Not sure what to do for Valentine’s Day? Why not opt for an intimate dinner at home this year. I have the perfect menu for you, the majority of which can be made ahead of time, so you can relax and enjoy the evening with your spouse or significant other. I’ve even included a “make-ahead game plan” spelling out exactly what needs to be prepared when – how easy is that?


  • Sally’s Smoked Trout Paté (p. 21, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen)
  • Savory Chicken in Phyllo Packets (p. 101, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen)
  • Wild Rice Medley (purchased)
  • Green Beans with Cashew Gremolata (p. 194, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen)
  • Kahlua Chocolate Mousse (p. 234, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen)

Make-Ahead Game Plan:

  • Two to three days ahead: Make the Smoked Trout Paté; refrigerate.
  • The day before: Make the Kahlua Chocolate Mousse; refrigerate.
  • The morning of the dinner: Prepare the chicken and refrigerate. Prepare the cashew gremolata, cover and keep at room temperature.
  • One hour before serving dinner: Open a bottle of your favorite wine or champagne and serve the trout paté with crackers.
  • 30 minutes before serving: Start rice. Preheat oven for chicken.
  • 25 minutes before serving: Place chicken in oven.
  • 10 to 12 minutes before serving: Steam or roast green beans.

Bon Appétit!

valentines day table2

photo from

Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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Access more recipes in Lee's award-winning book, Fresh Tastes!

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