Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentines Day finger foods

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It's almost Valentines day, everyone! This is my first one as a married lady, so I'm pretty set on making it a good one. I have quite a few friends who are unsure about what to make their boyfriends/husbands for this special holiday. I'm a big fan of staying in, because honestly, who wants to wait 2 hours at a restaurant when you can make something so much healthier and less expensive at home? Not me!

This year I'm taking a different approach than I have in the past. Normally, I go all out and make a huge dinner, which always leaves us unable to move. We end up feeling gross from eating too much, and are ready to fall asleep before the meal is even over. Because of this, I decided that this year, I'm sticking to finger foods.

Now, finger foods don't have to be boring or even super healthy. The point is, you're getting much smaller portions and more variety. And some of our favorite finger foods are much healthier than a steak or a mountain of spaghetti.

Here are a few of the more popular choices for finger foods. I think it's a good blend of comfort foods and healthier choices:

Cheese and crackers
This is a classic favorite, and with all the different types of cheeses out there, you can really make something with a lot of variety. Granted, WalMart might not have every cheese under the sun, but if you go somewhere like Bloom, you'll probably have much more selection.

Chocolate covered strawberries
This is a given. Most grocery stores sell the chocolate you need in the fruit section near the strawberries, and it's very easy to make. You can even spice it up by putting valentines themed sprinkles or nuts on them right after you dip them in the chocolate. **NOTE-do these the night before, because they need to cool in the fridge overnight.

Fruit/Fruit dip
While the fruit might not be a huge hit with your picky eater, the dip will definitely get them to have a few bites. You can choose any type of fruit you and your picky eater like, and the dip is simply an 8 oz. package of cream cheese mixed with a jar of marshmallow creme. Let it chill in the fridge for awhile before you serve.

Vegetables with dip
This is pretty self-explanatory and very inexpensive.

Bruschetta
For those of you who don't know what this is, it's pretty much miniature Italian toast. It's sold in larger packages at the store, and you can choose to put anything on top of it that you want. Because this is a website about picky eaters, I won't even bother giving the recipe for a classic tomato topping; however, I choose to put a little bit of butter (garlic butter if you'd like), a small teaspoon of minced garlic, and a little parmesan cheese.

Thin crust pizza
This is pretty much the "main dish", and I buy a frozen one, so the style is really up to you! The great thing about thin crust instead of regular crust is that it is significantly lighter and has about half the calories.

Buffalo chicken/cheese dip
No, not the most romantic, but it's delicious, and your husband/boyfriend will love it.
Ingredients:
*4-5 chicken breasts
*2 cups mozzarella cheese
*1 bottle hot sauce
*1 jar of ranch
*8 oz. cream cheese
*chips

Directions:
*Cook chicken and cut up
*Spread cheese on the bottom of a 13x9 casserole dish
*Mix chicken, hot sauce, and mozzarella cheese
*Spread over cream cheese
*Pour ranch on top
*Bake until hot

Fried mozzarella
Once again, I buy this frozen. My favorite kind is the TGI Friday's type in the frozen section. It comes with the sauce and tastes just like what you get at the restaurant.

Meatballs
Three steps: Microwave frozen meatballs, stick with a toothpick, put on plate. So simple! If you want, you can add a piece of cheese before sticking it, or season it with some garlic-be creative!

Taquitos
You can buy these in bulk at the grocery store. Serve them on a plate with small sides of sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.


While not all of these are "romantic," I think they're all delicious, easy to prepare, and inexpensive. To add a little bit of zest to the meal, you can use food items to hold dips or dressings. For example, you can gut a red pepper and put your vegetable dip in it, or you can use a bread bowl to hold the buffalo chicken/cheese dip. I'd also like to note that there are no seafood items on this list, because my picky eater and I don't like anything "fishy." Just be reminded that some of the most romantic finger foods including oysters and crab cakes are not on this list. Happy cooking!

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