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Valentine’s Day Dinner and Drink Menu!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  As you can see by the past two posts, I am a dessert girl and would prefer to eat my dessert before the main meal if I could.  But, today I figured I would give you a few last minute dinner and drink recipes for you procrastinators out there!  Hope you find something inspiring to make for your sweetie tonight!

Appetizers:

Arugula Salad with Honey-Drizzled Peaches (from BetterEats.com)

1/4 cup nuts, pecans, toasted – finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt, Kosher – divided

Pepper, to taste

4 ounces cheese, goat, soft

6 cups arugula

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 medium lemon – zest and juice

4 medium peach – ripe but firm, halved and pitted

4 TBSP honey

Place pecans in a shallow dish

Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

Roll goat cheese log in the pecans to coat

Refrigerate the log until firm, if necessary, then cut into 8 rounds

Place arugula in a medium bowl

Add oil, lemon zest and juice and toss to coat; season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

Divide the arugula among 4 shallow bowls

Nestle 2 peach halves into each portion of greens, top each half with a round of pecan-crusted goat cheese and drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon honey

Serves 4 (Recipe and photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Arugula Salad with Honey-Drizzled Peaches(Photo Courtesy BetterEats.com)

Arugula Salad with Honey-Drizzled Peaches
(Photo Courtesy BetterEats.com)

Artichoke Parmesan:

This recipe was inspired from Apartment34.com‘s Hand stretched Mozzarella with Nigella,  Artichokes, Black Olives and Watercress recipe.  Read and follow the directions below for my twist on Apartment34.com‘s recipe!

1 Bag Frozen Artichoke Hearts

1 Cup White Wine

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1 Lemon, Sliced

Juice of 1/2 Lime

1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Bay leaves

Garlic Salt, Pepper, Salt (I used Chardonnay Salt), Herbes de Provence, Thyme to taste

Water to cover artichokes

Shaved Parmesan Cheese, to garnish

Black Olives, to garnish

Artichoke Ingredients

Artichoke Ingredients

Combine wine, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon slices, lime juice, and spices in sauce pan over stove

Spices and Acids Warming

Spices and Acids Warming

Once ingredients are warm, add artichoke hearts and enough water to cover

Simmer until artichoke hearts are tender

Artichokes Simmering

Artichokes Simmering

Using slotted spoon, drain excess water and place artichokes on plate

Top with Parmesan Cheese and olives

Artichokes

Artichokes

Main Dish:

Roasted Halibut with Pickled Beets

2 slice(s) bread, 100% whole-wheat – or rye, slightly stale

4 TSP extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup shallot(s),  finely chopped

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 TSP butter

1 small capers – rinsed

2 pounds halibut fillets, cut into 8 pieces

1/4 TSP salt

16 ounces beets, sliced, pickled, drained, & diced (if I were making this recipe, I would use freshly cooked beats)

Preheat oven to 425

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray

To make breadcrumbs, grate bread through the large holes of a box grater; place the crumbs in a small bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons oil

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat

Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes

Pour in lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring gently; remove from the heat and add butter

Swirl the pan, letting the butter melt and slightly thicken the sauce

Stir in capers

Sprinkle fish with salt and place in the prepared baking dish

Pour the pan sauce over the fish and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs

Bake the fish until it is opaque in the center, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve each portion topped with about 3 tablespoons pickled beets

Serves 8 (Recipe and photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Roasted Halibut with Pickled Beets (photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Roasted Halibut with Pickled Beets (photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Dijon Scallops:

I traditionally make Chicken Dijon (recipe HERE), but decided to mix things up and try a seafood dijon…this time making the recipe with scallops.  It tasted just as yummy, if not more delicious than the chicken dijon!  This would work with shrimp, hailbut, tilapia, and salmon!

1 Pound Diver Scallops

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice

2 TBSP Fresh Lime Juice

Italian seasoned breadcrumbs-about 1/2 cup (I make my own breadcrumbs by toasting Food for Life‘s Ezekiel Bread and pulsing until fine in food processor)

Parmesan Cheese-about 1/2 cup

Olive Oil

3-4 TBSP Butter, melted

Dijon Scallops

Dijon Scallop Ingredients

Preheat oven to 375

On a shallow plate, mix together dry ingredients…breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese (you can use ground nuts instead of breadcrumbs)

In a small bowl, mix together wet ingredients…mustard, lemon juice, and lime juice

Dredging and Coating Scallops

Dredging and Coating Scallops

Brush the mustard mixture on scallops and one by one dredge in crumb mixture until entirely covered

Repeat on all scallops

Drizzle top of scallops with melted butter

Scallops ready to be cooked!

Scallops ready to be cooked!

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until scallops are cooked through

Cooked Dijon Scallops

Cooked Dijon Scallops

Scallops are Served!

Scallops are Served!

Drinks:

Elderflower Sparklers

8 TBSP elderflower, concentrate or syrup

2 cups champagne – extra-dry, or brut

2 cups seltzer

8 sprig(s) mint, fresh – or edible flowers, for garnish

Place 1 tablespoon elderflower concentrate (or syrup) in each of 8 Champagne glasses

Add 1/4 cup Champagne to each glass

Top off with 1/4 cup seltzer

Garnish with flowers (or mint), if desired

Serve immediately

Serves 8 (Recipe and photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Elderflower Sparklers (photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Elderflower Sparklers (photo courtesy BetterEats.com)

Red Velvet Shortcake Cocktail using Red Velvet ZING Vodka, a Vodka brought to you from the Maloof family (if you watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, are a fans of the Sacramento Kings, or stay at The Palms in Vegas, yes it’s that Maloof!)

Red Velvet Shortcake Cocktail with Zing Vodka

Red Velvet Shortcake Cocktail with Zing Vodka

(photo and recipe courtesy ZingVodka.com)

I think you have enough appetizer, dinner, drink, and dessert recipes to choose from for your Valentine’s Dinner!  Hope you and your sweetie have a sweet Valentine’s Day!

Here is one more image of my Dijon scallop and artichoke dinner.  I added a little asparagus to give the plate a little color.  I was so pleased with this meal and can not wait to make it again!

Scallop and Artichoke Dinner

Scallop and Artichoke Dinner

Stay hungry…

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