GUEST BLOG FROM THE FOUR CHICKS!!
Here it is y’all! Just as promised. A fabulous Valentine’s Day meal that will blow their socks off!
The Four Chicks would suggest making the mousse earlier in the day so it is chilled and ready to go. Snap the Asparagus and have it ready for the microwave and have the pot of water/salt/oil ready to boil. Time the Bacon Wrapped Pineapple so that it comes out of the oven right after your honey arrives. Enjoy the Red Hot Lover’s Drink while the pasta cooks and voila! That’s it! Have an amazing night with this easy to prepare, impressive meal.
And without further adieu…
Kim’s Bacon Wrapped Candied Pineapple With Dark Chocolate Drizzle
The Lombardi Trophy, the Commissioners Trophy, the Stanley Cup, the Winner’s Circle, the Garland of Roses, that ugly green jacket…(did I just say “ugly” out loud? oops) Gentlemen, do I have your attention now? What do all these things have in common? Yes, they are what WINNERS receive! If you want to be a winner on Valentine’s Day, then you have to do what all athletes do… (No, not steroids…)…WARM UP! So let’s talk about how to warm up your lady’s appetite and ultimately her heart. Now we all know that a proper warm up is essential to competing in any sport. That includes the sport of love! And we all know, not every man is a whiz kid in the kitchen. Guess what? The courses you are going to embark on below, do you not require you to be a whiz kid chef or an athlete (or steroids for that matter!). They’re simple, beautiful, and guaranteed to knock the socks off the lovely lady you are trying to woo. We’ll help you knock her socks off, the rest is up to you (wink wink). The very easy appetizer below will get her engine revving, might cause extreme salivation, and even the most inexperienced in the kitchen can master it with ease! These are addictive. You have been warned!
- 1 package fully cooked bacon
- 1 can pineapple chunks (save the juice for the drinks!)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 jar dark chocolate sundae sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your cookie sheet by covering it with foil or parchment paper, then placing a cooling rack on top of it. Cut the bacon strips in half. Drain the pineapple into a shallow blow, reserving the juice. Take a half slice of bacon and dip it in the pineapple juice. Then, dip the bacon into the brown sugar, lightly coating it. Dip a pineapple chunk into the brown sugar as well, lightly coating it. Wrap the bacon around the pineapple chunk and secure it with a toothpick. Place the bacon wrapped pineapple chunk on the cooling rack (on the cookie sheet). Repeat until you have used all of your bacon.
Your brown sugar may become syrupy and that’s ok. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until bacon starts looking crispy. I baked mine for 12. Once cool enough move them to a serving dish. Microwave the dark chocolate syrup for the amount of time suggested on the jar. Stir, then dip a knife into the chocolate and drizzle it over the bacon wrapped pineapple. As much or as little as you prefer. You are now ready to serve this appetizer to your sweetheart! If this doesn’t win you the ultimate prize, I just don’t know what will! (Recipe adapted from http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/appetizers-and-snacks/bacon-wrapped-pineapple-bites/)
Lacey’s Red Hot Lover’s Drink
I know, know..I was supposed to make a Pineapple Lemon Bellini. But there was this snow, and this ice and this no electricity type situation..so we make do with what we have, and we ALL have vodka. Guys this drink is simple to make and is the color of love with a smidge of cinnamon spice and pineapple nice. Plus, what guy doesn’t have some vodka hanging around the house? Minimal effort with maximum output. Love output that is…
- 2 cans San Pellegrino Blood Orange Sparkling Drink
- Left over pineapple juice from appetizer
- lemon twist
- Crushed Ice
- Two martini glasses
Slice about four thin thin slices of lemon and twist it up (look up lemon twist online). Or just shave some zest off the lemon and call it good – set aside. In a shaker, combine some crushed ice, a shot of vodka, a shot of pineapple juice, a pinch of cinnamon and half a can of San Pellegrino. Shake it up until the cinnamon is swirling around. Pour into two martini glasses and place a lemon twist on the top and serve to your girl.
Lacey’s Microwaved Roasted Asparagus
- 1 bunch of asparagus. Snapped – bend a stalk in half and it will snap at the point where the woody less tasty part is.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Fleur De Sel Salt
Place your snapped asparagus on a plate, sprinkle with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss around with your hands so that all pieces are coated. Cover with saran wrap, and nuke for 3-4 minutes until just tender but still firm. Plate with the pasta.
Mel’s Red Pasta With Goat Cheese And Walnuts
This pasta dish is easy, colorful and full of flavor.
- Red pasta – Options: Beet pasta, or other red pasta is usually easy to find in places like World Market. They also carry super cute heart shaped pasta that would work great with this recipe as well. If you can’t locate any red pasta, make your own by boiling regular noodles in a bottle of red wine add it to the water and boil.
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 log goat cheese broken into piece
- 1 container halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup GOOD olive oil
- Raspberry vinaigrette or fruit flavored Balsamic vinegar
Blend oil and vinegar or dressing. Pour over pasta and toss. Add remaining ingredients and toss again. Delicious and simplistic in nature, this is a nice departure from the boldness of the bacon pineapple appetizer.
Nikki’s Decadent Dark Chocolate Mousse With Fleur De Sel & Caramel Drizzle
Warning Gentlemen: this is not a low calorie dessert. It is rich, decadent & utterly calorie laden… don’t worry, this is for Valentine’s Day, you can work off the calories later. We women love fancy food. We love the presentation, the look, smell, even the name of a dish almost as much as we love taste (this theory holds true for other things in life & love as well…. *wink wink*). Mousse is essentially fancy pudding. Don’t ever call it fancy pudding though, add as many descriptive words as possible, trust me, if you sat down in front of a menu and saw option A as “fancy pudding” and option B is Decadent Dark Chocolate Mousse with Fleur De Sel & Vanilla Bean Caramel Drizzle which would you pick?
So this dish is just slightly more difficult than mixing up a batch of instant pudding and will wow your Valentine, I promise!
The mousse itself is cinch; I will forewarn you that the caramel drizzle was not. And for that reason, since we want to make this meal as simple but as chic as possible, try to find a good caramel sauce. Higher end. And buy some fleur de sel salt. If you want to give it a go and make the caramel sauce on your own, please email us. We will gladly give it to you.
- 8 oz chocolate (we used 72% dark)
- 1 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- Fleur de sel salt
- Caramel sauce
In a sauce pan over medium-low heat combine the chocolate (broken up into chunks) and 2/3′s cup of the heavy whipping cream. Stir frequently until the chocolate melts and is fully incorporated into the cream, you want it nice and smooth. Poor into a large bowl and set aside to cool down a bit. In another bowl use a hand mixer to beat the remaining whipping cream until it forms little peaks when you lift the beaters out of the cream (think the consistency of cool whip). Using a spatula fold the whipping cream into the chocolate in 3 parts, then gently stir to ensure it’s all the same color. Split between four serving dishes (I used stemless wine glasses… remember guys presentation is key! don’t dump this into a cereal bowl use something classy!) Put your dishes in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
If you’re feeling REALLY ambitious you can add a third layer of goodness to your mousse, whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 1 tbsp. of sugar & 1/2 a tsp of vanilla until soft peaks form (so not as stiff as the mousse was, more like the consistency that comes out of a redi whip can). Layer this over your mousse and then drizzle your caramel sauce over the top. Otherwise, drizzle the mousse with caramel sauce and sprinkle a tiny bit of fleur de sel on top. Watch your Valentine enjoy every decadent bite!
Can you pull this off? Absolutely. The Four Chicks hope we have given you an easy, elegant, yet simple to create menu for your Valentine’s Day.
I love love. Bon appetit y’all!!