The people's voice of reason

Valentine's Day Dinner

We made it through the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, with the stuffing, dressings, casseroles and too many sweets. We ate until we were going to burst and then we ate the leftovers. We spent hours in the kitchen cooking and then hours cleaning up. We also spent time with relatives and friends, which was a good thing. But now is the time to spend with just one other person, your significant other. The holiday this month is about love. If you are inclined to go out to a restaurant for a romantic dinner, fine! But if you want to spend a quiet evening at home and make it an expression of your feelings I am going to make it easy for you this month. Instead of advice, cooking tips and a few recipes, I'm giving you the recipes for an entire Valentine's Day Dinner.

My goal is for you to prepare a meal that will take a short prep and cooking time. Be somewhat lighter fare than what you have had the last couple of months and also colorful and fresh. I'm not going to say healthy, because to me Scotch Eggs are healthy as long you don't eat a dozen of them for dinner. If you don't know what a Scotch Egg is, Google it.

Finding fresh vegetables, fruits and somewhat un-common items like jicama, star fruit, chayote, sunflower chokes and yucca root has become easier. With online grocery stores such as Melissa's and newly opened ethnic food stores, there isn't much in the way of fruits and vegetables you can't find. When I first moved to Montgomery, I could not find jicama anywhere. Now I know of a chain grocery store and a specialty Asian market that carries it all the time. I will have a few items that you will have to do a little searching for, but will be able to find them locally. If not, substitute with some like item.

The menu will consist of a Starter, a Salad, a Main Entree and a Dessert. This is where you need to stage every menu item so they are ready when you need them and you still get to sit with your significant other and enjoy the meal.

These recipes were adapted from a store in England, Marks and Spencer.

The Menu is:

Pear, Brie and Pecan Tartine

Clementine, Mozzarella and Parma Ham Salad

Tuscan Style Sausage Bake

Brisk Fruit Crisp

PLEASE SEE RECIPES ON PDF PAGE (click on PDF pages at top right to open pages)

The tartine can be made up and put under broil and then served. • The salad can be made up early and just put the dressing on at last minute. • The sausage bake can be finished and kept warm while eating the salad. • The crisp can be kept warm while eating the main entrée.

I hope you enjoy your meal, and Happy Valentine's Day!


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