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A Valentine's Day "Brinner" Menu

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Valentine's Day is swiftly approaching, and you're probably in a state of panic after hearing everyone else gush their romantic plans for the evening. So instead of paying for an overprice meal in a packed-to-the-gills restaurant, why not show some culinary skill and engage in a gesture that's more meaningful and intimate that doesn't require dressing up and waiting in a cramped doorway for half an hour even though you made reservations.

I asked a friend of mine, Adrian Ashby, (chef extraordinaire) to come up with some easy, delicious and accessible recipes for a fun and semi-sophisticated Valentine's Day at home. The story behind these recipes...

Adrian's lady love is a fan of breakfast for dinner ( a.k.a "brinner"), so being that awesome guy that he is, here's what he created for our special Valentine's Day menu: Brie & Honey Tartlets, Lemon Sorbet Bellinis and Chocolate Waffles (best paired with a side of bacon and/or sausage and eggs).

Brie & Honey Tartlets

Make a wonderful savory sweet appetizer with just a hint of saltiness. They're super easy to make and they're great for parties.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of mini fillo dough shells
  • 8 oz Brie cheese
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 4 oz Prosciutto
  • 8 strawberries, halved

Directions:

  1. Bake your mini fillo dough shells following to the manufacturer’s instructions; set aside to cool.
  2. Add a drop of Nutella in each fillo shell.
  3. Slice the prosciutto into small squares, and place into each fillo shell, on top of the Nutella drop.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the Brie, honey and heavy cream until smooth, using a hand mixer.
  5. Spoon the Brie mixture into the prepared fillo shells and garnish with strawberry halves. Serve at room temperature.

Chocolate Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Heat your waffle iron to medium-high to high heat.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium mixing bowl; gently whisk until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and eggs until smooth in texture. Add the melted butter, sour cream and vanilla extract; blend until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mix and whisk once more until the batter is combined. A lumpy batter is just fine! Prepare the batter in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To warm the waffles before serving, place them on an oven rack at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lemon Sorbet Bellini

Ingredients:

  • 1 small scoop of softened lemon sorbet
  • 5 oz Brut champagne
  • 2 – 3 strawberry halves, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour champagne into a chilled champagne flute. (The easiest way to chill the glass is to fill it with ice and add a little cold water; let is sit for about 5-10 minutes and dump out the ice water).
  2. Add small scoop of softened lemon sorbet to the champagne and garnish your bellini with strawberry halves by placing them on the rim of the flute.

So whether you're single or taken, you can enjoy these recipes year round. They're easy to make, slightly decadent and are bound to impress your loved ones.

Want more of Adrian? Check out this great video, where he teaches you how to make his sinfully mouthwatering Bacon Caramel Muffins.

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