Easy and Delicious Valentine’s Day dinner for Two

I have always liked to do a little something for Valentine’s Day.  When our children were home it was fun to mark the day with a special dessert and some small gifts.

Nowadays I am happy to have Valentine’s Day come along at just the right time to break up the winter dreariness and give us a reason to celebrate those we love; maybe we will even drink a little champagne.

And  I still like to have a special meal for Mr. DB and me. Some years Valentine’s Day is  in the middle of the week so we have to be practical. And we are trying to be healthy eaters so there’s that.  But with this menu you won’t feel as if you are sacrificing at all.

My menu this year:

Lamb Chops with garlic and rosemary

Arugula Salad

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Meringues with Strawberries and Chocolate Mascarpone

Arugula Salad

2 cups arugula, 1/4 c. Craisins, 2 minced green onions, 1/4 c. toasted almond slivers, Good Seasons Italian dressing (or any Italian dressing).  Mix the first 5 ingredients.  Toss with dressing before serving.  I keep all of these ingredients on hand since this is our go-to salad.

Lamb Chops

One package of 5 lamb chops, 3-4 cloves of garlic, rosemary, olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Season the lamb chops on both sides according to taste.  Heat a heavy skillet for  2 minutes, then add olive oil.  When the oil shimmers add the lamb chops and cook 3 minutes on a side.  I set my timer.  Don’t leave the stove.  Place the chops on a plate and cover with aluminum foil for up to 5 minutes so that the juices can settle.

  Since meringues have to cook for 1 1/2 hours you may want to make them ahead of time and keep them for the big day.  This is a nice light dessert for any occasion.

Add the beverage of your choice and enjoy!

Do you do anything special on Valentine’s Day?  I would love to hear from you!

 

Vegetable Chowder with Cheese

Like most everyone I made a resolution to eat more healthfully in 2017.  This vegetable chowder really makes that easy to do.  It’s chock full of vegetables and it tastes great.
For some reason, even though I do like vegetables and fruits, I find it hard to incorporate enough into my daily diet.  So when I find a recipe like this, I think of it as counteracting those days when I didn’t hit my daily requirement.
The recipe makes 6 hearty servings.  For the two of us we will have leftovers for lunches or to freeze.

 

 

Vegetable Chowder with Cheese

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
8 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Bring the first six ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in corn.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat and add the flour, stirring until smooth.  Gradually stir in the milk and continue cooking until the mixture thickens and bubbles.  Add the grated cheese, stirring until melted and combined.

Stir the cheese mixture into the vegetable mixture until blended.  Cook a few more minutes until warm.

A few other soup suggestions:
Do you have a favorite soup recipe?  I would love to add some variety to my list.
 
 

Favorite tapenade

 

We recently went to a party at a friend’s house and I brought my homemade tapenade. This recipe has been one of our favorites for 23 years.

As lovers of all things garlic, it hits all the right notes for us.  Throw in the salty taste of the oil cured olives and the lemony capers and you have so many wonderful flavors.
I admit to trying the ready made version but it never measures up to this one.  And it only takes a few minutes to make.
Enjoy!

Olive Tapenade

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup of olives, mostly oil cured-can be an assortment, pitted
3 cloves of garlic
2 T lemon juice
1 T. chopped parsley leaves
1/2 t. drained capers
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. fresh thyme leaves
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

In food processor, with chopping blade, process all but the olive oil until the olives are finely chopped but not pureed.  Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and stir in the olive oil.  Serve with slices of toasted baguette.