Tag Archives: valentines-day

pink beet pancakes with fruit on top

These Easy Pink Beet Pancakes Are the Perfect Valentine’s Day Breakfast

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year and everyone cozied up at home, waking up to a fresh stack of pancakes is a must. These pretty in pink pancakes use a roasted beet puree to give them a naturally vibrant hue, meaning no artificial colouring whatsoever. The beets add a touch of sweetness as well, so the kids will love them too. OK — maybe just don’t tell them breakfast has vegetables!

pink beet pancakes with fruit on top

Pink Beet Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

⅓ cup pureed roasted beets (2 beets)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 pinch fine salt
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg, whisked
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup whole milk (can substitute oat or soy milk)
Butter or oil, for cooking
Fresh berries, for serving
Maple syrup, for serving

pink beet pancake ingredients

Directions:

1. To prepare the beets for the pancakes, simply wrap 2 beets tightly in foil and roast them at 400°F for 50 to 60 minutes. Once cooled, peel and puree until smooth! Add a touch of water to the blender or food processor if necessary. This step can be done in advance.

pink beet pancake puree in food processor

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Create a well in the centre.

3. Add the egg, pureed beets, vanilla, melted butter and milk. Whisk until the batter just comes together, a few lumps are okay.

pink beet pancake batter

4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a touch of butter. Swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the whole surface. Pour in a scoop (about ⅓ cup) of batter. Cook until the top begins to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional minute, until both sides are golden brown.

Related: Valentine’s Day Cookies That’ll Make Your Heart Skip a Beat

5. Repeat until no batter remains, coating the pan with a touch of butter each time. Stack cooked pancakes onto a serving plate. Garnish with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup!

Like Marcella’s pink beet pancakes? Try her cinnamon streusel muffins or s’mores butter tarts.

eggplant parm dip in cast iron next to toasted bread

This Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Eggplant Parm Dip is the Perfect Dish for Date Night at Home

Elevate your next date night at home with a crunchy take on the classic eggplant parm. Warm, comforting, cheesy and crispy, our Dining In dip recipe — inspired by the eggplant parm at 416 Snack Bar in Toronto — has everything you love about the original dish, now with a dippable twist! Made by layering tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, mozzarella cheese, ricotta, Parmesan and a crispy quinoa topping, this simple, yet decadent dish is the ultimate oven-to-table meal served family-style with toasted bread for easy scooping.

eggplant parm dip in cast iron next to toasted bread

Eggplant Parm Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

¾ cup quinoa
Sea salt
2 cans (746 ml) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
2 cloves garlic, smashed
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil, plush additional for serving
1 large eggplant, cubed
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
3 Tbsp butter, divided
6 slices sourdough bread

eggplant parm dip ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Rinse quinoa under cold water. Add to a small pot with 1 ½ cups water and lightly season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through and water is absorbed.

roasted quinoa on baking tray

3. While the quinoa is cooking, you can start the tomato sauce: pour tomatoes into a saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, then add garlic and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium low and add basil. Cook for 15 minutes, then season with salt to taste and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, toss eggplant with 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp of sea salt. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Related: Romantic Date Night Recipes to Make at Home

5. Toss cooked quinoa with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Place both the eggplant and quinoa in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the eggplant is caramelized and the quinoa is lightly browned and crispy. Set aside and lower oven temperature to 375°F.

6. Spread tomato sauce in the base of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch square baking dish. Layer with eggplant and top with dollops of ricotta cheese. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese overtop, leaving the ricotta peeking through. Finish with a handful of Parmesan and the crispy quinoa. Place in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted, ricotta is just turning golden and quinoa is crisp.

eggplant parm dip ingredients deconstructed on kitchen countertop

7. While the eggplant parm dip is baking, heat a skillet on medium and melt 1 Tbsp of butter. Lay 2 slices of bread in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Set aside on a wire rack and repeat process with remaining bread slices. Cut bread in halves or quarters.

8. Before serving, finish with a sprinkling of additional basil and Parmesan. Place the dip family-style in the middle of the table with bread tucked in the sides of the pan and a spoon for serving.

eggplant parm dip in cast iron

Here are more gooey, melty ways to get your cheese fix.

Watch the how-to video here:


chocolate and PB skillet cookie in cast iron pan

Date Night at Home Isn’t Complete Without This Chocolate Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie

Imagine the perfect cookie. For me it would be crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and loaded with chocolate. Then take it to the next level with salty, nutty peanut buttery goodness. Decadent chocolate + peanut butter make for the ultimate dream team in this delicious skillet cookie recipe. Don’t forget to top it with a scoop of ice cream! The perfect decadent dessert for a date night at home.

chocolate and PB skillet cookie in cast iron pan

Chocolate Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ stick butter, room temperature
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chunks
Flaky sea salt

Equipment:

6 ½ Inch Logic Pre-Seasoned Skillet, Amazon, $23.

chocolate and PB skillet cookie ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and cream until light and airy, about 3-5 minutes. Dissolve the espresso powder with water and add to the stand mixer, along with the vanilla extract.

Related: Our Most Popular Cookie Recipes of All Time

4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

chocolate and PB skillet cookie dough

5. Divide the cookie dough amongst two 6.5-inch cast iron skillets or one 10-inch skillet. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of the dough. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

chocolate and PB skillet cookie in cast iron pan

Like Sabrina’s cast iron cookie recipe? Try her 8-ingredient warm salted caramel lava cakes or caramel apple cheesecake fried wontons.

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You’ll Fall Head Over Heels For These Chocolate and Coconut Pots De Crème

It isn’t Valentine’s Day without a decadent chocolate dessert, and this chocolate and coconut pots de crème recipe is the epitome of all the things we love most about the rich, sugary-sweet confection. Not only are these romantic treats individually portioned, they’re best made in advance, and also happen to be dairy-free thanks to the creamy coconut milk (always opt for canned coconut milk as the carton variety is diluted with water). No matter who you’re treating – yourself, close friends or that special someone – these desserts are worth the indulgence.

Chocolate and Coconut Pots De Crème

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 4+ hours (includes cooling time)
Servings: 4 large or 6 small

Ingredients:

2 cups full-fat coconut milk, canned
½ cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch fine salt
100 grams quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
Coconut whipped cream, for serving
Dried rose petals, for garnishing

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Boil a pot of water and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and remove from heat.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla extract, coconut extract, nutmeg and salt until well blended.

4. Slowly temper in the coconut mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.

5. Transfer mixture back to the saucepan and add the chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is fully incorporated.

6. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure a silky custard.

7. Evenly divide custard amongst 4 large (or 6 small) ramekins. Transfer to a baking dish and fill dish with the boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to drip any water into the ramekins.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the centre of each custard has set. The centre should still have a little jiggle to it. Remove ramekins from the baking dish and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight before serving.

9. Top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of rose petals before serving.

We’re here to satisfy all your dessert cravings with these 100+ decadent chocolate desserts, fudgy brownie recipes and no-bake vegan chocolate cheesecake hearts.

The Sweetest Homemade Candy Heart Kombucha Gummies

This Valentine’s Day, make some sweets for your sweet! Creating your own gummies at home may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple, and only requires a few ingredients. First, you’ll need to find a silicone heart mould, which you can buy at a kitchen store or online, and then you’re ready to go. Infusing kombucha into gummies is a super creative way to support your gut health, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to devour healthy candy? Since these mini heart-shaped sweets are Valentine’s Day themed, we gave them a pinkish-red hue, so berry or rose flavoured kombucha is key. Once you whip up a batch, you’ll soon realize the world is your gummy oyster, where you can flavour and colour these little gems with a myriad of juices and fruits to your heart’s desire.

Homemade Candy Heart Kombucha Gummies

Prep Time: 40 minutes*
Fridge Time: 1-2 hours
Servings: 165 gummies

*The prep time may take longer depending how many moulds you have, since you may need to work in batches

Ingredients:

2 cups berry-flavoured kombucha
8 Tbsp grass-fed beef gelatin
1 ½ cup chopped strawberries (frozen or fresh)
½ cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup water

Directions:

1. Pour kombucha into a bowl and whisk in the gelatin until combined. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

2. In a blender, blitz the berries, maple syrup, lemon juice and water and pour into a pot.

3. Place the pot on the stove over low heat, then add the kombucha and gelatin mixture until it fully dissolves. Don’t heat too high or you will damage the live bacteria in the kombucha.

4. Use a gummy dropper, syringe or small spoon to pour the liquid into the moulds. Don’t attempt to pour it in with a measuring cup, we did this and it was too messy!

5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until gummies have hardened. To store, place them in an airtight container for 5 days.

For more desserts that’ll give you major heart-eyes, make a batch of no-bake strawberry “cheesecake” bites, an easy stovetop s’mores dip or one of these sinful chocolate dessert recipes.

Brad Smith’s Dinner Date Dos and Don’ts

As a former Bachelor star, current Chopped Canada host Brad Smith knows a thing or two about dating. We caught up with Smith to learn some of his best tips for a deliciously simple and romantic date night, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Brad Smith

Don’t Wait for V-Day
Valentine’s Day is just another day of the week,” says Brad. If your romance needs rekindling, celebrate it, but otherwise being thoughtful and caring with every date is the best approach.

Forget the Dark Corners — Love Needs Light
“Do go somewhere where you can hear [your date],” says Smith, preferably a spot that’s not too dark. And if you can, sit next to each other. “I always order a four person table and then tell them it’s only two people. That way we can both sit in the booth or both sit on the chairs.” This proximity helps establish a closer connection, Smith suggests.

Turn it Off to Turn Them On
Brad Smith reveals another advantage of sitting close is that’s it’s harder to reach for the date-killer lurking in your pocket — your phone.

Mac and Cheese

“Whether you make mac and cheese or fine dining, the important part is trying,” says Smith.

Trying is Sexy
If you want to impress your boo — on Valentine’s Day or any other — it’s all about effort. “You can make me macaroni and cheese and hot dogs and I’d like it as much as if you made me some fine dining,” explains Smith. “There’s nothing like coming home to the thought of someone doing something for you, regardless of what it is.”

Be Clear About Your Intentions
“In the industry I’m in, you either meet people you’ve known beforehand or you meet people at events and they’re kind of like your first date,” he says. “You don’t have to be like, ‘Oh, can we get a drink?’ because you just had a drink and talked for three hours at an event.” But in other professions, Smith admits a little candour goes a long way. Always establish that a date is a date, and not, say, a networking lunch or business coffee.

Tune-in on Saturdays at 9 E/P to catch Brad Smith on Chopped Canada.

The Notebook

‘The Notebook’ Inspired Romantic Movie Menu

Bourbon iced tea cocktails, popcorn rock shrimp and a restaurant-worthy crab dish are at the heart of this seafood-heavy Valentine’s Day menu inspired by the seaside town where Noah and Allie’s epic love story unfolds.

Set in the 1940’s this tear-jerker tells the life-long love story of lovers from two different worlds who meet one hot, sun-soaked summer.

The chemistry between Noah and Allie (played by Canadians Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) is what fuels this epic romance that has become one of the most heart-squeezing, tissue-drenching love stories of a generation.

Back Nine Cocktails

Bourbon Iced Tea
A few sips of these sweet tea and bourbon cocktails and you’ll be transported to hazy summer evenings spent watching the sun go down on a wrap-around porch.

Popcorn Rock Shrimp

Popcorn Rock Shrimp with Spicy Honey
Inspired by their first date at the movies, this playful popcorn shrimp appetizer combines the sweetness of honey with a dash of spicy chili flakes and smoked paprika to heat things up.

Beer Steamed Mussels
When Allie shows up after seven years at the big white plantation house that Noah built for her, they catch up over beers and steamed seafood. This sharable beer and mussel dish is infused with lime, chorizo, red pepper and garlic.

Crab Pasta

Fogo Island Crab & Kina Pappardelle with Preserved Lemon

Impress your date with this restaurant-worthy pappardelle pasta and crab dish that’s a nod to the fictional seaside town of Seabrook, South Carolina that serves as the backdrop to their story.

Crepe Cake

 

Maple Pecan Crêpe Cake

Upon meeting Allie for the first time, Noah’s father whips up a big batch of pancakes. Cap off your romantic meal with breakfast for dessert in the form of this elegant crepe cake drenched with pure maple syrup.