Recipe Test Nest » Holiday » February is LOVE
February is LOVE

With the success of my Valentines menu last year, I decided that I would do one again this year…but I had an event on the 14th so I hosted a day late (but lots of love still in the air). My guests included the expecting Sally and Tim, Steph Zundel, Marcus Bowers, Martin Rigby, Tami Barker and Jeff Barker.

Pink Sparkle (4 Stars)

I tried finding a recipe for my favorite “fancy” drink growing up, Pink Sparkle, served at the Sky Room restaurant at Brigham Young University. I couldn’t find it anywhere other than some ideas on what might be in the drink. I found this recipe, which I was hoping would be similar (not quite).  I couldn’t find red-hot candies for this drink so I used hot tamales and not sure that the right level of cinnamon came across, plus it was a little muggier than it was suppose to be. I’ll continue my search for the BYU Sparkle.

Heart o Scone (throw) and Raspberry Butter (3 Stars)

I’m not sure what happened, but these scones were dense, flat and a pure flop. The idea to serve it with raspberry butter was good but I didn’t follow a recipe. I needed to be sweeter and a little salter (I used unsalted butter). So next time I’m going to use a stick of salted butter and mash with raspberries and 1 tablespoon honey and see if that will do the trick.

Green Bean and Shallot Heart Ravioli Salad (3.5 Stars)

I was excited to use heart shaped ravioli’s I saw at Costco for this dish to make it more festive, but it wasn’t the best cheese ravioli I’ve ever had and I think this dish would be much yummier with a fresh top notch ravioli. The presentation was great, the green beans were perfect and crisp, the ravioli didn’t have a lot of cheese in the filling and the toasted almonds were a great finishing touch. For only 251 calories this dish has GREAT potential. One suggestion was to add bacon…it would definitely increase the yumminess…as well as the calories.

Sage and Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin (4.5 Stars) and Celery root potato puree (4 Stars)

The pork was very tender, perfectly cooked and a great compliment to the potatoes, but the dish in total needed something to make it pop. One suggestion was serving with a crisp vegetable like green beans, maybe some swiss chard sautéed with garlic to add something bitter to the mix. I had never seen or worked with celery root prior to this dish. The root looks like fungus but its really yummy and worked well in the mashed potatoes to give them a variety of flavor. They needed a tad more salt. As far as presentation goes, I should have chopped some sage to sprinkle on top of each serving and maybe drizzle some butter on the plate.

Strawberry Heart Pillows (3.5 Stars)

Cute presentation but I need to re-do this dish and try again. I couldn’t find a good puff pastry (but I know where to find it now), I needed to make the whip cream a little sweeter and add vanilla (or almond) to it for a bit more flavor. Testers suggested dusting the strawberries with powdered sugar to bring out more of their natural juices as well.



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