Friday, 5 February 2016

Ideas for a Quick and Easy Valentine’s Day Dinner


What's the best way to spend Valentine's Day with your favorite person? A nice dinner at home away from the Valentine's Day crowds. If you want to surprise your sweetie, how about going the extra mile and making a homemade dinner from scratch. It is not as difficult as it sounds. With a little prep ahead and some easy recipes, you can put together a dinner as delicious as any restaurant meal.

Appetizers
A delicious appetizer will set the tone for the rest of the evening. It also gives you time to check on your main course, while your date enjoys the nibbles.

Option 1: Caprese Skewers

 
A no-cook appetizer is the best! Caprese skewers are small skewers with mozzarella cheese balls, tender basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. So, all you need to do is put them together. When you're done, drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette over the skewers. The key to this recipe is choose the best and freshest ingredients.

Option 2: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp


Now, if you would like to put in a little more effort in your appetizers, bacon wrapped shrimp is a tasty dish to make. Again, the key here is to choose the freshest and best ingredients. Make sure you get large shrimp because the cooking time for large shrimp and bacon is about the same. Another tip to keep in mind with this appetizer, is the seasoning. You can use barbecue seasoning or you can whip together your own seasoning with olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and a little pepper. Serve it on a bed of lettuce for beautiful presentation.

Main Course

Option 1: Pan Seared Fish



For the main course, we recommend going light with fish. Pan seared fish drizzled with lemon sauce is sure to impress your valentine. You can choose salmon, halibut or cod for this main course. The wonderful thing about this dish is that you can let the fish be the star of the show. Fresh, tasty fish needs only light seasoning to be delicious. Now, pan searing can be difficult for a beginner but there's a trick to get around it. Breading the fish with a flour-egg-breadcrumbs mix on one side will prevent it from sticking to the pan or turning tough and stringy.

Option 2: Pasta


Can you get away with making pasta for Valentine's Day dinner? The answer is Yes! All you have to do is fancy it up a little bit with tasty additions. Serving spaghetti with shrimp, arugula and feta is a great way to upgrade a basic dish. Another winning flavor combination is Andouille sausages with peppers, and tomatoes. A simple marinara pasta can be amazing when paired with quality olive oil, ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes. You could try making different kinds of pasta besides spaghetti like - tortellini, fettuccine or gemelli.

Dessert
Option 1: Bite-sized dessert


Instead of making an elaborate dessert, bite-sized desserts like cake pops are great for Valentine's Day. You can even buy cake and dress it up! Is that cheating? Not, if you use decadent chocolate sauce and caramel for dipping! This dessert is very versatile so choose any cake you like vanilla, chocolate or red velvet. Don't buy the frosted kind. Slice your cake into bite-sized pieces. You can also use cookie cutters to get perfect rounds and hearts. An easy trick - skewer the pieces with lollypop sticks and refrigerate them for an hour or so. This make them firm for dipping in chocolate.

You can coat the cake pops with sprinkles or skip this part for caramel. Once the chocolate coating has cooled and set, generously drizzle it with caramel sauce and sprinkle some sea salt.

Option 2: Fresh Berries

       
If your date is not especially fond of dessert, fresh berries are a great way to end the meal. Choose the freshest and ripe berries and present them on serving platter. You can also serve them in martini glasses topped with a little whipped cream.

Wine


At Valentine's Day Dinner – food is the star of the show so choose wine that will complement, not overpower the wine. Prosecco or Mosel Riesling wine is a good choice as it is low in alcohol.

Set the Scene
When you're hosting Valentine's Day dinner at home, the setting is as important as the food. Clear away clutter and clean. If you're in a hurry, simply clear the dining space. Set the table. It's easy to do. Start with a tablecloth, add placemats and use matching dinnerware. Skip the centerpiece in favor or simple candles.

Have a lovely dinner with these simple ideas.

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