Midday Fix: Valentine’s Day party planning ideas from Carol Mackey

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Carol Mackey



Stress the healthy dinner.  Introduce new foods to your children, they may need to try it many times before they will like it.

Get the kids involved in the crafts and setting the table.

Make the dessert fun.

I used edible mini roses from Rose Tea (can be found at the tea shop) and floated in drinks.

Use tea cups for flowers. Look around your house to decorate the table. I used my pearl necklace to drape between tea cups. Head to the resale shops, it is a like being on a treasure hunt and it’s cheap.

Salmon en Papillote

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Fold 4 (20-inch) parchment paper squares in 1/2 lengthwise and cut out a large heart shape. Unfold and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Evenly divide the vegetables among the 4 heart-shaped parchment packets, place salmon on top and season with salt and pepper. Add herbs and top with a small pat of  butter; add splash of white wine or stock.
Fold the top half of the parchment over the fish, overlapping small folds along the edges and sealing. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the parchment paper puffs up.
Transfer the parchment packets to plates; arrange two together to form a heart for presentation.
4 6-ounce salmon fillets

En Papillote Vegetables

Julienne zucchini, sliced mushrooms, sliced leek, heart shaped red peppers (using a small heart cutter) and fresh Italian flat leaf parsley. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Watermelon and Feta Heart Salad

4 slices watermelon
Feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Mint leaf garnish

Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out of the watermelon, place on plate sprinkle feta and mint on top of the watermelon.  Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over salad.

S’more Pops

heart marshmallows; I used ones by Peeps
melted milk chocolate; Ghirardelli and Hershey’s have a bag for fondue
graham cracker crumbs
Valentine’s sprinkles
I used individual butter warmers (used for seafood) to create individual fondue pots.

Dip half of the marshmallow in chocolate and then in graham cracker crumbs and sprinkles. Optional- and for mom or dad to do: using a crème brulee torch; lightly brown the top of the marshmallow.