Monday, February 14, 2011

Operation: Valentine's Day & Cornish Hens

This past Friday night I decided to put together a little Valentine's day dinner for my boyfriend at my house. I wanted it to be perfect, so the planning of an evening of this caliber was key. I started by mapping out my ambitious menu of...

1. Stuffed Cornish Hens: which... I've never made before!
2. Mashed Potatoes: a classic
3. Green Beans
4. Chocolate Mousse
5. Of course... Some bubbly!

Second step... a little lovely decoration

I got in the latest mailer magazine from Free People and I decided it was the perfect subject for a simple heart garland that I put together. Take a look....

I cut each page into for sections, then just like our 2nd grade teacher taught us, folded each square down the middle to create a nice little heart. The Free People mailer was perfect because of their romantic and nature-oriented pictures. I have to say, I was impressed! It was a great and cost-friendly way to turn my kitchen into a romantic spot for my dinner date. Cute huh? Please ignore my ugly lamp (another home project to improve!)

Next I tackled dessert since it needed to chill over a few hours. I took this Chocolate Mousse recipe from Martha Stewart and it was really easy. I had never made mousse before but it complimented the sufficiently filling meal we had. 

Now it came to the real challenge of this whole evening: two little cornish hens. Given that I'm in my early 20's, I like to say that I'm fairly skilled in the kitchen, but never have I ever handled poultry like this before (I have yet to take Thanksgiving off my mother's hands). I have to admit I was a little squeamish at the thought of putting my hands inside a dead chicken but I muscled through it....

Two little hens all washed off and ready to be stuffed

I LOVE mushrooms so I added mushrooms into my stuffing and ended up getting great flavor

I carefully stuffed each hen then tied their legs up with a little string to hold everything in

Before shot: ready to go in the oven!

All nice, crispy and juicy
I based my recipe off this recipe from Ina Garten. I used regular boxed stuffing and if you decide to do this, use a bit extra butter and chicken stock for added moisture. Also these plumped up quite a bit so if you are cooking for 2, you definitely don't need two hens! I have tons of leftover food. What's for dinner tonight? 



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