Food Column: Valentine’s night in

Sometimes keeping it low-key is the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day. Impress your significant other with a home-cooked meal that leaves you with extra cash to spend on better things than an extravagant restaurant bill. Munch on pita chips and hummus with some white wine while you finish preparing a meal with your Valentine for a night you’ll never forget.

Roast Chicken with Creamed Spinach and Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Serves two · Prep and cook time: Two hours

1 whole chicken
1 yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 stick of butter
1 bunch parsley
Garlic powder (optional)
5 medium yellow potatoes
4 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 frozen package creamed spinach

Roast chicken
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel garlic and place in microwaveable safe bowl with butter. Melt butter, about two minutes.
2. Rinse the chicken, take the sack of gizzards out, and place in either a 7-by-11 inch disposable tin or glass dish.
3. Rip the head off the bunch of parsley, separating the leaves from the stems. Peel onion. Stuff the chicken with both onion and parsley. Pour garlic and butter mixture over chicken. Generously cover with salt.
4. Place chicken in oven. Cook for two hours, basting the chicken with butter mixture in the pan every 30 minutes.

Mashed potatoes and creamed spinach
1. Cut potatoes into quarters. Place in deep pot, and fill with water until potatoes are covered. Place on high heat with lid on and cook until soft, around 20 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and put back into pot. Add butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Place mashed potatoes in serving dish.
3. Follow instructions on creamed spinach box, and serve in bowl.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Serves two

6 strawberries
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or your favorite chocolate)
Special supplies: parchment paper

1. To melt chocolate, take a small pot and place it in a larger pot with enough water so that the smaller pot floats in the bigger one.
2. Place chocolate chips into smaller pot, and cook on low until melted, about 10 minutes. Stir every two minutes or so. Keep an eye on it to make sure the water doesn’t boil over into the smaller pot with the chocolate.
3. Once chocolate is completely melted, cover a plate with parchment paper. Dip strawberries into chocolate, and place on parchment paper.
4. Refrigerate strawberries for 20 minutes, or until hard. Feed them to your lover.

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