Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Meal

For Valentines Day, we usually treat each other to a night out, dinner and a movie, pre-Valentines Day to miss the crowds and then spend the real holiday inside, cooking and relaxing.  No make-up, pajamas and for this year, the Olympics.  
We started off the day with some heart shaped pancakes.  Ethan is learning to eat table food so he enjoyed these with us.
Then on to cooking the main course for the day.  Ryan and I love Italian food and this is usually on the menu every February 14th.    I made a homemade Caesar salad with fresh croutons.  They were easy and worth the effort.  The dressing included little anchovies, which spilled out the juices onto my clothes, not a pleasant aroma when you are trying to woo your loved one.  So after a quick change, I was back to the croutons.  
Super easy recipe:
I took 1/2 French loaf of bread and cut them into squares then tossed them with some melted butter (1/4 stick) and a couple of sauteed garlic cloves.  Added some salt and pepper and then cooked them at 200 degrees for an hour.  Then broiled them for about five minutes.  Mmm!!
Next I started on Ryans favorite dessert: Key Lime Pie.  I have a recipe from Paula for a wonderful Walnut Crust. 

1/2 C walnut halves
1/4 C flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C sugar
1/8 t salt
1/3 C cannola oil
1  1/2 T milk
Toast walnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant, 10-15 minutes.  Cool. Place walnuts, flours, sugarand salt in a food processor and process until nuts are finely ground.  In a small bowl, whisk together oil and milk until smooth.  Drizzle oil mixture into nut mixture while pulsing the food processor. Process until just combined.   Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Spray oil on a 9 in. pie plate and press crust evenly into bottom and sides of plate. (Do not press onto rim)  Prick with a fork.  Bake in 350 oven until edges are lightly browned and crust is firm, about 25 minutes.  Cool and add filling.   When making pumpkin or other filling that has to be baked always cook the crust first, add filling and cook again.

I usually up the walnuts to 3/4 cup and I don't toast them beforehand or refrigerate the crust before I put the pie filling in.  It works just fine.  

The Key Lime Pie recipe is way too easy.  I use a larger pie pan so I adjust the filling requirements.

5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice
2 tsp. lime zest
additional key lime/lime juice

Mix egg yolks in a mixer on low until thick, do not over mix.
Add in milk.
Add half of juice and let it mix in.
Add in other half and zest of lime.
Taste test it and this is when I usually add in extra juice for more tangy-ness.  Yumm!!!
And for his other favorite:  Fettuccini Alfredo.  Now there is not one thing, absolutely not one thing, good for you in this pasta.  Knowing that, I switched outthe regular fettuccini noodles for healthier whole-wheat ones.  It made me feel better, but only by a little bit.  This recipe is even easier than the pie!

1 stick of butter
1 cup of cream
2 cups or so of Parmesean cheese. Grated.
1 box of noodles
 *I told you there wasn't anything good for you here, but it is very good!!

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Melt the stick of butter in a saucepan, then add in cup of cream.
Cook for about five minutes and add in any seasonings.  Pepper, salt, whatever.
Pour over half of the grated cheese in a bowl.  Pour the drained noodles in.
Stir gently together and add in other half of cheese.  Serve immediately.

So aside from gaining ten unneeded pounds this Sunday, we had a wonderful day along with a wonderful meal.  Now I'm off to run to China to make up for this.

No comments:

Post a Comment