Saint Paddy's Dill Dip, -Valentine's Day

Saint Paddy's Dill Dip Recipe

1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon dried dill weed
    1 teaspoon seasoning salt
    1/4 teaspoon onion salt
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon dried minced onion
    1 tablespoon dried parsley
    1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG)
    1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    1 large green bell pepper

  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed, seasoning salt, onion salt, Worcestershire sauce, onion flakes, parsley flakes, monosodium glutamate, and hot pepper sauce. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. To serve slice off top of green pepper and gently clean out insides, spoon dip into pepper and sprinkle with dill weed.

Shrimp Scampi Cheesecake Appetizer-Valentine's Day,

Shrimp Scampi Cheesecake Appetizer Recipe

     1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion
    6 teaspoons minced garlic
    1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    12 shells puff pastry, baked
    4 tablespoons butter or margarine
    3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    16 ounces smoked Gouda, grated
    2 teaspoons salt
  • PREP 45 mins
  • COOK 25 mins
  • READY IN 1 hr 10 mins
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm oil and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent; set aside to cool. When cool, pour off liquid reserving garlic.
  • Cut shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces, reserving 12 uncut for garnish. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter and add reserved garlic and all shrimp; cook shrimp for 2 to 4 minutes or until done.
  • Remove center circle and a small portion of inside of cooled puff pastry shells.
  • In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy; add one egg at a time and beat until well mixed. Add cream, Gouda, onions, shrimp and salt.
  • Spoon filling into puff pastry shells.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until filling is browned on top. Garnish with whole shrimp and chopped chives; serve.

The Way to a Man's Heart-Valentine's Day

The Way to a Man's Heart Recipe

    1 pound halibut
    1/2 cup white wine
    1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
    1/4 cup minced onion
    1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 cup evaporated milk
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1/2 pound crabmeat, flaked
    1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • PREP 20 mins
  • COOK 40 mins
  • READY IN 1 hr
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter 8 small ovenproof ramekins.
  • Cut fish into 8 pieces, and arrange in a shallow 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour wine over fish, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily; keep oven on for final step.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute mushrooms, onion and red bell pepper until tender; remove from heat and set aside.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan over low heat. Mix in flour, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until smooth. Gradually add milk and increase heat to medium; stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly.
  • Stir in mushroom mixture, salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper to saucepan, stirring until well combined. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
  • Remove fish from wine carefully with a slotted spoon, and place 1 piece into each ramekin. Sprinkle crabmeat evenly on tops, followed by 2 tablespoons sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese in each dish.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly; serve immediately.

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts-Valentine's Day

 Stuffed Artichoke Hearts Recipe
  1/2 cup butter
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    3 (14 ounce) cans artichoke bottoms, drained
    1 teaspoon lemon pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 tablespoon sour cream
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 45 mins
  • READY IN 1 hr
  • Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; remove from heat and set aside. Place the Parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
  • Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each artichoke bottom so it will stand, and gently press your thumb into the center of each to form a depression for the filling. Sprinkle the artichoke bottoms with lemon pepper and garlic salt.
  • Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and chives in a bowl, and mix well. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each artichoke bottom.
  • Dip each stuffed artichoke bottom into the melted butter, roll in Parmesan cheese, and place into the prepared baking dish. Bake about 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops of the artichokes are golden brown.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus-Valentine's Day

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced
    1/2 (8 ounce) package Neufchatel cheese, softened
    12 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 15 mins
  • READY IN 30 mins
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  • Spread prosciutto slices with Neufchatel cheese. Wrap slices around 2 or 3 asparagus spears. Arrange wrapped spears in a single layer on a medium baking sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until asparagus is tender.

Easy Guacamole, -Valentine's Day

 Easy Guacamole Recipe

    2 avocados
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 ripe tomato, chopped
    1 lime, juiced
    salt and pepper to taste
  • PREP 10 mins
  • READY IN 40 mins
  •  Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper. Season with remaining lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for half an hour to blend flavors.

Valentine's Day, Stuffed Filet Mignon Bites

Stuffed Filet Mignon Bites Recipe


  4 (6 ounce) filet mignon steaks
    1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian dressing
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    1/4 cup minced jalapeno pepper
    20 slices thinly sliced bacon
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 8 mins
  • READY IN 2 hrs 23 mins
  • Slice the steaks into 1/2-inch wide strips. Pound the strips to about half their original thickness. Place the steak in a bowl; pour the Italian dressing over the meat; allow to marinate at least 2 hours.
  • Mix together the cream cheese and jalapeno pepper in a bowl; set aside. Remove the strips from the marinade and lay out on a flat surface. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on each strip.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  • Remove the strips from the marinade and lay on a flat surface. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on each strip. Fold the meat around the cream cheese mixture to form a ball. Wrap each ball with a slice of bacon. Secure bacon with water-soaked toothpicks or metal skewers.
  • Cook on preheated grill until steak is no longer pink, about 4 minutes per

Avocado Salsa-Valentine's Day,

Avocado Salsa Recipe

   1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
    2 (2.25 ounce) cans sliced ripe olives, drained
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 small onion, chopped
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    3 tablespoons cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
  • PREP 30 mins
  • READY IN 8 hrs 30 mins
  • In a large bowl, mix corn, olives, red bell pepper and onion.
  • In a small bowl, mix garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour into the corn mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
  • Stir avocados into the mixture before serving.

Valentine's Day- Shrimpcargot

Shrimpcargot Recipe

     1/4 cup butter
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    6 peeled and deveined large shrimp (21 to 25 per lb)
    6 mushrooms, stems removed
    2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 15 mins
  • READY IN 30 mins
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Heat the butter and garlic in a skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to bubble. Stir in the shrimp, and cook until they just turn pink, about 3 minutes. Place one shrimp into each mushroom cap, and place into a small baking dish. Spoon the garlic butter into the mushroom caps, and sprinkle each with a pinch of mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is golden and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Pink Crush -Valentine's Day

Pink Crush Recipe

     10 fluid ounces coconut flavored rum
    6 fluid ounces pineapple juice
    16 fluid ounces strawberry-flavored soda (such as Crush® Strawberry)

  • PREP 5 mins
  • READY IN 5 mins
Pour the rum and pineapple juice into a cocktail mixing cup, and stir to combine. Gently pour the strawberry soda into the mixture, pouring down the side of the mixing cup to prevent the soda from going flat. Slowly tilt the mixing cup back and forth a few times to mix; pour into cocktail glasses.

Lollipop Cookie Valentines

Lollipop Cookie Valentines Recipe 

  12 craft sticks
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 egg
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    12 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate
    1 egg white
    1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
    3 drops red food coloring
  1. Soak craft sticks for one hour in a bowl of cold water.
  2. In small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stir chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; let cool.
  3. In large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Beat egg in well; beat in cooled chocolate. With mixer at low speed, beat in flour, cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Divide dough in half.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and grease 2 large cookie sheets.
  5. Roll each half out to 1/8 inch thickness between 2 sheets of wax paper; freeze, in wax paper, 5 minutes. Peal top sheets of wax paper off dough; cut dough out using 3-inch heart-shaped cutter. Reroll scraps; freeze again 5 minutes; cut out. Place half of the hearts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Drain sticks, pat dry. Place one stick on each heart to make 2 1/2 inch handle, pressing lightly into dough. Place remaining hearts on top; press edges gently to seal. Bake about 12 minutes until firm to touch. Cool on wire racks.
  7. In 2-quart heavy saucepan over very low heat, or in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, stir white or milk chocolate until melted and smooth; if using both chocolates, melt in separate 1-quart pans. Remove from heat.
  8. Holding each lollipop by handle, dip into chocolate to coat on both sides; let excess chocolate drip back into pan. Place each lollipop as it is coated on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet; refrigerate 20 minutes until chocolate is set.
  9. To Make Icing: In large bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat egg white and confectioners' sugar until very smooth. If desired, remove small portion of icing to separate bowl; tint with drops of food coloring. Spoon icing into decorating bag fitted with small writing tip; pipe over lollipops in desired patterns. Decorate with assorted candies and decors; attaching with dots of icing.

Crispy Sweet Potato Bake

 Crispy Sweet Potato Bake Recipe

    2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup milk
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 40 mins
  • READY IN 55 mins
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a casserole dish.
  • Place sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash. Measure 3 cups mashed sweet potato and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Beat sweet potatoes, brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together with an electric hand mixer in a bowl until smooth and creamy; pour into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Pour 1/3 cup melted butter over pecans in a bowl; stir to coat. Add flour; stir until combined. Sprinkle pecan mixture over sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Winter Fruit Salad-Valentine's Day

winter fruit salad 

3/4 c. sugar
3 star anise
1/2 fresh vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
8 dried  apricots, halved
4 dried figs, quartered
4 2-inch long pieces lemon zest (peeled with a vegetable peeler)
Juice from the same lemon
3 Bosc pears
1 Granny Smith apple
Seeds from half a pomegranate
Fill a medium saucepan with 4 c. water. Add the sugar, star anise, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, and cook until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then stir in the figs and apricots. Let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, core the pears and apple (and peel if you like). Slice thinly lengthwise, place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
Once the syrup with dried fruit has cooled, pour it over the apples and pears. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
The next morning, using a slotted spoon, ladle the fruit into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve. Remove the vanilla beans (you can rinse and save what is left of them for another use) and lemon peels if you wish, or leave them in for decoration.
Note: Syrup can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a day or two. Hot syrup can be poured over the dried fruit and kept in the fridge for a day or so. Prepared salad keeps in the fridge for a day or two, but is best fresh.

Moroccan spiced fish with ginger mash-Valentine's Day

 Moroccan spiced fish with ginger mash



  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ -1 tsp harissa (Belazu is good)
  • zest 1 lemon
  • small handful coriander, most chopped, rest left whole
  • fingertip-size piece fresh root ginger, finely grated
  • 2 skinless white fish fillets (look for sustainably caught)
    Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins
    Serves 2 
    1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 10 mins or until just tender when pierced with a knife. Meanwhile, mix together the butter with the garlic, harissa, lemon zest, chopped coriander and some seasoning. When the potatoes are ready, drain thoroughly, mash with the ginger and seasoning, then keep warm.
    2. Place the fish in a roasting tin, season, then spread half the flavoured butter over each fillet. Roast for about 8 mins until just cooked through. Serve with the ginger mash and some green veg.

Squidgy chocolate & pomegranate torte0-Valentine's Day

 Squidgy chocolate & pomegranate torte



  • 225g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into squares
  • 5 large eggs
  • 225g light muscovado sugar, squished through your fingers to remove any lumps
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour, plus an extra 1 tbsp

For the topping

  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g bar dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • handful pomegranate seeds
    Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins - 35 mins
    Moderately easy
    Cuts into 12 slices
    1. Generously grease a 23cm springform tin, then line the base with parchment. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium bowl and gently melt together, either over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside.
    2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the sugar, then whisk for 5-8 mins with electric hand beaters until thick, mousse-like and doubled in volume. Pour the chocolate mix around the edge of the bowl, then fold together using a large metal spoon until the batter is evenly brown with the odd ribbon of chocolate appearing. Don’t rush this bit, it’s important to preserve the bubbles you’ve so carefully made. Sift over the almonds, flour and ¼ tsp salt, then fold in until even. Slowly pour the batter into the tin, then use a spatula to get every last bit from the bowl. Bake on a middle shelf for 30-35 mins, or until the cake is risen and set on top. Cool the cake in its tin on a rack. The torte may sink and crack a little, which is fine.
    3. For the topping, bring the cream to the boil. Put the chocolate in a bowl with the icing sugar, then tip the hot cream over it. Leave for a few mins, stir until smooth, then let it cool and thicken for 10 mins. Carefully remove the torte from its tin onto a plate, then spread the icing over the top, letting it drip down the sides. Leave to set for a few mins, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds and either chill for a few hours, or serve straight away.

Rhubarb & custard cocktail-Valentine's Day

Rhubarb & custard cocktail



For the rhubarb syrup

  • 85g caster sugar
  • 300g chopped rhubarb

For the cocktail

  • 100ml vodka
  • 100ml rhubarb syrup (see above)
  • 1 length rhubarb
  • 30ml advocaat
  • 75ml lemonade
    Prep: 25 mins Plus cooling
    Serves 4


    1. To make the rhubarb syrup, put the caster sugar in a saucepan with 75ml water. Heat very gently, so the sugar disappears but the water doesn’t bubble. Tip in the chopped rhubarb, cover with a tight-fitting lid and increase the heat a little so it begins to boil. Simmer, covered, for about 5 mins until the rhubarb is very tender but not disintegrating.
    2. Turn off the heat, and tip the pan’s contents into a fine sieve over a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to gently squeeze the rhubarb so that you get all the juices, but no pulp. Tip back into the pan and boil rapidly for a few mins until just syrupy. Pour into a jug – you should have about 125ml. Leave to cool completely. Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.
    3. Chill 4 cocktail glasses with ice or in your freezer. Shake the vodka and 100ml of the rhubarb syrup together with ice until mixed and chilled down. Make small shreds of rhubarb using a vegetable peeler and place into iced water – this will make them curl up.
    4. In a separate jug, whisk together the advocaat and lemonade with more ice to lighten. Divide the vodka and rhubarb mixture between the glasses, straining through a small sieve to catch the ice.
    5. Carefully pour 25ml of your advocaat mixture into each glass over an upsidedown spoon (the mixture should float on the surface of the vodka syrup mixture). Drain the rhubarb shreds well and use to garnish your cocktails.

Venison steaks with stroganoff sauce & shoestring fries-Valentine's Day


Venison steaks with stroganoff sauce & shoestring fries


  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into skinny chips
  • 2 venison steaks (about 175g/6oz each)

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 4 tbsp soured cream
  • small handful parsley, chopped
  •   Prep: 25 mins Cook: 30 mins
    For the keen cook
    Serves 2 


    1. To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a large frying pan, tip in the onion and cook over a low heat for about 10 mins until soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms, increase the heat and fry until all the liquid has evaporated.
    2. Meanwhile, heat enough oil to come 4-5in up the sides of a large saucepan. When hot, add the chips and cook, in batches, for 3-5 mins until golden. Remove and drain on kitchen paper, but keep the oil hot.
    3. Add the paprika, tomato purée and flour to the mushrooms, cook for 1 min then add the brandy, if using, and leave to bubble away for a further 1-2 mins. Be careful as the brandy may set alight. Pour in the beef stock and set over a high heat to reduce by half. Stir in the soured cream and parsley, then season. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the venison.
    4. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Season the venison and cook for 3 mins on each side for medium-rare, depending on the thickness of the meat. Remove from the pan and leave to rest, loosely covered with foil.
    5. Tip the fries back into the hot oil and cook for a further 2-3 mins to crisp up. Drain and season with salt. Serve the steaks with the sauce poured over and a pile of fries on the side.

Hidden heart cake-Valentine's Day

Hidden heart cake



For the cake

  • 2 x 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 x 175g golden caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 x 140g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 x ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 x 85g ground almond
  • 2 x 100ml milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 28ml bottle red food colourings or ½ tsp red food colouring gel

For the icing

  • 100ml double cream
  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • pink sprinkles (optional)
    Prep: 50 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 20 mins plus cooling
    Moderately easy
    Cuts into 8-10 slices


    1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with a long strip of baking parchment. Cream 175g butter and 175g sugar until light and fluffy. Beat 3 of the eggs and pour in, a little at a time, mixing after each addition. Sift together 140g flour, 1⁄2 tsp baking powder and the cocoa, then fold into the butter mixture along with the almonds. Combine 100ml milk, 11⁄2 tsp vanilla and all the food colouring and add to the batter, then mix until evenly coloured.
    2. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hr 10 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack. When cool, cut the cake into 4cm slices. Using a 5cm cutter, stamp out the hearts (save any remaining cake for another treat).
    3. Repeat step 1 to make a second cake mixture – you won’t have cocoa or food colour in this batch. Pour 3⁄4 of the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Push the bottoms of the hearts into the batter in a tightly packed row. Spoon over the remaining cake mixture, covering as much of the hearts as possible. bake for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    4. For the icing, gently heat all the ingredients over a low heat until combined. Leave to cool, then chill until needed. Spread over the cooled cake and decorate with the sprinkles, if using. Will keep for 3 days stored in a cake tin.