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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Epicurious Eats

 Sweets For Your Sweet

​Why go out to a crowded restaurant when you could make dinner for the one you love right in the convenience of your own kitchen? Valentine’s Day is approaching and nothing says romantic more than a home cooked meal. If you forgot to make reservations at that fancy restaurant, not to worry, because here is convenient dinner menu for two.

Appetizer- Bruschetta Hearts
To start off with some class, try tomato, basil and goat cheese on heart-shaped bruschetta. Not only is it fancy, but it is simple too.

Four slices of whole wheat bread
One ounces goat cheese, softened
One medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper

Cut the slices of bread using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (or by freehand with a knife). Then arrange the bread hearts and toast them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until light brown and crispy then spread each toast heart with a thin layer of goat cheese. Next, in a small mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, basil leaves and salt and pepper. Distribute tomato mixture evenly over each toast heart, spreading it to emphasize the heart shape. Serve immediately.

Main Course- Mushroom Garlic Angel Hair Pasta​
Continuing with an Italian theme, the main dish is one full of flavor and richness. On top of that, it only takes 30 minutes to make, leaving you more time to spend with your date. Maybe use one plate to have a possible Lady and the Tramp moment?

Eight ounce package angel hair pasta
One tablespoon and 1 teaspoon butter
One tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 clove garlic, minced
Two teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
Two teaspoons grated asiago cheese
One teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
One tablespoon and 1 teaspoon mushrooms, halved and sliced
Two teaspoons finely chopped red bell pepper
One tablespoon and 1 teaspoon chopped green onion
Two teaspoons grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil then cook angel hair in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite for four to five minutes then drain.
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then stir flour into the melted butter until well mixed and cook for about three minutes. Slowly pour milk into flour mixture, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Then add garlic and cook and stir the mixture until sauce is thickened for about two minutes. Add two tablespoons Parmesan cheese and Asiago cheese; stir until cheese is melted, two to four minutes. Next, reduce heat to low and simmer garlic sauce while preparing remaining ingredients.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender for about five minutes then remove from it from the heat.
Lastly, place angel hair pasta in a serving bowl and toss and coat with garlic sauce. Add mushroom mixture and green onion then toss again gently and top with two tablespoons of parmesan cheese.

Dessert-Chocolate Covered Strawberries​
This recipe may be simple, but there is no denying that nothing is sexier than feeding each other chocolate covered strawberries. Getting a good picture now? Try it out.

Four ounces semisweet chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
One pound washed strawberries (about 20)
One cup white chocolate (optional)

First, line a baking sheet with wax paper then in a microwave-safe glass bowl, microwave the chocolate, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
Then, holding a strawberry by the stem end, dip it in the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. As you set the strawberry down, slide it 1/2 inch to the side to prevent the formation of a chocolate “foot.” Repeat with the remaining berries.
Next, refrigerate the strawberries on the baking sheet until the chocolate is firm, which should take about 30 minutes. Then if you desire, melt the white chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over strawberries and place strawberries back in refrigerator until cooled and hardened.

​Make this Valentine’s Day a special one by preparing food from your own kitchen. Not only does it help you beat the reservation crowd, but it personalizes the night as well.

By: Emma Needham

Staff Writer