Dinner for Two

by Published: Feb 9, 2012

Make this Valentine’s Day extra spe­cial (and cost-effective) by prepar­ing a deli­cious meal at home with your sweetheart.

If you’re any­thing like me, the kitchen is a pretty for­eign room where you go to fill up your water fil­ter. My idea of seri­ous cook­ing is adding ham­burger meat to my mac­a­roni and cheese.

If being a gourmet chef isn’t on your resume, try out some of these sim­ple recipes…if I can pre­pare them, then you can too.

Pineapple Baked Ham
Thick ham slices from the deli sec­tion
1 (16 oz) can pineap­ple slices
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup gin­ger ale
Maraschino cherry halves (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Layer ham in casse­role dish, alter­nat­ing with pineap­ple rings. Sprinkle top with Maraschino cher­ries.
In sep­a­rate bowl, mix gin­ger ale, brown sugar, and ½ the remain­ing pineap­ple juice. Pour over ham.
Bake for one hour, bast­ing every 20 minutes.

Fettuccini Alfredo
1 pound fet­tuc­cini
6 table­spoons unsalted but­ter
1 table­spoon minced gar­lic
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
½ tea­spoon salt
¼ tea­spoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook fet­tuc­cine in pot of rapidly boil­ing water until al dente. Drain, reserv­ing ¼ cup of pasta cook­ing liq­uid. Return noo­dles to pot.
Melt but­ter in sep­a­rate saucepan. Add minced gar­lic and sauté. Add heavy cream and bring to boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly (about five min­utes). Remove from heat.
Add reserved cook­ing liq­uid back to fet­tuc­cini over medium heat. Add butter-cream mix­ture and half of the Parmesan; stir thor­oughly. Season with salt and pep­per, to taste. Sprinkle with remain­ing Parmesan and enjoy!

Reenacting the infa­mous spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp” is highly encouraged.

Layers of Love
Cookie base

1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz) peanut but­ter cookie mix

3 table­spoons veg­etable oil

1 table­spoon water

1 egg

½ cup soft­ened butter

½ cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups pow­dered sugar

2 tea­spoons milk

1 cup choco­late chips

¼ cup­but­ter

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 13 by 9-inch pan with cook­ing spray. Stir together all cookie base ingre­di­ents until soft dough forms. Press dough in bot­tom of pan using floured fin­gers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes/until golden brown. Cool com­pletely (about one hour). Beat all fill­ing ingre­di­ents until smooth. Spread mix­ture evenly over cookie base. Microwave all frost­ing ingre­di­ents on high for 30 sec­onds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 min­utes; spread over fill­ing. Refrigerate 30 min­utes or until set. Cut into bars and serve.

Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks mar­garine
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tea­spoon vanilla
2 ¼ cup flour
1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda
12 ounces choco­late chips
1 pack­age instant pudding

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat mar­garine, sug­ars, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, bak­ing soda and instant pud­ding. Stir in chips. Drop by tea­spoon­fuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10–11 minutes.

True Love Toffee

Ice cream sand­wiches
Milk choco­late English tof­fee bits
Cool Whip

Place ice cream bars on a small metal tray. Apply a thick layer of cool whip and sprin­kle with tof­fee bits. Place in freezer for two hours and enjoy! n