I got home last night with an SUV full of groceries, a dinner menu that would suggest I was suffering from delusions of grandeur, and a crabby attitude because it was 7:00 pm and I needed blog pictures fast! My darling daughter scampered downstairs to do homework (or so she says … I think she just might have sensed my mood and hit the escape hatch to save herself), and my long-suffering husband was stuck … on a tightrope without a net, camera in hand, tentatively attempting to assist Cruella DeVil with her romantic Valentine’s dinner idea.
And thus the heart attack began. But it got better – we cut hearts out of peppers, hearts out of meat … we cut hearts out of taters, carrots and even ground beef! There were hearts everywhere … from the door to the floor … the hearts were so cute we just kept wanting more!
So it turns out that the very act of preparing a cute Valentine’s dinner can warm your heart. Our dinner was darling … and my honey is too! But it’s a good thing Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, because I’m tellin’ you now … you won’t have time to do this very often! Happy Heart Day, friends! Make dinner for someone you love.
- Spaghetti Primavera with Chicken Medallions
- Heart-Shaped Breadsticks
- Veggie Hearts
Spaghetti Primavera with Chicken Medallions
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
14 oz. jar Alfredo sauce
2 Tbsp. (1 capful) Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix
2 cups assorted chopped veggies (I used sliced sugar snap peas, carrots and bell peppers)
4 servings cooked, hot spaghetti
For heart-shaped chicken medallions:
- Trim any fat off the chicken breasts.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Place chicken on the plastic wrap and cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap.
- Pound the chicken with a meat mallet until it’s about ¼¨ thick.
- Place a sturdy metal cookie cutter on the chicken breast; tap it into the meat with your mallet. (You may need to trim around the cookie cutter with a sharp knife.)
- Keep doing this until you have four medallions.
- Season the chicken to taste with Seasoned Salt and pepper (preferably Tastefully Simple’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning, if you are lucky enough to have some left!).
- Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan and sauté the chicken until it’s completely cooked.
- Cut the remaining chicken into bite-sized chunks, sauté them and toss them into your sauce.
For the sauce:
- Blend the Alfredo sauce with the Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix; heat gently.
- While that’s heating, sauté your chopped veggies in the same pan you used to cook the chicken. (Don’t wash the pan between cooking the chicken and veggies; just add a little more oil if you need to.)
- Toss the veggies into the Alfredo sauce mixture and keep warm until your spaghetti is ready.
Place spaghetti on individual plates; top each with Alfredo sauce and a medallion or two of chicken. Makes about 4 servings.
11 oz. tube refrigerated breadsticks
1-2 Tbsp. Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning, prepared with butter as directed
Shape each breadstick into a heart; bake as directed. Remove from oven and immediately brush with prepared Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning butter.
Various veggies – I used red bell pepper, carrots and cucumbers
Various sizes of heart-shaped metal cookie or aspic cutters
Slice up the veggies and cut them with cutters. Serve plain or with the Tastefully Simple dip of your choice.
- My heart-shaped cutters were very sturdy, which was especially important for cutting the chicken medallions
- I bought pre-sliced carrots – easy!
- I bought an English cucumber because their seeds are very tiny. This made cutting hearts easier.
- Cut the bell peppers from the outside in, otherwise the “skin” that’s on the outside is difficult to cut all the way through.
- Store-bought Alfredo sauce with Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto mixed in is awesome!
- For the Heart-Shaped Breadsticks – I tried twisting the dough first (like you might twist a crepe-paper streamer) then shaping it into a heart. This did not work well – too much going on. Just straighten out the dough and shape it into a heart – two well-placed pinches and you’re there!
- Use sautéed shrimp instead of chicken.
- Place two shrimps (two shrimp?) together to make a heart!
- I also made heart-shaped meatloaf with heart-shaped fried potatoes (remember … I was delusional!).
- I was only going to share the best dinner with all of you, but they both turned out so cute that I can’t resist sharing the meatloaf photo!
- There are lots of meatloaf recipes on our website. I made one and put it into a mini heart-shaped pan. I also made one in a regular-sized heart-shaped cake pan.
- For the fried potatoes I used some potatoes that I had baked the day before, so they were cooked and cold. I sliced them into rounds then cut them with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. It was the easiest cutting we did all night! Then I seasoned them with Seasoned Salt and pepper and fried them in olive oil. They were adorable (and delicious)!
- I fried the potato “scraps” in a separate pan. My husband took them along with leftover meatloaf to work today for lunch.