Romantic Foods

DSCN1077It’s time for the folks with significant others to start planning cute things to do because it’sValentine’s Day. Ready or not, hearts, pinks, reds, purples, chocolates, cupids, x’s and o’s, teddy bears and flowers are going to make their debut on shelves everywhere. Here are some ideas for culinary-inclined individuals to impress that foxy lady or dapper gent.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Nothing says “I love you” like a plate of succulent, sweet strawberries dipped in chocolate. Pour some drizzle on that for bonus points, baby. They also are a great food to feed someone.

    • Strawberries
    • Milk or dark chocolate (as much or little as needed. Plus side of melted chocolate is that it’s edible, too)
    • White chocolate (optional, for drizzle)

Start by washing and drying the strawberries very well, leaving the stems on. Place the milk/dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl (white chocolate as well, if used, in a separate bowl) and microwave at medium power for a minute. Stir, and microwave again for another minute, or until fully melted.

Line a plate or cookie sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Take the strawberries by the stem and dip them into the chocolate. Then, lift and twist slightly to let the excess chocolate fall back into the bowl (or your finger), and set on the waxed/parchment paper. Repeat with all the strawberries. If using the white chocolate, dip a fork into the chocolate and drizzle over the already dipped strawberries. Set aside until the chocolate has set, roughly 30 minutes.

Allergic to strawberries? Don’t like chocolate? How about blood orange mimosas instead? A mimosa is essentially champagne or sparkling wine mixed with orange juice for a citrus twist and is very popular at brunch. Do I hear Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed, anyone?

Mimosas

    • Your favorite champagne or sparkling wine
    • Fresh squeezed blood orange juice (or regular orange juice. But blood oranges are more festive)
    • Raspberries, for decoration (optional)

Fill half of a champagne glass with the orange juice. Top off with champagne. Throw in a raspberry or two for decoration.

A non-alcoholic version of a mimosa is very easy, too. Replace the champagne or sparkling wine with ginger ale or club soda. Another option is to mix cranberry juice in for a festive look.

If all else fails, heart shaped pancakes are a great way to get in the mood, a good late night snack or breakfast in bed entree. Here is a recipe adapted from marthastewart.com for these cute breakfast cakes:

Heart-Shaped Pancakes

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Heat a griddle or pan until hot. While preheating, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Add egg, milk and melted butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps. If too watery, add an additional ¼ cup flour.

Grease the pan/griddle with butter, oil, cooking spray, or whichever method you prefer. Fill a plastic bag with the batter (if you have pastry bags, use those with a ¼ inch plain round tip) and cut one of the corners off for easy piping. Pipe a heart shape onto the pan and draw a V shape in the middle to fill. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Serve with syrup, Nutella or dust with powdered sugar.

If all else fails, box pancake mix can work just fine. Make sure it’s prepared a touch thicker than usual. The sweetheart will love you either way. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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