Saturday 9 February 2013

Valentines Specials: Special Dinner in Minutes

They say , you don't need an occasion to plan a special dinner! However, with busy and hectic routines of modern day women, be it the working class , or the home makers, its difficult to add a yet another element to the routine dinners , that are already made within tight schedules, whilst managing household chores and of course children!
But if meals are simplified, and made with at home ingredients, adding a continental twist to them makes up for a special treat for your near and dear ones, without actually fussing about it much!

What remains is planning the ambiance , which isn't much difficult either.
Just Shut off your white lights and turn on those dim lamps at home. Light a simple candle , and present your treat in your favourite crockery. Bring out the cutlery , knife,forks,spoons, soup bowls , and spread over your dining table.

And if you have kids...put them to work! Share your lil secret party plan with them , and you ll be amazed , how seriously a they take your plans!

Having said that , what remains, is an actual planned meal , that was made in an hour or so , planned in mins and cooked with whatever was available in my pantry!

Meal Plan : To surprise husband, with a simple continental light meal.

Ambience: A dim lit lamp , a candle , and a bottle of wine, light gazals on the background.

Table : Regular Crockery and Cutlery , Brought out favourite Stem Glasses.

Meal Menu:
Appetizer: Spicy Sausage Bites
Side: Palm Heart and Olive Salad
Main Course: Spicy Prawns in Tom Yum Curry with Flat Rice Noodles
Dessert: Fruity Ice Cream Cake


Spicy Sausage Bites:

This is a very easy starter. I had the sausages and the cheese available and decided to make this really quick starter. You can use the plain sausages also and just toss in some herbs later while cooking.


4 nos        Spicy smoked sausages 
1/2 tsp      Chilli Powder
2 / 4 tsp    Grated Herbed Gouda Cheese
a pinch of Namak Shamak
1 tsp         Oil


Add oil in a non stick pan. Toss in the sausages cut into rounds, add the chilli powder and the salt. Cover and cook till crisp. This will take about 6 to 8 mins. 


Serve hot with grated smoked gouda. You can use mozzarella cheese also.


 Palm Heart and Olive salad:

I had ordered some palm hearts a few days back. And on pure whim I decided to use it in the salad. Its slight coconutty taste went very well with the crispness of the lettuce and the slight bite of the horseradish dressing. And the Olives imparted the required tang!!
If you cant source palm hearts, use  some shredded cabbage instead.

100 gms        Palm Hearts (I bought these from
10 to 15        Black Olives
1 small          Lettuce
1 small          Onion
1                  Tomato
2 tbsp           Horseradish dressing
1/2 tsp          Chilli flakes


Roughly shred the lettuce. Cut the onions.Deseed and chop the tomatoes, and the olives.

Cut the palm hearts and boil in salted water for 5 mins.,drain and keep aside to cool.

Prepare the dressing by adding the chilli flakes to the horseradish dressing.

Now assemble the salad and serve garnished with pudina leaves.

 Main Course:

Spicy Prawns Tom Yum Curry with rice noodles:

Basically this paste is used to make tom yum soup, but since I had run out of thai red curry paste I decided to get innovative and use this instead and the result was absolutely fantastic.... It compliments the rice noodles perfectly. Just dont make the curry too runny.


8 to 10          Prawns
1 tsp             Ginger Garlic paste
1                  Tom Yum Paste (I used Exotic food)
1/2 tsp          Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp          Namak Shamak
1                  Coconut milk (I used homemade)
1 tsp             Oil
1/2 packet     Flat rice noodles


Boiling 5 cups of water in a pan. Add 1 tsp salt. When boiling add the noodles cover and turn off the heat. Let it stay for 10 mins. Drain and toss adding a tsp of olive oil.Keep aside.

In a non stick pan.Heat the oil. Add the ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, prawns, salt and the tom yum paste. Saute till oil leaves the sides. Now add the coconut milk and cook covered for 10 mins. 

Serve hot with rice noodles.

Fruity Ice cream Cake
I had made this one on earlier occassion , and decided , it was the quickest possible dessert to put up.
I put my 10 yr old to work to assemble the dessert using  leftover cake, and the fruit cocktail tin and vanilla icecream.

Spread the meal over the table

A Candle lit illuminates the menu!

This is our entry for


  1. Wow what a lovely valentine platter. Delicious..

  2. Delicious Valentine meal I would like to make visit to your place.

  3. Thanks you so much! Its indeed flattery for a meal that was put up in together on a run.
    @ Swathi, you are always welcome here!
    Happy blogging!

  4. wow lovely valentines day platter dear :)


We apppreciate your comments,suggestions and tips, so please feel free to share your views