Valentine’s Day Menu


Lauren Grant/Iowa State Daily

Finish an evening off right with this decadent chocolate cocktail. 

Ameseats Flavors Writers

3 course meal 

Appetizer: Cheese platter

By Lauren Grant

AmesEats Flavors Writer

CHEESE: 2-3 different kinds.  Make sure the cheeses have different textures and flavors.  We like brie, sharp aged cheddar, goat’s milk cheese and a pepper-tasting Colby Jack.  Slice each cheese into desired sizes.

FRUIT: Red grapes, sliced pears and slices apples. You can also serve some dried fruit such as apricots and figs.

 SAUCES: Whole grain and Dijon mustard, honey and marmalade.  Put each of these in small sauce dishes with small spoons.

 CRACKERS/BREAD: Serve an assortment of crackers and bread.  We like to use different textures such as rice crackers, whole grain crackers and toasted French bread.

 Organize all of the components on a large platter or board. 

Main Course: Lasagna Rolls

By Eunice Jun

AmesEats Flavors Writer

This recipe makes quite a few lasagna rolls. Halve the ingredients for a romantic dinner or make the whole recipe and have left overs for later in the week. 

Lasagna Rolls:

1 (16 ounces) package of lasagna noodles

4 slices of bacon

1 (10 ounces) box of frozen spinach, thawed

1 (15 ounces) container of ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

1 recipe white sauce (see below)

1 cup marinara sauce

1 1/2 cups Italian blend cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 

Cook lasagna noodles 1-2 minutes less than package directs.  Set aside.

Cook bacon until crispy, cool and roughly chop.

Squeeze as much water out of spinach as you can and roughly chop.

Combine chopped bacon, spinach, ricotta, egg, spices and Parmesan in a bowl. Set aside and prepare white sauce (see below).

Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish and spread prepared white sauce evenly on bottom.

On a dry work surface, lay partially cooked lasagna noodles flat and spread a layer of ricotta cheese mixture evenly over noodles. Roll lasagna noodles up and transfer each roll seam side down in baking dish.

Top rolls with marinara sauce and shredded cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes, remove lid or foil for last 10 minutes of baking.

White sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

4 teaspoons flour

1 1/4 cups milk, chilled (higher fat milk works best)

Pinch ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for about two minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Dessert: Red Velvet Crispy Bars

By Lauren Millen

AmesEats Flavors Writer


3 cups crisp rice cereal

3 cups cocoa crisp cereal

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips, optional

2 tablespoons butter

1 bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows

2/3 cup red velvet cake mix

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional toppings

Caramel drizzle

Fudge drizzle

Mini chocolate chips


Crushed up mint candies

Grease a 9×13-inch pan and set aside for later.

Measure and combine cereals and mini chocolate chips in a large bowl, set aside. In a separate bowl combine cake mix and cocoa powder and set aside.

In a large saucepan melt butter and marshmallows on medium heat until melted and bubbles start to form at the surface. Remove from heat and add cake and cocoa mixture. Stir to combine and pour over cereal and chocolate chips. Quickly fold marshmallow mixture into the cereal so it does not harden too fast. Make sure all cereal is coated before transferring the mix into prepared 9×13-inch pan.

While bars are cooling, prepare frosting and desired toppings.

With an electric mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are mixed. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave on low for about 45 seconds or until smooth. Add white chocolate and vanilla to cream cheese and butter mixture. Slowly increase the speed and gradually add powdered sugar until desired sweetness and thickness are reached. Add a small amount of warm milk if you would like frosting to be thinner.

Once bars are cooled cut out desired shapes (we used a heart shape cookie cutter). Frost cut out shapes and decorate as desired.

Evening Drink: Raspberry Spiked Hot Chocolate

By Lauren Grant

AmesEats Flavors Writer

10 ounces milk chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Chambord Liqueur


Whipped cream

Chocolate shavings


In a small saucepan combine chocolate, cocoa, milk and cream. Melt over medium-low heat stirring constantly. Once chocolate chips are completely melted remove from heat and add Chambord. Stir to combine, pour into small mugs or thick wine glasses. Top whipped cream, chocolate shavings and fresh raspberries.