Valentine Menu Ideas for Your Sweetheart

My husband and I will celebrate our 30th Anniversary on Valentine's Day this year. Rather than fight the crowds and long lines, we'll often stay home on our anniversary, and I'll make a special dinner. Here are a few ideas for a special dinner with your Valentine. 

Maybe you want to serve French Cuisine:

Or perhaps you have in mind Italian:

Maybe you want to treat your Valentine to a Steak Dinner:

Or perhaps you both prefer Seafood: 

Whatever you decide for your Valentine dinner, I hope it's one you'll cherish forever. May you have a Happy Valentine's Day! See more Valentine Dinner Options HERE.

Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches


Here's a recipe we served at our youngest daughters bridal shower tea party last year. Many people requested the recipe, so here it is! 

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 stalks finely diced celery
1 cup mayonnaise 
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 slices thin wheat bread

In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, mayonnaise, onion, ginger, curry powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Spread butter on wheat bread and then spread chicken mixture on five of the bread slices. Top with the remaining buttered bread slices. Cut sandwiches into quarters. Makes 20 tea sandwiches.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Savory Pot Roast

The secret to making a great roast is searing in the juices at the very beginning.

2 tablespoons canola oil
3 1/2 - 4 pound boneless chuck roast
1/2 onion minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
salt and pepper
6 medium potatoes, wedged
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, quartered
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add roast and cook until brown on all sides. Add onion, garlic, and herbs, along with 1 cup water. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 3-3 1/2 hours until meat is tender and falls apart with a fork, adding more water as needed. Remove roast from cooker and keep warm. Add prepared vegetables to broth mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bake in 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until fork tender, stirring vegetables in broth at least twice. Pour broth into small saucepan, adding water if needed to make 2 cups. Add roast to vegetables and keep warm in oven.

In glass measuring cup mix together flour and 1/4 cup water. Beat well until smooth. Pour into boiling broth mixture and cook until sauce thickens. Serve over roast and vegetables.
Wine Recommendation: William Hill North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Almond Coffee Bread

Here's a delightful recipe our youngest daughter made for 4-H one year that received a purple ribbon.

3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg

Almond Filling:
1/3 cup almond paste
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, lemon zest and salt. Add milk, water, butter and egg. Using kneading attachment, mix together until a nice dough forms, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and cover. Let rest for 30 minutes. Punch dough down. Divide into three pieces; roll each into a 24x4-in. rectangle.

In a mixing bowl, beat almond paste, chopped almonds, egg, and lemon zest. Divide into thirds and spread over each dough rectangles to edges. Starting with each long side, roll up. Pinch seams to seal. Place ropes on a floured surface and braid. Place in a greased 10-in. tube pan. Pinch ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40-60 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. To make glaze, in a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar,almond extracts, and milk. Drizzle over warm braid. Top with almonds. Serves 10-12.