Valentine’s Day is here again. In the entrance of every grocery store are stands of red roses, and you won’t be able to find a single package of strawberries for less than $10 until February 15th.
Some people have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got a special someone and you have big plans on February 14th, it’s a great day. If you’re single and not really loving it, it might not be a day you look forward to. There are also the in-betweens who don’t really mind that it’s Valentine’s Day, but don’t have plans to do much beyond streaming video on Netflix and binge eating chocolate.
If that sounds like you, welcome to my world. I just discovered that a lot of great movies were added to Netflix in the month of February and I have every intention of grabbing all of the people and creatures I love and watching at least two of them on February 14th. Although there are a lot of great movies I’d love to see again including Couple’s Retreat and Never Been Kissed, I’m probably going to end up with a repeat showing of the recently added Lego Movie.
Instead of just eating chocolate, I’m going to make a feast that’s fitting of Valentine’s Day, and because it’s the day of love, I think I’ll share it with a few of my favourite people. Here are some of the recipes I’m going to make this Valentines’ Day. It includes one that’s not so Valentine-Day-traditional and a few that are:
Burnt Chicken Sliders
I went to California a few years ago and was lucky enough to stop and eat at a food truck festival in Fullerton. Out of everything I tried, the Burnt Truck was my favourite, so imagine how excited I was to find the recipe for their Burnt Chicken and Mashed Potato Sliders. They’ve got a lot of sizzle that made me think of Valentine’s Day, and it’s a nice switch from the traditional prime rib or steak and lobster you’d normally eat on this type of occasion. Photo and recipe from KingsHawaiian.com
1 pound Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless, cut into ½ in. pieces)
Place chicken into bowl with buttermilk and 1 tsp seasoning blend. Let sit over night.
Heat oil to 325 degrees
Put remaining 1 tsp of seasoning blend and flour into mixing bowl for dredging. Dredge chicken in flour and deep fry until golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat potatoes in separate pot and cook thoroughly. Mash potatoes with potato masher and add butter and heavy cream. Add roasted garlic and season to taste.
To serve: place mashed potatoes on bottom of toasted bun. Place fried chicken on top and pour gravy over chicken
Country Gravy Preparation: Melt butter in small saucepan over low-medium heat. Add flour to make roux.
When roux is smooth (approx 10 min) add milk. Continue to stir until thicken (approx 10 min.)
Add seasoning blend and additional salt if needed.
Rustic Raspberry Tart
Raspberries are definitely not in season where I live. I found a small package of organic raspberries in Costco last week, but that’s the first I’ve seen them for quite awhile. I did snap that package up though, because I knew that a raspberry tart was on my list of must-haves for Valentine’s Day this year. What I love about this recipe is that the tart shell isn’t fancy, and that makes it easier to work with. Photo and recipe from the Foodnetwork.com
In a large bowl mix flour and sugar. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and mix gently until it can be shaped into a ball. Shape dough into a round ball and flatten, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Add berries and roll them in mixture until coated.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out until 1/4-inch thick and roughly 12 inches round. Place on baking sheet.
Mound berries in center of dough, leaving 1 1/2 inches uncovered around the edge. Gently fold the dough up to meet the berries, and drizzle with melted butter.
Mix egg and milk. Brush dough with mixture.
Bake approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without enough chocolate to put you in a semi-coma, so skip the traditional boxed chocolates this year and make some of this Valentine’s Bark. I use Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips because they are the best, and you can easily add a cup and a half of red cinnamon hearts if you really like them. Photo and recipe from food.com
18 ounces chocolate chips (about a bag and a 1/2)
Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.
Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (preferably with sides).
Sprinkle morsels onto parchment paper.
Place in oven until morsels melt (about 5 or so minutes-I don’t really time it-I just check on the morsels).
Spread morsels evenly over the parchment paper with a spatula.
Sprinkle with cinnamon heart candies.
Allow to cool (for quick cool I place the pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes).
Break apart and divide into baggies if giving for gifts.
Makes about 10 snack size baggie servings.
Share these recipes with a loved one or just make them for yourself, and if you need a few Valentine’s Day suggestions, I’ve got you covered.
Need a last minute gift? Check out Valentine Jewelry
Heart shaped cakes are easy when you have a mold
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