This Valentine’s Day forget about heading to the restaurant for a romantic candle light dinner. Instead, pamper your sweetheart with a warm and intimate home-cooked meal and end the romantic dinner by indulging in an outstandingly scrumptious dessert.

Here are few recipes to add to the menu of your romantic valentine’s day dinner:


Cauliflower Bisque with Brown Butter Croutons


2 cup whole milk

2½ cup vegetable stock

1 small head cauliflower (about 1 pound total), separated into florets

3/4 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic, crushed

4 sprigs thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 cup cubed ciabatta bread

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Chopped chives, for serving


Combine milk, stock, cauliflower, potato, onion, garlic, and thyme in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add bread and cook, stirring often, until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Discard thyme sprigs. Puree soup, in batches, in a blender until smooth. Add cream and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with croutons, pomegranate seeds, and chives.

Recipe Credits: www.countryliving.com

Engagement Chicken Pasta


6 ounces dried spaghetti

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

10 sprigs fresh thyme

10 ounces sliced mushrooms

freshly ground black pepper


2 small chicken breasts

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 ounces cream cheese, softened


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the spaghetti noodles.

Meanwhile, in a large not non-stick skillet, melt the butter and thyme over medium heat.

Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet, and stir to coat in butter. Leave them to cook for a few minutes undisturbed so that a nice crust forms. Stir, and repeat until the mushrooms are golden brown. It will take about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the pan, leaving the butter and thyme in the pan. Add the oil to the pan.

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, and sear the chicken breasts on both sides in the same pan that the mushrooms were in. Again, let cook undisturbed so that a nice crust forms. If the chicken is sticking to the pan, it’s because the first side isn’t done searing. It will release when it’s golden brown.

Remove the chicken from the pan, and cover to keep warm.

Turn the heat down to low and add all of the wine

Allow the wine to cook down slightly while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all of the brown bits into the wine.

Dice the cream cheese and place in a large bowl.

Discard the thyme sprigs from the pan, and then pour the hot wine over the cream cheese, and stir until it melts. There might be a few small pieces, but the hot pasta will dissolve them.

When the pasta is done, drain it, and immediately pour it over the wine-cream cheese mixture. Toss the noodles to melt and evenly distribute the cream cheese sauce.

Stir the mushrooms into the pasta bowl.

Slice the chicken, and serve on top.

Recipe Credits: www.dessertfortwo.com

Main Course:

Parmesan Risotto with Roasted Shrimp


1 pound large shrimp

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small white onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, divided


Heat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the shrimp and pat them very dry. Toss them with olive oil and then the paprika and a generous quantity of salt and pepper. Spread them in a baking dish and return them to the refrigerator.

Warm the broth in a saucepan set over low heat.

In a separate Dutch oven or wide, deep sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir thoroughly to make sure it is coated with the butter and onions. Cook the rice for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring and scraping the pan until the wine has evaporated.

Begin incrementally adding the warm broth one ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Wait to add another ladle until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice. This gradual addition of liquid is key to getting the rice to release its starch and create its own delicious sauce, so don’t rush this step. If the broth is evaporating very quickly, or the rice is boiling hard, turn the heat down so you just see a gentle simmer and occasional plop. Expect this stage to take about 18 minutes, and to add most of the broth.

Begin tasting the rice after about 13 minutes to gauge how far it has cooked. The risotto is ready when the rice is still a bit chewy, and the dish has the consistency of thick porridge.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking the risotto, put the pan of prepared shrimp in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink.

When the risotto is ready, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and about 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve immediately, spreading risotto in pasta bowls and topping with shrimp and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Recipe Credits: www.thekitchn.com

Chicken with Lemon and Potatoes


1 whole chicken

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

5 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 lemons

5 clove garlic

2 scallions

coarse sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

1¾ lb. small to medium potatoes

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ bunch fresh parsley leaves


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack set in the middle. Remove any excess fat around chicken cavities and discard; rinse chicken and pat dry, inside and out.

In a small bowl, combine basil, butter, lemon zest, garlic, and scallions.

Starting at chicken’s neck, slide hands under the skin, carefully loosening skin on breasts and thighs. Spread butter mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time, between loosened skin and meat, taking care not to tear the skin. Rub hands over skin to spread mixture into crevices.

Season chicken (inside and out) with salt and pepper, then tie legs together with kitchen string. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and enough pepper to coat well. Cut reserved lemon into quarters and set 3 aside.

Heat roasting pan in oven for 10 minutes. Remove; then put potatoes and any oil left in a bowl into pan, keeping potatoes in a single layer and pushed to edges to make room for chicken. Place chicken in pan, breast-side up.

Roast chicken for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from oven and turn bird breast-side down. Continue to roast for 20 more minutes, then remove the pan from oven and turn bird breast-side up again. Sprinkle parsley over potatoes, then stir to coat with pan drippings. Squeeze reserved lemon over chicken and put rinds into a pan. Continue to roast until juices of chicken run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in breast reaches 160°F, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove pan from oven; let chicken rest for 15 minutes before transferring to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 more minutes, then carve. Spoon pan juices over chicken; serve with potatoes and roasted lemon.

Recipe Credits: www.countryliving.com

Roasted Vegetable Mac ‘n’ Cheese


1 lb. plum tomatoes

6 cup broccoli florets

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoon all-purpose flour

4 cup milk

2⅓ cup grated aged Asiago

2½ cup grated sharp Cheddar

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 lb. penne


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick. Toss the tomatoes and broccoli with the oil and roast separately on parchment-lined baking pans for 30 minutes.

Whisk the butter and flour in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat until foamy. Add the milk. Whisk until thickened and bubbling about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Whisk in the cheeses, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir in the pasta and broccoli and transfer to a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Top with the tomatoes and bake about 30 minutes.

Recipe Credits: www.countryliving.com


Red-Hot Red Velvet Brownies


Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1 – ounce bottle red liquid food colouring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar until combined. Stir in eggs and the bottle of food colouring. Add butter mixture to flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting. When cool, use foil to lift brownies from pan. Carefully remove the slab of brownies from foil onto a serving platter. Frost generously, chill until icing is set, then cut into squares. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe Credits: www.midwestliving.com

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes


2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup butter

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar


Using the 2 tablespoons butter, grease six 8- to 10-ounce ramekins, souffle dishes or custard cups. Place ramekins in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a heavy small saucepan, combine chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove pan from heat; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick and lemon coloured. Fold one-third of the chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Fold remaining chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture. Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into each prepared ramekin, dividing evenly.

Bake in a 425 degree F oven about 12 minutes or until cake edges feel firm. Cool in ramekins on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cake from sides of ramekins. Invert onto dessert plates. Sift with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Recipe Credits: www.midwestliving.com

The post Recipes For A Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner appeared first on Smiling Diaries.

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