My semi-homemade Valentine’s dinner

When the BF and I have a day off together, be it Valentine’s Day, the day before, or any other day, we are most likely heading outdoors for some sort of adventure.  Sunday (the day we were celebrating Valentine’s) was no different.  After some yummy French toast we packed up all of our backcountry ski gear and headed up to Old Powderhorn (Mesa Creek) for some fun in the sun.  Our reasoning was that the snow wasn’t going to be great at the ski resort OR in the backcountry, so we’d just have more fun exploring by ourselves than riding the lift and skiing groomed runs all day.  We’re strange like that.

Because this is what we’d planned to do on Sunday, I decided to find a way to make my extra-special-Valentine’s Dinner “semi” homemade.  Let’s get one thing straight:  I think Sandra Lee is an abomination.  Still, sometimes you have to make sacrifices and coming up with a fabulous but not all from scratch dinner this year was one of those.  So, after our awesome day of skinning up hill and skiing down through some heavy but still awesome snow, we got home and I got started on dinner.

I make us a special dinner because I feel like it shows extra thought and love.  We can go out to dinner anytime.  This is our day to spend together and we like being able to eat an awesome meal and drink great wine in our sweats 😉

 

Up first:  A roasted vegetable and prosciutto antipasto platter.  Here are the veggies getting ready for the oven.  

This post will have very few actual measurements in it…but here’s what I can tell you about the Roasted Vegetables:  I used red peppers, asparagus, and artichokes.  Coat with a few tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at between 450-475 for about 15 minutes or until they are browning.  With the artichokes:  You can use canned ones (not marinated) but make sure to drain them and then gently squeeze them over the sink to get all the water out.  Here’s the finished product with a caper viniagrette:

For the viniagrette:  1 tbsp capers, 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp red wine or white wine vinegar, sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Mix and pour over.

 

Next on the menu was five cheese ravioli (the store-bought frozen kind) with a creamy mushroom sauce.  I will admit that with the sauce I was flying by the seat of my pants.  First I started the mushrooms browning in a small skillet.

 

   
Don’t crowd the mushrooms!

Then I combined 1 tbsp butter and a clove of garlic in a saucepan and let the butter melt.  I added 2 spoonfuls (like a regular old spoon) of flour and started a roux.  Once the flour and butter had cooked together for a few minutes I added about (I am approximating) 1/4 – 1/2 cup lowfat milk and 1/2 cup chicken broth.  I tossed in some salt and pepper and let this come to a boil, while stirring.  Once it came to a boil and started to thicken slightly, I threw in the mushrooms and 2 spoonfuls of parmesan cheese.  I tossed in a little (maybe a tsp) oregano and just let everything simmer for a few minutes.

Mmm…simmer away mushroom cream sauce…  

Finally, I decided that since I did have Five cheese ravioli, this sauce might be a little heavy…so I added in about 1 tbsp tomato sauce, just to add a tiny kick.

Ta-da!

For dessert I went for the BF’s favorite:  caramel.  We had Mexican Caramel sundaes.  I got the idea from Rachel Ray.  Basically, I took these ingredients, plus whipped cream and glazed pecans…

…and created these wonderful sundaes!  Sorry the pic is a little washed out.

 

I’ll say this.  The BF is extremely private and that’s why I haven’t posted a whole lot of reasons why he’s fabulous or anything.  That being said, the last 3+ years have been the absolute best years of my life and I am SO lucky to have him.

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