This year, to celebrate Valentine's Day, we spent the Saturday before the 14th sharing a lovely homemade dinner with our couple-friends, Candice and Babak. I'm afraid that we were having such a good time eating, drinking, cooking, and laughing that I completely forgot to take any pictures of our great night!
That being said, I did snap a few photos of the recipes I prepared, and everything turned out so incredibly delicious I definitely wanted to share. Candice and Babak were responsible for the main course and dessert, while Timothy and I were to bring appetizers and wine. Candice and Babak decided on a great Giada De Laurentiis recipe, Chicken Tetrazzini. It was amazing! It was rich, creamy and, while definitely not Weight-Watchers friendly, we all agreed it was a true treat and perfect for our date night. One side note about Giada's recipe, it requires about 35 different ingredients and 35 additional steps. It is not a week night – quick fix.
Candice made a red velvet cake for dessert with a homemade – cream cheese icing. And, even though I wasn't assigned dessert, I made Oreo truffles as well.
Wine was easy. I snagged two bottles of Relax, one red and one white. If you haven't tried Relax you must! I've always loved the white (a very light Riesling), but this was the first time I've tried the red. I'm not a huge red fan, but the Relax "cool red" was very tasty. Needless to say, the white and red were enjoyed thoroughly by us all, to the very last drops.
In terms of appetizers, I decided on a sun-dried tomato cheese spread and brie-fruit pastry cups.
The sun-dried tomato cheese spread was a recipe I discovered in Taste of Home. It actually called for the cheese to be made into a ball, but (based on my last attempt at a cheese ball which resulted in chopped nuts and cheese scattered throughout my kitchen) I decided to edit the recipe into a spread.
I forgot to take prep pictures, so this is the prep aftermath: shredded cheese, cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, onion (1 tablespoon to be exact), and Worcestershire.
Mix with a hand blender until smooth.
Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours for everything to set up.
The brie-fruit pastry tarts were fairly easy as well. Start with a roll of crescent rolls, but do not break apart into the pre-cut triangles. Roll out the dough and cut into squares. Place squares into a mini muffin pan.
Add spoonfuls of brie.
Top with jam of choice.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. I did get a little over zealous as I spooned the cheese and jam, so some of my filling did boil over a bit.
Cool on a drying rack. Serve warm and enjoy!
We had a great time with Candice and Babak. Good food, great wine, and amazing conversations/laughs. It was a perfect Valentine's celebration for us all.