With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some might feel like cooking a special meal for that special someone to show them that they truly care. Others might have just forgotten to buy a present and are looking for a last-minute emergency gift after the shops have closed. If you are either one of these hopeless romantics who wants to prepare a perfect Valentine’s dinner, yet lacks the cooking experience and skills to do so, we have the solution for you. The Guestlist Network is here to provide you with the recipe to a perfect three-course dinner this Valentine’s Day and do not worry, these are recipes that are quite easy to follow and will not leave you and your partner spending the night cleaning your kitchen.
As an appetizer we can recommend the oh-so romantic ‘chocolate fondue’. This recipe is so easy to follow that actually eating it without scaring your partner off seems to be the bigger challenge.
What you will need:
-12 ounces of either chocolate chips, or a simple chocolate bar chopped in small pieces. This can be in every preferable flavour, dark, milk, white chocolate, all of it is an option.
-8 ounces of heavy cream
-And a pinch of salt is also needed.
-Then it is up to you what to serve this fondue with. The most popular choice is of course strawberries, but we cannot really stop you from doing whatever suits you best.
Heat the heavy cream first, over a moderate heat, until it begins to slightly boil. Once this happens, add the chocolate chunks/chips and whisk it until the mixture gets smooth and thick. Then put the chocolate fondue in an actual fondue pan and put the preferred dipping’s on a plate. This appetizer is now ready to serve and eat.
If all went well with the appetizer and you aren’t covered from head to toe in chocolate, you have done well and are ready to start preparing the main course. Feeling the pressure yet? Don’t, because we are here to provide you once again with a simple yet romantic valentine course.
For the main course, we have beef and vegetable Stroganoff-Topped potato, which might sound really fancy and complicated, but this is exactly what we are going for.
What you will need:
- 1Medium baking potato
-4 pieces of oz beef flank steak cut into small bite size strips.
-1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms.
-1 teaspoon of olive or vegetable oil
-1 small onion cut into thin wedges
-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
-1 can of light savoury vegetable barley soup.
-1/4 cup fat free sour cream.
-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley.
Firstly, the potato has to be put into the microwave, in order to do this the way you should. You have to pierce the potato with a fork first and put it on a microwaveable paper towel before putting it in. After you’ve done this, put it in the microwave on its highest setting for approximately 4-5 minutes, turn the potato over once and let it cook until its tender enough to serve. Once it’s out of the microwave it is preferable to cover it with foil or something else and let it stand for 5 minutes.
While the potato is being dealt with, it is also important that all the other ingredients listed get put into good use. Put the oil in a frying pan and heat it over high heat. While doing this, you can add the beef, mushrooms and onion. Occasionally sprinkle pepper and garlic powder on top of it. This must be cooked for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, just until the beef is getting nicely brown and the vegetables begin to soften.
As a final touch to the main meal, you can make a nice soup to accompany with it. You cook the light savoury barley soup for approximately 7-10 minutes and stir it frequently until it thickens. After this is done, you can remove the pan from the heat and stir it in the sour cream.
The meal is served with the potato covered in the stroganoff beef mixture and the thick soup separately.
And then, given the fact that both of you are still well and breathing, you can start preparing the dessert. This will once again be an easy selection that is quite manageable for those who have just begun to explore the unknown realm that is called ‘the kitchen’. We know it’s scary, but that’s why we’re here to help.
For dessert, we will prepare Valentine sandwich cookies with ice cream, which is sure to make your partners’ heart skip a beat.
What you will need:
-1 pouch of sugar cookie mix
-1 tablespoon of all-purpose flower
-1/3 cup of softened butter.
-personal preferable amount of granulated sugar.
-1 cup of fluffy white frosting
-red liquid food coloring
Important note: Make sure to have heart-shaped cookie cutters to give them a nice heart shape and waxed paper for the granulated sugar covering.
Heat the oven to 375°F and put the flour and cookie mix in a bowl and mix them until they are well blended. Once this is done, add eggs and butter to the mix until soft dough gets formed. Once this is done, roll the dough out over a flowered surface and make cut-outs from it with the heart shaped cookie cutters. After this, get the waxed paper out and cover it with granulated sugar generously, turn them with a pancake turner and make sure both sides of the cookies are covered with sugar. Once you’ve done this you can place the cookies on the baking/cookie sheet and put them in the oven.
The cookies should be baked approximately 5-6 minutes until the edges are light golden. Let them cool for 1 minute before you take them off the cookie sheet. Once they are take off the sheet they need to cool completely for approximately 15 minutes.
Then it is time to complete the frosting, which basically requires you to put the food coloring together with the white readymade frosting.
Once everything is set up, you can spread 1 tablespoon of frosting on the bottom of 1 cookie and gently press another one on top.
Then serve these cookies with a few scoops of your favourite ice cream and there you have it, the perfect Valentine’s meal for beginners. And if it didn’t quite work out the way it supposed to, don’t worry; stomach ache hurts less than heart ache!
By Suzanne Alblas