Ken Whitaker Author Bio:

Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at www.thedeckchef.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Valentine Heearts and CowsMany people opt for a private home cooked meal on Valentine’s Day instead of spending too much on dinner out with possibly inflated prices. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a big dinner out with your Valentine if the budget and schedule allows it. However, many may find a romantic dinner at home more affordable and equally desired. The trick is to make sure the romantic event is different from a normal meal Here are some suggestions followed by a quick and easy recipe for Chocolate lovers!

Simple is the ticket during the month for lovers. You want to impress your dinner partner. But that does not mean picking a dish that requires you spending all your time in the kitchen. Nothing says love like waiting for hours while food is cooking. Keep it quick and simple… but new.

Keep it fresh. This applies on two levels, fresh foods and a fresh recipe. Avoid bland frozen items and choose a dish that is not something the two of you would eat on a regular basis.

Comfort But try to stay in both of your comfort zones. This is not the time to try an exotic recipe for the first time. One, make sure you can cook the dish. Don’t pick something that takes more skill than you can muster, or time than you can dedicate to it. Two, don’t go crazy on something that neither one of you would really enjoy.

Portions Size. Dishes are smaller, everything is easier, cooking time is reduced and both of you are more likely to enjoy each other’s company more if you don’t feel the need for a nap after dinner.

Clean Up! Are you kidding me? Save the dishes for later.

In short, make it simple, realistic and something you know you can cook but don’t all the time then try to add a twist. And even if you just whip up a regular favorite for dinner, which is fine, add something special and fun.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Berry Dessert for Two

This is a quick and easy dessert that’s perfect for chocolate lovers especially on Valentine’s Day! Make full use of ready-made ingredients and assorted berries! Makes two portions – size up or down as needed.

  • First, pick up some berries – including strawberries – at the local market or grocery store. Clean, rinse, and set aside. Avoid frozen if possible.
  • Also, head to the bakery and grab a large single, individual, plain cup cake or small plain white or chocolate cup cake. Something you can loosely crumble into two portions.
  • Next, pick up any kind of melting chocolate you can get. You can use chocolate chips, candy bark, chocolate candy… anything that you can melt slightly for a drizzle that re-hardens.
  • Whipped cream if desired.

Grab two nice looking bowls or large wine glasses. Melt the chocolate slightly as needed. Crumble some of the cup cake, pound cake, etc into the bottom of the bowl/glass. Drizzle with chocolate, add a small layer of berries, drizzle with chocolate, repeat! Chill and top with whipped cream if desired when ready to serve.