Tag Archives: Romantic Dinner Menu

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

17 Feb

Food I Love You Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 4-6

Ugh!  You’re homesick.  Which explains why your day has been anything but productive.  Aside from thumbing through your Facebook Timeline.  It’s a good thing you got that organized.  What will make you feel better?  Macaroni and cheese.  But you couldn’t—you wouldn’t.  Oh, yes you would.   When you make a healthier version like this Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.

Ingredients: 

2 C. whole-wheat shell pasta

1 C. butternut squash, cubed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ C. whole-wheat flour

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ C. low-fat milk

½ C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp. olive oil

½ C. Italian breadcrumbs

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. dried oregano

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray six ramekins with baking oil and place on cookie sheet.  Cook shells according to packaging.

Coat butternut squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Flip and cook for another ten minutes.  Remove squash, set aside.  Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Place flour, salt, butter and milk in a 3-quart pot on medium heat.  Stir constantly until light bubbles form around the side of the pot.  Reduce heat to low until flour dissolves.  Remove from heat, transfer to blender and add squash.  Blend until fully combined.  Add cheese and blend again, until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over cooked shells and stir to coat.  Divide macaroni among ramekins.

In a small pan, heat olive oil on low heat.  Stir in breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper and oregano.  Remove from heat.  Evenly distribute breadcrumb mixture on top of macaroni.   Bake mac & cheese for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Low in fat, butternut squash makes an excellent side or meat replacement in vegetarian dishes.  That nice orange hue means it’s packed with beta-carotene, which combats breast cancer and supports the healthy lung development of fetuses and newborns.  So, eat up, moms!

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A Menu for Your Honey Bunny on Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Uh-oh.  Cupid struck you.  And he struck you good.  Looks like this Valentine’s Day,  “Romance” is your middle name.  That’s why you’re cooking from the heart to show your honey bunny just how much love you have to give with the most romantic Valentine’s Day menu.

SET THE MOOD WITH MUSIC

Download the ultimate romance playlist.  Some great ideas from Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, and these KCRW DJ’s love song selections.

WINE

First and foremost, you need some good wine on hand.  Just make sure it goes with what you’re serving–and more importantly, it’s what your Valentine loves to drink.  Keep in mind you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg.  Find great deals at:

  • Whole Foods | Aside from their excellent selection of bottles priced under $10, they also have a handy-dandy wine tutorial on their website.
  • BevMo | It’s 5 cent sale is going on now which means you can really splurge on a good bottle because the second one is only five cents!
  • Trader Joe’s | If you’ve never perused their wine aisles, you’ve been missing out.  The store stocks  a fabulous selection and prices start at $1.00 (although you may have to spend more money on Gatorade the next morning to cure your hangover)!

FOOD

Lean Mean Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara Sauce

SAY ‘AMORE’ WITH AN ITALIAN SPREAD…

START | Follow The Hip & Urban Girls’ Guide to Cheese & Meat Board.

MAIN COURSE | Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara.

SIDE | Flash Roasted Green Beans.

SEAL THE DEAL WITH CASUAL GASTRO PUB FARE…

START | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets.

MAIN COURSE | Enlightened Shepard’s Pie.

SIDE | Spinach and Strawberry Salad via allrecipes.com

DESSERT | Milk & Oats, Orange & Oatmeal Cookies.

Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup

IMPRESS WITH CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CUISINE…

START | Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup.

MAIN COURSE | Sunset Magazine’s Perfect Roasted Chicken.

SIDE | Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Sage Apple Butter.

DESSERT | Hubba Hubba Brownies.

Veggie Cassoulet

NO TIME TO SLAVE AWAY IN THE KITCHEN?  MAKE VEGGIE CASSOULET, A SIMPLE ONE-POT MEAL, READY IN MINUTES. 

So, what do you have on your Valentine’s Day menu?  Share your love spun food selections by leaving a comment below.