Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy Valentines's Day Dinner

We both enjoy going out to dinner, and celebrating love...but we don't really care to partake in the craziness of Valentines Day Dinner out, so as part of my gift to Scott, I made him a nice 4- course dinner at home. (But totally cheated on dessert!)

First Course, The Appetizer:

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

2 Portobello mushrooms (stemmed)
2 oz. dry stuffing mix for chicken
½ Cup water
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
¼ cup chopped roasted red peppers
½ stick of butter
½ tsp. minced garlic cloves

Preheat oven to 350.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and mix in water and stuffing mix. Alow stuffing to absorb the liquid for about 5 min. Add in cheese, peppers, and garlic and stir until well blended.
Place mushrooms on greased baking sheet and fill evenly with the stuffing mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Source: Me!

Second Course, The Salad:

Spinach, Strawberry, & Hearts of Palm Salad

Recipe for 12 servings - cut down for servings needed

1/3 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 small red onion, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and torn into pieces
1 can hearts of palm, drained and chopped
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the dressing, combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small non-reactive saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature. When cooled, whisk in the oil, onion, poppy seeds, dry mustard and paprika until thoroughly combined. Set dressing aside. In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, hearts of palm, strawberries, and walnuts. When ready to serve, add some of the dressing, and toss gently. Serve the remaining dressing alongside the salad so diners may add more, if desired.

Source: Paula Deen

Third Course, The Pasta:

Chicken-In-Love Pasta

Makes 2 very large portions

4 oz. linguine, uncooked
1 large chicken breast, cut into thin slices
1 14.5 oz can of Italian Style Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1-1/2 cups baby spinach
½ of a medium onion
½ tsp minced garlic clove

Cook pasta as directed. Meahwhile, saute chicken, onions and garlic in a large skillet. After the chicken is cooked, add the canned tomatoes, cream cheese, and spinach. Simmer until sauces is thouroughly combined. Toss with pasta.

Source: Adapted from

Fourth course, The Dessert:

Carrot Cake for Two

Go to your local grocery store bakery. Buy two pieces of carrot cake. Now wasn't that easy?

And if you are lucky, it will all pay off in the end:

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