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February 2010 Issue
by Sandra Lee
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Leave the restaurant crowds behind this Valentine’s Day, and treat your favorite sweetie to a delicious dinner in the comfort of your own home. Sweep your loved one (or crush) off their feet with a five-star meal that will have you skipping the dining-out crowd every year. Go all red for a striking tablescape, top it with some beautiful blossoms, then roll out the courses that will make your Valentine think you have spent hours cooking. Few foods speak of love like chocolate…so add it into your main dish! For a perfect presentation for dessert - cherries and a cloud of whipped topping are the perfect way to end on a sweet note.

 

Asiago-Ham Pinwheels

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cocktail Time, by Sandra Lee
Copyright © 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc. www.sandralee.com
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed according to package directions, Pepperidge Farm®
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves, Smucker’s®
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, Grey Poupon®
  • 1/4 cup dried currants, Sun-Maid®
  • 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese, DiGiorno®
  • 1 package (6-ounce) thinly sliced cooked ham, Hillshire Farm®
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry sheet. Using a rolling pin, roll sheet into 14×11-inch rectangle.

  2. In a bowl, combine preserves and mustard. Spread mixture over puff pastry, leaving a 1/2 -inch border. Sprinkle with currants and cheese. Top with ham slices. Starting with a short side, roll rectangle up in a spiral. Using a pastry brush, lightly moisten edge with water; pinch to seal seam. Slice pastry roll into sixteen 1/2-inch slices. Place pinwheels, cut sides down, on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.
  • Yields: 16 pinwheels
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
 

 

Arugula Peach Salad

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders, by Sandra Lee
Copyright © 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc. www.sandralee.com
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, Gourmet Garden®
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens, Fresh Express®
  • 1 cup arugula, Fresh Express®
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups frozen peaches, thawed, Dole®
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, rinsed in cold water, and drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, Peloponnese®
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • Newman’s Own® Balsamic Natural Salad Mist
  1. Rub the garlic inside a wooden salad bowl. Add the mixed greens and arugula and toss with the oil and salt; set aside. Add the peaches, onion, and olives. To chiffonade the basil, stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up lengthwise. Thinly slice the leaves. Add the basil to the greens and toss. Divide salad among serving 4 plates and spray with salad mist.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
 

 

Tomato Basil Capellini

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders, by Sandra Lee
Copyright © 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc. www.sandralee.com
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, Christopher Ranch®
  • 1 can (28-ounce) petite diced tomatoes, Hunt’s®
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn into dime-size pieces
  • 1 box (16-ounce) capellini or angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions, DeCecco®
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta, Sargento®
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, McCormick®
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Sargento®
  1. In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook and stir until the cloves are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the salt and torn basil. Toss the sauce with the pasta.

  2. Place ricotta cheese in a microwave safe container and stir in Italian seasoning. Cover and microwave on high setting (100 percent power) for 60 seconds or until heated through.

  3. Place pasta on 4 individual serving plates and spoon 1/4 cup ricotta cheese in the center. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over cheese.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
 

 

Black Forest Napoleons

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders, by Sandra Lee
Copyright © 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc. www.sandralee.com
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed, Pepperidge Farm®
  • 1 box (3.8-ounce) instant devil’s food pudding and pie filling, Jell-O®
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 jar (10-ounce) maraschino cherries (reserve 1/2 cup juice), Mariana®
  • 1 container (8-ounce) whipped dessert topping, thawed, Cool Whip®
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, Domino®/C&H®
  • Chocolate syrup, Hershey’s®
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Unroll puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Cut sheet into thirds along existing folds. Cut each third in half and then again in half for 12 total rectangles. Place 2 inches apart an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet; cool on wire rack.

  3. In a large bowl, stir together pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes; let stand for 3 minutes to thicken. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. Stir reserved cherry syrup into thawed whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  5. In a small bowl, stir heavy cream into powdered sugar until mixture is smooth. To assemble, split pastry rectangles in half horizontally. Place pastry bottoms on dessert plates. Spoon pudding mixture over pastry bottoms. Top each with another piece of pastry. Spread whipped topping over pastry. Top each with pastry top. Spread glaze over pastry. Drizzle each with chocolate syrup; top with a maraschino cherry.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
 

 

Kissable

Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cocktail Time, by Sandra Lee
Copyright © 2009 SLSH Enterprises, Inc. www.sandralee.com
  • 1 ½ ounces milk
  • ¾ ounce orange flavored vodka, Smirnoff®
  • ¾ ounce white crème de cacao
  • ice cubes
  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine milk, vodka, and crème de cacao. Add ice; cover and shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
 

 

Chocolate-Covered Cherries

These chocolate-covered cherries are absolutely addictive. For a fun yet elegant dessert, pour a splash of cherry syrup into a martini glass, then top off with white- and dark-dipped cherries. For a more spirited dessert, spike the syrup with brandy or a fruit liqueur, like Grand Marnier®. Eat the cherries, then drink the syrup for a nightcap chaser. To add black-tie style to a dinner party or buffet, group filled glasses on stacked silver trays and have them do double duty as a centerpiece, or set a filled glass at each place setting to complete your tablescape. To make thoughtful gifts for Valentine’s Day, fill a red take-out container and give that special someone a box of cherry bonbons.
Excerpted from the book, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Desserts, by Sandra Lee
Copyright © 2005 SLSH Enterprises, Inc. www.sandralee.com
  • 40 maraschino cherries with stems (packed in heavy syrup), drained well
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels, Nestlé®
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) premier white morsels, Nestlé®
  1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Pat cherries dry with paper towels.

  2. Melt semisweet chocolate and white morsels separately in stainless- steel bowls set over pans of simmering water, stirring until smooth.

  3. Holding stem of cherry, dip cherry into either melted chocolate or melted white morsels to coat. Transfer dipped cherry to prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining cherries and melted chocolate or melted white morsels. Refrigerate for about 40 minutes or until set.
  • Yields: 40 cherries
  • Total Time: 1 hour
 



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