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Valentine's cooking ideas for/by parents

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I've got 2 small children at home, and I'd like to do something special with my husband. The kids are both in bed by about 8:15 - what can he and I prepare together that will be out of the ordinary, doesn't have us eating at midnight, and can be made from ingredients that are purchased in advance? We can do just hor d'oevres or dessert too, as we may not last until that late for a full dinner.

Thanks all :)

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  1. There are a lot of options for quick meals you can make together - spaghetti carbonara, frittata, various fish dishes, bruschetta, endive crudité, oysters, mussels, etc.

    Do you have an idea of what type of food you want to eat?

    3 Replies
    1. re: pescatarian

      Only that it not be the everyday fare. I know that is broad...
      He's a little on the picky side too - doesn't care for egg dishes, 1/2 the existing cheeses of the world (in particular, ricotta, cream cheese, mascarpone, anything warmed or melted), cream sauces, bivalves...
      Otherwise enjoys fresh fruits, veg, seafood, great bread, chocolate, steak. But these are the types of things we eat on the ordinary days as well...

      1. re: sasha1

        rather than make something after the kids are in bed, would it be possible to make something that needs to braise a long time? That way you could put it together early in the day and than the oven does the rest and you can just heat it up when you are ready - for example, brisket, lamb or beef curry, cassoulet, etc.

        Or - you could make something using some the ingredients you would normally eat, but in a different way - such as in a way that another culture prepares it - for example a mango salad (although it's better if it sits for awhile) or a moroccan couscous, etc.
        You could experiment with making different bread. Proof it earlier in the day and then make rolls with it together and bake it and eat it with fresh butter and cheese (the kinds he likes). Speaking of which you could make a fancy cheese and fruit platter together (and feed it to each other).
        There's always fondue. That could be a meal and dessert (cheese and then chocolate).

        1. re: pescatarian

          Thank you for the ideas!
          Fondue is such a no no with him :) !!!

          Would that I could take off the day from work to get an early start on these preparations...

    2. My husband and I went camping in our motorhome to the beach, just the two of us. We had such a romantic meal that we prepared together. Shrimp Cocktail, we used Ina Garten's recipe, bruschetta and wine. It was easy, romantic in that it was finger food which we fed to eachother and quite delicious!

      1. I'm thinking "whipped cream and chocolate sauce..."

        1. How about like a scallop dish? I also have an excellent recipe for a shrimp skillet (tomato and fresh basil-based).....it seems mundane when you look at the ingredients, but it's definitely romantic-dinner calibre.

          Otherwise, I would suggest a cheese plate of cheese you BOTH like (It seems he doesn't like the creamy ones?), some shrimp satay, chocolate fondue or something like that?

          Perhaps tiny little slices of beef tenderloin on soft baguette with aioli and/or horseradish? That would be decadent and nibbly. Perhaps caramelized fruit in crêpes?

          1. how about a cold seafood platter shrimp, oysters, crab with crusty bread and a salad some great wine and a warm chocolatey thing for dessert. not hard to make but yummy it could mostly be made ahead except for the warm chocolate thing