Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Activities

Valentine's Day Recipes

Coloring Pages

Valentine's Day Breakfast Recipes

Valentine’s Day is a day to share with the ones that you love. If you’re like many people,this includes your children. There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the whole family, these are just a few ideas.

Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids

1. Children love to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends. This is the day of the year that they can show their friends how much they mean to them. One of the best crafts that your children can do is to make homemade Valentine’s Day cards to hand out to their special friends.

Start out by helping your children to cut out card sized hearts for the cards. The hearts can be cut from red and pink construction paper. The front of the heart can decorated with stickers, glitter and ribbon to make each homemade Valentine card special. A personal note written on the back and signed by your child finishes the back of the card.

2. Your children will need a way to carry their homemade Valentine’s Day cards to school. A special Valentine’s Day tote bag is great for carrying cards to school and for bringing all of their cards back home. Start this simple craft with a paper grocery bag. Attach ribbons to the top of the bag to make handles for the Valentine’s Day tote bag. The tote bag can be decorated with cut out hearts, markers, ribbons, glitter and stickers.

3. Your children can make special treat bags to go with each of the Valentine’s cards that they hand out. Start by choosing either chocolate candies or conversation hearts to fill the treat bags. You can get pink and red color tulle from your local craft store that can be cut into squares to make the treat bags. Place the square of tulle on the table. In the center of the square, you can help your children to place a small pile of candy. Finish off the treat bags by pulling up the sides and tying them together with ribbon.

4. Create homemade chocolate candies for friends. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day party at a friend’s house or a church gathering. Many stores offer kits that include the candy molds and instructions for melting the chocolate. Another idea is to create chocolate spoons. They can be used as stirrers in hot chocolate since February is technically still part of the cold winter season.

5. Many children like to give Valentine’s Day gifts to their teachers. There are a few gifts that your children can make for the many teachers that they have. A neat idea is to give the teacher her own special candy stash. This usually works best with small chocolate candies but can be done with any type. Start with a clean dry jar with the label removed. Fill the jar with the candy that you have chosen to use. Cover the lid with a square piece of fabric in colors that remind you of Valentine’s Day. Tie the cloth onto the lid with a ribbon. You can help your children to print up labels for the jar saving a special message for the teacher.

6. Another gift that you can help your children make for their teachers is cookie bouquets. Start by helping your children to bake heart shaped sugar cookies. Before you bake the cookies you will want to place a wooden dowel into them to make the stem for the heart flowers. Ice the cookies with red and pink icing and allow the icing to set. Place a piece of floral foam in the bottom of a container to set your flower cookies in. Arrange your heart cookie flowers to finish this gift with your children.


Valentine’s Ideas for Families

1. Start Valentine’s Day for your family with a big surprise for each family member. Everyone likes to get little gifts through out the day on Valentine’s Day. Make small mailboxes to place on the back of each family member’s chair. This is a craft that can be done the day before Valentine’s Day with your children. Use half of a cereal box to make each mailbox. Cover the outside of the mailbox in either red or pink construction paper. Decorate each mailbox with the person’s name and cut out hearts and glitter to make it special for each person. Use a hole punch to place two holes on the back of the mailbox. Use these holes to attach the mailbox
to the back of each person’s chair at the kitchen table with ribbon.

2. Before everyone gets up Valentine’s Day morning place a card and a small gift into each person’s Valentine’s Day mailbox. The gift can be a small stuffed animal or even a little bit of chocolate. The idea is to give each family member a small surprise gift to start their Valentine’s Day off right. A great way to build on this idea is to have each child place a special card from them in your spouse’s mailbox.

3. Prepare a special Valentine’s Day breakfast for your family. This should be a big meal that includes all of your family’s favorite breakfast foods. You will want to make heart shaped pancakes for this event. You can attempt to make these by hand or use stencils that they sell in cooking stores. You can place chocolate chips in some of the pancakes for those in your family that enjoy chocolate. Make sure to include fresh fruit like strawberries to place on the pancakes. You can also make heart shaped toast. Once the toast is out of the toaster and buttered use a heart shaped cookie cutter on them. Make eggs, bacon, and any other breakfast
favorites of your family.

4. Pack each family member their favorite lunch for the day. If Valentine’s Day falls during the week, this is a great way to show your family members how much you love them when they are away from you. Include a small desert to finish off your loved one’s favorite lunch. A special thing to add to this Valentine’s lunch is a little note from you that tells them that you love them and miss them. You can pack this special lunch in their usual lunch bag so that is a surprise or use a brown paper lunch bag that is decorated for Valentine’s Day.

5. If Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, it the perfect time for a family fun day. One of the best things to do is to take your family to the park if the weather is good. Even on a brisk day, a day out at the park can be a day for your family to bond and explore nature or play together on the playgrounds. You can pack a lunch or a special treat to have on your outing.

6. You could also have each family member choose an activity to do on Valentine’s Day. Let your children choose whatever they would like to do from the zoo to a movie. Make the only rule that the family needs to follow is that you must do at least one thing that each family member suggests. It is a good idea to plan this type of Valentine’s Day celebration in advance so that you are sure to get to everyone’s ideas.

7. Finish your family’s Valentine’s Day fun with a special sit down dinner. Use your best dishes to set the table and even place a centerpiece on the table to make the dinner special. You can even go so far as to request each family member dress up for the dinner. Make a homemade meal for your entire family to enjoy. You can go around the table and share everyone’s favorite part of their Valentine’s Day.

Share the love with your family this Valentine’s Day. Although this special day has become alarmingly commercial over the past few years, there’s no need to break the family budget. Family bonding is always free!



Valentine’s Day Activities

Valentines Day ActivitiesThese are perfect Valentine's Day activities for two, the kids and you; or when each family member needs to feel the love.

Valentine’s Day is stereotypically a day set aside for lovers. This qualification usually brings to mind the tragically romantic tales of hero and maiden locked in a tender embrace while the sun drifts peacefully beyond the rim of earth kissing the night with color, all while enchanted music floats on the gentle breeze and chocolate enrobed strawberries await.

For most of us this picture would need to altered. First off the maiden will only admit to being thirty something and the hero is bald. The sun sets, but is viewed through a bug encrusted windshield if at all, while the three chocolate mouthed children bounce around the backseat denying in turn any knowledge of strawberries chocolate covered or otherwise.

What to do if this is you.

You can’t trade in the kids, so you need to get creative. There is a lot that can be done to share the Valentine’s Day love. Why can’t you include your kids in the yearly celebration of love? You don’t have to take them with you on your date.

One time honored Valentine's Day activity is to share gifts. This time, include a little something for your kids. This will make them feel special and safe guard your strawberries. Balloons and stuffed toys are great ideas (that are a dime a dozen this time of the year). The kids will feel special, included, and more importantly loved by you.

After lavishing the tots with gifts give them what they really want, time with you. Play games…get down on the floor and play Bakugan Battle or dress a Barbie for an hour or so. It will go a long, long way and speak volumes about how you feel for them.

What to do for two.

The kids are gifted and cuddled, now it is time to turn your eyes to your spouse. When the sitter comes, explain now it is time for Mom and Dad to have a bit of Valentine’s Day alone time.

What happens after you bestow kisses and good-byes is up to you and your spouse. Just one thing to remember, it is not fair bringing ideas about what Valentine surprises should be unless you have made the effort to plan it yourself. More romantic evenings have ended in ruins because of imagined ‘supposed to be’s’.

What really matters is that you carve a bit of time out of a hectic schedule to just be with each other. The event doesn’t really matter. In fact the simpler the better, big plans can get in the way of conversation. Go for a walk along the river and toss rocks into the stream. Bring a Frisbee and play in the snow! Get hot cocoa and people watch at the mall. Think about what you did in years gone by that won his or her heart and recreate it again.

Valentine’s Day is about sharing the love within, so most importantly find a way to give it voice with a few easy Valentine's Day activities.



Valentine’s Day Recipes


Our Valentine's Day recipes are the perfect way to spoil those you love with an extra special meal or treat. Start off the day with breakfast in bed for your sweetie with any of the Valentine's Day breakfast recipes.

No time for breakfast? Try one of the savory Valentines themed dinners, From extravagant lobster dishes to simple and tasty pasta, there is a dish for every taste.

For romantic desserts or treats for the pint-sized Valentines in your life, bake a special heart shaped dessert to share alone or with the entire class at the school Valentine's Day party. Prepare with love and your Valentine's Day is sure to be a success!


     Valentine's Day Breakfasts

Cherry French Toast

Heart Breakfast Ring

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Valentine Morning Muffins

Valentine's Fluffy Pancakes

Cheesecake Pancakes & Strawberry-Lemon Syrup


    Valentine's Day Drinks

">Love Potion

Mock Pink Lady

Passion Fruit Mimosa


     Starters & Main Dishes

Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce 

Champagne Shrimp and Pasta

Easy Pasta for Two

Heart-Shaped Mozzarella and Fontina Pizza

Lobster Scampi

Lobster-Stuffed Tenderloin

Penne with Pink Vodka Sauce

Phyllo-Wrapped Salmon
with Roasted Red Peppers

Salmon With Cucumber Roses

Shrimp Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Steak Lover`s Fettuccini Alfredo

Lasagna With Prosciutto

    Sweet Treats & Desserts

Angel Strawberry Bavarian

For My Valentine Pie

Be Mine Strawberry Dumplings

Champagne Parfaits

Cherry Filled Heart Cookies

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Cupid's Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies

Italian Hearts

Meltaway Heart Cookies

Pink Lemon Fluff Cake

Queen of Hearts Tarts

Valentine's Fudgy Brownie Hearts

Valentine Meringue Hearts

Vanilla Cherry Fudge






Cheesecake Pancakes with Strawberry-Lemon Syrup


* 2 cups Buttermilk pancake mix
* 1 1/4 cup Water
* 1 cup Small curd cottage cheese
* 1 tablespoon Sugar
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Strawberry-Lemon Syrup

* 1 cup Syrup
* 1 cup sliced strawberries
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind


Preheat griddle.

Combine the pancake mix, water, cottage cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; stir well until blended.

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls on hot, well-greased griddle.

Flip pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles.

For Strawberry-Lemon Syrup: Combine the syrup, strawberries, and lemon rind in a small saucepan; heat through, stirring occasionaly.





Cherry French Toast


* 1 1/2 cup milk
* 6 eggs
* 1/8 cup maple syrup
* 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
* 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 8 slices (4 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1/2-inch) French bread
* 4 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, halved
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* Vanilla yogurt


Combine the milk, eggs, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons sugar, orange peel and salt; mix well.

Pour half of mixture into each of two 9-inch square baking dishes. Dip both sides of each slice of bread in milk mixture; arrange in the same baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Marinate the cherries in orange juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar overnight.

Carefully transfer slices to a nonstick, buttered baking sheet using a large spatula; allow excess liquid to drip into pan used for soaking.

Bake in a pre- heated 400 degrees F oven 15 to 18 minutes; turn slices over halfway through baking time.

Top each slice with 1/2 cup cherries and a dollop of vanilla yogurt. Serve immediately.






Heart Breakfast Ring


* 3 cups flour
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1/4 sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
* 3/4 cup hot tap water
* 1 egg


* 1/2 cup flaked coconut
* 1/2 cup finley chopped or sliced almonds
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 3 tablespoons softened butter or margarine
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/4 cup finely snipped maraschino cherries

Cherry Icing:

* 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice


Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir well. Add 1/4 butter. Add hot tap water.

Beat with electric mixer 2 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 cup flour. Beast until thick and elastic. Gradually stir in just enough flour with wooden spoon to make soft dough that leaves sides of bowl. Turn out onto floured board.

Knead 5-10 minutes. Cover with plastic then a towel. Rest 20 minutes.

Filling: Combine all ingredients except cherries. Mix well.

Punch down dough and roll into a 14x8 rectangle. Spread filling and roll-up tightly beginning with 14" side.

Place in a ring, seam side down, on greased baking sheet. Seal edges tightly. Snip dough into fourteen 1" section, cutting from edge of circle to within 1 inch of center. Turn two cut sections on their sides in opposite directions to form a heart. Repeat until you have a circle of 7 hearts.

Put snipped cherries into each heart. Lightly Brush dough with oil. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, uncover and let stand 10 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes. Use lower rack. If browning too quickly, lower heat to 350 degrees F. Remove from baking sheet immediately.

Combine powdered sugar and cherry juice in a small bowl. Outline hearts with cherry icing.






Strawberry Stuffed French Toast



* non-stick cooking spray
* 12 slices bread
* 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread
* 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
* 2 large eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 1/2 cup maple syrup (optional)


Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; set aside.

Lay 6 slices of bread on your work surface. Keeping edges free of food, place a generous teaspoon of cream cheese, a generous teaspoon of fruit spread, and 4 or 5 strawberry slices on each piece. Top with remaining bread.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, and vanilla. Dip sandwiches, being careful not to let strawberries fall out. Press edges together to seal.

Heat skillet to medium. Cook each French toast sandwich 2 or 3 minutes or until the first side is golden brown.

Use a spatula to turn sandwich over, and cook until second side is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve immediately with maple syrup, if desired.



Valentine's Morning Breakfast

Valentines Breakfast


* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* 1 (16 ounce) loaf French bread
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves
* 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

Peach Champagne Cocktails

* 1 bottle champagne
* Peach Schnapps




Beat together the cream cheese and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until fluffy; stir in nuts and set aside.

Cut bread into 10 to 12 (1 1/2-inch) slices. Cut a pocket in the top of each.

Fill each with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture. Beat together eggs, whipping cream, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and nutmeg.

Using tongs, dip the filled bread slices in the egg mixture, being careful not to squeeze out the filling.

Cook on a lightly greased griddle until both sides are brown. Keep slices warm in oven.

Heat together the preserves and juice, drizzle over hot French bread.






Valentine Muffins


* 6 tablespoons butter
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 14 strawberries, fresh or defrosted frozen
* Food coloring, optional
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* Hershey's Kisses, Hugs or strawberry jam


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

Mix in the eggs, one at a time, and add the milk.

Rinse the strawberries and cut off the greens with a plastic knife (a fun job for 3- to 5-year-olds who are accustomed to cutting play dough).

Mash the berries with a potato masher or puree in a blender. Stir the berries into the butter and milk mixture.

Tip: For muffins with a more pronounced pink color, add a few drops of red liquid food coloring.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir well.

Add the flour mixture to the berry mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until all the white disappears.

Line the muffin tin with paper liners. Drop the batter from a tablespoon to fill the cups halfway.

Add an unwrapped Kiss, Hug or 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Then spoon more batter to fill almost to the top.

Bake until the muffins begin to brown and a toothpick inserted near the center (but not in the Kiss) comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the tin and cool.




Valentine Pancakes


* 2 cups cake flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 cup shortening, melted
* red food coloring (optional)


Measure sifted flour into sifter, add baking powder, salt and sugar.

Beat eggs in bowl. Add milk and blend. Sift dry ingredients into mixture gradually.

Add melted shortening. Beat with mixer. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if using, until batter is desired color (pink or red).

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Use a pan with a nonstick surface or apply nonstick spray.

Pour the batter by spoonfuls into the skillet, in 6 inch circles.

When the edges start to crisp, flip the pancakes. The cooked side should be golden brown.

Cook pancakes on the other side for same amount of time, until golden brown.

Serve with butter and strawberry syrup.






Love Potion


* 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
* 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, slightly thawed
* 1 cup white grape juice (or apple juice)
* Maraschino cherries, for garnish



Place the first 3 ingredients in a blender and mix on High until you have a uniform color.

To make the potion thicker, add more fruit; to make it thinner, add more juice.

Garnish with cherries.



Mock Pink Lady


* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 Tablespoon grenadine
* 1 Tablespoon sugar, granulated
* ice cubes


Measure milk, lemon juice, grenadine, sugar and ice cubes into blender.

Blend until ice is finely crushed. Serve immediately.



Passion Fruit Mimosa Recipe


* 1 cup chilled Champagne
* 1/2 cup chilled passion-fruit juice



Divide Champagne between 2 flutes and top off each with passion fruit juice.





Valentine`s Day Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce for Two


* 2 (8 oz. ea) beef tenderloins
* salt and pepper
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
* 1 Tbl. green peppercorns
* 1 cup beef broth
* 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons brandy
* 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish


Salt and pepper beef on both sides. Heat butter in medium skillet on medium heat.

Add beef; cook 5 min; turn, cook another 5 min. Remove to platter; tent with foil to keep warm.

In same skillet, add shallots and peppercorns. Cook 2 min. or until soft.

Add broth, mustard, cream and brandy. Cook 5 min. or until reduced to 1/2.

Place beef on serving plates. Top with sauce, garnish with chopped chives.





Champagne Shrimp and Pasta


* 8 ounces angel hair pasta
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
* 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 1/2 cup champagne
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons minced shallots
* 2 plum tomatoes, diced
* 1 cup heavy cream
* salt and pepper to taste
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Cook and stir mushrooms in oil until tender.
Remove mushrooms from pan, and set aside.

Combine shrimp, champagne, and salt in the frying pan, and cook over high heat. When liquid just begins to boil, remove shrimp from pan.

Add shallots and tomatoes to champagne; boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.

Stir in 3/4 cup cream; boil until slightly thick, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add shrimp and mushrooms to sauce, and heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Toss hot, cooked pasta with remaining 1/4 cup cream and parsley.

To serve, spoon shrimp with sauce over pasta, and top with Parmesan cheese.





Easy Pasta for Two


* 1/2 pound linguini
* 6 Roma Tomatoes - Cut into large dice
* 6 cloves garlic
* 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
* 1/3 cup fresh basil
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Few turns of fresh ground pepper


Heat oil in a medium-high skillet, add pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute (don't brown the garlic).

Add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes start to wilt. Add Basil and cook for 1 more minute.

Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss.





Heart-Shaped Mozzarella and Fontina Pizza


* 1 (10 oz.) can refrigerated pizza crust
* 4 teaspoons butter, divided
* 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 leek, cut into 1-inch strips
* 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into small cubes
* 1/4 cup pesto
* artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped, to taste
* 4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
* 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Unroll refrigerated pizza dough into rectangle or square shape.

Create a heart shape template out of paper towels or cardboard. Place template on dough and cut around heart shape using scissors.

Place heart-shaped dough on greased cookie sheet and follow instructions on dough can for prebaking pizza crust.

Set crust aside.

Saute red pepper and leeks in half of the butter until almost tender. Remove from skillet.

Add chicken and other half of the butter to skillet and cook until chicken is done and lightly browned.

Spread pesto over prebaked pizza crust. Top with sautéed leeks, red peppers, and chicken. Add artichoke hearts.

Top with cheeses and bake at 425 degrees F. for 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano.





Lobster Scampi


* 4 Tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup garlic olive oil
* 1 Tablespoon hot pepper oil or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 16 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
* 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 pound cooked lobster meat


Melt butter and oils in a large pan over low heat. After it has melted, add the garlic and brown slightly over medium heat.

Whisk in the mustard, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and wine. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Add lemon juice and lobster, and cook until meat is heated through. Serve over yellow rice.





Lobster-Stuffed Tenderloin


* 1 (4 to 5-pound) beef tenderloin
* 1 cup vinaigrette salad dressing
* 1 (2-pound) lobster, cooked or 2 (1-pound) lobsters, cooked
* 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
* 2 tablespoons minced shallots
* 3 tablespoons vermouth
* 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* salt and pepper to taste



Place beef tenderloin in a plastic bag set into a shallow dish. Pour salad dressing over tenderloin. Close bag.

Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Remove meat and tomalley (green liver) from lobster. (If desired, reserve shells for use in stock). Cut lobster into bite-size pieces.

In a 10-inch skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add tomalley and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook 1 minute more.

Stir remaining butter, vermouth and tarragon into the tomalley mixture.

Cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is reduced to half. Stir in cream.

Continue to cook and stir until thick. Stir in lobster meat. Season with salt and pepper. Set lobster mixture aside.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Drain tenderloin.

To butterfly the meat, make a lengthwise cut down the center of the meat, cutting to within 1 inch of the other side and within 1 inch of ends. Spread meat open slightly and spoon in lobster mixture.

Fold in the thin end portion. Bring sides of tenderloin together and tie with heavy string at 1 1/2-inch intervals to secure.

Place tenderloin on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer.

Roast, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast about 30 minutes for rare (140 ).

Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Remove string; slice to serve.





Pink Vodka Penne



* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil,
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 shallots, minced
* 1 cup vodka
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
* Coarse salt and pepper
* 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn



Heat a large skillet over moderate heat.

Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness.

Add vodka to the pan. Cook until vodka is reduced by half (2-3 minutes).

Add chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta.

Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves.





Phyllo-Wrapped Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper


* 1 cup roasted red peppers (fresh or jar from Italian market),
* 12 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed,
* 6 tablespoons melted butter or nonstick spray,
* 6 (5 oz.) skinless salmon fillets, 1 inch thick


Puree red peppers.

Layer 2 sheets phyllo on work surface, brushing each with butter or spray with nonstick spray; leave remaining sheets of phyllo covered with plastic.

Place 1 fillet crosswise on the pastry, 5 inches from the narrow end. Top with 1 Tbsp. puree.

Fold the 5 inch section of pastry over the salmon and fold in the sides.

Roll the pastry into a rectangular packet to enclose the salmon. Brush with butter on all sides or spray with nonstick spray. Repeat with the remaining pastry and salmon.

Place packets on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until the salmon is cooked through and the pastry is light golden brown. Top with the remaining pepper puree.





Salmon With Cucumber Roses


* 2 salmon steaks, about 6 ounces each
* salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 shallot, chopped
* 1/4 cup vermouth
* 1 English cucumber
* 1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Blot salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Butter oven-proof shallow dish and sprinkle with shallots.

Place salmon in dish, and pour vermouth over fish. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, with vegetable peeler, make 6 lengthwise strips of cucumber. Roll each up to form a rose.

Remove salmon from baking dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add tomatoes and cream to baking dish and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened.





Shrimp Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


For Shrimp Mousse:

* 8 ounces can water chestnuts, drained
* 8 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp
* 1 garlic clove minced
* 1 scallion, minced
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
* 1 teaspoon soy sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1 package wonton wrappers
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or scallion greens

<For Roasted Pepper Sauce:

* 2 large red or yellow bell peppers
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* 1 cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock
* 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic or wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
* soaked in
* 1 tablespoon of warm water (optional)
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Pinch of cayenne pepper



Shrimp Mousse Directions:

Finely chop the water chestnuts in a food processor and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Puree the shrimp in the food processor. Add the garlic, scallion, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, and salt and pepper; puree again.

Stir the shrimp mousse into the water chestnuts. Correct the seasoning, adding salt to taste. (Note: To taste the mixture for seasoning without eating raw shrimp, cook a tiny bit of mousse on the end of a spoon in boiling water).

Prepare the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot for cooking the ravioli.

Spread a few wonton wrappers on a work surface. Lightly brush the edges with water.

Place a teaspoon of shrimp mousse in the center of each and fold in half on the diagonal. Starting at one end and continuing to the other, seal the edges by gently patting with your fingers.

Assemble the remaining ravioli in this fashion. Transfer the finished ravioli to a cake rack.

Cook the ravioli in the boiling water until the pasta is translucent and the filing is firm and white, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the ravioli in a colander.

Spoon the pepper sauce on plates or a platter and arrange ravioli on top. Sprinkle with cilantro or scallion greens and serve at once.


Roasted Pepper Sauce Directions:

Roast the peppers over high heat on a barbecue grill, under a broiler, or directly over a gas or electric burner until charred and black on all sides.

Turn as necessary with tongs. The whole process should take 8 to 10 minutes.

Wrap the charred peppers in wet paper towels and let cool.

Scrape the charred skin off the peppers, using the tip of a paring knife.





Steak Lover`s Fettuccini Alfredo


* 1 ounce clarified butter
* 4 ounces beef tenderloin tips
* 1 cup broccoli, red pepper, portabella strips
* 1/4 cup corn, scallion, red and green peppers (small diced)
* 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan
* 8 ounces cooked pasta
* 1 tablespoon sliced green onion


Heat butter. Sear meat and add vegetables.

Add heavy cream and reduce down. Add Parmesan cheese.

When sauce begins to thicken, remove from heat and add to pasta.

Serve hot, topped with scallions and Parmesan cheese.





Lasagna With Prosciutto


8 oz. Italian Prosciutto, chopped
8 oz. Lasagna pasta noodles, cooked
16 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoon olive oil
fresh Basil sprigs for garnish


1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions or until tender but still firm. Drain, keep warm.

2. In a large saucepan or cast iron skillet, over medium?high high heat, saute the garlic, onion and prosciutto in the olive oil for 4 minutes.

3. Add the lean beef, oregano, a touch of black pepper and saute 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is almost evaporated.

4. Add tomatoes and basil, reduce heat and simmer sauce 35 to 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

5. Grease a 9" x 12" or larger, baking pan.

6. Arrange a first layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of the beef and prosciutto tomato sauce, Ricotta cheese,
parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

7. Add a second alternating layer of noodles,sauce and other ingredients. Repeat until pan is full ending up with a top layer of sauce.

8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in a pre?heated oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil.





Angel Strawberry Bavarian


* 13 ozs angel food cake, cut into cubes
* 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip® , thawed
* 10 ozs frozen strawberries, reserve syrup
* 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 3 ozs strawberry gelatin powder
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup boiling water
* 4 whole fresh strawberries, sliced


In a small bowl, combine gelatin powder and boiling water. Stir until gelatin has completely dissolved.

Add enough water to strawberry syrup to equal one cup. Stir into gelatin mixture.

Refrigerate until gelatin is slightly thickened.

Beat gelatin until foamy. Fold in one cup whipped topping and frozen strawberries.

Alternate layers of cake cubes and strawberry mixture in 10" tube pan. Press lightly.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. nmold cake onto serving platter.

Beat remaining whipped topping, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Frost sides and top of cake.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh strawberries.





Valentine Pie


* 1 cup Water
* 3 ounces Strawberry Gelatin Powder
* 1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
* 1 Chocolate Crumb Pie Crust
* Hershey's® Kisses


In a 4-cup glass measuring cup stir together water and gelatin. Cook, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Add vanilla ice cream to the hot gelatin mixture, stirring till ice cream is melted. Chill mixture for 35 to 30 inutes, stirring twice during chilling (the mixture should mound when you drop it from a spoon.

Pour chilled ice cream mixture into pie shell. Chill about 4 hours or till ice cream is set.

Arrange milk chocolate kisses in a heart shape on top of pie.





Valentine`s Strawberry Dumplings



* 4 eggs
* 4 tablespoons melted butter
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 4 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 12 tablespoons flour


* 4 cups strawberries
* 2 cups sugar



Combine dumplings ingredients to make stiff batter that holds its shape.

Mash berries with sugar. Bring to boil in a large pot with a tight lid.

Drop dumplings into hot liquid, reduce heat and simmer, with lid on, for 15 minutes.

Remove dumplings carefully to dessert dishes and spoon berries over.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.





Champagne Parfaits


* 2 pkgs Lemon-Flavored Gelatin
* 2 cups Boiling Water
* 2 cups Champagne
* 8 Strawberries -- Washed & Hulled


In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water; allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Stir in champagne and chill for 40-50 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Reserve 1 cup of the gelatin mixture and spoon the remaining mixture evenly into 8 champagne flutes or parfait lasses. Place 1 strawberry in each glass.

In a small bowl, beat the reserved 1 cup gelatin mixture until fluffy and doubled in volume.

Spoon evenly into the glasses, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or until set.





Cherry Filled Heart Cookies

Cherry Filled Heart Cookies



* 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cherry Filling:

* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 1/4 cup red maraschino cherry juice
* 12 red maraschino cherries, chopped
* 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
* Additional sugar


In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and shortening; gradually add sugar.

Add egg, milk and vanilla extract.

Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, make Cherry Filling (directions below).

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour.

Place half of the cookies on greased baking sheets; spoon 1/2 teaspoon filling in the center of each.

Use a 1 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter to cut small hearts out of the other half of the cookies.(Bake small heart cutouts separately.)

Place the remaining hearts over filled cookies; press edges together gently. Fill centers with additional filling if needed. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Yields about 4 1/2 dozen filled cookies.


Cherry Filling Directions:

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan.

Add juices, cherries and butter.

Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 1 minutes. Chill.





Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies




* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 egg
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2 cups flour


* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 2 teaspoons flour
* 3 ounces cream cheese
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup coconut
* 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries -- drained


* 1/4 cup chocolate chips
* 1 teaspoon butter
* 1/4 cup powdered sugar
* 3 teaspoons water



Mix powdered sugar and butter.

Add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour. Mix until well blended.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Shape dough into balls. Place 2" apart on cookie sheet.

With thumb, make imprint in each cookie.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Remove from cookie sheet and cool.

To make filling:

In a large bowl, mix all filling ingredients together until well mixed.

Fill each cookie center with 1/2 teaspoon of filling.

To make glaze:

In saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter.

Mix in rest of ingredients until smooth and drizzle over cookies.





Italian Hearts


* 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 lemon, grated zest of
* 3/4 cup butter, cut up
* 1 large egg
* 2 large egg yolks
* 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
* 1/4 cup Alchermes or cherry liqueur
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar


Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and lemon zest.

Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Add the egg and egg yolks, beating until just blended. Stir to form a smooth dough.

Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter four cookie sheets.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

Use a 2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Cut out the centers from half the cookies with an apple corer. Gather the dough scraps, re-roll, and continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used.

Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets, placing them 1 inch apart.

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8-10 minutes, or until just golden at the edges.

Transfer to racks and let cool completely.

Heat the raspberry preserves in a small pan over low heat until liquid.

Spread the whole cookies with the preserves.

Place the liqueur in a small bowl and the confectioners' sugar in a separate bowl.

Dip the holed cookies first in the liqueur, then in the confectioners' sugar.

Place the holed cookies on top of the cookies spread with preserves.

Let set before serving.





Melt Away Heart Cookies


* 1/3 cup powdered sugar
* 3/4 cup cornstarch
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter


Cream Cheese Icing

* 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 1 tablespoon butter, softened
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 pound powdered sugar
* pink food coloring


Cookie Directions:

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until fine.

Gently work into a soft dough. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4-inch thick.

Cut using a 2- or 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place hearts onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 7-9 minutes.

Let cookies rest on baking sheet until cooled slightly before removing to cooling rack.

Frost centers of cookies with cream cheese icing.


Cream Cheese Icing Directions:

Mix together cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla.

Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add more milk if needed to make a creamy spreading consistency.

Stir in pink food coloring until a pale pink icing is created.

Frost centers of melt-away cookies.





Pink Lemon Fluff Cake


* 1 cup cake flour
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 12 egg whites, room temperature
* 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
* 3/4 cup more sugar
* 4 drops red food color (or enough to make pale pink )



Sift flour and sugar well.

Combine egg whites with cream of tarter, salt and lemon extract. Beat until foamy.

Beat in food color. Gradually add sugar, 2 Tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff but not dry peaks.

Fold in sugar and flour mixture carefully.

Pour into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.

Bake in a 325 degree F oven 35 to 45 minutes or until done.

Invert to cool completely before removing.





Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart



* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 cup flour


* 4 cups whole strawberries, hulled
* 1 1/2 cup warm water
* 1 1/2 cup sugar
* 4 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 package (3-ounce size) strawberry gelatin mix
* 2 drops red food coloring
* Whipped cream


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all crust ingredients and pat into a 9-inch pie plate.

Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned . Cool.

Arrange whole strawberries in the crust.

In a saucepan, cook water, sugar, and corn starch until the mixture becomes clear.

Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Add food coloring. Pour over the strawberries that are in the crust.

Chill well. Top with whipped cream before serving.





Valentine Brownie Hearts


* 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
* 3/4 cup margarine
* 2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 cup flour
* 1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
* 2 2/3 cups halved strawberries
* 1 tub (8 ounce size) chocolate nondairy whipped topping


Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for glass dish). Line a 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan with foil, extending over edges to form handles. Grease foil.

Cook chocolate and margarine in large microwave-safe bowl on high (100 percent power) for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir sugar into chocolate until well blended. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts until well blended.

Spread in prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Do not over-bake. Cool in pan.

Refrigerate 30 minutes for easier cutting. Lift brownies out of pan with foil handles. Invert onto back of pan.

Carefully remove foil. Invert onto cutting board.

Cut into heart shapes with cookie cutter.

Place half of the brownies on individual dessert plates.

Spoon 1/2 cup strawberries over each brownie. Top each with 1/3 cup whipped topping.

Cover with remaining brownies. Garnish with additional strawberries.





Valentine Meringue Hearts


* 3 Egg whites
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar
* 1/8 teaspoon Salt
* 1 cup Sugar
* Red food coloring
* 1 quart Vanilla ice cream
* 1 pint Strawberries; sliced



Cut a heart pattern from a 4-1/2 inch square of paper.

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 6 hearts on the parchment paper using your pattern as a guide.

Beat egg whites with vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until frothy.

Add sugar, a little at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Rub a bit between your figures to feel that no sugar remains undissolved.

Add food coloring, a few drops to make a delicate pink color.

Spread meringue over the heart shapes, 1/4 inch thick. Make into the heart shape using a spoon to push and form into correct shape. Pipe rim 3/4 inch high with pastry tube.

Bake in preheated 275 degree F oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let meringues dry in oven for 1 more hour. DO NOT open oven door during this time.

Fill the cooled meringues with scoops of ice cream and top with strawberries. Decorate with mint leaves if desired.





Vanilla Cherry Fudge


* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
* 1/3 cup light corn syrup
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1/2 cup quartered candied cherries
* 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts



In 2-quart glass measuring cup, combine sugar, sour cream, corn syrup, butter and salt.

Microwave at high for 5 minutes. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Microwave at High 6 minutes or just until mixture reaches 236 degrees F. (Soft ball).

Let stand 15 minutes without stirring.

Add vanilla, beat until it loses its gloss (about 6 minutes).

Stir in cherries and walnuts.

Quickly pour in buttered 8-1/2 by 4-1/2" loaf pan. Cool. Cut into squares.