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Valentines Dinner Meals and Desserts

Mushroom Herb Pot Roast
(This is my hubby's favorite!)

3 Tbsp flour
1 3-4# pot roast  (beef chuck arm roast for example)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion sliced
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup red wine (I use cabernet sauvignon or burgundy)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp each dried marjoram, thyme. rosemary
1 small bay leaf
1 can mushrooms (whole or sliced)
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tbsp corn starch

Directions:  Sprinkle flour over all sides of the roast.  In dutch oven, heat the cooking oil, and brown the roast slowly on all sides.  Season with salt and pepper and add onion slices.  In a bowl combine the water, wine, ketchup and herbs.  Carefully add this to the dutch oven.  Cover and cook on low heat for 2-2.5 hours or until meat is tender.  (Don't let the meat boil -- if it starts to do this turn the temp. down -- slow cooking it this way is the key)
Add the undrained mushrooms, heat through.  Transfer the meat to a serving platter.  Remove the bay leaf from the cooking liquid and discard. (You may want to skim any grease from the liquid as well) Mix water and corn starch together and  while stirring liquid constantly, add it to the cooking liquid.  Heat thoroughly.  Slice meat thinly, and cover with sauce and mushrooms mixture.

You can serve this with steamed carrots and baby potatoes, your favorite salad, and a nice crusty bread.

If seafood is more your bag, try this

Pasta and White Clam Sauce
Serves 4

2 cans (6.5 ounces each) Gortons Chopped Clams
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup chopped parsley (dry or fresh)
1/2 tsp basil
1 cup clam nectar
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 lb spaghetti noodles

Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil.  Saute the onion and green pepper until the onion is clear.  Stir in the flour, parsley, and basil and remove to a small bowl.
Reheat the frying pan and add the clam juice, along with the garlic and reduce by half.  Add the wine and cream and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the veggies with a whip, stirring as they cook so that the mixture can thicken.  Cook over medium heat for a few minutes to further reduce and thicken the sauce.  Add the remaining seasonings, including the lemon juice.  Stir in the clams and pour over freshly cooked pasta.

This is wonderful with a big salad and crusty french bread
(also one of my families favorite special meals!)

Cherry Cheese Pie
1 graham cracker pie crust
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can cherry pie filling (strawberry works well too)

Beat cream cheese until fluffy, add sweetened milk until smooth, stir in lemon juice and vanilla, pour into pie crust.
Chill 3 hours or until set.  Top with pie filling before serving

Raspberry Truffle Brownies

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups semisweet choc. chips
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup flour

1 c semi-sweet choc chips
8 ounce package cream cheese
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/4 cup semi-sweet choc chips
1 tsp shortening

Directions:  In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and 1 1/4 cup choc chips over low heat, cool slightly.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar.  Dissolve coffee granules in the 2 tbsp water, and to egg mixture with melted choc/butter.  Mix well.
Combine baking powder and flour.  Stir into choc mixture.  Spread in 9 inch square greased baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until brownies test done.  Cool.

For frosting: melt choc chips, cool.  In a bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy; add confectioners sugar and jam.  Stir in melted chocolate and spread over cooled brownies.

For glaze:  melt choc chips and shortening, drizzle over frosting.
Chill before cutting

Yield about 3 dozen
Store in refrigerator