Happy Valentine’s Day

Have a great day with your loved ones and don’t forget to love yourself!

Ali in the Valley

Photos by: Ali

Red Velvet Cupcakes:


1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Red Velvet Cake Mix 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 1/2 cup flaked coconut 1 tub Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Cream Cheese Frosting


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

Prepare batter according to package directions.

Spoon batter into lined muffin cups. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and egg; mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and coconut.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto batter of each cupcake.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes following package directions. Spread cupcakes with frosting.

Sea Scallops with Caramelized Onions:  


1/4 cup olive oil 2 white onions, thinly sliced 1 leek, whites only, thinly sliced Kosher salt and cracked black pepper 3 tablespoons minced garlic 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed 1 cup vegetable broth 1 1/2 cups  fresh asparagus Pinch red pepper flakes 3 tablespoons sliced scallion greens Dash sherry vinegar 8 to 12 dry sea scallops 1 tablespoon butter Squeeze fresh lemon juice


In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onions, leeks, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently until onions and leeks are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and shiitake mushrooms. Continue cooking for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add the asparagus, red pepper flakes and scallions.

Season the broth with salt and pepper, to taste, and add a dash of sherry vinegar. Cook for 1 minute. Keep warm. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. In another large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the butter. Add the scallops and sear for 4 minutes. Flip the scallops, then squeeze in some lemon juice. Baste the scallops for 1 minute to finish cooking. Remove from heat. Spoon the caramelized onion mixture on serving plates and top each plate with 4 scallops. Serve.

Nuvo Sparking Liqueur:

3 oz of Nuvo w/ 4 fresh strawberries mulled w/champagne.

3 oz of Nuvo w/splash of Hennsey over ice.

Valentine’s Day Information from Wikipedia:

Saint Valentine’s Day, often simply Valentine’s Day, is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentines. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.

The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).

Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

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