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Valentine's Day Done Right


Photos and Words by Nisha Almola

Valentines day is tomorrow! For those of you who are having trouble making reservations, or haven’t found the perfect way to show your loved one how much you care, don’t worry! You can cook an easy, yet classy and romantic Italian inspired dinner right at home.

Start off with a plate of tomato Bruschetta, which only takes 20 minutes to make.



1/4 cup of olive oil 1 French baguette, cut into ¾  inch slices 1 cup of diced tomatoes 1/3 cup of chopped basil leaves 2 teaspoons of minced garlic 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/8teaspoon of ground black pepper


  1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the bread slices on your baking sheet. Brush the tops of the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the bread is lightly toasted.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the diced tomatoes, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped basil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the toasted bread and serve immediately.

After this scrumptious appetizer, bring out the main course: basil cream chicken over fettuccini, which also only takes 20 minutes to prepare.



1 lb cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast 1 cup of minced onions 3/4 lb of sliced mushrooms 2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil 1/4 teaspoon of pepper 2 tablespoons of oil 3 tablespoons of butter 3 tablespoons of flour 2 cups of chicken broth 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon 1 cup whipping cream Cooked and drained fettuccine


  1. Sauté the chicken, onions, and mushrooms in the oil for approximately 4 minutes
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour until it forms a smooth mixture
  3. Add the chicken broth, bouillon, and cream to the saucepan
  4.  Stir in the minced basil and pepper
  5. Allow the mixture to boil and stir it for 2 minutes as it cooks
  6. Add the sauté mixture to the saucepan
  7. Stir continuously for another 2 minutes and then serve over the fettuccini

At this point, the two of you are probably stuffed and satisfied. But there’s always room for a rich and delicious chocolate fondue.



3/4 cup of heavy cream 1 lb of milk or dark chocolate, broken into pieces 1 pint of freshly cut strawberries 1 store-bought pound cake, cut into 1 inch pieces 8 ounces of dried fruit (such as pineapple, kiwi, banana slices, etc


  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the cream and chocolate.
  2. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts
  3. Transfer the fondue into a serving bowl
  4. Serve immediately with forks for dipping strawberries, pound cake, pineapples, bananas, and kiwis.

There you have it! A delightful Valentine’s candlelight dinner you will always cherish. After all, the way to a man’s or woman’s (yes, guys you can cook this too!) heart is through their stomach