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what is everyone cooking for valentine's Day?

We havew decided to stay in this year and planning a nice dinner what are you doing for the day?

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  1. Folks - forgive us for interrupting so quickly, but we've got a lot of Valentine's Day threads on a lot of boards and so we appreciate your help in keeping them focused on the subject matter at hand. In this case, as drewb123 asks, please do talk about what you are cooking, but If you opt to dine out, that's off topic, and will be deleted.

    Thanks so much!

    1. I'm throwing a large-ish cocktail party to celebrate the day, so my menu isn't the typical "romantic dinner for two." But here goes:

      -Smoked Salmon Mousse
      -Beet, Chickpea, and Almond Dip
      -Pita chips, rye squares, and crudites for above spreads
      -Dates with Goat Cheese, Basil, and Prosciutto
      -Chorizo & Potato Spanish Omelet Bites OR Sausage& Mushroom Phyllo twists
      -Red grapes
      -Chocolate-covered strawberries
      -German Chocolate Cake
      -Kir Royale Punch

      I'm particularly excited because all of the food has something either red or chocolate (both in the case of the strawberries :) ).

      4 Replies
      1. re: porceluna

        porceluna, might you share your recipe for the beet dip?

        1. re: im_nomad

          I haven't actually tried it yet, but the reviews on Epicurious were good. And, the beets turn it pink--perfect for the holiday! Here's the link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1. re: porceluna

            I made this dip a long time ago - and it's great!

        2. re: porceluna

          I've modified my menu a bit, so an update:

          -Crab dip
          -Beet, chickpea, and almond dip
          -Pita chips, crackers, crudites
          -Dates with goat cheese, basil, and prosciutto
          -Red grapes
          -Bittersweet-chocolate covered strawberries-
          -Chocolate-mayo cupcakes with caramel-buttercream frosting
          -Red velvet cupcakes
          -Cranberry kir royales
          -Ginger-gin mules (see my post on the Spirits board)

          Here's hoping it'll be enough, but not too much!

        3. I'm making filet mignon with merlot sauce (www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views...), baked potato with sour cream and chives, and lightly steamed green beans with garlic butter. My DH's fave dinner. Not sure about dessert yet, but would like to hear what others might be thinking of serving....

          5 Replies
          1. re: diablo

            Diablo, The merlot sauce sounds great! I think I'll serve it with a tenderloin roast. I like the idea of serving baked potatoes too since I am making a lemon cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. That should be enough richness and calories. Thanks for the idea!

            1. re: kacee113

              I've been known to drink the merlot sauce straight :) I think I may do the starwberries for dessert as well---so romantic...

            2. re: diablo

              This Merlot sauce sounded good to me (I suddenly found out that my husband was going to be around for V-day after all, so my fallback meal with the kids no longer seemed appropriate)-- I made the sauce today, and though I reduced it the appropriate amount, it seems a bit "thin"; is this the way it is supposed to be? Tastes good, but I fear it won't really "stick" to the meat if you know what I mean.

              1. re: DGresh

                I don't know DGresh. I never seemed to have that problem, but it's not an especially thick sauce. Maybe add a bit more butter?

              2. re: diablo

                I made this for New Year's Eve, and it was delicious. I liked that it was quick and easy and fancy all at the same time. Love, love, love.

              3. Vacationing in Hawaii, celebrating spouse's birthday as well as Valentine's day.
                Plans for the 14th include a meal of Steamed King crab, served with a rice pilaf and green salad with waimea grown lettuce and tomatoes locally grown.Starting with a Lobster bisque. dessert will likely be ice cream served with a yummy chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookie on the side, Simple , but delicious!

                2 Replies
                1. re: easily amused

                  My husband loves macdamia nuts and cookies, would you please share the recipe for the shortbread recipe? Thank you.

                  1. re: paprkutr

                    Sorry, I don't have the shortbread recipe as I buy the cookies from a local bakery, here on the Big Island (Big Island Delights) They are so delicious, hand-dipped in either milk , dark or white chocolate. We take a good number of them home as gifts.
                    I'm sure you could modify an existing shortbread recipe of yours with the addition of some crushed macadamia nuts and dip in chocolate to finish.
                    It does make a most tasty sweet treat.

                2. I have put the husband in charge of dinner since my work has been and will be crazy. Since it is a weeknight, we will probably do something simple like mussels mariniere and some crusty bread. Our anniversary is the 15th, so we will have that be our night out and avoid the crowds the night before.

                  1. We have decided to do the same. I love to cook and I've been so busy lately that I haven't cooked a good meal in awhile. Valentine's Day is here to the rescue. Here is the meal I've planned for the night:

                    First Course: Warm Pancetta, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad
                    Entrée: New York Steak with Boursin and Merlot Sauce, served alongside Roasted Thyme Fingerling Potatoes and Asparagus
                    Dessert: Molten Chocolate Soufflé with melting Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Centers

                    I'm still debating on an appetizer and a pre-dinner drink to start the meal off. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open!

                    1. We are having souffles, both savory and sweet.
                      My bf is doing the savory one, and it's going to be a surprise, but I am guessing there will be wild mushrooms somewhere...
                      I am in charge of the dessert souffle, chocolate would be the easiest, but I am tempted to do something with noyaux or candied citrus peel.
                      Any favorite souffle ideas out there?
                      Also, I want to surprise him with a nice caviar and/or oysters!!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rabaja

                        We are doing a re-do tonight as dinner did not go so well last Thursday.
                        Made it through some delicious Kumamoto oysters and truffled (and cheap!) caviar, but the souffle was a miss.
                        We are trying again tonight, but will probably go in a totally different direction. Lamb chops perhaps.
                        Incidentally, I've never seen the appeal for chocolate dipped strawberries before, but made some on a whim and they were delicious. Must have been that Vosges bar with the chilies!

                        1. re: rabaja

                          This is interesting, because I always feel like the strawberries matter more in the chocolate-dipped strawberries than the chocolate. I like doing them in the summer when the strawberries are truly wonderful.

                      2. My boyfriend is making a cassoulet with duck legs and sausage. We've never had that so it will be a new experience for us. I want to make a few things to go with it, but keeping it light so the cassoulet is the star.

                        Was thinking of a green salad, but just putting some different things in it (like mint, parsley and maybe some fruit) so it seems different and new. And then a kind of light dessert. But what? A fruit thing? Financiers? (We like those.) Any other thoughts for me out there?

                        1. We're doing an all-crepe meal. I thought it would be fun since we like to cook together. We'll probably do two different fillings for the crepes, not sure what yet, but I'm putting pressure on for ham and gruyere. The other one will be something more out there, maybe goat cheese, cranberries and pine nuts. Also not sure on a filling for dessert crepes, but granny smith, dulce de leche and walnuts sounds good. Also a salad, and I decided to be really cheesy and am going to roast heart shaped slices of beet as a topping. Not an especially unified meal but the emphasis was more on fun together than something super put together.

                          1. We're having a bake-off at work, and I'm making red velvet cupcakes as my entry.

                            1. We're having:
                              spinach phyllo bundles
                              lamb chops with apricot sauce and spicy couscous
                              Chopped moorish salad with greek yoghurt (cukes, bell peppers, onions & tomatoes)

                              dessert is meringue with melted chocolate drizzled over, dressed with fresh whipped cream and blackberries. Not a pavlova per se, but similar.

                              1. We're having linguine with shrimp and white wine cream sauce, focaccia bread, and bananas foster.

                                Now that I think about it, I forgot until this moment that DH requested escargot. Doesn't really go with pasta, but he likes it, so I suppose I will pick up some.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: thedoorchick

                                  Do you mind posting a recipe for the white wine cream sauce?

                                  1. re: LTL

                                    Here it is. I think this came from Epicurious. It calls for shrimp and scallops but I think I will only do shrimp:

                                    Shrimp and Linguine in White Wine Cream Sauce

                                    3 tablespoons olive oil
                                    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
                                    5 garlic cloves, minced
                                    1 tablespoon all purpose flour
                                    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
                                    3 tablespoons dry white wine
                                    1 cup whipping cream
                                    8 ounces uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
                                    8 ounces bay scallops
                                    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
                                    12 ounces linguine, freshly cooked

                                    Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and coriander and cook 1 minute. Add wine and cream and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add shrimp and scallops and simmer until shrimp are cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Mix in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over linguine and serve.

                                2. Chicken tagine with almonds and apricots over coucous (for me, moroccan cooking is very romantic for some reason), then a sour cream tart with raspberries.

                                  1. I had no idea what I was cooking, and probably wouldn't have done anything special, but my husband just called to say that the 4oz of Oregon black truffles he ordered arrived. So, we're having truffled egg pasta from a Richard Olney recipe:


                                    I made it over Christmas at my mother's, and it was fantastic -I'll probably use the same kind of noodles this time:


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      Since the truffles arrived on Tuesday and were presumably at their freshest at that point, we ended up having our meal that night. Black truffles, butter and egg noodles - no need to say more.

                                      Cheap sushi tonight.

                                    2. We are both working so I want to keep it simpe. I'm going to start out with kir royals. Main course will be Shrimp Scampi with Spinach over rice. Dessert will be very simple - perhaps ice cream. I'm hoping to make a traditional Nigerian dinner over the weekend when we have more time.

                                      1. fun and easy.
                                        champagne and homemade macaroni and cheese.
                                        not sure what should go with it—I hate when vinegar in salads overshadow the wine...

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: maggiej

                                          I made this salad for our anniversary, out of the same concern regarding the champagne:

                                          Pear and Endive Salad with Bleu d'Auvergne and Toasted Hazelnuts


                                          I used just a little lemon juice in the dressing, instead of vinegar.

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            How about trying some white verjus?

                                            1. re: Candy

                                              That's a clever idea - I should buy some to have on hand - do see it in the stores.

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Be sure to refrigerate after opening. I will get moldy if you don't.

                                          2. re: maggiej

                                            Maggie, if you can find some decent tomatoes, how about a buttermilk ranch dressing over them and some scallions or other greens? Maybe some roasted veggies with the mad & cheese?

                                            1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                              Or a nice butter/bibb/Boston lettuce salad with a buttermilk chive dressing?

                                          3. As Vday is a weeknight, we will be doing something simple that both Mr D & me can make together. We patronize a local butcher who recently had a terrific special on porterhouse steaks. We are starting with tomato, avocado & mozz salad/ with balsamic vinaigrette, chargrilled 2 in thick steak (for two - it's almost 3 lbs.!), grilled asparagus, a twice stuffed baked potato for Mr. D. (I make a bunch of them , freeze and reheat in toaster oven), and some lemon bars (hopefully there are still some in freezer - LOL!). We have a nice bottle of burgundy in the cellar but both os us are on antibiotics so the wine will have to wait.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                              Ooh, Diane, could you please tell me more about your twice baked freezing technique? That sounds like a great idea. Thanks!

                                              1. re: Dizzied

                                                Dizzied, very simple. I make traditional twice baked potatoes, large Idaho or Russet potatoes, coat with a little EVOO and kosher salt at 375 for 45-60 min (have convection oven, we like crispy skin). Slice top 1/3 off, scoop all flesh into mixing bowl. Add butter, some heated cream (FF 1/2 & 1/2, whole milk, whatever), a little sour cream, s&p, some roasted garlic if I have some, some kind of cheese possibly, minced parsley & chives. Pack stuffing mixture back into bakers. I individually freeze them using a Food Saver machine. To serve, let defrost at room temp (usually takes a while), reheat in convection toaster oven at 375 for 15-20 min. This defies my mother's rule that you can't freeze potatoes, turns out very well. Do want to note, I believe the convection oven and the convection toaster oven make a difference.

                                            2. It's going to be a disaster in my case, as I forgot V day and started my yearly springtime (yup, it's spring here in CA) South Beach diet last week! No sweets for me...Luckily (for the hubby and a child) I have to make a 100 butter cookies for a V-day school concert on Wednesday, so I will save some dough and bake them on Thursday for dinner. Also, I have guests on Friday- they are bringing a cake, so I thought I will make some ice cream (thanks for your suggestion to buy a Perfect Scoop- it's a wonderfu book!). I will make the rum-raisin and honey -lavender ice creams, so they will have something besides the butter cookies.
                                              As for the actual dinner, maybe we will gril some chicken breasts, and have a couple of non-carb salads- hey, let them suffer a bit too!

                                              1. Thanks for posting this thread...I've been looking for menu suggestions. I knew I wanted to cook a meal after tasting a wine called Chocolate Amore...a red dessert wine laced with chocolate, it inspired me to make a Valentine's Day Meal!

                                                4 Replies
                                                  1. re: drewb123

                                                    you're in arizona i think? If so, AJ's carries this. It's a chocolate port.

                                                    1. re: ziggylu

                                                      yes i called thanks. is it worth buying?

                                                      1. re: drewb123

                                                        It's a fun dessert wine. A friend sent some to me a few years back and I've bought it for dinner parties a couple times. People always seem to enjoy trying ti. It's got a lot of raspberry tones in it as well as the chocolate.

                                                        I'd prefer a straight port in general but like I said this is a fun thing to try...particularly with chocolate.

                                                1. BBQ'd Baja steak and garlic smashed potatoes. Steamed Santa Maria Valley broccoli. Sherbet and local red.

                                                  1. Somewhat traditional - grilled lobster tails, lobster bisque, grilled marinated root veggies, bittersweet chocolate torte and champagne

                                                    1. I cook all of the time for my girlfriend, so Valentine's is going to be pretty special.

                                                      - four varieties of raw oysters to start
                                                      - foie gras three ways (brioche sandwich, seared over mache, stuffed into poached pear)
                                                      - lobster risotto
                                                      - milk chocolate creme brulee w/raspberries

                                                      Does this sound okay? Do these things go well together? What alcohol should we be drinking with these courses?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: dlw88

                                                        champagne would work the whole way through!

                                                      2. Pretty standard fare and we celebrate with the kids too. Breakfast is red heart pancakes. Dinner is twice baked potatoes, lobster tails, green beans, and chocolate souffles for dessert. Champagne and sparkling cider too. I might go out and get some oysters and try my hand at shucking them.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                                                          Cheesy, if you buy the oyster for shucking, I wish you better luck than DH. We were spending a week in Hilton Head in a condo and I sent him for oysters. They were a little cheaper unshucked, so of course he bought those. First he tried a can opener knife, then a butter knife to open them, then a steak knife and the next step was the ER! He very nearly sliced his hand off. Hope you do better!

                                                          1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                            Thanks for the encouragement and tips of sorts. I do have a oyster knife but I've never used it. I think I'll see if I can find a video online. I'll have to remember to wear a leather glove!

                                                            1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                                                              My husband also once decided to buy (3 dozen - different kinds) oysters unshucked. He had the right knife, the gloves (rubber ones for used by the shuckers) and it was an unmitigated fiasco, though forunately no trip to the ER. It look so easy on TV. No oysters that night.

                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                Just in case this tip helps others--until my brother gave me the hand's on demo, I always tried to pry at the wrong spot on the oyster. You slide the oyster knife into the hinge part of the shell, not the part that opens. And when you get the knife in a bit, you rock the knife back and forth to sever the muscles that keep the shells shut. After that they open easily and are ready to slurp right up.

                                                                1. re: miss louella

                                                                  I had good luck with the oysters. I got Malepeques because they have good flavor and are larger than some. The video tip was very helpful. I bourght 8 and got all but one open. Not bad and they were very good. The oyster knife worked very well too.

                                                          2. re: Cheesy Oysters

                                                            The easiest way to shuck shellfish: Pop each one in the microwave for 10 seconds, it loosens them just enough that you can open them with no effort. While you're opening that one, put the next one in. Doesn't change the flavor or texture at all.

                                                          3. First i will be making my own raspberry flavored vodka w/ orange zest, frozen rasperries and ketel one vodka. Add some sparkling water or sprite and we will see what she thinks of another take on her favorite drink.

                                                            As a first course we will start with a lobster cocktail w/ surpremed citrus, red onions, mint and a citrus vinaigrette.

                                                            For the main course I will be grilling a steak and lathering it with a balsamic bbq sauce and serving it with a baked orzo pasta dish w/ peas, prosciutto and bread crumbs, a mixed green salad, and homemade garlic bread.

                                                            My SO will be handling the dessert aspect of the dinner.

                                                            Good Luck To All!

                                                              1. I started a succesful thread and now we have deicded to go out for chinese... LOL I can't resist good Peking Duck. But good luck and let me know what came out succesful.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: drewb123

                                                                  We had our "Valentine's Dinner" at home last night! I'll post tomorrow after I down load the photos. Enjoy your Peking Duck - sounds like a good plan to me.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    I look forward to your report, MMRuth! I wasn't planning on doing anything special this year since we don't always celebrate Vday, but I was inspired by Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Food" that I currently have checked out from the library. I love the pizza at Chez Panisse Cafe, and the pizza dough recipe--which has a little rye flour and a healthy dose of olive oil--sounded really good and different from my past doughs. Oh, and did I mention that husband's all-time, no-question favorite food is pizza?

                                                                    I made the dough last night and after checking on it this morning, so far so good! What I love about pizza is that it's the perfect quick, weeknight dinner, but having it be homemade is special. I made a quick marinara sauce last night too since husband likes a saucy pizza while I like mine sans red sauce. I'll go to the market after work to fetch a few toppings...

                                                                    Will serve a green salad on the side and open up a bottle of red wine. Dessert will be either chocolate souffles or brownie sundaes (unfortunately not w/ homemade ice cream) w/ homemade fudge sauce. I better go figure that out now...

                                                                    BTW, I'm really liking Waters' latest book. I was kind of expecting it to be stale and recycled material, but it's actually a very nice overview of fundamental recipes and concepts that all cooks should know. This one feels like it's written for the home cook and usable, whereas some of her other books are nice to read or look at, but not something I'd use. Given my growing collection of books, I don't think I'll be buying it, but I think it would make a great gift for a beginning cook who is building their repertoire and book resources.

                                                                2. I think we'll start with charcuterie and cheeses. I was toying with getting some amazing steaks, or dreaming up some new pizzas. But with my husband on crutches, the crazy pace at work and the arrival of our new sofa, I'm thinking easy, unfussy, and delicious. Like some really great burgers with blue cheese and grilled onions (yeah, onions, but if we both eat them, who cares?) accompanied by an arugula salad. And a really great bottle of red, probably Cab Sauv or Petite Sirah based. Some ice cream for dessert, either homemade or maybe some purchased gelato.

                                                                  1. I told my boyfriend I'd cook his favorite meal for him.

                                                                    We're having chili. ;)

                                                                    1. oh, very simple for us. I got some rock lobster tails, and will make a crabmeat stuffing for them. Sauteed spinach. A bottle of champagne left over from New Years, and a bought NY style cheesecake. Good coffee.

                                                                      One of the benefits of a long and happy marriage is that simple is profound.

                                                                      1. Dinner is for me, hub, and our boys ages 6 & 9. We will feast on rigatoni, meatballs and sausages which is a treat after all of the pasta w/ garbanzo beans, broccoli and olive oil they usually get! For dessert, I'm going to make this "devil dog" cake from epi :http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                        1. We celebrate with our kids too - so try to make it something out of the ordinary, but kid friendly. We were going to do cheese fondue, with roasted veggies, roasted beet and spring mix salad and Dr. Bob's chocolate ice cream with lavender caramel and strawberries. My FIL sent the strawberries, so the kids are excited about those. BUT then three of the four people in the family came down with pneumonia and my husband (being the fourth) doesn't like the idea of a communal fondue pot...wimp... And I don't feel like shopping or getting a bunch of stuff. So, we are going to do a baked potato bar, but instead of making up all the toppings, I am going to make cute little "menus" for my kids to make their order of toppings. This is big for them, because they always just get what I decide to make for dinner. Probably some roasted veggies with it and for dessert we still have ice cream and strawberries...maybe I will make a coconut caramel sauce as I have no heavy cream... Thanksgiving was the stomach flu that lasted a month, into Christmas. I am beginning to think we are cursed for holiday meals : )

                                                                          1. We'll be having eggs, bacon, and cinnamon rolls. Odd, I know, but the thought of curling up in bathrobes with "breakfast" sounds really appealing.

                                                                            1. we're going with plan "b."

                                                                              plan "a" was a zuni chicken. it was sitting real happy in the fridge after salting, etc. on sunday. it taunted us. we just had to eat that bad boy tonight (wednesday). mercy, it was good. washed it down with a 2006 la crema pinot noir.

                                                                              plan "b" is beef tenderloin, baked potatoes and chive carrots. wine tbd. should be simple and tasty.

                                                                              damn, that chicken was good.

                                                                              1. i'm going pretty clean and healthy this year...

                                                                                caramelized onion and wild mushroom salad
                                                                                lemon and tarragon scallops
                                                                                roasted asparagus
                                                                                [low-fat] broccoli souffle
                                                                                melon granita [not settled here]

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                  I would love your low-fat broccoli souffle recipe!

                                                                                  1. re: PamelaD

                                                                                    I cook a bag of broccoli til soft, then toss in a blender with egg whites, a few dollops of fat free sour cream and fat free ricotta, along with some Lipton's onion soup mix... then bake in a Pam sprayed dish. You can add chopped cooked mushrooms, onions, tomatoes... whatever floats your boat. Incidentally, it's good w/ spinach too.

                                                                                      1. re: PamelaD

                                                                                        No prob. It's a basic no frills, fast-to-make recipe that adapts well and tolerates a lot. Enjoy, and spice it up to your palate!

                                                                                2. We are staying in (8 inches of snow/ice) and yesterday I mixed fresh minced garlic with soft butter and parsley and smeared it under the skin of some bone in breasts. Stuffed some lemon slices on top of the butter and a little more butter on the skins. Im going to roast them tonight with white and sweet potatoes, the roasted broccoli recipe from Kaylen's Kitchen blog and a chocolate bread pudding for dessert. I feel as though I need a salad or something in there...ideas?

                                                                                  1. I made cherry chocolate brownies to take into the shop. I published the recipe in our Feb. newsletter so I thought it would be nice for our customers to be able to sample them. Also I can let them know when I typed up the newsletter I left out the necessary 2 1/3 C. sugar. Oops!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                      One of Lulu's babysitters is obsessed with chocolate and cherries. I'll look up your recipe for a treat for her. Sounds wonderful.

                                                                                    2. HEart shaped pizza margherita with carefully nurtured home grown tomatoes. I've been carrying that damn plant in and out every day since November...

                                                                                      1. I wanted to go light this year so....

                                                                                        Pan-Seared Scallops (with spinach and a warm sherry-bacon vinaigrette)

                                                                                        Tortilla de Patatas

                                                                                        simple bib salad with a lemon-garlic vinaigrette dressing

                                                                                        chocolate-mint meringues...if I get around to making them, otherwise it will "just" be dark chocolate and champagne

                                                                                        1. Only one course: Seared fish fillets (I'm using somewhat thick catfish), with a red grape and riesling reduction (it's pink!), topped with a salad of fried julienned leeks, halved grapes, diced crisp bacon, and baby arugula tossed with a little of the sauce. (This is a complete bastardization of a halibut dish from the forthcoming Top Chef cookbook.) Smooth whipped potatoes on the side. I got two bars of fancy chocolate for dessert after the little one is safely in bed: one of those new "dark milk" chocolates, and a dark chocolate with lavender and dried blueberries.

                                                                                          1. Stone crab claws with mustard sauce...shrimp cocktail....splitting a steak with grilled mushrooms....oven baked fries...a salad of pears, stilton and romaine...splitting chocolate mousse (bought!) and fresh strawberries.

                                                                                            1. So far:

                                                                                              Charcuterie Plate
                                                                                              Endive, Pear & Bleu Salad
                                                                                              Something in between???
                                                                                              Lamb or Duck Entree (we'll have to see what looks best at the store)
                                                                                              Lemon Souffle
                                                                                              Oh & some champagne...

                                                                                              What am I missing? Ideas?

                                                                                              1. Making black bean soup, fish tacos (have never made before, but g/f is from alabama and its a big hit down south and her fave, looked over receipies and suggested halibut or mahi mahi, went w/ mahi mahi as per my fish monger's suggestion), closing w/ chocolate fondue.

                                                                                                1. Our traditional Valentine's smorgasbord of anything we feel like eating even if it doesn't go together at all. Coconut shrimp with mango salsa, vegetable terrine with toasted baguette slices, herb salad with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese, and lamb chops. Chocolate souffle with burnt caramel ice cream for dessert.

                                                                                                  1. Mushroom pakoras with cilantro/coriander chutney
                                                                                                    Hamburgers with bacon
                                                                                                    Frites with aioli for dipping
                                                                                                    dulce de leche ice cream and/or Mexican chocolate & dulce de leche crepe torte

                                                                                                    1. I'm keeping things relatively simple this year:

                                                                                                      -French 75 cocktails to start (we were drinking them the night my husband proposed)
                                                                                                      -Various cheeses from favourite places we've visited/lived over the years, including a Tuscan truffled pecorino, brie de meaux and La Sauvagine from Quebec
                                                                                                      -Grilled fresh figs wrapped with prosciutto di parma
                                                                                                      -Crab legs with garlic butter, warm baguette
                                                                                                      -Chilled Prosecco
                                                                                                      -Chocolate fondue with fruit

                                                                                                      1. I don't get home til 6:00 and am cooking for the whole family (daughters 8 & 4), but I think I can pull this off in record time:

                                                                                                        Grilled rib-eye steak
                                                                                                        Steamed Crab legs
                                                                                                        Steamed broccoli with lemon butter
                                                                                                        Mashed potatoes

                                                                                                        To start an arugula salad tossed with beets, feta, toasted pine nuts and balsamic.

                                                                                                        For dessert, all the chocolate my husband and I will have given each other!

                                                                                                        1. I'm planning on cooking broiled salmon with a tomato and blood orange sauce, sauteed broccolini with lemon, tomato risotto, drinking a Kim Crawford unoaked chardonnay, with whole foods individual chocolates to finish. OR if we run out of time tonight it will be leftover homemade lasagna, and Valentines Day will wait until the weekend!

                                                                                                          1. Wow - everybody's plans are making me hungry - they all sound wonderful!

                                                                                                            This will be my first menu planned and cooked in our new house, so I'm really looking forward to it. We'll start with a layered crabmeat 'tart' with marinated tomatoes and avocado puree. Dinner and dessert are at E's request - a classic Caesar salad, and his favorite surf and turf - filet mignon with cognac cream sauce, and baked stuffed lobster (here in AZ I'll be trying my recipe out using Australian lobster tail for the first time). Dessert is a special recipe that I was fortunate enough to get from his mom before she passed away - gelatina de leche. We'll probably start with kir royales or champagne, and then with dinner it will be one of two wines I have picked out - either a cabernet (2004 Tres Sabores Rutherford "Perspective") or a Cahors malbec (2001 Oriel Cahors Falerne).

                                                                                                            BTW, Drewb - be sure to report back on your Peking Duck dinner at Jade Palace! I'd be interested in how they serve the courses too. I'm familiar with the three classic courses of crispy skin and pancakes, the meat stir-fried, and the bones used for soup. From the local Peking Duck thread on the SW board, I think it's done differently in this area. Looking forward to hearing how it was!

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                              After deciding to "boycott" the day, I returned to my office after a meeting and found beautiful flowers. Bah humbug heart is now slightly warm, so I went to the market across from the office and will prepare (if I remember to get my groceries out of the office fridge):

                                                                                                              3 Onion Soup

                                                                                                              Champagne-butter poached warm lobster tail salad

                                                                                                              Strawberries (we have fantastic ones around lately) with pound cake and creme freche

                                                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                hey, that sounds good - can I come over? ;)

                                                                                                                1. re: gini

                                                                                                                  Hey girl - you know you're always welcome!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                    Update: I still prefer our New England lobsters, but the baked stuffed lobster tail came out very good, and perfectly cooked (I baked it for 18 minutes at 400). E bought a couple of frozen Australian cold-water lobster tails at Costco, and I used my favorite crabmeat stuffing recipe from Jasper White's "Lobster at Home".

                                                                                                              2. well as my board about cooking for one in celebration of Valentines Day was so graciously removed by the mods (evidently we don't matter)...i guess i'll chime in here. I have a nice bottle of red, the epicurious moussaka, and a fleur de sel chocolate for dessert. all for me !

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                  DH cooked us bracciole and broccoli rabe. I contributed focaccia with parmesan cheese and onion topping. We toasted each other with a mellow chianti and I gave DH a mesclun blend seed kit for his Aerogarden. For dessert we will have a heart shaped brownie topped with junior mint frosting.

                                                                                                                2. Stayed in and made:
                                                                                                                  radiccio, endive and field green salad with asian pears, toasted walnuts, Borough Market Stilton and a simple vinaigrette
                                                                                                                  seared dry aged rib eyes - funky and awesome, quite frankly
                                                                                                                  chocolate fallen cakes with flambeed bananas in orange cognac and brandy for dessert
                                                                                                                  A lovely Cabernet Sauvignon

                                                                                                                  1. Too tired to cook last night so we're cooking tonight.

                                                                                                                    Think we've settled on salmon piccata with some homemade noodles and roasted broccoli. Going light for dessert so probably an ambrosia of oranges, bananas, and coconut. Haven't settled on a starter yet but have the day to think on it.

                                                                                                                    1. We both worked late so dinner was kept light yet very eye appealing and satisfying

                                                                                                                      Tuna tartare- with Asian flaovrs
                                                                                                                      Miso soup
                                                                                                                      Fried tofu

                                                                                                                      1. Horseradish crusted arctic char
                                                                                                                        Roasted brussel sprouts
                                                                                                                        Coconut Jasmine rice (my pregnant wife's favorite these days...i don't ask)

                                                                                                                        An assortment of Jacques Torres chocolates and 1 of his immense chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: harrison

                                                                                                                          '21' Burgers, hashed brown potatoes, creamed spinach and a bananas foster bread pudding with butter rum sauce.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Fairfield.Foody

                                                                                                                            How do you make "21" Burgers - is it a recipe from the restaurant?

                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                              Yes. My uncle was manager/VP there for many years.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Fairfield.Foody

                                                                                                                                Would you be up for posting the recipe or is it a secret one? Or just tips about what makes it so good?

                                                                                                                        2. Lamb chops with balsamic syrup (flavored with rosemary & black peppercorns) over
                                                                                                                          swiss chard with the most amazing roasted potatoes - crisp outside, moist inside.
                                                                                                                          A nice bottle of the Jump Stump wine.

                                                                                                                          1. We had shrimp cockatil, caesar salad, steak au poivre, twice baked potatoes, chocolate souffle and vanilla ice cream. And champagne. Yum!

                                                                                                                            1. I've decided to make our V-day dinner on Saturday (tomorrow). I want to do something really nice and take my time. Cooking is such a pleasure and a huge form of relaxation for me that I jump at the chance to fiddle in the kitchen on the weekends.
                                                                                                                              I've decided to make:
                                                                                                                              Cheese fondue
                                                                                                                              One pan sage chicken and sausage bake - Nigella lawson
                                                                                                                              simple broccoli
                                                                                                                              Chocohotopots (with Haagen Daz Vanilla ice cream) - Nigella lawson

                                                                                                                              So, not too many courses but perfect for the two of us. I want to sneak in a batch of cookies for him and there's always room required for snuggling ;oP

                                                                                                                              1. I haven't been cooking as much lately so I decided to make V Day special this year. I made Smoked Salmon Tartar with Sesame Tuile Napoleans (the basic recipe for the napoleans is the one for the cornets from the French Laundry cookbook but the cornets are *hard* to make right so I just made them into round discs and layered the smoked salmon tartar in between and topped with creme fraiche, minced onion and capers). The main course was White Truffle, Asparagus Tips and Lobster Risotto (he wanted this for the main) and dessert was the Pierre Herme inspired French Lemon Cream Tart from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan's "Baking From My Home to Yours". The tart was sinfully rich and conveniently published in the Chicago Tribune the day before V Day. All in all an excellent meal!

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: KateB

                                                                                                                                  Oh wow does that Lemon Cream Tart look wonderful! I'm going to have to hang on to that recipe.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ExercisetoEat

                                                                                                                                    It is delicious but I need to get it out of my kitchen as I keep cutting off a wee slice now and again. It serves 8 and we are only 2 and there is a lot of butter in this tart!