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Valentine's Day Recipes and Menu

Valentine's Day is a special celebration that lends itself to elegant dining. You can make reservations at your favorite restaurant, but it is more meaningful to surprise that certain someone with your cooking talents and an intimate dinner, not to mention much less expensive. Plan ahead, choose a menu that is relatively easy, set your finest table, and share the fun by getting your partner involved in the preparations. If you are currently unattached, take the opportunity to share good food with family and friends, or make a special meal for your own pleasure.

This year, I chose an elegant and delicious menu, featuring Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, that is simple enough for the novice, fun for the more experienced cook, and certain to impress. All of the recipes are easy and require minimal preparation. If you do not find what you are looking for, each recipe includes links to similar dishes, and there are additional choices for fine dining on the Easy Recipes for Elegant Entertaining page. You can also use the links and search box above, or browse through the entire collection in the Recipe Files. I hope you and yours will find some favorites. Happy Valentine's Day!

Preparation Notes: The chocolate mousse can be made one day ahead, covered and refrigerated. The cheese twists can be prepared the day before and stored in an airtight container. The remainder of the menu can be prepared when needed. However, if you have time earlier in the day, prepare the tarragon vinaigrette and refrigerate until needed. Make the whipped cream for the dessert, spoon it into a strainer set over a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Arrange the salad ingredients on individual plates and refrigerate for several hours. Set a beautiful table using your best linens, plates and silverware. Allow time for the squash to bake. Prepare the vegetables for the rice pilaf. Dress and serve the salad with the cheese twists as a first course. Meanwhile, cook the rice. Just before serving the main course, cook the scallops. Finally, serve the dessert and enjoy the special day with your partner, family or friends.


Pan-Seared Sea Scallops

Sea Scallops Recipe Photo