Decadent Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu made Fresh & Easy! #spon





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Decadent Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu made Fresh & Easy

 

Reasons to make a romantic dinner at home for Valentine’s Day vs going out to eat:

  1. Cost
  2. Parking
  3. Crowds
  4. Made ahead “Valentine’s Day/Sweetheart” special menus are not always the freshest. (and who wants potential stomach issues on Valentine’s Day?)
  5. Closer to where the magic happens ;)

Instead, why not create a simple, yet decadent Valentine’s Day meal at home. I wouldn’t lie, it’s super easy…

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We headed over to our local Fresh & Easy because we know our ingredients would be fresh and we love easy preparation! They have everything you need for Valentine’s Day – roses, chocolates, decorated baked goods, teddy bears, great ready-to-go meals and fresh ingredients to create your own Valentine’s feast!

 

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For our salad, we wanted to make a colorful and flavorful Caprese Salad. You’ll need:

  • Small Mozzarella Balls
  • Basil
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Salt/pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

We picked up a Living Basil plant, Fresh & Easy Limited Edition Premium Cherry Tomatoes and Wild Oats Ciliegine Mozzarella Balls. Just halve the tomatoes and the mozzarella, tear off some basil leaves and place in a bowl. Lightly coat in a good EVOO (just enough to make the ingredients shine) and finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper before serving. And look how pretty it is!

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For our main course, we went back to what we served at our our wedding reception – Chicken Marsala. So rich and flavorful, it was a favorite among our guests. We asked our caterer to customize it a bit for us, since we’re not fans of the sweetness you’ll find with most Chicken Marsala recipes. (You get that by using sweet Marsala wine – Instead we opted for a dry red wine. But if you like a sweet Marsala dish, and don’t have any Marsala wine handy, just add some sugar to any red wine for an easy substitute.)

For this dish, you’ll need

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts. (Fresh & Easy has Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders, which made it so we didn’t have to cut the chicken into strips. -anyway you can save a step is a plus!)
  • 4 strips of bacon, cut up
  • 8 oz package of Fresh Mushrooms
  • 1/2 carton of Chicken Broth
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 medium Onion
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • Flour (for dredging)

Place the chicken strips in between 2 pieces of plastic and pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it becomes about half as thick as it started at.

Dredge the strips in flour, and fry up with some onions, garlic and and bacon. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add mushrooms, wine and chicken broth. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the chicken back to finish the dish.

 

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Meanwhile, boil the water for pasta. Any thicker pasta will do, we prefer a basic spaghetti noodle. If you order Chicken Marsala in a restaurant, many times it will be served with a side of pasta and red sauce, with the main dish served with roasted potatoes. This recipe uses the Marsala Sauce as the pasta sauce!

Place chicken and sauce on a bed of pasta and serve. So good! The flavors of the wine, bacon, onions, garlic and chicken stock meld together to make a rich and wonderful sauce.

 

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But, the real star of this menu is a Wine Soaked Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Drizzle. Sounds difficult to pull off, right?

You’ll need

  • New York-Style Cheesecake
  • Raspberries
  • Sugar
  • Wine
  • Semi-sweet chocolate baking morsels

We started with a Fresh & Easy New York-Style Cheesecake (you’ll find it in the freezer section). When you get home, leave it on the counter to defrost (about 2 hours) while you put the groceries away and prepare the raspberries and the rest of the menu.

We love raspberries and think they’re so perfect for Valentine’s Day desserts, but most any fruit would work, too. Rinse the raspberries and gently pat dry. Then, place them in a single layer in a shallow bowl.

Add about 1/2 cup of wine and a teaspoon of sugar and let sit while you prepare the Caprese Salad and Chicken Marsala. For the wine, we used Dreamstone, a Pink Moscato Sparkling Wine, specially selected by Fresh & Easy. (I picked it because the bottle called out to me ;) )

Set the table, light some candles and enjoy this fabulous dinner! When it’s almost time for dessert, sneak off to the kitchen and turn on the stove. Add water to a medium sized sauce pan and get it boiling. Or, if you have one, break out the double boiler.

Meanwhile, place raspberries on top and around the base of the cheesecake.

With water at a boil, place a smaller sauce pan on top of the pan of boiling water and pour about 1/4 of the bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels into the top pan. Stir the chocolate, adding water or any left over wine to thin to a drizzleable consistency.

Spoon the melted chocolate on top of the raspberries and serve… instant heaven!

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day (or Single Awareness Day :(

It’s all good either way and is made even better with a delicious meal. And wine! And chocolate! And cheesecake! And raspberries!)

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