Valentine’s Day Dinner

February 12th, 2013 posted by Susie Tilton

Valentine’s Day evokes ideas of candlelit dinners, velvet boxes and bouquets of roses. Maybe for some, but when it falls on a Monday, most of us won’t be making reservations or looking for a babysitter. So why not make a Valentine’s dinner for those you really love that they will talk about for a long time to come?! Something kid friendly, allows for helpers, and everyone will enjoy. Why, pizza of course! There are many things that we think of for a family style Valentine’s dinner, and of course heart shaped burgers with heart shaped cheese slices, heart shaped cookies even chocolate covered strawberries all enter our minds. But how about a heart shaped pizza rounded out with salad and dessert? Sounds like an easy dinner for a Monday. There are a few options with the crust. I really love making my own, however, my crust doesn’t really hold a shape well and has to rise for hours, so a store bought mix really comes in handy. I used 2 pouches (on sale for $1) for one big pizza, but you could make a number of smaller pizzas as well, that way everyone gets the toppings they love. Also, a store bought mix is easier for little hands to mold into a heart shape. The dough only “rests” for 5 minutes so it isn’t labor intensive like fresh dough. Next comes the tomato sauce. A bonus here since it is full of lycopene, which is very heart healthy! And cheese. Take a good look at those pre-shredded cheeses at the grocery store. There are blends especially for pizza, Italian blends, even blends designed to be extra creamy when melted. So be adventurous, it will only add depth to the flavors. Toppings are where you can get very creative. We did ours with the mini pepperoni and made it like a conversation heart. And don’t forget the veggies! If your kids aren’t crazy about them on the pizza, toss heart shaped red (or any color) bell pepper in the salad, maybe some edible flowers, even pickled beets which will add amazing color! Sometimes we can talk little eaters into trying new foods when it is a special night. Our sentiment on the pizza, Be Mine spelled out in mini pepperoni, lost some of its finesse after we baked it, so if you are taking a picture of your creation, do it before you slide it in the oven! Bake your pizza according to package directions and serve with the salad on the side. Maybe some sparkling grape juice, and candles for sure. And let’s not forget dessert. Sure heart shaped cookies are great, brownies, any chocolatey goodness. But what about a little chocolate fondue? You don’t need any fancy equipment. You can find long cocktail picks at the market, grab some fresh strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pineapple even cubes of pound cake. Simply follow the recipe and dunk away. Some Valentine sprinkles will make it even more festive. The leftover chocolate will store easily for another night, and by dunking fruits, well, we’re getting more good food, it just happens to be enrobed in chocolate! What you’ll end up with is a Valentine’s dinner no one is likely to forget soon!

Easy Chocolate Fondue

6 oz. of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (if you use chocolate chips look for the higher percentage of 60% bittersweet chocolate) 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter Bring the cream and butter to a simmer in a small pan on medium heat. Remove from burner and drop in chocolate. Let it sit one minute then whisk. You can transfer to a bowl or fondue pot. The bowl can be set on a heating pad to keep warm, and the chocolate can be reheated gently many times. Store leftovers covered in the fridge.

Susie Tilton (17 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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