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Hands down, the perfect Valentine’s dinner to make for your sweetie

If you haven’t made reservations or plans for Valentine’s Day…don’t.

Let’s be real: restaurants on February 14th are busy and expensive. A better idea? Create the perfect romantic dinner at home, with the help of Mary Berg.



Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto
Serves 2 (with enough for 2 lunches)


  • 4–5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1–2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large red beet, peeled and grated
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 60g goat cheese, crumbled
  • Red and/or green microgreens, for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



  1. Heat the vegetable broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm on the back burner over low heat.  
  2. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the butter and shallots or onions and season with a pinch of salt.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes or just until the onions start to become tender.  Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds then stir in the grated beets and Arborio rice and continue to cook for 1–2 minutes.  
  3. Stir in the white wine and allow it to bubble away until it is almost completely evaporated.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the broth a ½ cup at a time, allowing it to bubble away and evaporate before the next addition.  No need to worry about stirring constantly.  Just give it a good whirl after each new addition of broth and any time you just feel like stirring.
  4. Continue adding the broth until the risotto is al dente or cooked to your liking.  You’re aiming for a balance between tender and toothy but feel free to err on the textural side you prefer.
  5. When the risotto is cooked to your liking, stir in the lemon juice just to brighten everything up as well as the Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper and, if you’d like, add in a little more broth just to loosen everything up.  
  6. Serve in shallow bowls topped with crumbled goat cheese, a scattering of microgreens, and a little more salt and pepper.


No Bake Berry Cheesecake
Makes one 8–9” cheesecake


  • 24 cream filled chocolate or vanilla cookies
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups full fat brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • Red food colouring
  • Fresh berries, perhaps a few chocolate covered strawberries if you’re feeling fancy



  1. Prepare an 8” or 9” spring form pan by spraying the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray and line the sides with a collar of parchment paper.
  2. For the crust, pulse the cream filled cookies in a food processor until finely ground.  Pour in the melted butter and continue to pulse until well combined.  Transfer the crust mixture into the prepared spring form pan and firmly and evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Pop the crust into the fridge to firm up while you prepare the filling.
  3. For the filling, whip together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Whip in the lemon juice and vanilla, and set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream to still peaks then fold into cream cheese mixture in three additions.  Scoop about a ½ cup of the filling mixture into a separate bowl and mix in a few drops of red food colouring to.  Spoon the remaining filling on top of the crust and smooth it out into an even layer. Using a piping bag, zip top bag with a corner removed, or just a small spoon, use the pink filling to draw little hearts across the top of the cheesecake.
  4. Set the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 6 hours to firm up and serve topped with mixed berries.


Sparkling Strawberry Cocktail
Makes enough for 6–8 cocktails


  • 1 – 750ml bottle Prosecco, Cava, Champagne, or dry sparkling wine
  • ½ cup elderflower liqueur
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • Whole strawberries and mint, for garnish



  1. At least 4 hours before you plan on serving drinks, pop the bubbly into the fridge to chill.
  2. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the elderflower liqueur and strawberries and cover with plastic wrap.  Pop this into the fridge to allow the berries to soak up all of that lovely liqueur.
  3. When ready to serve, simply spoon some of the boozy berries and syrup into a glass and top with chilled bubbly.  Garnish with a strawberry and some mint.