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I hope you enjoy the recipes!

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1. Cosmopolitan Lovespell Cocktail
2. Double Chocolate Valentine Cake 
3. Sweet and Spicy Tomato Soup
4. Cupid's Beet Salad
5. Romantic Apple, Roquefort, and Red Leaf Lettuce Salad
6. Fish with Tomato Herb Salad for Lovers
7. Sizzling Veal Chops with Arugula
8. Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops with Blushing Cherry Tomatoes
9. Chocolate-Kissed Hazelnut Mousse Cake
10. Romeo's Orange Coeurs la Crème with Strawberry Raspberry Sauce
1. Cosmopolitan Lovespell Cocktail
We thought we would update the popular Cosmopolitan by substituting Champagne for the usual lemon vodka. We garnished the drinks with skewers of sugar-coated fresh cranberries (thawed frozen ones will work just fine, too).
Active time: 15 min. Start to finish: 2 1/4 hr.
Servings: Makes 10 drinks

1 1/4 cups Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 1/4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
4 cups chilled Champagne or other sparkling wine
Stir together Cointreau, juices, and sugar and chill, covered, 2 to 6 hours. Just before serving, divide among 10 Champagne flutes and top off with Champagne.
Source: Epicurious
2. Double Chocolate Valentine Cake
This old-fashioned chocolate cake made our staff swoon! Chef Ed Kasky uses Callebaut semisweet chocolate for the cake and Guittard French-vanilla chocolate for the frosting, but any fine-quality semisweet chocolate will produce a wonderful result in either.
Servings: Serves 12 to 14.

For cake layers
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Special equipment: two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 300F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting:
Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).

Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.
Source: Epicurious
3. Sweet and Spicy Tomato Soup

We prefer the taste of organic canned tomatoes in this particular recipe, as they tend to be sweeter. If using other canned tomatoes, you might want to add a bit more sugar to balance their acidity.

Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 40 min
Servings: Makes 4 servings.

2 (28- to 32-oz) cans whole tomatoes in juice (preferably organic)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno chile including seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (18 fl oz)
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Drain 1 can tomatoes, discarding juice, then purée with remaining can tomatoes (including juice) in a blender.

Cook onion, garlic, chile, and ginger in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy nonreactive pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in puréed tomatoes, broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Working in 3 or 4 batches, blend soup in blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).

Transfer soup as blended to a sieve set over a large bowl and force through sieve, discarding seeds.

Stir in sugar and salt to taste. Reheat in cleaned saucepan if necessary.
Source: Epicurious
4. Cupid's Beet Salad

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 1 3/4 hr
Servings: Makes 4 servings.

1 bunch beets (3/4 lb without greens or 1 1/4 lb with), trimmed
1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large Asian pear
3 cups baby arugula (3 oz)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Wrap beets in foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap beets and cool.

While beets are roasting, cook almonds in oil in a small skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden. Cool almonds in oil (nuts will get darker as they cool). Transfer almonds with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and season with salt.

Stir together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil from almonds in a large bowl.

Slip skins from beets and halve large beets. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices and add to dressing, tossing to coat.

Quarter and core pear and cut into julienne strips.

Arrange beets on a platter and drizzle with any dressing remaining in bowl. Top with arugula, then pear. Sprinkle with almonds.

Cooks' note:
Beets may be roasted and tossed with dressing 1 day ahead, then chilled and covered. (Keep toasted almonds, covered, at room temperature. Bring dressing to room temperature before using.)
Source: Epicurious
5. Romantic Apple, Roquefort, and Red Leaf Lettuce Salad
Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 20 min
Servings: Makes 6 servings.

1/2 lb thick-cut bacon slices (5), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
3 slices pumpernickel bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Granny Smith apple
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (6 cups)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort (2 oz)

Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then add pumpernickel to fat in skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together vinegar and mustard. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified, then season with salt and pepper.

Halve apple lengthwise and core. Cut apple halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Toss lettuce with cranberries, apple, croutons, half of bacon, and dressing. Divide salad among plates, then dot with Roquefort and sprinkle with remaining bacon.
Source: Epicurious
6. Fish with Tomato Herb Salad for Lovers

Active time: 35 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr
Servings: Makes 6 servings.


For cucumber tomato water
1 (1/2-lb) cucumber, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 (1/4-lb) tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
1/4 teaspoon salt

For tomato herb salad
1 lemon
1 lb assorted small heirloom tomatoes, halved (larger ones quartered)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh lemon balm (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt

For fish
6 (5- to 7-oz) mild white-fleshed fish fillets such as flounder, sea bass, or snapper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Make cucumber tomato water:
Purée cucumber, tomato, curry powder, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Line a fine-mesh sieve with a dampened paper towel and set over a large glass measure, then transfer cucumber mixture to sieve and let drain until liquid measures 2/3 cup, about 20 minutes.

If liquid measures less than 2/3 cup, gently squeeze paper towel over sieve until liquid totals 2/3 cup. Discard solids and transfer liquid to a 2- to 3-quart saucepan.

Boil cucumber tomato water until reduced to about 1/3 cup, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Make tomato herb salad:
Cut peel, including all white pith, from lemon with a sharp paring knife. Working over a bowl, cut segments free from membranes, letting segments fall into bowl, then chop segments, reserving juice in a cup.

Gently toss lemon segments and reserved juice with remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in cooled cucumber tomato water.

Bake fish:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500F.

Rinse fish and pat dry. Brush fillets all over with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake fillets in 1 layer in a lightly oiled shallow baking pan until just cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.

Serve tomato herb salad on top of fish.
Source: Epicurious
7. Sizzling Veal Chops with Arugula

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 40 min
Servings: Makes 4 servings.

4 (1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick) veal rib chops (10 to 12 oz each), bones frenched if desired
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
2 small bunches arugula, trimmed

Preheat oven to 425F.

Pat veal chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet (see cooks' note, below) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear chops until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast chops until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into a chop registers 155F (do not touch bone), 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness).

While chops are roasting, mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large heavy knife), then transfer half of paste to a bowl and whisk in 1/2 tablespoon vinegar, remaining tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer chops to a plate and keep warm. Add shallot and remaining garlic paste to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add wine and remaining tablespoon vinegar and boil, scraping up brown bits, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Add broth and rosemary and boil until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, swirling skillet to incorporate, then stir in any veal juices accumulated on plate. Season with salt and pepper.

Add arugula to dressing and toss to coat. Serve chops with sauce and arugula.

Cooks' note:
If your skillet isn't ovenproof, wrap handle with heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil) before roasting.
Source: Epicurious
8. Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops with Blushing Cherry Tomatoes

If you are using cherry tomatoes on the vine and get 1 large cluster, simply cut the vines into 4 clusters before grilling and serving with the lamb.

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 2 1/4 hr
Servings: Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 rib lamb chops (1 1/2 lb total), bones frenched and all fat trimmed
1 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes (preferably on the vine)
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
barley with toasted cumin and mint
Special equipment: a 12- by 8- by 2-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan

Stir together honey, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper and transfer to a sealable plastic bag. Add lamb, then seal bag, pressing out excess air and turning to distribute marinade. Marinate lamb, chilled, turning occasionally, 1 hour. Bring lamb to room temperature. Prepare grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill and on lid.

Remove lamb from marinade, reserving marinade. When fire is medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds), grill lamb on lightly oiled grill rack, turning once, about 4 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, covered.

Cook tomatoes (still on vine, if using) in disposable roasting pan, covered with grill lid, carefully turning, until softened and just beginning to split, about 8 minutes. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over tomatoes, turning to coat, then cook, uncovered, until vinegar is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Remove from grill.

Bring reserved marinade with any lamb juices accumulated on platter to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, covered.

Drizzle lamb with marinade and serve with tomatoes.

Cooks' note:
Lamb and tomatoes can also be grilled in batches in a lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat (tomatoes will take less time to soften, about 3 minutes).

Nutritional Information:
Each serving (including barley) contains about 429 calories and 14 grams fat.
Source: Epicurious
9. Chocolate-Kissed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 4 1/2 hr (includes chilling)
Servings: Makes 6 to 8 servings.


For shortbread base
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

For mousse
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread such as Nutella (5 oz)
1/2 cup mascarpone (1/4 lb)
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar

For ganache
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

Special equipment: an 8-inch (20-cm) springform pan; parchment paper

Make shortbread base:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Invert bottom of springform pan (to make it easier to slide shortbread base off bottom), then lock on side of pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Pulse hazelnuts with sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add flour, butter, cocoa, and salt and pulse just until a dough forms.

Press dough evenly onto bottom of springform pan with your fingers. Prick all over with a fork, then bake until just dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer base in pan to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Remove side of pan and carefully slide out parchment from under shortbread, then reattach side of pan around shortbread base.

Make mousse while shortbread cools:
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in chocolate hazelnut spread until combined and remove from heat.

Whisk together mascarpone and chocolate hazelnut mixture in a large bowl. Beat together cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed until just combined, then increase speed to high and beat until cream just holds soft peaks. Whisk one third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream until well combined. Spoon filling onto shortbread base in pan, gently smoothing top, then chill, covered, at least 3 hours.

Make ganache and glaze cake:
Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan and remove from heat. Add chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until completely melted and smooth. Transfer ganache to a small bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened but still pourable, about 20 minutes.

Run a warm thin knife around inside of springform pan, then remove side. Slide cake off bottom of pan and transfer to a serving plate. Pour ganache onto top of cake and spread, allowing excess ganache to drip down sides.

Cooks' notes:
Cake, without glaze, can be chilled up to 2 days.
Cake can be glazed 6 hours ahead and chilled, uncovered.
Source: Epicurious
10. Romeo's Orange Coeurs la Crème with Strawberry Raspberry Sauce
You can find the Neufchatel cheese called for here next to the cream cheese at your supermarket. Don't be alarmed by the holes in your
coeur la
crème molds - they allow liquid to drain out of the bottom so the hearts will be firm enough to hold their shape.

Active time: 30 min
Start to finish: 8 1/2 hr
Servings: Makes 6 servings.

1/3 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
4 oz Neufchatel cheese
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
5 oz strawberries, quartered (1 cup)
3 oz raspberries (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
Special equipment: cheesecloth; 6 (3-inch) heart-shaped
coeur la
crème molds

Cut 6 (8- by- 6-inch) rectangles of cheesecloth without unfolding it. Rinse with cold water and wring dry. Line molds with damp cheesecloth, allowing it to hang over sides, and put molds in a shallow baking pan.

Purée cottage cheese with 1/3 cup sugar and zest in a food processor or blender until very smooth, then add Neufchatel cheese and purée until smooth. Add yogurt and pulse just until blended, then divide mixture among molds. Cover tops of molds with a sheet of plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 8 hours.

Purée berries with liqueur and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor, then force through a fine-mesh sieve set into a bowl, discarding seeds.

Invert molds onto dessert plates and remove cheesecloth. Serve
coeurs la
drizzled with sauce.

Cooks' notes:
If you don't have molds, cut 6 (12-ounce) paper cups to make shorter cups, 2 to 3 inches high. With a wooden pick, poke about 10 holes in bottom of each cup, enlarging holes slightly with pick. Line cups with dampened cheesecloth.

Coeurs la
and sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled separately, covered.

Nutritional Information:
Each serving contains about 159 calories and 6 grams fat.
Source: Epicurious
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