Dinner for two

Make this Valentine’s Day extra special (and cost-effective) by preparing a delicious meal at home with your sweetheart.

If you’re anything like me, the kitchen is a pretty foreign room where you go to fill up your water filter. My idea of serious cooking is adding hamburger meat to my macaroni and cheese.

If being a gourmet chef isn’t on your resume, try out some of these simple recipes…if I can prepare them, then you can too.

Pineapple Baked Ham
Thick ham slices from the deli section
1 (16 oz) can pineapple slices
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup ginger ale
Maraschino cherry halves (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Layer ham in casserole dish, alternating with pineapple rings. Sprinkle top with Maraschino cherries.
In separate bowl, mix ginger ale, brown sugar, and ½ the remaining pineapple juice. Pour over ham.
Bake for one hour, basting every 20 minutes.

Fettuccini Alfredo
1 pound fettuccini
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook fettuccine in pot of rapidly boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of pasta cooking liquid. Return noodles to pot.
Melt butter in separate saucepan. Add minced garlic and sauté. Add heavy cream and bring to boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly (about five minutes). Remove from heat.
Add reserved cooking liquid back to fettuccini over medium heat. Add butter-cream mixture and half of the Parmesan; stir thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and enjoy!

Reenacting the infamous spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp” is highly encouraged.

Layers of Love
Cookie base

1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5 oz) peanut butter cookie mix

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon water

1 egg

½ cup softened butter

½ cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

1 cup chocolate chips

¼ cupbutter

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 13 by 9-inch pan with cooking spray. Stir together all cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes/until golden brown. Cool completely (about one hour). Beat all filling ingredients until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cookie base. Microwave all frosting ingredients on high for 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set. Cut into bars and serve.

Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks margarine
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 package instant pudding

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat margarine, sugars, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, baking soda and instant pudding. Stir in chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes.

True Love Toffee

Ice cream sandwiches
Milk chocolate English toffee bits
Cool Whip

Place ice cream bars on a small metal tray. Apply a thick layer of cool whip and sprinkle with toffee bits. Place in freezer for two hours and enjoy! n