Sometimes the dayis very hectic and does not give time to make a meal at the end of the day. With a slow cooker, this makes it easier to "set it and forget it" to get any errands done while it cooks. This will save time for Valentine's and give you the time to set the mood.
Slow-Cooker Red Wine Beef Stew
Total Time: 8 hrs, 20 min.
Prep time: 20 min
2 c. beef stock
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 lb. carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 (8-ounce) package crimini mushrooms, halved if large
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
2 large celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp. canola oil
3 lb. pot roast, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 c. dry red wine
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
1. Whisk together stock, flour, and mustard in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add carrots, mushrooms, onion, celery, garlic, and thyme; stir to combine.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Remove to slow cooker. Add tomato paste to skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits, 30 seconds; add to slow cooker.
4. Discard thyme. Remove beef and shred with 2 forks; return to cooker. Stir in butter.
5. Cover and cook until beef is tender, on low heat 7 to 8 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.
6. Serve topped with parsley.
Valentine Night Strawberries
20x fresh strawberries
1x 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened (recommended: Philadelphia Cream Cheese Fat Free)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1. Dice two strawberries and set aside. Cut the stems off of each of the remaining strawberries, forming a base for strawberries to stand on. Starting at the pointed ends and cutting most of the way, but not completely through the stem end, slice each strawberry into four wedges.
2. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy; stir in the diced strawberries, walnuts, and powdered sugar. Spoon or pipe about a teaspoon of mix into each strawberry.
Serve with Champagne or drink of choice for an extra romantic evening.