Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Candlelight Fondue Night

It feels good to be back and blogging again.  We now have a beautiful baby boy that I have truly enjoyed taking the time away to spend with him.  My older kids have been so fun to watch as they enjoy him as well.  I will catch you up on the time I took off in a later post.  But for now I want to share with you the fun night we had last night.

We have a tradition in our  home every Valentines Day.  My sister-in-law started it with her boys and I fell in love with the idea.  When our kids grew to an age that they would love it, we started to make them a romantic dinner by candle light.  They LOVE it!

I always try to make something that is nicer than what we would usually eat.  This year I chose a recipe that we have done it the past, and the kids were very pleased.  We started out with a nice Shrimp Pasta and a Strawberry Spinach Salad with rolls.  Then the highlight of the night for our kids is Fondue!  They talk all year about the romantic candlelight fondue.

Here are recipe's we used, I completely loved them!! The salad is so fantastic!! You really have to try it. The pasta was really good also, but I did think it was missing something the last time I made it. But I and no chef to be able to make any major changes. So this year I also added some chicken.  Thanks to kraftfoods.com and allrecipes.com we had a wonderful night.

Shrimp-in-Love Pasta
prep: 10 min Total time: 25 min serves 2

4 oz. linguine, uncooked
1 c. cleaned medium fresh shrimp
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 c.)
1/2 c. cream cheese spread
1 1/2 c. torn spinach, cleaned

Cook linguine as directed on package
Meanwhile, heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp, tomatoes and cream cheese; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and mixture is well blended.
Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Add spinach; toss lightly. Stir in shrimp mixture.
(When I added the chicken I threw bite size pieces in the skillet and sprinkled a Tony Chacheries Creole Seasoning before I added the rest of the ingredients.)  I think the Creole Seasoning was the added flavor I missed in the pasta the last time I made it.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
prep: 10 min ready in: 1 hr 10 min serves 4

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 qt. strawberries - cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 c. almonds, blanched and slivered (I just use the Almond Accents, or toast almonds in the oven)
In medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
In large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before serving. (I had to leave the dressing on the side, for the kids sake, but my daughter added it to her salad and loved it.)
And the Fabulous Fondue!!
 Chocolate Fondue Duet
(I don't remember where I got this recipe, I have been using it for many years)

3 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/4 c. whipping cream, divided
3 squares white baking chocolate
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Mix semi-sweet chocolate, corn syrup and 2 Tbsp. of the cream in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on medium 1 to 1 1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted when stirred. Add white chocolate and remaining 2 Tbsp. cream in another microwaveable bowl. Microwave 1 to 1 1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted when stirred. Place small serving bowl on serving plate. Pour both chocolate mixtures into bowl at same time, side by side. Serve as a warm dip with assorted cut-up fresh fruit, cookies, marshmallows, pound cake cubes and or pretzels.