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A Valentine's meal to share with someone special or the entire family...

Easy Arugula Salad

4 cups young arugula leaves, rinsed and dried
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large avocado - peeled, pitted and sliced


In a large plastic bowl with a lid, combine arugula, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, oil, vinegar, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and shake to mix.
Divide salad onto plates, and top with slices of avocado.

Stuffed Brie


3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie cheese


In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and caramelize onions and mushrooms; add dates and warm mixture for about 2 minutes.
Slice the Brie wheel in half down the center so that there is a top and a bottom; fill with the onion mixture. Replace the top of the Brie.
Microwave Brie for 1 to 3 minutes or until bubbly; serve.

Bacon-Cheese Pull-Aparts

1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 can (16.3 oz) refrigerated biscuits
1 package (2.2 oz) precooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (3 oz)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (4 medium)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 11x7- or 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat egg and milk with wire whisk until smooth.
Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in bacon, cheese and onions. Spoon mixture into baking dish; arrange biscuit pieces in single layer.
Bake 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares.

Sesame Shrimp Hearts With Passion Sauce

lb medium-large shrimp , peeled and deveined
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sqeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds , toasted
1/3 cup strawberry jelly (may sub other jams)
2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 medium avocado , peeled and sliced


Preheat oven to 425°. Slice down back of shrimp, almost completely through with small knife. Gently spread and flatten.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat, then stir in ginger, citrus juices, salt and pepper. Dip each shrimp in the butter sauce and arrange shrimp cut-side up on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 4-5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter, jelly, vinegar and hot pepper sauce in 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until jelly is melted. Strain, if desired.
Arrange shrimp in heart shapes on sliced avocado, sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with sauce to serve.

Asparagus Parmesan

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus spears, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or to desired firmness. Drain off excess oil, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Creamiest Chocolate Mousse

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
7 egg white
1 1/4 cups heavy cream


Place chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until mostly melted, then remove from heat, and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream to medium stiff peaks, but do not allow it to become grainy. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar, and continue whipping to medium stiff peaks. Fold in egg yolks.
Fold in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated, then fold in whipped cream until evenly blended. Spoon into dessert cups, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Champagne Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces cognac
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 fresh lemon twist


Combine cognac, lemon juice and sugar in shaker; add ice and shake until chilled.
Strain into champagne glass.
Top with champagne and a lemon twist.

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