tikka masala.  Both are sweet and spicy, and a perfect way to turn up the heat at your Valentine’s Day dinner table.

The Main Event– a.k.a DESSERT

blog_ ramekin brownieWe flash back to our first blog post here with this offering- a warm, rich brownie topped with melty coffee ice cream and boozy chocolate sauce.  It can be made more quickly (and easily) by using store-bought coffee ice cream.  Decadent, special, and a definite crowd pleaser! 

blog_ macaroonsLooking for something pretty, pink, and not chocolate (gasp!)?  These strawberry macaroons will satisfy a sweet tooth without being too heavy or filling.  Plus, they can be made ahead of time- so more time to spend with your people!

plum torte 4This plum torte (or pear, or apple, or blueberry…) is pretty, looks fancy, and is relatively easy and quick to put together!  You can use whatever fruit you have as a sub for the plums (although I would stay away from citrus).  Another choice for the chocolate-haters among us! (See, I can be generous)

Chocolate SoufflesAnother oldie but a so, so goody: chocolate souffles for two!  Make this if you’re really trying to impress (but don’t worry, it’s way easier than it looks).  

Libations

Jasmine CocktailWhat would a celebration be without some alcohol?  Tread carefully with this recipe for Forrest’s jasmine cocktail– it is potent!  Perfect for those of us working up the courage to whisper sweet nothings.. 

Raspberry DiabloIf the jasmine is too much, but you still want a pink cocktail, try out this Raspberry Diablo.  It’s a fruity cross between an El Diablo and a Salty Dog.  A lighter and more refined option for those who like their tequila (hello!).  

Bourbon Peach CocktailIf pink’s not your thing (no shame in that) try this darker, earthier, dare I say more masculine (?!) bourbon peach cocktail instead.  You can make the peach liqueur yourself using this recipe, or try your luck finding it at the liquor store.   (Oh, and update- we finally did go to Savannah!  And it was wonderful).

Happy Valentine’s Day from the two of us here at Degrees of Prep.  We love you, and we thank you for continuing on this ride with us!

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