In the Kitchen

Valentine’s Day Menu: Shopping and scheduling

Here we are, one week from “the big day”. We’ve got our Valentine’s Day Menu planned:

Finished salads

Pasta with mizithra cheese and seared shrimp

Mixed Berry Pavlova

Now that we’ve got that figured out, it’s time to start putting it together, yes, this early! You want as little work to do as possible on the big day, right?

Valentine's day grocery list

The first step is to get the required groceries. In fact, I made it one step easier for you: I made you a grocery list. Chances are you will already have most of the staples, so go through your pantry and check before you buy everything. 

Now let’s talk scheduling. 

Up to two weeks before dinner:

  • Make meringue nests for Pavlova. Remember, these take a long time to make, so make sure you plan ahead. When they are completely dry and cool, put them into an airtight container or bag and store at room temperature.

The day before the dinner:

  • Cut up and roast pears. Let them cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Toast the walnuts. Let them cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Put shrimp in the fridge to thaw, if using.

1 hour before dinner time:

  • Remove pears from fridge and let them stand at room temperature to warm up.
  • Shell and de-vein shrimp, if using.
  • Wash berries, slice strawberries or any other fruit that may need slicing. Put back in fridge until dessert time.
  • Mix up the salad dressing.
  • Assemble salads in individual bowls, but don’t dress them until right before serving.
  • Brown butter for pasta.

15-20 minutes before dinner:

  • Boil water to cook pasta, and begin following recipe for shrimp.
  • Dress salad, serve pasta with Mizithra and browned butter, and shrimp if using.

10 minutes before dessert:

  • Toss berries/fruit with sugar.
  • Make whipped cream.
  • Assemble pavlovas.

And that’s it. Another Valentine’s day come and gone. Serve this meal with your favorite wine. I’ll leave what comes after dessert up to you.

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