Valentine's Day, like New Year's Eve and Independence Day, is a holiday that sometimes seems to let us down. It's supposed to be fun — even magical — but we're often left wondering why we were ever so excited. It just doesn't live up to the hype. And it's worse for those unattached types, who have to suffer through what might also be called "Singles Awareness Day."
Instead of getting down and out about your Valentine's Day situation, gather a group of friends and celebrate not having to fake smile when someone gives you a giant red stuffed bear! Here is a stellar menu for an "I Love My Friends But Hate Valentine's Day" party!
Also Check Out Recipes For A Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner.
Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
* 15-20 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, plus 15-20 full basil leaves
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
* 2 ounces goat cheese
* Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix together the garlic, chopped basil, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Place the halved Roma tomatoes on a sheet pan and brush the tops of the tomatoes with the oil mixture.
4. Roast for about 40 minutes or until softened and the edges begin to darken.
5. Toast the bread slices in the oven until just lightly browned.
6. Spread each piece with goat cheese.
7. Top with a tomato half and a basil leaf.
* One wheel of Brie cheese
* Pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the wheel of Brie on a small baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is oozing out from the bottom.
3. Place the baked Brie on a serving platter.
4. Top the brie with about 1/2 cup of honey and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
5. Serve with pieces of crusty bread or crackers.
* 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons melted butter
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-bottom pan and heat briefly.
2. Add the kernels, cover the pot and shake it over the heat until the kernels pop.
3. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and add the butter. Toss to coat
4. Add the grated cheese and garlic powder. Toss again to coat.
Spiked Chocolate Fondue
This may not be a traditional Valentine's Day party, but you can still have a Valentine's Day-themed dessert! This one has a little liqueur to kick up the flavor and fun.
* 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 4 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur
* Morsels for dipping (sliced banana, strawberries, raspberries, cubed poundcake, pretzel sticks, graham crackers, brownie bites... whatever your single heart desires)
1. In a double boiler over barely simmering water, heat the cream.
2. Add the chocolate and liqueur, stir until melted.
3. Once melted, serve with skewers and any your delicious accompaniments of choice.
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Christine Hinrichs is a vegetarian who loves everything related to food. She daydreams about recipes, frequents the local farmers' markets and reads cookbooks before bed. When not preoccupied with food, she enjoys running the lakes and trails in the Twin Cities and helps rescue stray animals from local shelters. Read about her food adventures at ruminationsonfood.blogspot.com.