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Unique: Romantic Ideas!


Go Directly To The Tummy

It is as classic and as old a tradition as Valentine's day itself. At the end of the day, when lover's congregate to eat dinner in groups of two, the candles come out and everybody tried to be the romantic gourmet. Just like the popular cartoon Southpark illustrates, when it comes to love, the Chef always knows best. There countless different recipes for love, but here is just one the help those who would normally live on hamburger helper all year.

Start off simple. Before the meal sit down with your lover and have some crackers, spread with cheese from a cheese log, and sausage as an appetizer. While doing this you can talk and cuddle and have a glass of wine. You can't just run out and buy a bottle of Nightrain, though. You need a loving wine. Red wine seems to be the wine of lovers, and according to Country Living, the best wines to go with a candlelight meal are Merlot and Zinfandel.

For the main course, try these recipes for a salad and an Italian pasta dish:

Two heart salad
2 able spoons of fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 14 ounce can of heart of palm, drained, and sliced into rounds
1 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 head butter lettuce
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Combine the lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. You can add salt and pepper in you like. Add the lettuce the hearts of palm and artichoke hearts and let marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, then cover with the tomatoes and serve.



Pasta with Fresh Tomato and Basil
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1 package Lipton Noodles and Sauce-Alfredo
Ground Black Pepper (small amount for taste)

romanceIn 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the garlic in the skillet for about 30 seconds, then add tomatoes and basil to the mix, and cook. Stir it and cook it until the tomatoes are soft. Then add the water and the milk, and bring to a boil. When the mix comes to a boil, stir in the noodles and sauce mix. Stir at boiling over for about 9 minutes, or until noodles are tender, then add the black pepper and serve.



After dinner is over, you'll want to impress your sweet with some sweets. Here is a recipe for a very fancy ice cream sandwich of sorts. It is quite involved though, so you might want to make it the day before.

Meringue Hearts with Mint Ice Cream and Fudge Sauce
Sauce:
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
5 ounces imported bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream

Meringue:
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar

Also:
2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened slightly
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
1/8 teaspoons peppermint extract
Some coarsely chopped peppermint candies

For sauce:
Melt the butter with the corn syrup in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in the chocolate, sugar and cream. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the sugar dissolves. You'll probably want to let this chill the night before, then heat it up again as you make the dinner

For meringues:
Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil, then butter the foil and place a heart shaped, 3 and 3/4 inch cookie cutter on the sheet. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a bowl until they reach soft peaks. Add one cup of sugar, beat until stiff and shiny.

Spoon 1/4 cup meringue inside the cookie cutter on the sheet, then use your spatula to smooth off the top. Pick up the cookie cutter, put it back down in another spot and repeat the process on both sheets until you have twelve heat shaped meringues. Bake the meringues until crisp and dry, which should be about an hour. Take them out and let them cool for about ten minutes before slowly peeling them off the baking sheet. Put them in the refrigerator to let them cool completely.

Mix the ice cream, the half cup of crushed peppermint candy and the extract in a bowl, cover it, and let it freeze for about two hours. Take one of the meringues and set it down on a flat surface. Spoon a half a cup of the ice cream mix on top of the meringue. Top this with another meringue, then smooth out the edges with your spatula. Press them together to make a sandwich and repeat the process to make six sandwiches.

Place the meringues on a plate, sift sugar over them, then spoon the chocolate sauce on top of them and enjoy.

It sounds like an awful lot of work, but when mixed with music and candlelight, your partner will appreciate it and remember the effort you gave to make this Valentine's Day a gourmet one.

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