There are so many pros to going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day and we can think of a lot of cons to staying in and cooking. But with the following recipes, staying in and making a home-cooked meal with your sweetheart might just look like the best idea ever!
Rack of Lamb with Herb and Olive Crust
For a pink themed menu, let’s start with a delicious lamb recipe. It comes from Caroline in Chicago’s blog (hwhippedtheblog.com). Our mouths are watering already!
1/3 cup coarsely chopped olives – kalamata, picholine or Manzanilla
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh thyme 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 racks of lamb (7-8 ribs each, trimmed or frenched)
salt and pepper
3/6 cups breadcrumbs
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine olives, parsley, thyme, garlic and red pepper in a food processor or mortar. Make a rough paste. Stir in mayo. Set aside. Trim lamb so only a thin layer of fat remains. Heat a heavy skillet (NOT a nonstick) over high heat. Season racks with salt and pepper. Set in skillet fat side down and cook for about 2 minutes. Spread breadcrumbs on a plate. Coat the surface of the lamb with the olive paste then dip in the crumbs to coat. Put bone side down in a roasting pan. Cover the bone tips with foil so they don’t burn. Roast until instant read thermometer is 120-125 degrees for rare or 130-135 for medium. It will cook another 5 degrees when out of the oven. Let the lamb rest for 5 minutes. Cut apart between the bones and serve.
Amy Sherman, a San Francisco-based author, writer, and developer of all things food, shares an amazing strawberry cupcake recipe on her blog (cookingwithamy.blogspot.com). Cupcakes and strawberries are the key to any beau’s heart.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg
6 ounces Dannon® All Natural Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt (or any other fruit flavor of yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 fresh strawberries, about 2 Tbsp. mashed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. With an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg, Dannon® All Natural Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt and vanilla, blending until smooth.
2. Measure the dry ingredients into the bowl and blend, then fold in the strawberries.
3. Divide the mixture equally between the 12 paper-lined cupcake cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
4. Beat together butter, powdered sugar, and mashed strawberry in medium-size bowl until creamy and smooth. Chill frosting for 15 minutes or until thick. Frost cupcakes with a spatula. Keep cupcakes in the refrigerator loosely covered.
Yield: 12 servings
To accompany your beloved meal (cupcakes are a meal, right?), the Wedding Paper Divas have some suggestions for romantically festive drinks (blog.weddingpaperdivas.com). May we recommend the French Kiss? It’s just the perfect shade of pink to match you cupcakes…we mean cheeks!
¾ oz Chambord
¾ oz Peach Schnapps
¾ oz Vodka
Splash orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice
Serve straight up in a martini glass