DIY Date Night

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday. My plans include nannying most of the day, so the parents of the munchkins can have a long overdue date night. However, I figured I would put together a quick and easy collection of links for things to put together a reasonably inexpensive Valentine’s Day dinner.

All of the recipes I’m featuring can be found in my recipes section, plus more, in the sidebar to the right.

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I figured an easy snack or appetizer would be pesto, since it’s like four ingredients and two minutes in a blender. I like it on toast, you could cut a baguette into little rounds and top them with the pesto.

 

 

 

butternut squash soup

Then you could do a butternut squash soup, which can be made in the slow cooker in the morning. This recipe is vegan, but you could substitute the coconut milk with heavy cream.

 

 

 

 

 

roasted broccoliAfter the soup, I suggest garlic roasted broccoli. Since the soup is actually pretty filling, I didn’t want to include a heavy side dish. Usually when I cook I just make one thing, not a whole meal. Because y’know, there’s just one of me.

 

 

 

stuffed peppers 8As a main course, or rather, the only main dish I’ve chronicled, try the stuffed peppers. I personally can’t have bell peppers anymore, but my dad and brother like them.

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0085And finally for dessert, I highly recommend masala chai macarons , on the left, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, or flourless peanut butter cookies, below, which are so quick and easy.

 

 

DSC_0047That’s all I’ve got, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Eat lots of chocolate. As always, find me on Twitter, Instagram, or by email, thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com.

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Masala Chai Macarons

So as you know, I’ve been trying to ages to make macarons. Something always goes wrong. But Friday I managed to make a decent batch of red velvet macarons. I was so excited. Then I got distracted with making tea masala, and then had a fantastic idea.

What about masala chai flavored macarons?! I mean, it’s not too far off from the red velvet. Instead of adding cocoa powder and red food color, I just need to add tea masala and tint the batter brown-ish. Easy enough.

I started with a basic macaron recipe, found here, and then added a tablespoon of tea masala to the dry ingredients, plus a teaspoon of loose tea leaves that had been ground into a super fine powder. To the meringue, I added a tablespoon of very strong tea, mostly for color (Very strong is subjective. My mom thinks I make tea and coffee too strong, I believe that if you’re not twitching after half a cup it doesn’t count.)

And guess what.

It actually worked.

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I was so excited. And they taste amazing. The frosting I used was the same cream cheese frosting for the red velvet ones, and that recipe is here.

You can buy tea masala in any Indian store, but since I only needed a little and had the ingredients on hand, I made it myself. For this recipe it was about five cloves, two cardamom pods, a teaspoon of ground ginger, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a pinch of black pepper, all ground up and sifted to a very fine powder.