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VALENTINES DAY FOR 2
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Romantic Valentine Dinner for Two


A very special I-love-you dinner just for two!

Pamper yourselves! Make it an evening to celebrate your love with good food, good company and romantic music. Serve indulgent chocolate sweets to your sweetie as your meal comes to a close. What better way to say, "I love you"?

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Make It Special!

Scatter Hearts for Special Messages

While setting the table, arrange small candy hearts with messages on them at each place. During the meal, each of you can create special messages for the other by connecting a few of the messages on the hearts. Enjoy the game of making serious and funny messages!

Bring Back That Special Song

That special song-once you hear it, you're automatically brought back to the day you met, your first date, your first kiss, or your wedding day. Get a copy of your special song on tape or CD, if you don't already have it, and play it during the meal as a surprise. You might want to bury it between other romantic melodies so your dinner is filled with special background music. When your song plays, it will be a surprise to you both! Why not interrupt your meal with a dance? It's very romantic!

Nibble Decadent Chocolate

Pick up some good fancy chocolate hearts from a candy store or gourmet shop. Place a small doily on each dessert plate. Place a cup of the Frozen Chocolate Mousse on the doily, along with a few chocolate hearts (depending on the size).

For an extra-indulgent dessert experience, serve cups of cappuccino or latte, too. Add a tasty and symbolic message of love by garnishing the drinks with a heart-shaped sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon! Hold a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter over the top of the filled cup and generously sprinkle cocoa powder or ground cinnamon inside the cookie cutter.

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Preparation Guide
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Up to 2 Days Before

                    Make Frozen Chocolate Mousse

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The Morning Of

Roast the garlic and tomatoes for Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mostaccioli cover and let stand at room temperature.

Make Herbed French Bread

Toast walnuts and make Cider Vinaigrette (cover and refrigerate) for the Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

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About 3 Hours Before

                 Make Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail

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About 20 Minutes Before Serving Appetizer

Bake Shrimp with Prosciutto.

Heat water for cooking pasta for Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mostaccioli; keep warm.

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About 15 Minutes Before Servbing Main Course

Make Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mostaccioli, starting with step 3.

Make Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.

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About 15 Minutes Before Serving Dessert

Remove Frozen Chocolate Mousse from freezer.

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Romantic Valentine Dinner for Two Menu

Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail

Champagne or sparkling grape juice
Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mostaccioli

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

French bread
Frozen Chocolate Mousse

RECIPES

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Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail

Cocktail, anyone? An oversized martini or margarita glass is the perfect serving dish for this updated spirited shrimp cocktail.

Prep:
30 min
Start To Finish:
2 hr 40 min

Makes 60 appetizers 1 1/2 pounds (about 60) cooked peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen

1/2 cup tomato juice

1/4 cup vodka, if desired

1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 cup cocktail sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped green olives

1. Arrange shrimp in single layer in rectangular glass or plastic dish, 11x7x1 1/2 inches.

2. Heat tomato juice, vodka and pepper sauce to boiling in 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in sugar; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in celery salt and parsley; pour over shrimp. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

3. Mix cocktail sauce and olives; pour into small serving bowl. Remove shrimp from marinade with slotted spoon; arrange on serving platter. Serve shrimp with sauce and toothpicks.

1 Serving: Calories 10 (Calories from Fat 0); Total Fat 0g (Saturated Fat 0g); Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 100 mg; Total Carbohydrate 1 g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 2 g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 2 %; Vitamin C 2 %; Calcium 0%; Iron 2 % Exchanges: Free

Success
Don’t marinate the shrimp more than 3 hours; a longer time in the tomato juice will toughen the shrimp.

Simplify
Serve shrimp in a divided glass bowl or cylinder with cocktail sauce. Serve condiments such as celery sticks, lime wedges, pickles and olives in separate low-ball glasses. Place the bowl and glasses on a large tray.

Special Touch
Place shrimp in an oversized martini glass (about 12 to 14 inches in diameter). Pour cocktail sauce mixture over shrimp, and garnish like a Bloody Mary with a skewer of colossal olives, a small lime wedges and a celery stick.

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Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mostaccioli

You’ll always want to have roasted garlic and tomato on hand when you taste what they do to an otherwise ordinary pasta, basil and tomato toss.

Prep:
15 min
Start To Finish:
1 hr 15 min

Makes 2 servings 2 1/2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

4 to 5 roma (plum) tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 garlic bulb, unpeeled1 cup uncooked mostaccioli or penne pasta (3 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

or

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

2 ounces crumbled feta

or

cubed mozzarella cheese

1. Heat oven to 300F. Place aluminum foil on cookie sheet; generously brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Arrange tomato halves, cut sides up, in single layer on foil; brush with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Sprinkile with sugar, salt and pepper.

2. Cut 1/2 inch off top of garlic bulb; drizzle 1 teaspoon of the oil over garlic bulb. Wrap in aluminum foil; place on cookie sheet with tomatoes. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until garlic is soft when pierced with a knife and tomatoes have begun to shrivel; cool slightly.

3. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

4. Squeeze garlic into remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and mash until smooth; toss with pasta. Add tomato halves and basil; toss. Top with cheese. Serve immediately.

1 Serving: Calories 510 (Calories from Fat 225 ); Total Fat 25 g (Saturated Fat 7 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 480 mg; Total Carbohydrate 61 g (Dietary Fiber 3 g); Protein 14 g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 16 %; Vitamin C 18 %; Calcium 18 %; Iron 18 % Exchanges: 3 1/2 Starch; 1 Vegetable; 5 Fat

Did You Know...
Mostaccioli are tubular "mustaches" of pasta about 2 inches long. With slanted cuts at both ends, these pasta shapes have either a smooth or grooved finish.

Do-Ahead Tip
You can roast the tomatoes and garlic ahead of time, if you’d like. Just toss with the hot pasta, basil and cheese when you're ready to eat!

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Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Toasting the walnuts gives this quick-fix salad an extra-special touch!

Prep:
15 min
Start To Finish:
15 min

Makes 2 servings Cider Vinaigrette (See Below)

2 cups bite-sized pieces romaine

1/2 red pear, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Make Cider Vinaigrette.

2. Toss vinaigrette and remaining ingredients just before serving.Cider Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons walnut, olive or vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1garlic clove, finely chopped

Shake all ingredients in tightly covered container.

1 Serving: Calories 240 (Calories from Fat 190 ); Total Fat 21 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Cholesterol 5 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Total Carbohydrate 10 g (Dietary Fiber 2 g); Protein 4 g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 24 %; Vitamin C 24 %; Calcium 8 %; Iron 6 % Exchanges: 2 Vegetable; 4 Fat

How-To
To toast walnuts, heat oven to 350F. Bake in an ungreased shallow pan about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

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Herbed French Bread

French bread gets a flavor boost from Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Your bread basket will never be the same!

Prep:
15 min
Start To Finish:
35 min

Makes 24 slices1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves

or

1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves

3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

or

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 loaf (1 pound) French bread

1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.

2. Stir together all ingredients except bread.

3. Cut bread into 1-inch slices. Spread herb mixture on cut sides of bread. Reassemble loaf. Wrap in piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; seal securely.

4. Grill uncovered about 4 inches from medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until hot. Baking Directions: Heat oven to 350F. Prepare bread and wrap in foil as directed. Bake about 20 minutes or until hot.

1 Serving: Calories 85 (Calories from Fat 45 ); Total Fat 5 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 140 mg; Total Carbohydrate 9 g (Dietary Fiber 1 g); Protein 2 g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 2 %; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2 %; Iron 2 % Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 1 Fat

Substitution
No need to follow this recipe to a tee! Why not use other herbs in place of the basil and oregano?

Planned-Overs
We doubt you'll have leftover bread, but if you do, don't throw it away. Even just a few extra pieces will make great salad croutons. Simply cube the herbed bread and bake in a 350F oven until toasted. Store in an airtight container.

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Frozen Chocolate Mousse

This three-ingredient chocolate dream takes a mere 15 minutes to put together.

Prep:
15 min
Start To Finish:
4 hr 15 min

Makes 2 servings 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream

1 tablespoon almond-flavored liqueur

or

Italian syrup

2 tablespoons chocolate-flavor syrup

Cocoa, if desired

1. Beat whipping cream in chilled small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Fold in liqueur and chocolate syrup.

2. Spoon into 2 paper-lined foil cupcake liners. Cover and freeze at least 4 hours but no longer than 48 hours. Place in refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cocoa.

1 Serving: Calories 240 (Calories from Fat 170 ); Total Fat 19 g (Saturated Fat 12 g); Cholesterol 65 mg; Sodium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 15 g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 2 g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 12 %; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 4 %; Iron 2 % Exchanges: 1 Starch; 3 1/2 Fat


Special Touch
For a finishing touch, serve with elegant chocolate candies or store-bought cookies.

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