Nothing quite says "I love you" like a strawberry dipped in chocolate....
Set the scene for a romantic evening by preparing a decadent menu and sinful treats for your loved one.
Have you ever tried to make a dinner reservation at a nice restaurant on Valentine's Day?Â Unless you have made it months in advance, you will probably not be able to get a table.Â Save yourself the hassle and the expense of going out to dinner on Valentine's Day and enjoy a romantic and sinful dinner at home.Â
When planning the menu you will want to serve something that includes your loved ones' favorite dishes.Â Making these might take you out of your comfort zone, especiallyÂ if you have never cooked lobster or that special treat before but you know your special someone will love what you want to prepare.Â And serving something this specialÂ will prove your love becuase they say the way to a "man's heart is through his stomach!"Â Â Seek advice from others and hone up your cooking skills to make something that really says "I love you."Â
Do internet searches for recipes, cooking tips and hints for the menu items you are considering.Â Ask a friend that is known as a great cook for advice and help.Â Practice making itÂ ahead of time.Â Ask your mother-in-law because chances are that if it is his favorite meal, his mother has made it for him!Â Don't wait until 6:00 p.m. on Valentine's Day to cook an item you have never attempted before.Â Â As a last resort, you can always purchase most items already cooked and ready to serve from your local delicatessen or restaurant.Â
Forget the diet on this one special night.Â Sinful foods are usually high-in-calories!Â Just plan to enjoy the evening without any guilt on what you are serving and eating.Â You can starve and exercise tomorrow!
Planning to serve a sinful main course?Â Â Cooking a rich dinner doesn't have to be difficult or expensive if you put some thought and planning into making it.Â Purchase items ahead of time to spread the cost out between paychecks.Â
Consider making aÂ favorite main dish that your special someone loves but you just never take the time to make.Â That might just be the perfect answer and it could be something as simple as a good steak grilled on the barbequeÂ and real mashed potatoes served with country gravy.
When you think of the most sinful food what first comes to mind?Â Chocolate!Â There are so many ways to enjoy chocolate.Â It can be the center of your evening by having a chocolate fondue or small chocolate fountain.Â It can be a simpleÂ garnish such as chocoate dipped strawberries or a treat like chocolate kisses scattered on the table.Â Or, it can just be a rich and sinfulÂ dessert after dinner such as a chocolate melting cake.Â Maybe serve a chocolate brownie topped with rich vanilla ice cream and hot fudge topping.Â Add a little whipped cream and cherry on top for a beautiful, yet easy dessert.Â If time is a factor, purchase the brownies from your local bakery.Â What about serving a nice cheesecake with a rich chocolate and fruit topping?
You really don't need a fancy fondue pot to serve a simple chocolate fondue for two.Â Â Melt the following ingredients in your microwave or a double-boiler pot:
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or other favorite flavoring
Stir constantly until smooth and creamy and pour into a small crockpot to keep warm.Â You can use other types of chips such as 1/2 milk chocolate and 1/2 semi or bitter chocolate.Â Get creative and use white chocolate chips and add a little red food coloring for pink fondue!
Using purchased wooden skewers or long toothpicks dip a variety of food into the chocolate pot and enjoy.
Food ideas that are great in a chocolate fondue:
- Bananas - cut in 1 inch chunks
- Pineapple chunks - fresh or canned
- Apple slices
- Pretzels - stick or small twisted ones
- Pound or Sponge cake - cut in 1 inch pieces
- Brownie bites
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Twinkies - cut in pieces
When using fresh fruit, cut it up ahead of time and soak in water that you have squeezed some lemon juice into to keep them from going dark.Â Drain and store in a ziplock bag for a short period of time.Â However, it's best to cutÂ fresh fruit up shortly before serving.
Warm Chocolate Melting Cake:
- 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 cube of butter
- 4Â eggs
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 ramekins (oven safe dishes)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Â Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or a double boiler.Â Cool.Â Lightly grease the ramekins or small baking cups. (Use white ramekins as the cake will get overdone if you use clear cups.)Â
Beat two of the eggs with a wire whip.Â Add the flour and whisk until smooth.Â Add the two other eggs and beat until smooth.Â Add the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth and thenÂ pour into the baking dishes.Â Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.Â The middle will still be melting when it's done.Â That's what makes it so rich!
Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.Â Â Garnish with a few chocolate shaving.Â For a special touch serve on a nice red plate.
Setting a beautiful table only takes a few mintues and can be done inexpensively but adds that extra special touch that says, "I love you."Â
When planning your "sinful" and romantic Valentine's Day dinner make sure you set a romantic mood by playing soft, loving background music with candles and soft lighting.Â Take the time to dress nicely and wear something special and appealing.Â It's your night for romance.Â Make the most of it!