Simple recipes for Valentine's Day dinner

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 8:24 AM EST
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If you’re looking to skip the hustle and bustle of restaurants on Valentine’s Day, why not cook at home for your significant other?

Chef April Howell from Martin's School of Cooking shared some simple, tasty recipes on 16 Morning News Now.

Mascarpone Raspberry Dessert:

Sparkling Wine, Raspberry & Fruit

Gelatin Dessert From Giada DeLaurentiis


1 6 oz. package raspberry-flavored gelatin

1 cup boiling water

2 cups sparkling wine, chilled [Prosecco is a nice choice]

1-1/2 cups frozen raspberries, not thawed

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature [stir w/whipping cream, optional] 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped.


Whisk the gelatin and boiling water in a medium bowl until the gelatin is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until lukewarm, about 25 minutes. Stir in the sparkling wine. Cover and refrigerate until the gelatin thickens but does not set, stirring occasionally [about every 15 minutes] for about an hour. Stir in the raspberries - bubbles will form in the gelatin mixture. Divide the gelatin among 6 Champagne flutes or individual dessert bowls. Cover and refrigerate until the gelatin is set, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Dollop the mascarpone cheese atop each serving, then sprinkle the walnuts over and serve. [I find it helpful to whip the mascarpone, adding a little cream, to make it easier to dollop.]

Flaming Turtle Chocolate Fondue:

Serves 4-6 people


• 12 ounces milk chocolate chips or finely chopped

• 2 tablespoons heavy cream

• 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

• 1 tablespoon rum

• 3 tablespoons pecans chopped


1. You can either melt the chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler on top of simmering water and mix until creamy or in a microwaveable bowl cooked in 15 second intervals and stirred until melted.

2. Pour melted chocolate into a warm fondue pot.

3. Pour the caramel into the center of the chocolate mixture. Do not stir.

4. Add the rum to the pot and ignite carefully using a lighter.

5. Allow the flame to burn out and stir gently to combine.

6. Sprinkle with pecans.

7. Keep fondue warm over low heat.

8. Serve with Pretzels, croissants, pound cake, dried fruit and of course Strawberries


Recipe from The Melting Pot 'Dip into Something Delicious' Cookbook.

Skillet Chicken Parmesan w Arugula, Pappardelle, Parm Or Sub Portobello cap:

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 40 mins

Total Time: 55 minutes



• 28 oz can peeled or crushed tomatoes

• 1 1/4 tsps basil

• 1 1/4 tsps oregano

• 1 tsp crushed or minced garlic

• several dashes salt

• a few pinches black pepper

• a few pinches granulated sugar


• 3/4 cup breadcrumbs

• 1 1/2 tsps oregano

• 1 1/2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil + more for greasing

• a pinch of salt & pepper

• 1 large egg, beaten

• (two) 4 – 6 oz boneless/skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

• 4 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

• a few tbsps grated Parmesan cheese

• fresh basil to garnish (optional)


1. Begin by preparing the sauce. In a large saucepan combine all sauce ingredients over a medium-low flame, adjusting the seasonings as needed and mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher if using peeled tomatoes. Cover and simmer, occasionally stirring and mashing as appropriate.

2. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Place a cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet in the oven while heating.

3. In a mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs, oregano, EVOO, and salt & pepper, tossing until well combined — Transfer to a large plate. Next, working one at a time dip the chicken breast in egg, allowing the excess to run off. Dredge in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated on both sides and around the edges, then transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining breast.

4. Remove the heated skillet from the oven and grease the bottom with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, swirling to coat. Transfer the breaded chicken breasts to the skillet, then immediately return to the oven and bake on the oven middle rack for 15 minutes. When ready, drizzle the top of each cutlet with a touch more olive oil, then flip and bake 15 minutes more. Once the chicken is nice and crisp, lastly spoon the sauce around and on top of the cutlets, then layer with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes more until the cheese has completely melted, broiling for 1 – 2 minutes at the end if you prefer a browner finish. Cool slightly, then garnish with Parmesan, basil, and serve!

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels:

Total Time: 20 mins

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Snack

Cuisine: American

These elegant smoked salmon pinwheels are perfect if you want to enjoy lox without the bagels for a low-carb, keto appetizer.


• 8 ounces thinly sliced cold smoked salmon (I like Nova Lox)

• 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese

• 1/4 medium cucumber (cut into matchsticks)

• 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

• 2 tablespoons capers (drained)

• 1/2 lemon (sliced thin)



1. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface.

2. Arrange the slices of salmon in an overlapping fashion to create a rectangle about 6 inches wide by 12 inches long, with one of the longest sides facing you.

3. Gently spread the cream cheese over the salmon trying not to dislodge any of the pieces. Lay the cucumber along one side of the rectangle about 1/2 inch from the edge.

4. Using the plastic wrap to guide you, roll the salmon up tightly around the cucumber sticks. Refrigerate until firm at least 30 minutes.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 16 1/2-inch thick slices.

6. Sprinkle with red onion and capers and serve with lemon slices.

Bloody Mary Oysters:

Oysters topped with a dressing inspired by the Bloody Mary cocktail.

Serves 4

12 to 16 fresh oysters, opened

sea salt, to taste

1⁄2 cup tomato juice

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 tablespoon horseradish

hot sauce

fresh dill

1. Place the opened oysters on a tray covered with sea salt. (This is to make them lay securely on the tray).

2. Top each oyster with tomato juice, celery, horseradish, hot sauce, and dill.

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