The biggest issue most couples have on Valentine’s Day is simply finding something unique and special to do with their partner. For some couples, saving money is not always a factor. These couples don’t mind splurging to show their significant other how much they care by giving luxurious gifts on Valentine’s Day. But for many other couples, this isn’t always the case, especially with the rising costs of inflation making everything more expensive this year.
A recent report by LendingTree, one of the nation’s top online marketplace companies for providing consumer financial services, found that less than half of the 2,100 Americans surveyed thought that Valentine’s Day debt was worth it - which was 30 percent. Also, only 37 percent of those surveyed were planning to dine out at restaurants this year. This means that over 50 percent of couples plan to stay in.
With proper planning, choosing to stay in and cook at home with your significant other can be just as special and even more romantic. And it can often be better than going out. The key is to plan your menu with recipes that can be prepped ahead of time and popped in the oven before your date night starts or just before your partner arrives.
Making appetizers with versatile sweet and savory ingredients can also make things easier. If you want to create a unique restaurant experience at home, then it’s a must to have some warm appetizers and small plates ready. Try these appetizer recipes with Musselman’s Apple Butter spread to add a rich and spicy touch of apple-cinnamon flavor to your food.
Apple Brie Bites
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 5 ounces Brie cheese
- 1/2 cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Cooking Directions: Heat oven to 400 F. Grease mini-muffin pan.
Press seams of puff pastry sheet together. Cut sheet into quarters then each quarter into six pieces.
Use rolling pin to flatten each piece of pastry into square shape. Place one square into each muffin cup.
Put 1/2 teaspoon brie, 1 teaspoon apple butter and 1/2 teaspoon chopped pecans into each muffin cup.
Bake 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.
Apple Butter Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
- 3/4 cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 10 pieces bacon
- 10 extra-large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Cooking Directions: Heat oven to 400 F.
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In medium-sized skillet over medium heat, add apple butter, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt and paprika. Whisk until mixture is thick and cooked down by half, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, add bacon slices and cook until browned but still flexible. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel-lined plate.
Wrap one bacon slice around each shrimp, secure with toothpick and place onto prepared baking sheet.
Once all shrimp have been wrapped, baste tops with apple butter mixture.
Bake 5 minutes then flip and baste other side of shrimp. Bake another 5 minutes. Continue to flip and baste shrimp (2 minutes each time) until shrimp is fully cooked. Do not overcook as glaze can burn. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.
Recipes and photos courtesy of Musselman’s
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