FanPost

OT - Valentines Day Menu - Better get to plannin fella's!



As most of you know, or understand, my wife is a saint. She however is not a huge fan of celebrating valentines day because we're pretty good about doing stuff for each other year round. Anywho I'm going to make an awesome dinner as a surprise, thought I'd share it with you all. Heres what I'm doing, I've also linked a google doc so that you can check it out instead.

V-day menu

Steaks!
do this how ever you like!


Twice baked potatoes
Ingredients:
6 large Russet Baking Potatoes
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
12 oz. medium or mild cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
Season salt
8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 green onions, chopped (chives work also)

Directions:
Wash and scrub potatoes, poke each one several times with a fork. Place in oven and bake 400 degrees for 65-70 minutes, or until soft when squished (I don't ever preheat the oven, I don't think it's necessary).
Remove baked potatoes from oven (reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees), slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out flesh into a large mixing bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh so potato maintains it's shape. Place potato skins on a baking sheet.
Add butter to hot potato flesh in mixing bowl and mash potatoes with a potato masher until no longer chunky. Add in cream, sour cream, salt and pepper and beat potato mixture with an electric mixer until potatoes are smooth and fluffy about 2 - 3 minutes (Note: if you like your potatoes any thinner just add a little bit of milk a few tablespoons at a time to reach desired consistency).
Fill potato skins with mashed potatoes and smooth out tops with a spoon. Sprinkle filled potatoes with cheddar cheese. Sprinkle each potato with about 1/8 tsp season salt (you could do more or less to your taste) and fresh ground pepper to taste. Bake filled potatoes for 15 - 20 minutes (depending on how gooey or crisp you like your cheese).
Remove from oven, sprinkle potatoes with crumbled bacon and chopped green onions, and drizzle with ranch dressing. Serve immediately.






Balsamic asparagus
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the ends off one bunch of asparagus and arrange on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. I always err on the side of crunchy vegetables, so I usually start checking them after about 8 minutes. There is nothing worse than a mouthful of green mushiness.
In a saucepan, melt 3 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
Place the baked asparagus in a serving dish and pour the contents of the saucepan over top.

Dinner rolls
Ingredients:

3 eggs
3 Tblsp sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water and allow to stand 5 minutes. Beat eggs until light in color with electric mixer. Add sugar, salt and dissolved yeast. Stir to combine. Cut cold margarine into small small chips and gently stir into egg mixture. Stir in flour until thoroughly combined. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in draft-free place until double in size. Shape into dinner rolls and place in greased pans. Cover with tea towel and let rise until double in size. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

Cheesecake inside a red velvet cake
Ingredients:

For the cheesecake:
1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

For the cake:
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. red food coloring

1 bar white or dark chocolate (Optional for decoration), I used Ghiradelli
Directions:

For cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely, then level.

Frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes. Add the red food coloring for a pink hue for V-Day.

Assembly:
Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting! Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Top with shaved white chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This cake doesn't have to stay in the fridge until IMMEDIATELY before serving, so don't worry if you have a 30 minute lapse between the refrigerator and serving.)





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