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Share your FAVORITE Valentines Day Menus and Recipes

I am just starting to think about what to make my fiancé for Valentines' Day. I would like this one to be really special so perhaps something new! Thanks!!!

For all of you, my favorites have been Shrimp in Love Pasta, Strawberry Stuffed French Toast, French Toast Casserole, and New York Strip with Chocolate Merlot. Sauce and for Dessert Chocolate Ravioli. Enjoy!

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  1. I ask my husband what special dish he wants that I don't usually make (like veal, or Fetticini Alfredo). For dessert, I always save a little dough from his favorite Christmas cookies, and make him a platter of heart shaped cookies for dessert.

    1. Chocolate Crepes 3 ways; plenty of inspiration here:
      http://thelunacafe.com/heavenly-choco...
      will definately be a part of the menu.

      2 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        Bless you, on more than one occasion you have posted a recipe that has put a smile on my face :)

      2. Bushwickgirl posted a stunning recipe on a thread for me, terrific for this thread. Bw, hope you don't mind my posting this. Many thanks!

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        16 Replies
        1. re: lilgi

          That's a stunning cake, lilgi!

            1. re: lilgi

              Did you see this variation on brownies in NYT:
              http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/din...

              I'm baking these later today.

              1. re: HillJ

                THAT looks genius! My mouth watered, please tell how they turn out.

                1. re: lilgi

                  The brownies are cooling right now; smell wonderful. I added 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts to the top layer.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    You're killin me, I already have 2 cakes going on Valentine's Day (the one posted above, and I have an immense craving lately for orange and chocolate, so I'm making Nigella's Clementine with chocolate ganache. I'm adding these brownies too, they look terrific.

                    I'm going to make orange fennel osso buco for dinner with haricots vert; not sure what starch I'm adding yet.

                    I thought of you the other day as I reached for "Pasta de Guayaba" at the supermarket :)

                    1. re: lilgi

                      Killin you with kindness, lilgi! What's not to love about orange & (dark in my case) chocolate! Your dinner menu sounds amazing. And, well anything with guava makes me happy. I had a guava mango smoothie for breakfast. Okay, I "tested" the brownies. They have a fudgy bottom and a crunchy top; a combo I was hoping for and really love. The hazelnuts were waiting for a recipe so I added them but they were unnecessary and didn't bring the brownie to another level-just more crunch. The brownie/coconut combo works really well.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Ghg gave me the idea for Nigella's cake (thanks ghg!). And thanks again for such great ideas!

                        1. re: lilgi

                          Oh I remember (ghg is great like that).

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Definitely! I think ghg's very intuitive.

                          2. re: lilgi

                            I don't see GHG's post? Would like Nigella's cake recipe please.

                            1. re: littlecmad

                              littlecmad, we discussed on another thread and ghg recommended blood oranges which I got yesterday. Will be doing with chocolate ganache, here's the recipe:

                              http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/c...

                  2. re: HillJ

                    HillJ, I wanted to thank you for posting this. I wanted to make a thank you treat for a friend and this was perfect. I did get to sample one before I gave them away and they were absolutely amazing...very rich and chocolatey and I loved the coconut. My friend was so pleased (he managed to eat the entire batch...minus my one square...in three days)!

                    1. re: auburnselkie

                      My pleasure auburnselkie! I enjoyed giving them as treats all day yesterday! Happy to share!

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Thanks from me too, they were enjoyed mostly by me (I'm the only one here that enjoys coconut, but I knew that from the get go), but I got my coconut fix and shared some with my neighbors :)

                        1. re: lilgi

                          That's wonderful, lilgi. Hey, you deserve a treat, right!

            2. Parisian gnocchi with asparagus, peas, parmigiano
              Steak
              Meyer lemon tart with white chocolate.

              Thinking of adding lobster, and making a 4th course, either a cold appetizer with the claws or a salad with the legs/knuckles.

              1. Ok. This may be a little fussy, but one thing I've done for V-day is roast some beets and then use an aspic heart cutter to make little beet hearts to put on the salad. Kind of whimsical. (And taste good.)

                That's kind of sounding good to me right now. Maybe with a cheese souffle. And something good for dessert.

                1. I'm going to be cooking out of this month's Chowhound Cookbook of the Month - The Essential New York Times Cookbook). The menu is shaping up to be:

                  Park Avenue Cocktail (p. 19)

                  Craig Claiborne's Swiss fondue (p. 55)
                  An Honest Loaf of French Bread (p. 662) or No-Knead Bread ( p.670)
                  Salad à la Romaine (p. 171)

                  Crepes Suzette (p.821)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Rubee

                    Oh your sweetie is even luckier than usual!

                    1. re: smtucker

                      He did make a VERY HAPPY face when I told him what I was making. He said he's in charge of liquid dessert - his contribution is going to be a Godiva white chocolate 'martini'.

                      (BTW - I love Indian pudding too. Thanks for giving the me the idea, I had missed it the first time in ENYT - adding it to the list!).

                    2. re: Rubee

                      MMMM.. we r doing fondue too. Came to this board to get ideas of anything else. The French bread is such a good idea.

                    3. V day is also my b day so I usually get what i want. usually I want chocolate mousse but this year I want dacquoise. And I like chicken marbella on my birthday.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: magiesmom

                        Chicken Marbella --- yayyyyy! ;-) Always excellent for a special occasion and the leftovers are succulent and deliucious too.

                      2. Our tradition is to purchase an "exotic" meat and experiment. The first year I was a bit naive and we didn't have a good source, so we had ostrich burgers. Next year was frog leg fried rice when we discovered that our Asian grocery store stocked them. The third year we discovered a local place that gets all kinds of fun game meat and I made a delicious Cajun alligator stew, then last year we bought antelope steaks and I lightly seared them and glazed them in a balsamic vinegar glaze. I'm hoping this year I can procure some kangaroo meat (likely ground to use for burgers, because steaks are really expensive as they are obviously not local!), but might settle for some elk (my source has elk salami, and also steaks) or some rabbit ravioli if they don't have any kangaroo in stock.

                        I then usually make a simple dessert, like chocolate dipped fruit. Something mild, because the meat is the main event. Though I might do bread pudding this year, he's very hooked on bread pudding lately.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Basiorana

                          What a neat tradition!

                          Sometime you should try yak. One of our local restaurants - a nepalese place - serves things like steamed dumplings and other things with yak. We liked it.

                          1. re: karykat

                            Ooo, sounds good. Our meat place only gets a couple kinds of meat, but if I could ever afford it I'd just order the most interesting things online.

                            1. re: Basiorana

                              There's a farm in our state that started raising yak. Before that, it was being imported from abroad by this restaurant. New things are happening and new things are available.

                        2. In previous years I've done rather labor intensive dishes and three course meals but last year I discovered a meal of decadent (bite size) snacks is also fun and required less work. I buy an assortment of cheeses, pate, bread, maybe throw in an easy appetizer like creamed mushrooms on toast or bacon wrapped dates, add and a light salad to feel a little bit virtuous healthy and end it all with chocolate truffles. Served next to a roaring fire place with some Sinatra it's definitely a nice and easy valentine's day for me and my husband.

                          1. Right now I'm thinking a warm crab dip with old bay; duck breasts with a shallot/berry/cherry reduction (more savory than sweet); fingerlings roasted in duck fat; asparagus & mini molten chocolate cakes.

                            But am also looking for inspiration...

                            1. I'm making a sort of surf and turf--sirloin steak, broiled shrimp, twice baked potatoes and a caesar salad (my own dressing and croutons, of course). for dessert, a from scratch yellow cake with chocolate icing. I think she'll be happy!!

                              1. I am extremely fond of this risotto:

                                http://thepassionatecook.typepad.com/...

                                I made in on the stovetop, so can't speak to the oven issue, but the combination of flavors was awesome. I think the sherry is essential.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jvanderh

                                  OMG-Wow, thank you for ALL the wonderful ideas! JAYKAYEN's Parisian gnocchi with asparagus, peas, parmigiano steak is what I am craving right now! Now how do I choose a chocolate dessert?

                                  1. re: jvanderh

                                    I like that it is oven baked risotto but we are both not fans of mushrooms, dang!

                                    1. re: littlecmad

                                      Dang. IMO, all desserts that are not some variant of gooey melted chocolate are just poor substitutes :-P