We all know it can be a hassle making dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day. This year, skip the crowded restaurants and make an easy meal for you and your partner. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to really put an effort into cooking a delicious meal for your partner. This is the time to be creative and have fun in the kitchen, making a meal for two. Yes, it can be quite a nuisance to prepare a meal after work, but this Valentine’s Day, here are some easy ways to prepare dinner at home.
Prepare things ahead of time
Chop vegetables and cook things in advance. If you’re making pasta, prepare the sauce and then refrigerate, or take out the meat in advance so it will be fully thawed by the time you’re ready to cook. Doing things ahead of time is a great way to prevent you from wasting any time and you’ll be able to focus on larger details. This will not only cut down on time, it will also make cleanup easier.
Start out simple
For appetizers, keeping things light and simple is always best. Small lettuce bites are easy to make and even easier to eat, so start out with those. Keep it simple by using iceberg lettuce, drizzle it with blue cheese dressing, then add cherry tomatoes and top it off with small bits of bacon.
Presentation is key
Steak is always the perfect thing to prepare, don’t worry about being too fancy with the steak; all you need to do is add salt and pepper or a steak rub. Make sure it is seared to perfection by using a cast iron pan, and then add it to the oven to finish cooking. Serve it with a side of herb-roasted sweet potatoes and veggies of your choice. Make sure the plate edges are cleaned to keep presentation consistent.
Finish off strong
Stick to the Valentine’s Day theme by making meringue heart ice cream sandwiches. This is a really simple recipe; all you need is the following:
4 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-pint ice cream
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Put egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until egg whites are warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved (test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers), about 3 minutes.
Transfer bowl to mixer; beat on low speed, gradually raising to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Mix in vanilla.
On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe meringue into hearts; bake until firm but not brown, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let cool on sheets, about 20 minutes.
Let ice cream soften about 5 minutes. Put 1/4-cup ice cream on the flat side of half the meringue hearts. Top with remaining hearts, and freeze sandwiches until ice cream is set, about 15 minutes.