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Valentine’s Day is only 2 days away and have you thought about what you are going to do? Going out to dinner can be crowded and expensive. What about dinner at home? Even if you aren’t a cook, there are things that you can prepare that show that you care and are good to eat. Essence shared some of Chef Chanel Murphy, Founder and Executive Director of My Fabulous Food ideas for some great recipes for a great night!

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of chopped strawberries 1 ½ cup of water ½ cup of brown sugar 1 bottle of sparkling wine or champagne, chilled Fresh strawberries for garnish

DIRECTIONS: Place chopped strawberries in a small saucepan. Add water to a pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until liquid is red and strawberries have lost their color. Over a clean pot, remove strawberries from syrup by straining. Discard cooked strawberries. Add brown sugar into warm syrup and whisk until fully dissolved. Pour sparkling wine into champagne flutes, approximately three-quarters full. Add 2-3 tablespoons of simple syrup into champagne; adjust to taste. Stir. Garnish flutes with fresh strawberries.

INGREDIENTS: 8 mini skewers 16 cherry tomatoes 16 fresh basil leaves 16 small marinated mozzarella balls (8-ounce container) Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt by My Fabulous FoodCracked black pepper 2 tablespoons of balsamic glaze 2 tablespoons of olive oil

DIRECTIONS: On each skewer, place one cherry tomato, one basil leaf, and one mozzarella ball. Repeat on each skewer. Lightly season skewers with smoked sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle skewers with balsamic glaze and olive oil.

INGREDIENTS: 1 pound of angel hair pasta 2 tablespoons of olive oil 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup of chicken broth 2 cups of heavy cream 1 cup of Asiago cheese, grated 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated Red chili flakes Salt Cracked black pepper ½ cup of ricotta cheese ¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped

DIRECTIONS: Cook angel hair pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Over medium heat in a large skillet, sauté tomatoes and garlic in olive oil for five minutes. Add chicken broth into the skillet. Turn heat to low and whisk in heavy cream. Add cheeses and whisk until mixed thoroughly. Simmer sauce until cheese is completely melted. Stir in pasta, and season with red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss pasta and seasonings with cream sauce. Garnish with dollops of ricotta cheese and basil.

INGREDIENTS: 1 pound of fresh strawberries, washed 1 (8 ounces) container of mascarpone cheese ½ cup of confectioners sugar ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract Crushed graham crackers for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS: Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut across to make the strawberries lay flat on a serving dish. On the opposite ends of the strawberries, cut a cross shape on the tops of each strawberry to make room for the cream. In a medium-size bowl, whisk mascarpone cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Pipe cream into each strawberry. Garnish with crushed graham crackers if desired.

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