Thursday, February 11, 2016

Romance Week Day 4: Look What's Cooking Now!

Song Stuck on the Brain: L-O-V-E by Michael Buble

Welcome to Romance Week hosted by the cast of Justice Burning and Dysfunction Junction! Every day this week different characters will be sharing their tips and ideas on how to have the sweetest and/or most romantic Valentine’s Day.

There is also a contest to win 1 of 3 prize packs containing books and music. Be sure to check out the contest and enter at the bottom of the post.

Today, we welcome Ember McLeod from Justice Burning, book 1 in the Heroes in Justice Series and Alexa Fehr from Dysfunction Junction, book 1 in the Dream Big Series
Alicia Silverstone,
my cast for Alexa Fehr

Hello, Ember, thanks for joining me today. I hear your a junior at Justice High this year, how is that going?
Hi Alexa! School is great, it keeps me busy. I am so excited to finally meet you.I hear you're an awesome cook. 
Thanks, do you like to cook?
Molly Quinn,
my cast as Ember McLeod
I do! I like trying new ingredients and creating new recipes. I watch the cooking shows sometimes to get ideas.
That's impressive. What was your most creative dish?
Peanut Butter Tuna Fish casserole.
Oh... well, *cough* that sounds... interesting. How did it turn out?
Not as well as I'd hoped. I watched a show about Thai recipes and they used peanut sauce a lot and it just looked so good. Fish seemed like a good option, but all we had was tuna in a packet. I added some chunky peanut butter to the casserole and thought it would be great, but no one but dad even made an effort to eat it. I have to admit, it did smell a little funky. 
Aidan McLeod is a good dad. :) It sounds like you have creative ideas that just need refining. With practice you'll be great. How would you like to help me plan a Valentine's Day dinner?
That would be fantastic! I would love to surprise Dad and the family with an awesome dinner. 
Good. What did you plan to cook?
I had a couple of ideas. The guys at the firehouse love chili and I saw a really cool magazine picture for Chocolate chili. That seemed like a cool twist. I bought chocolate bars to stir in so it would be really creamy.
Okay, well, chocolate is used in a mole sauce, but it's not made with regular candy bars. The sugar wouldn't flavor well in the chili. Plus, for those wanting a romantic dinner... well, beans should probably be avoided. Chocolate could be used in the dessert though. How about steak or roast?
That sounds good, roast is popular, but it doesn't seem very special. How do we get it to stand out?
Oh there are lots of recipes to make a roast stand out, but when it comes down to it, a super tender, slow cooked pork tenderloin or beef brisket that melts in your mouth is a star all on its own. Check out this Garlic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin.
Oh, this looks delicious. I think I could cook this. 
Garlic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
Sure you can, just follow the directions. Spicing up a recipe isn't bad, but you need to know flavors and how they work together first and that takes practice. 
So, now I need a side dish. Oh, how about twice baked sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are so popular right now. We could add brown sugar to mash with butter and garlic, maybe some green onions. Top it with bacon, cheddar and sour cream.
My, you do have a creative palate. Twice baked sweet potatoes might taste fine, but I'd skip the garlic onions and other traditional toppings and maybe use cinnamon and mini marshmallows instead. Or, you could try Parmesan-Herb Roasted Potatoes instead. 
Yum, those look delicious. You're good at this. What would you serve for a Valentine's Dinner?
Oh, I've got a dinner for you! Let's start with an appetizer, stuffed mushrooms are delicious with beef. Then for our vegetable either roasted asparagus or roasted Brussels sprouts. Serve that with a perfectly seared steak and buttery soft homemade rolls. Sounds good right?
Sounds amazing! What about a potato or starch?
The roasted potatoes would be perfect and for dessert? How about a strawberry chocolate tart? 
That's beautiful. This looks like a lot of work, do you think it's too hard? 
No way, with practice and good time management, you can do all of this, it's wonderful rich flavors but not overly complicated to cook. And if your family or sweetie likes things less fancy? Then do that. Serve those amazing chocolate chip cookies that Keegan mentioned earlier this week. The dinner should be about celebrating the relationship of those enjoying it. Don't try to be something you aren't - but don't be afraid to be adventurous either. New flavors are fun to find! 
This is so cool, I can't wait to surprise my family this Sunday. Thanks for the tips, Alexa. Happy Valentine's Day. 
You're welcome, Ember. Bon Apetite!

Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms 

with Creamy Hot Sauce

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan

Parmesan Herb Knots

Pan Seared Steak
No-Bake Strawberry Chocolate Torte
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you want to add a finishing touch, try one of these super tasty and refreshing drinks. 
Mock Champagne and Raspberries

Mint Limeade Fizz

 Want more dinner ideas? Check out all the yummy options on the Romantic Meals Pinboard.

Follow April's board Romantic Meals on Pinterest.

Don't forget to enter the Valentine's Day Super Romance Giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 prize bundles! Be sure to share this with all your friends and loved ones too, who knows it just might make your day!

To enter, simply fill out the entry form below and complete at least one option to be entered. Complete additional options for extra entries. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with Alexa and her girlfriends on their Pinterest pages! Follow April's board Dysfunction Junction: Kianna Ravencamp on Pinterest.
Follow April's board Dysfunction Junction: Alexa Fehr on Pinterest.
Follow April's board Dysfunction Junction: Hope Campbell on Pinterest.
Follow April's board Dysfunction Junction: Carissa Fuller on Pinterest.
Follow April's board Independence, MO - Hometown Lowdown on Pinterest.

Looking for more romance and excitement? 

Be sure to visit Susanne Matthews at Living the Dream to read more about her Romantic Suspense The Harvester Series. A sensual romantic suspense series that will take you "From the streets of Boston to the wilds of Alaska..." 

Love beyond this world? For something out of the ordinary, try A.B. Funkhauser's Award Winning post mortem mortuary romance complete with happy ending! HEUER LOST AND FOUND 

Visit Author Mary Ann Cortez at her blog The Write Place and enter to WIN an autographed copy of First Love anthology and a bookmark with heart charm. 

That magic moment for a teen. The realization that the person you’ve liked is a little more than a friend. Chance meetings. Old friendships. Even a social media post. These can all lead to that first love. Solstice Publishing is proud to present First Love, a Summer Solstive Valentine's Day Anthology.

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