Valentine’s Day Menu with Real California Dairy!

by Marla on February 11, 2014 · 30 comments

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5 AMAZING recipes to get you through the day! FamilyFreshCooking.com

I have a special treat for y’all today. This post has not one but five NEW recipes! This is the perfect menu to get you through Valentine’s Day & beyond.

There is something unique about this menu…something that ties it all together. All the recipes feature one or more ingredients made with Real California Milk to razzle dazzle your tastebuds.

I came up with recipes that would be great for the entire family ~ so you can all be satisfied on this fun day!

Gluten Free Waffles with Berry Yogurt Topping | FamilyFreshCooking.com

First up lets talk breakfast. My favorite meal of the day! I created these Gluten Free Waffles with Berry Yogurt Topping. You can use my waffle recipe or for a super quick deal you can purchase some GF frozen waffles at the market.

This delicious stack of waffles is topped with strawberry yogurt, maple syrup & toasted walnuts. A nice pat of butter is hiding between each waffle as well!

Gluten Free Waffles with Berry Yogurt Topping | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Gluten Free Waffles with Berry Yogurt Topping

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (depends upon the size of the squash)

Serving Size: 2 waffles

Gluten Free Waffles with Berry Yogurt Topping

Ingredients

  • Gluten Free Oat Waffles recipe or 1 package store bought Frozen Waffles
  • California Butter
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Berry Yogurt Topping
  • 1 cup California Plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Fruit Sweetened Jam (Strawberry or Raspberry)
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Fresh Fruit

Method

  • Prepare waffles. Combine yogurt with berry jam. Top hot waffles with butter & maple syrup. Top again with berry yogurt, toasted walnuts & fresh fruit.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2014/02/11/valentines-day-recipes-with-real-california-dairy/

Next up we have lunch. How about Brown Butter Pepperoni Mac & Cheese?

That’s right friends. Instead of pepperoni pizza I made a mac & cheese version. You will love this combo of Real California Cheese, California sour cream, macaroni pasta all topped with organic pepperoni slices.

Brown Butter Pepperoni Mac & Cheese | FamilyFreshCooking.com

It wasn’t until after we were done chowing down on this yummy dish…

Brown Butter Pepperoni Mac & Cheese | FamilyFreshCooking.com

That my daughter said I should have made hearts out of the pepperoni. So I did it to show you.

Go for it I say.

Brown Butter Pepperoni Mac & Cheese | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Brown Butter Pepperoni Mac & Cheese

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Brown Butter Pepperoni Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry Macaroni Pasta, cook according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 cups California Monterey Jack/Cheddar shredded cheese combo
  • 1/2 cup California Sour Cream
  • 1 tablespoon California Butter
  • 4 ounces Pepperoni, cut into stripes or hearts
  • Garlic Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Method

  • In a bowl combine cheese & sour cream, set aside. Heat pepperoni over medium high heat in a large non stick skillet until it is hot & glistening. Remove pepperoni from the skillet & set it aside. In the same skillet add the butter. Heat the butter until it is golden brown & fragrant. Add macaroni. Stir in sour cream cheese mixture. Reduce heat to medium. Mix with a spatula & work quickly to combine pasta & cheese. Cook about 5 minutes until cheese is completely melted. Season with garlic salt & pepper to taste.
  • Top each portion with pepperoni.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2014/02/11/valentines-day-recipes-with-real-california-dairy/

After busy days at school & work we all need a snack right?

Healthy smoothies made with Real California Milk are a great way to keep that energy going until dinner! This Simple Strawberry Smoothie is protein packed & great tasting to keep you going.

 Simple Strawberry Smoothie | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Here are a few fun facts about Real California Milk:

  • California is the number one dairy state in the US, producing more milk, butter and ice cream than any other state and is the 2nd largest producer of cheese and yogurt.
  • Many California dairy products are sold nationally. 99% of California dairies are family-owned.  When you look for and buy products with the Real California Milk and cheese seals you know that your dairy products are made from 100 percent California milk from California’s over 1500 dairy families.
  • California Milk and California Cheese products can be identified with the Real California Milk seal and or Real California Cheese seal on packing.

Milk also looks really pretty in pink smoothies. Don’t you think?!

A little bit of real Homemade Whipped Cream helps a whole lot too…

Simple Strawberry Smoothie | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Simple Strawberry Smoothie

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Yield: Three 8 ounce Strawberry Smoothies

 Simple Strawberry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup California Milk
  • 1 cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 serving Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup Ice
  • Sweetener to taste if needed

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender on a "smoothie" setting. Sweeten to taste if needed.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2014/02/11/valentines-day-recipes-with-real-california-dairy/

Now let’s talk about dinner. These Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Herb Butter Hearts not only taste great but everyone loves food on sticks.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Herb Butter Hearts | FamilyFreshCooking.com

This is great as an appetizer or main dish.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Herb Butter Hearts | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Aren’t the herb compound butter hearts so cute?!

I have a silicone heart mold that is perfect to make these.

Herb Compound Butter Hearts | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Herb Butter

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (8 shrimp skewers & 4 ounces herb compound butter)

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Herb Butter

Ingredients

    Grilled Shrimp
  • 1 pound (26-30 count) Raw, Cleaned & Peeled Frozen Shrimp
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Herb Compound Butter
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) softened California Butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Parsley or any fresh herb you like
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • You will also need
  • 8 Wooden Skewers, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
  • 1 Ziploc Bag, gallon size

Method

  • Prepare butter. Mix parsley & garlic powder into room temperature, softened butter. Spoon into heart molds & let set in the fridge for a few hours until firm.
  • Thaw shrimp in cold water bath. Drain. Place shrimp in the Ziploc bag. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt & pepper to the bag. Zip the bag and combine all with your fingers. Place the bag in a bowl (so it does not leak) and let shrimp marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove shrimp from the fridge & thread 4 onto each soaked skewer.
  • Coat a grill pan with some olive oil & heat on medium high heat. Place shrimp skewers flat in the pan. Heat a few minutes on each side until you have grill marks & the shrimp is pink, opaque & cooked through.
  • Remove butter hearts from the molds. Serve shrimp skewers hot with the butter hearts.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2014/02/11/valentines-day-recipes-with-real-california-dairy/

Finally we have the perfect dessert for your Valentine…Homemade Chocolate Pudding!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Hope you enjoyed this special menu, but don’t forget you can make any of these dishes any time of the year.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding | FamilyFreshCooking.com

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings (4 cups)

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Bittersweet or Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup California Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 large Egg Yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups California Milk (you can use Whole, 2% or 1%)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Optional Toppings
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips
  • California Whipped Cream

Method

  • In a large heat safe bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, cornstarch & salt. Slowly whisk in the cream, a little at a time. Keep going until all is combined well & smooth. Whisk the egg yolks into that mixture.
  • Cook the milk in a 3 quart or larger saucepan over medium heat. Whisking in the sugar until they are well combined & sugar is dissolved. Bring milk to a simmer & be careful not to let it boil over or scorch.
  • Add most of the milk into the egg mixture & whisk quickly until well combined. Pour this back into the saucepan (some milk is in there all ready.) Warm this mixture over medium high heat until it boils. Once it boils cook for about 2 minutes until the pudding becomes thick, whisking quickly the entire time. Making sure to get all the bits off the bottom of the pan while you whisk.
  • Remove the pudding from the heat & stir in chocolate & vanilla. Whisk quickly until chocolate is well combined.
  • Transfer to bowls or one large container. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper making sure to have the wrap touch the pudding so a skin does not form. Serve chilled, with or without toppings.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2014/02/11/valentines-day-recipes-with-real-california-dairy/

Enjoy & Happy Valentine’s Day…XO

Real California Dairy Valentine's Menu on FamilyFreshCooking.com

Disclosure: I am working to help promote Real California Milk. All thoughts & opinions, photos & recipes are my own!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie @ Averie Cooks February 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Marla this post had to have taken you forever! Thanks for sharing this incredible menu!

Reply

2 Marla February 12, 2014 at 7:00 am

Ha! It sure did girl…but soooo very tasty & worth the cook time ;)

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3 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com February 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Delicious menu!! I love all the heart-shaped foods! Yum and so cute!!

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4 Tieghan February 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

These all look amazing! What a delicious Valentines day!

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5 Marla February 12, 2014 at 6:33 am

Thanks Tieghan! It was so fun to come up with this menu using Real California Dairy ingredients in each recipe.

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6 Rosa February 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Lovely food and ideas! I particularly like the Mac & Cheese.

Cheers,

Rosa

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7 Marla February 12, 2014 at 6:34 am

Great taste Rosa….that mac & cheese is amazing!!

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8 Kevin @ Closet Cooking February 12, 2014 at 6:26 am

Great Valentine’s Day menu!

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9 Heidi @foodiecrush February 12, 2014 at 6:35 am

Loving everyone of these, but that shrimp and the mac n cheese have my number. Love your photos, so clean and simple, really gorgeous. Fab post Marla!

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10 Marla February 12, 2014 at 7:01 am

Thanks Heidi ~ means a lot coming from you. Was a blast photographing all of these recipes & eating them!

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11 Maria February 12, 2014 at 6:52 am

Great recipes!

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12 Heather Christo February 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

This is totally adorable Marla!! My family would be thrilled with any of these dishes!

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13 Jenny Flake February 12, 2014 at 7:28 am

Such a gorgeous round up! That little piggy bowl is too cute! Need!! xo

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14 Julie @ Table for Two February 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

Can you come over and make me this entire menu? I promise I’d love you forever! hehe :)

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15 Marla February 13, 2014 at 4:48 am

Ha! I would love to Julie ~ as long as you have some wine for us?? ;)

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16 TidyMom February 12, 2014 at 8:16 am

GORGEOUS menu Marla!! my family would love it all!!

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17 Marla February 13, 2014 at 4:47 am

Thanks so much Cheryl! Hopefully you guys can try one or more of these recipes soon :)

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18 Ronika February 12, 2014 at 9:10 am

Where can I find those adorable piggy bowls in the Mac n Cheese photo???

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19 Marla February 13, 2014 at 4:47 am

I had found those at an Asian market in Irvine, CA. Not sure the name though :(

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20 Ronika February 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Thanks! I’m on a mission now! I live near there :)

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21 naomi February 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

Love all these new recipes! So great, Marla.

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22 Debra Clark February 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

It’s fun that you included a menu for the entire day, but I’m going to pay special attention to the shrimp recipe. Love, love, love seafood and this looks simple and delicious! Not having a ton of ingredients makes it so much easier to pull together. Thanks for sharing! Deb

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23 Laura (Tutti Dolci) February 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Such a fab menu, I especially love the shrimp skewers and chocolate pudding!

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24 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Love all these delicious, easy recipes for Valentine’s Day, Marla! It sounds like it’s going to be a special one in your home this year!

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25 Gina February 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Everything looks so good! But I need to know…where did you get the pig bowls?

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26 Marla February 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm

At an Asian market in Irvine, CA :) Not sure what the name is though.

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27 Heather @ French Press February 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

now that would be one full day of eating :) LOVE it all

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28 Paula – bell’alimento February 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Great lineup Marla! Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Herb Butter Hearts..Love!

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29 Meredith February 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Gorgeous meal!

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