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Caribbean Cooking: Be My Valentine!

Valentine Food For Thought, a poem by Jeanne Losey

Cabbage always has a heart; green beans string along.
You’re such a cute tomato; will you peas to me belong?
You’ve been the apple of my eye, you know how much I care;
So lettuce get together, we’d make a perfect pear.

Now, something’s sure to turnip to prove you can’t be beet;
So, if you carrot all for me let’s let our tulips meet.
Don’t squash my hopes and dreams now, bee my honey, dear;
Or tears will fill potato’s eyes, while sweet corn lends an ear.

I’ll cauliflower shop and say, your dreams are parsley mine.
I’ll work and share my celery, so be my valentine.

MENU for the day

Breakfast:

CREAM CHEESE AND APPLE FRENCH TOAST

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: two

Filling:
1 Granny Smith apple
1 tsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
4 slices bread, crust removed

Batter:
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 Tblsp. Vanilla
1/8 cup milk
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Garnish: Mint leaves and maple syrup

Peel, core and dice apple; fry in butter until softened. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cream cheese.  When heated through spread mixture between two slices of bread. Mix together egg, vanilla, milk and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Heat skillet. Place prepared bread into egg mixture, turn, then pan fry until golden on both sides. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with maple syrup.

Lunch: GREEN TOSSED SALAD and CROISSANT BAKE

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: two

2 croissants
Dijon mustard, to taste
2 slices smoked turkey or ham
2 slices cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375ºF/190ºC. Halve croissants lengthwise. Smear with mustard then layer with slices of ham and cheese. Put in buttered ramekins – must fit snugly. Whisk eggs and milk together, season with salt and pepper and pour half over croissants. Place top on croissants and pour remaining egg mixture over each croissant. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 325ºF/160ºC and continue baking until set, about 15 minutes.

Dinner: ROASTED RED SNAPPER WITH SALSA

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 20 minutes
Serves: two

2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp lime juice
1 Tblsp chopped cilantro
2 – 8 oz/225 g snapper fillets
Salt and pepper
1/2 bunch arugula
1/2 bunch watercress

Salsa:
1 large tomato
1 Tblsp. scallions, chopped
1 Tblsp. cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 400ºF/200ºC. Combine oil, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl. Place fish (skin side down) on a greased baking sheet. Brush with oil mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest 20 minutes. Then bake for 20 minutes. Meantime, combine salsa ingredients in food processor and pulse lightly. Arrange arugula and watercress on plates, lay snapper over greens and top with salsa.

HERBED ORANGE RICE

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: two

2 tsp. butter
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup Basmati rice
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
Pinch salt
1 Tblsp. scallions, chopped
1 Tblsp. Italian parsley, chopped

Melt butter and sauté onion over low heat, briefly. Add rice and cook, stirring for three minutes. Add the broth, orange juice, ginger, zest, and salt; bring to a boil. Cook covered over low heat approximately 20 minutes. Fluff with fork. Stir in scallions and parsley

“Knock Your Socks Off” Chocolate Cake

For Valentines Day, this is a very moist, delicious cake filled with all kinds of sensual delights.

1 (18.25 oz) package devil’s food cake mix
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar or powdered sugar
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare chocolate cake according to directions, using a 9×13 inch baking pan.
When the cake has finished cooking and cooling, mix cream cheese and sugar together until blended in a medium-size mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat heavy cream with sugar and vanilla to taste.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cake. Next, pour the cherry pie filling over the cream cheese mixture. Cover with the whipped cream and serve “to each other.”

Note: This cake is a wonderful combination of a black forest cake and cherry cheesecake.

Hint: The cake may be made ahead, topped with the cream cheese mixture and cherry pie filling and then refrigerated. Add whipped cream just before serving.

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