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What are you cooking for Valentines day?

Obvious topic is obvious. I haven't decided yet, so I think I'll scout your plans for ideas. I know I'm starting breakfast with American-style pancakes with blueberries and creme fraiche.

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  1. Coconut banana bread has already been baked for breakfast.

    Dinner will be; app: some type of crostini, entree: sea bass over risotto, dessert: a cake of some sort (I need to finally use this heart shaped pan I bought about 4 years ago!). A bottle of bubbly saved from a trip to Napa shall be popped as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shadysider023

      hmm, need to get some champagne. Do you think they might boost the prices? Better go to a dedicated wine shop I guess.

    2. Un-chucked fresh oysters on the grill until they open...mmmm yum
      Marinated, bacon-wrapped quail to follow on the grill
      Unsure what to serve with the quail - last time we did the oysters we filled up on them!
      Dessert, I know - his favorite creme brulee (he gets to torch it!)
      and champagne.....

      1 Reply
      1. re: bayoucook

        Marinated quail...sounds delicious...have seen frozen ones, would like to try one, what ingredients do you use in the marinade?

      2. oops - hit the c instead of the s - meant un-shucked...

        1. We're having a good soft cheese on crostini to start with some bubbly. Then, I'm cooking:
          pork tenderloin with apple and onion compote
          sauteed green beans
          brown rice medley w/ garlic and shallots
          arugula salad with blue cheese, pecans and grapes w/ dijon vinaigrette

          For dessert, we're having chocolate lava cakes baked in heart shaped ramekins and served with fudge sauce and ice cream. Should be delicious!

          3 Replies
          1. re: jenhen2

            That does sound nice. Green beans are definitely win.
            that other thread about the first time meal has me craving asparagus though

            *edit* say, does anybody have info on bernaise sauce? What it tastes like, how to make it?

            1. re: Soop

              have you ever had a hollandaise sauce? it's like that but with a slight licorice-y flavor, from the chervil and/or tarragon

            2. re: jenhen2

              Oh man! Sign me up for this V-day dinner.

            3. Cioppino as a first course, shrimp stuffed chicken, lemon rice, asparagus for the main and chocolate ravioli for desert. Champagne of course.

              1. I'm not doing something nearly as fancy as what others have posted. We're having: the manchego gougeres recipe from Chow (figured I'd try it instead of my usual gruyere and red pepper ones); asparagus soufflee; haricots verts; salad with smoked blue cheese, walnuts and poached pears; and for dessert, bananas glazed in rum and brown sugar over vanilla ice cream. Sadly for me, DH does not eat anything chocolate. But, hey, rum is great too!

                3 Replies
                1. re: LNG212

                  OMG, how is this meal not as fancy as the others? gougeres, souffle, poached pairs.... fantastique!

                  oh hell, i just realized i responded to a year old post.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      ooopsy! and wasn't even drinking. at the time.

                2. Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce and a bottle (or 2) of Montaudon Grande Rose.

                  p.s. I'll be grinding the chuck fresh tomorrow morning.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Demented

                    Keeping it Simple this year!

                    Start wtih some really great Dirty Martinis
                    Truffle Cheese and Aged Gouda with homemade crustinis

                    Alaskan King Crab Legs (10 lbs!)

                    Grilled Oysters with butter and parmesan cheese

                    Oh and couple bottles of my favorite wine ...Duckhorn

                    1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                      Oh sweet mother of simplicity that sounds fantastico.

                    2. We are actually celebrating it today, b/c hubby will be leaving for Spain tomorrow. We will be going to an Italian restaurant and, with all that pasta in our belly, will probably come home and go right to bed! That's romance for you, ha ha.

                      I am excited about tomorrow. I plan on preparing something special for myself. I believe first and foremost in self-love!

                      1. Easy to prepare, elegant, and most importantly--DELICIOUS!

                        boiled lobster
                        truffled mashed potatos
                        roasted asparagus

                        1. I know it sounds boring, but we've tried pretty hard to break the meat-and-potatoes mentality we grew up in, so this is a big deal for us:
                          Bone-in ribeyes, grilled with sea salt and pepper...I think mr. bakinggirl has some Portuguese salt cream he wants to try out
                          Roasted asparagus (I know it's not in season but the stalks at WF looked pretty good, plus it's mr. bakinggirl's fave)
                          Baked potatoes (with the fixings)
                          For dessert? I have no idea. That'll be a last-minute decision
                          Breakfast will be a caramel cinnamon monkey bread, which I'll start first thing and we plan to devour after a little winter fly-fishing tomorrow AM. Call me non-romantic, but having some quiet alone time in the woods is the best way we could spend the morning.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bakinggirl

                            Thatt sounds like a heavenly day that will end in a blissful food coma. I love doing ribeyes with hubs. We share one. He likes the meat near the bone and I like just that outer charry piece that is separated from the main steak by a ribbon of glorious fat.

                            I am going to have to investigate portuguese salt cream.

                          2. I'm not really sure. I have a mish-mash of ideas, but with it being cold and gross, I'm leaning towards more comfort food than I had really planned. I attempted petits fours yesterday, but the cake didn't come out right and they were soggy. Which is fine, it opens up dessert for baked hot chocolate, which I really wanted to try. For breakfast, I've been wanting to make a goat cheese/ricotta pancake recipe. And right at this moment I'm thinking about very unfancy, unromantic beef stew for dinner. With good cheese and maybe polenta.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cyberroo

                              We are going out for a meal tonight, so tomorrow will be very simple - DH's favorite. A rustic pasta made with pancetta, canneli beans, tomatoes, garlic and hot pepper...Yum
                              ...And homemade choc chip cookies...of course a bottle of bubbly, and some nice italian wine..

                            2. I was going to make crab cakes, but $30 for the crab meat was just too much for my poor wallet to take. (Ignore the $50 bottle of scotch I bought. That's different). Prolly just see what's on sale tomorrow and ad lib.

                              1. I wanted to have a fun, relaxed holiday so we are going heavy on the apps and drinks, doing nothing too complicated:

                                To start:
                                - cheese plate with asiago, taleggio, brie, Artisanal cabecour feuille and crackers / breads
                                - smoked salmon and roe with creme fraiche and chives on toasted rounds
                                - pate
                                Valentine '09 Punch: a bit of lemon juice, a touch of superfine sugar, equal quantities of Grand Marnier and Cointreau, cognac, blood orange juice and sparkling wine (no need to waste the Champagne), slices of blood orange

                                Vension medallions for me, seared medium rare,
                                Ribeye steak for him, medium rare
                                Truffle butter and balsamic reductions will be on the side, should they be needed

                                Roasted broccoli rabe with yellow peppers and red onions
                                Lemon-roasted potatoes
                                Petite sirah with a blueberry nose, firm tannins

                                A trio of gelatos/sorbets from L'Arte Del Gelato. Varieties change contantly but I'm hoping we'll end up with some combination of coconut, kiwi, passionfruit, pear....


                                1. We're having dinner at a friend's place & will be 3 couples total. I made a caponata today for starters, and I'm bringing a traditional Greek salad. The main will be leg of lamb with a mystery side & dessert. Lots of beer and wine, and great conversation. I'm looking forward to it!!

                                  1. Grilled skewered beef hearts followed by bittersweet chocolate lava cakes ;).

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: phoenikia


                                      are these the Peruvian anticuchos, by chance, or some other prep for beef hearts?

                                    2. We;ve only had dinner together once in the last two weeks due to husband's work schedule and my work and school schedule so looking forward to a quiet dinner at home tomorrow. We're going really simple:

                                      Roast Chicken(probably Marcellas recipe)
                                      Mashed potatoes and parsnips
                                      Roasted Brussel Sprouts

                                      I"m going to make some meyer lemon custard cakes for dessert.

                                      1. After reading all of the responses, our menu sounds a bit old and boring, but things we love. We will be having a roast duck, wild rice and asparagus. No desert for us because I don't do well making desert.

                                        1. I was going to make: Steamed artichokes with dill and lemon aioli, beef stroganoff, and Ina's lemon yogurt cake with strawberries for dessert.

                                          Then, we went out on a bike ride in the afternoon, and stopped at Burger King around 3:30. The BK Big Fish sandwich not only made me too full for dinner, but also nauseous for the remainder of the evening. Whoops. Guess we'll have v-day dinner tonight. Maybe minus the cake.

                                          1. we had a simple roast chicken with rosemary and lemon ,basted with white wine, pureed yukons golds and celery root and sauteed snap peas. Ended with dark chocolate just chopped as we ate it...a nice Barbera and it was perfect and such a nicer restaurant than anything outside our home...candles were lit , wine was decanted and music was soft...

                                            1. In the end, we had 21 day aged sirloin, hand made chips (oven cooked), asparagus tips, and what may or may not have been bearnaise sauce. Accompanied by a bardellino classico 2007. It was good.

                                              I made the pancakes too.

                                              1. I made wholemeal empanadas, Argentiniean style, one filled with 'humita' (made with sweetcorn, sour cream, onion, garlic, chilli and several spices) and the other with Parma ham, black olives and moked cheddar with sundried tomatoes. That was ccompanied by a potato and sweet potato oven-baked dauphinoise with wilted spinach on top and for dessert a dulce de leche mousse with dark chocolate shavings and crushed almonds on top that was truly yummy.

                                                1. We made mini quiche and shrimp cocktail for appetizers. Then halibut in a sweet glaze with spinach and green beans. A salad made of cucumber, tomato, onion with olive oil and pepper on the side. A bottle of veuve cliquout, and a bottle of chardonnay to go with the food. Dessert was berries with whipped cream.

                                                  1. We had a great smoked gouda cheese/crackers to start, then bluepoint oysters (we were learning to shuck for the first time - no blood), I spent most of the day making my hubby's mom's spaghetti sauce, and he then made a fantastic lazagna (and now I know why I haven't really enjoyed lazagna before - this was fantastic). Also made these great bread sticks, by twisting them with mustard, parm and prochutto inside. Tried a new red wine. Life is Good!!!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: lexpatti

                                                      Homemade lasagne is the best isn't it? My new years resolution is "try more things", and I've already found some great wines... trouble is, I've already found myself sticking to the really good ones!

                                                      1. re: lexpatti

                                                        ha ha, interesting to review my last years menu..... this year was a nice salad and homemade pasta with crawfish monica (leftover crawfish from our early Mardi Gras party). OMG, too bad that recipe for crawfish monica is soooooo fattening because I would love to try it with shrimp, scallops and lobster. It was sooo rich and delish!!!

                                                      2. We had conch and bay scallop salad, Bahamian style and cracked conch. Chocolate bread pudding for dessert

                                                        1. Buckwheat blini with caviar and sour cream. I also did a mushroom filling using dried morels to fill out the flavor.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: chilihead

                                                            Yum. Salami & cheese sandwiches for the Southwest flight and baby back ribs, 2 kinds of beans, potato salad, slaw and wines at my bros. in Las Vegas. He's my big brother and hero.

                                                          2. How strange.

                                                            Just had pretty much exactly the same thing again yesterday; 2 delicious sirloins, asparagus tips (this time with pancetta, which was an excellent pairing) Chunky chips (frozen this time) and bearnaise sauce (homemade).

                                                            The bearnaise was even better this time, and I was really good with my timings! yum yum yum...

                                                            1. Something few women can resist: A heart-shaped meatloaf, poutine, a blueberry pie and a bottle of Malbec.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: beevod

                                                                I hear you on the pie.
                                                                I meant to get ice cream, but we don't have any room in the freezer anyway

                                                              2. We had our Valentine's Day dinner on Saturday instead of Sunday.

                                                                Salad: Caesar salads with individual, long romaine lettuce leaves arranged on the plate (fancy-schmancy restaurant style) rather than chopped up. I drizzled each leaf with dressing from a squeeze bottle and decorated each one with hand-grated Romano cheese instead of parmesan, garlicky Caesar croutons, and those great anchovy fillets rolled around capers.

                                                                Antipasti: Portobello mushroom caps, marinated in Italian dressing and grilled (in the ol' George Foreman Grill).

                                                                Primi: Spaghetti carbonara, made with real pancetta (my first time using it instead of bacon) and more hand-grated Romano cheese. Garlic Texas toast on the side.

                                                                Secundi: Pork tenderloin, oven-roasted and glazed with apricot-raspberry-balsamic reduction.

                                                                We didn't have dessert, but we went out for frozen yogurt earlier that day.

                                                                1. We had crab-stuffed portabella caps, green salad, grilled tuna steaks, roast asparagus, and garlic pesto rice w/mushrooms. For dessert, a cookie pizza (sugar cookie crust, chocolate topped w/strawberries and whipped cream).

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: al b. darned

                                                                    sounds yummy... would you be willing to share your crab-stuffed mush caps recipe? TIA!

                                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                                      No big secret...I started with this one:


                                                                      I added garlic and fresh ground pepper, substituted Old Bay for the dill weed, and topped them with mozzarella cheese. I also used leeks instead of green onion because that's what I had.

                                                                  2. Sundays dinner was grilled wahoo, cauliflower puree, corn, onion, garlic and mixed pepper relish and tossed salad.

                                                                    1. I'm glad this year's Valentine's dinner went as planned!

                                                                      I made mustard-crusted salmon fillets, wild rice pilaf, and salad with tahini dressing. We both enjoyed it very much, though judging from evidence, I'm pretty sure my boyfriend got up around midnight and ate some leftover lasagna. =)

                                                                      1. I hate to say I'm not much in the mood for making anything yet. Maybe it'll come to me but for now, we may just go out for steak and call it a day

                                                                        1. Korean ox tail stew w/ rice, kim che and pickled cucmber. Seoul food!

                                                                          1. We don't really celebrate "Hallmark" holidays. Both of us have full schedules today, so some Asian chicken broth is defrosting and I will make a Noodle Soup.

                                                                            1. He's having chicken piccata & mashed potatoes and I'm having bonbons.

                                                                              1. I am 0ff w0rk t0day and staying inside 0ut 0f the wet and rainy day.
                                                                                I plan 0n making s0mething nice t0 c0me h0me t0 after class t0night, but s0 far I'm a bit stuck.
                                                                                The cat will get chicken livers. Hell, maybe I will t00.
                                                                                0r ph0, 0r braised chicken thighs, 0r pan seared chicken breast, 0r chicken cacciat0re...

                                                                                1. Eh, don't really celebrate Valentines Day But I have been craving a burrito from a local restaurant, so I was going to use the holiday as an excuse to go get one.

                                                                                  However, I over bought this weekend and we have some left overs to get through. So I'm making chicken croquettes, steamed broccoli, and twice baked potatoes?

                                                                                  I did make BF lemon crepes w/ lemon ricotta filling and a strawberry sauce for breakfast.

                                                                                  1. DH is in charge of cocktails/wine and I am cooking, albeit with short cuts...

                                                                                    Bought some yummy sounding/looking jars of things while at Eataly in NY a few weekends ago so I'm doing some antipasto (baby artichokes, oven roasted tomato bruschetta, tapenade, sopressata, smoked cheddar) and then gnocchi with pomodoro* & parmesan and fresh bread on the side. Picked up cannoli for dessert. Simple and hopefully yummy!

                                                                                    *A question - the pomodoro was purchased at Eataly and the label is in Italian. Without the aid of a translator I 'think' it says to saute some garlic in olive oil and simply add the pomodoro to heat through. Sound right?

                                                                                    Hope everyones Valentine's Day is delicious!

                                                                                    1. French onion soup and chocolate bread pudding. I actually made the soup yesterday using a mix of Thomas Keller & CooksIll. Both recommend letting it sit for a day and I have to agree. It is always best the next day. It smelled so good it was hard not to eat it. But my plan was to wait until today to buy the bread and cheese.

                                                                                      1. As my father would and too often did say, "tonight's the night!" - Geschnetzeltes venison (using ribeye cut), braised Belgian endives, Roesti potatoes, watercress and walnut salad, and white chocolate/marron glacé pots de creme (with chestnut madeleines courtesy of friend souschef if I get home early enough).
                                                                                        Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! May your chocolate cakes always be molten.

                                                                                        1. Tonight I will make some of DH's favorites. Roasted baby red potatoes with BBQ seasoning, medium rare London Broil and baby glazed carrots. Dessert is ice cream.

                                                                                          1. Happy Valentines Day!

                                                                                            Starter - two fantastic cheeses from our fav cheese shop with the last of the homemade fig jam
                                                                                            Dinner - Cedar planked grilled salmon (bf's favorite), roast asparagus and roast potatoes
                                                                                            Dessert: White chocolate raspberry cheesecake - another bf request

                                                                                            Lots of cremant to wash it down.

                                                                                            1. Reviving this topic for 2012!

                                                                                              I saw a recipe on Epicurious the other day for toasted bread with chocolate, olive oil and sea salt. Sounds like a foodie version of Nutella on toast and I'm in!!

                                                                                              May start with that in the morning or do it for dessert. Looking for other inspiring ideas...

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: kireland

                                                                                                Do you have a link for this, or you keeping it to your self?

                                                                                                1. re: kireland

                                                                                                  You all are just so sophisticated! My husband loves comfort food, the homier, the better, and meatloaf best of all. I made a heart shaped meatloaf, rutabaga puree and green beans...

                                                                                                2. This recipe for duck (the best recipe for duck I've come across): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                                                                  It's so perfect--during the steaming phase, it renders a ton of fat from the duck without burning the fat (so you can use it later!), and creates a delicious and gelatinous duck stock. Rendering the duck fat prepares the skin to become super crispy, rather than thick and chewy. And it steams it to the perfect doneness. Then you sear it during phase two to create a golden brown crust.

                                                                                                  Best duck ever.

                                                                                                  1. I am going to make Be My Valentine Brownies. I have been making these brownies for years, they are the best, so moist, chocolaty and pretty. I make these brownies not only for Valentine's day, but also at normal days, so far everyone loves it and raves about it. It's a pure indulgence... Hope you will enjoy them too.

                                                                                                    Be My Valentine Brownie Hearts
                                                                                                    4 ounces chocolate unsweetened unsweetened
                                                                                                    3/4 cup margarine (1 1/2 sticks)
                                                                                                    2 cups sugar
                                                                                                    3 large eggs
                                                                                                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                                    1 cup flour, all-purpose
                                                                                                    1 cup nuts chopped
                                                                                                    2 2/3 cups strawberries halved*
                                                                                                    8 ounces whipped topping, prepared or whipped cream for the ultimate treat

                                                                                                    Heat oven to 350 F (325 degrees F if you are using a glass or pyrex baking dish).

                                                                                                    Line a 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan with foil, extending over edges to form handles.

                                                                                                    Spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease.

                                                                                                    Heat chocolate and butter or margarine in a small saucepan over low heat. Alternatively place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at full power.

                                                                                                    Stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted.

                                                                                                    In a large bowl mix together the sugar and chocolate mixture until well blended.

                                                                                                    Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.

                                                                                                    Add the flour and nuts and blend thoroughly.

                                                                                                    Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

                                                                                                    Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Be careful not to overbake! You want the outside to be a bit crisp and retain a fudge-like interior.

                                                                                                    Cool in the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes for easier cutting.

                                                                                                    Lift brownies out of pan with foil handles.

                                                                                                    Invert onto back of pan. Carefully remove foil.

                                                                                                    Carefully flip over onto a cutting board.

                                                                                                    Cut into heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

                                                                                                    Place half of the brownies on individual dessert plates.

                                                                                                    Arrange strawberries over the brownie. Top with whipped cream or whipped topping.

                                                                                                    Top with another brownie creating a sandwich.

                                                                                                    Garnish with a strawberry half.

                                                                                                    Serve immediately.

                                                                                                    Makes 10 heart shaped brownies (depending on the size of your heart-shaped cookie cutter or about 5 to 6 servings.

                                                                                                    You can go to http://recipeland.com, my site to see more photos.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: happyzhangbo

                                                                                                      Ina's prime rib for Valentine's Day. Two things always happen....husband comes home early and while eating it says, "you are the best wife in the world." Thanks, Ina!

                                                                                                      1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                        I'll have to look up that recipe, I'm cooking out of the freezer this year and have a small bone in prime rib on hand. Trying Funeral Potatoes I've seen here for the side, I have all the ingredients and know my husband will love it (me not so much, but I'm curious to taste them). Did want a fresh veg and asparagus is on sale for $1.49.

                                                                                                        My big thing is making a Lemon Meringue Pie from scratch for dessert, I tried it once early in our marriage as it was his favorite but it did not come out well; I will concentrate harder this time. Flowers are forsythia that I cut a few days ago and put in a Waterford vase in the sun, I think the timing will be spot on.

                                                                                                        Found it....and I just happened to buy some horseradish at a local place yesterday, only because their sign said "Fresh horseradish, just made and it's hhhooooottttttt!" Figured it'd come in handy but not so quickly!

                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                          My suggestion is that after the meat is defrosted, put it on a rack in a pan and sprinkle with kosher salt for 24 hours in fridge. It makes a big difference! Hope you like it as much as we do.

                                                                                                          1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                            Oh yeah, and I'll leave it uncovered too. I'll have to remember to take it out a day earlier than planned, thanks.

                                                                                                    2. Want to keep it celebratory, romantic, and still fairly light--plus quick enough to cook together after work!! Still have to consult with Mr. Ribeye, but thinking about:

                                                                                                      Oysters on the half shell

                                                                                                      Grilled Rosemary Garlic T-bone lamb chops~~Spicy Garlic Spinach ~~

                                                                                                      Mushroons and Onions Marsala ~~ Creamy Polenta

                                                                                                      Deep Dark Chocolate something with Vanilla Icecream

                                                                                                      Bubbly then red, but not too much ;)

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                                                                        I am all with celebratory and romantic and I don't want to slave over a stove at the last minute and it will never happen that he will cook with me after work. The closest he gets to cooking is taking out the garbage. This year I have a game plan and pre-made many elements ahead of time and froze. Of the frozen stuff I made extras so they will figure into many meals in the future.

                                                                                                        If it was just me I'd make poached oysters with pinot blanc sabayon (one of my favorites!) it isn't and since he doesn't love oysters I made and froze gougeres. I'll finish them Judy Rodgers style with Nueske bacon, arugala and pickled onions. A totally stress free starter. Just bake and stuff.

                                                                                                        I made morel and foie gras ravioli (now frozen) and will serve with a citrus butter sauce

                                                                                                        The main course, Lamb Noisettes with Layered Vegetable Terrine (a recipe from former Chicago Ritz Carlton Chef Fernand Gutierrez which he called "layered lamb cakes", an unfortunate name that doesn't do service to this great recipe) is a bit of a pain but I have been making it for a number of years so it's a no brainer. I made a veal demi glaze and froze it. I serve it with lamb noisettes made from a de-boned rack of lamb and the lamb bones are used to flavor a sauce from the veal demi glaze served with terrines (each seasoned with shallots, garlic, wine, herbs and cooked or sauteed) of tomato, spinach and mushrooms. The vegetable terrines are the time consuming part but very good. They get layered in a ring mold and served along side the noisettes and drizzled with the sauce.

                                                                                                        Dessert is probably Bananas Foster because he really loves this and it's easy and quick. If I get motivated it might morph into the really good chocolate terrine from Bouchon cookbook.

                                                                                                        1. re: KateBChi

                                                                                                          OMG, yours takes out the garbage?!?! I gotta get a clicker or something and start training. ;)

                                                                                                          We're shopping at Costco on V-day so we're going to have "3rd Grade Sleepover Special" -- frozen appetizers for dinner from Costco! Sliced raw veggie tray to start, then spanokopitas, something shrimp-y, something cheesy/bready. Ice cream to finish.

                                                                                                          Always feed your inner 10-year-old. :)

                                                                                                          Edited to add: with bubbly of course.

                                                                                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                            OMG, yours takes out the garbage?!?! I gotta get a clicker or something and start training. ;)

                                                                                                            That's funny - no plans for the Heart Day yet as we have a lot to get thru before then.

                                                                                                      2. Funny how life works. I weighed in here in 2009 and 2010, when I was dating someone else. V-Day 2011 found me single on Valentines.

                                                                                                        This year, I'm spending the holiday with a wonderful man who loves my cooking. I could not be happier about spending the evening in with someone who really appreciates the meals I cook! We'll be making a Thai/Vietnamese meal of spring rolls and pad thai.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                          An update --

                                                                                                          Opera boy came down with the same yucky head cold that I had last week, so I switched gears and made a pho-inspired brothy rice porridge to serve with our fresh rolls. It was actually really good -- I simmered homemade chicken broth with sambal oelek, microplaned ginger, and thinly sliced carrots. Next, I added thinly sliced green onions, leftover cooked chicken, a pinch of five spice powder, and a squeeze of lime juice.

                                                                                                          Fruit salad and truffles for dessert.

                                                                                                        2. Lobster bisque en croute with a bottle of fab champagne
                                                                                                          Shrimp cocktails
                                                                                                          Ahi seared rare with King Crab legs with a side of asparagus..Shafer Hillside select

                                                                                                          Pound cake with a dark chocolate warm sauce with a dollop of fresh whip and blackberries and a big ol' decaf latte and 12 year old Tawny port..

                                                                                                          All for total of about $50...excluding wine

                                                                                                          1. Soup to start, a crab bisque with hush puppies to dunk.

                                                                                                            Main course is "surf and turf". Surf will be lobster tails served with a beurre blanc over roasted asparagus. The Turf will be beef short ribs braised in red wine with gremolata over crispy cheddar polenta.

                                                                                                            Dessert is a hot fudge puff pastry with whip cream.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                                              it's so nice to know I don't have to cook.........
                                                                                                              I'm just comin to your house :)))))))

                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                The beauty of that meal is so much can be made a day ahead making it easier to time and finish it on Valentines Day. The only thing I really have to make that night is the surf portion and the puff pastry.

                                                                                                            2. I've got a big deadline on the 15, so I'm not even sure if I'll be able to see the boyfriend. I'll probably try to do super easy: steak, creamed spinach, and potatoes sautéed in butter sound pretty good to me.

                                                                                                              1. My bride of 30 yrs loves raw tuna. So to appease her appetite I made the following

                                                                                                                Tuna cucumber rolls in dashi broth and seared tuna with rice

                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                  Wow...that looks so good!
                                                                                                                  I had Ahi tuna on the menu but no delivery so I went with King Crab legs..
                                                                                                                  Thanks for gorgeous pics!

                                                                                                                    1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                                                                                      Thanks Beach Chick and Seaside Tomato

                                                                                                                      Pretty easy execution. Minimal cooking and just a little knife work

                                                                                                                    2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                      that is truly gorgeous scubadoo.
                                                                                                                      your wife is a lucky girl

                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                        Mucho gracias senora

                                                                                                                        Now what to make this year?? :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                            It's a work day so there will be less time to prep. Played with scallops today and picked up a beautiful piece of amberjack as well a a nice slice of tuna loin. Today I vacummed packed the scallops in evoo and salt for an hour or so then cooked them at 120f for 20 min via sous vide to firm them up and after searing off the amberjack got some color on the sea scallops which turned out darn tasty. Firm but still translucent in the middle with no water loss. All served over a bed of shredded brussel sprouts and slivers of red radish.

                                                                                                                            The tuna may be used in a tartar tomorrow with more scallops. They were so good

                                                                                                                    3. We did cheese and pate with champagne while I cooked.

                                                                                                                      Fennel and blood orange risotto, Seared scallops & lobster tails with blood orange sauce & a herb and blood orange salad. (Guess what I found on sale!!)

                                                                                                                      Finished with a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.

                                                                                                                      A pretty great first "married" valentines day!

                                                                                                                      1. I did a stuffed (sausage, goat cheese, onion, apple) pork tenderloin with apple-Riesling sauce from Food & Wine - it was delicious, a definite keeper. Roasted potatoes and fennel on the side, and a bottle of Veuve - all was right with the world!

                                                                                                                        1. Crab cakes, simple salad, cheese grits, and creme brulee for dessert. Veuve for me, bourbon for him. Delicious (even if the crab cakes did fall apart a bit in the pan)!

                                                                                                                          1. In the past, we always went out to a "fancy" restaurant on Valentine's Day, where the bill was often $125 or more. This year, since we are having a new house built and need to save money, I decided to cook a restaurant-style dinner at home, recreating some of our favorites. So I made:

                                                                                                                            A simple no-knead bread to serve as the crusty bread that we eat with butter before the main dish is served.
                                                                                                                            Bacon-wrapped filet mignon with red wine sauce (both recipes from Cook's Illustrated, as a way of recreating a dish from one of our favorite restaurants)
                                                                                                                            Steamed carrots - just because they were simple to make
                                                                                                                            For dessert, molten chocolate cakes, from a Dave Lieberman recipe. Very cliche, I know, but we are both chocoholics and I wanted an excuse to try this recipe.

                                                                                                                            I also served red wine (since I had to open a bottle for the sauce anyway) and lit some candles. I also set up a playlist of some piano jazz as background music (Vince Guaraldi, Dave Brubeck, etc.)

                                                                                                                            All in all, it was a great success!

                                                                                                                            1. I wasn't planning on doing much last night, because we're waiting for pay day to go out for dinner, but I ended up going a little more elaborate than I thought I would.

                                                                                                                              For dinner:

                                                                                                                              Thin slices of lemongrass pork over a bed of rice noodles. Tiny aspargus tossed with scallions, bean sprouts and chopped mint on the side. Everything topped with nuoc cham.

                                                                                                                              To drink:

                                                                                                                              Didn't make it to Grocery Outlet and couldn't bear to spend $7 on a bottle of mediocre wine, so I went non-alcoholic with a recipe for tamarind-ginger fizz drinks I found online. Tamarind paste, ginger simple syrup, lime juice, mint and seltzer in glasses rimmed with a combination of salt, sugar and chili powder. Delicious and very adult for a virgin cocktail.

                                                                                                                              For dessert:

                                                                                                                              Chocolate-orange pudding, set in ramekins. Topped with strawberries macerated in a meyer lemon syrup and whipped cream sweetened with a touch of the same syrup, and vanilla.

                                                                                                                              1. Valentine's day beet cupcakes! Adding pureed beets to the batter makes them bright red without adding an unusual taste.

                                                                                                                                1. Cow's heart in a blood red wine sauce poured over rose petals, topped w/ chocolate sauce.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. I'm cooking steak with home made chimichurri. Not sure what side to serve with this though. Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                      I think you'd need a crunch factor for your starch like maybe Jacque Pepin's pommes soufflées.
                                                                                                                                      question if you don't mind, how do you make 'your' chimichurri?
                                                                                                                                      love that stuff and it's our DD's favorite thing.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                        The pommes soufflees sound intriguing, certainly not something I have had before.

                                                                                                                                        I made my chimichurri with a head of garlic, equal parts parsley and oregano, water, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Whizzed it all together with my immersion blender. This is the first time I've actually made it and I got the recipe from my latest cookbook "4-hour chef".

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                          thank you Musie

                                                                                                                                          I got my first recipe from my server @ Gaucho Grill who said, "shhhhhhhsh" when she whispered it to me.
                                                                                                                                          I didn't stick to her recipe as stated, but basically only because I added a thing or two. DD loved it, I made a batch of almost a quart and gave her 3/4 of it.

                                                                                                                                    2. So I am making a mock porchetta for Val. day. I roasted the bones (to make stock) to the most fabulous golden loveliness and had set them on the stove so they could cool slightly and I could trot out to the garden and get some rosemary. I came back and my valentine was eating my precious stock bones. If he did not look so incredibly blissful, I would have been mad.

                                                                                                                                      We are having roasted root veggies with it and some brussels sprouts.

                                                                                                                                      Still contemplating a little snack before hand to have with some champagne. I welcome ideas please.

                                                                                                                                      I am making an apple tart for dessert.

                                                                                                                                      Completely low stress dinner.

                                                                                                                                      Edit: Also, if anyone knows what wine might be good with the main, I would appreciate it. I am thinking riesling, but do not know a good one. I would consider anything else too.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                        Is that the Zuni Cafe recipe for porchetta? If so, it is wrong to call is "mock" --yes, I know they do, too, but it is so very, very good it does rival what DH and I used to get off the Porchetta truck in Lanciano, Chieti-Italy when we were living there.

                                                                                                                                        We like a good Montepulciano d'Abruzzo with that, but is really should be a good one, not that Citra stuff...or, if you prefer white wine, Verdicchio stands up well to all those lovely spices and the capers in the pork.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                          That is the recipe I am using. So good to hear good news. It felt weird to use capers, but I did it. I also varied by crushing some anise seed in it and added some parsley. Hope it does not screw it up. I am also toying with roasting it very slowly all day and then putting on the afterburners at the last. The whole top ans side is covered with a nice layer of fat that I harvested off a piece I cut off. and it is more like a 6 pound roast versus her 2.5. Slightly nervous, but Oh it smells good.

                                                                                                                                          I just called my wine guy and he has a verdicchio and he said yep for pork. Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica 2011. Very excited to be trying something completely new (to us). Thank you!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                            So pleased that you are you are into it...let us know how it all comes together (in my book, there is no such thing as too much anise seed-I double or triple the amount called for in my pannetone recipe and no one has ever turned down a piece, especially toasted and dripping with butter-my Italian relatives would die at that sacrilege!).

                                                                                                                                        1. Pheasant breast, artichokes and potatoes (or artichoke-potato gratin), arugula salad, something chocolate.

                                                                                                                                          1. F.I.G.'s (of Charleston) Fish Stew with Saffron and Fennel; A Southern Take on Julia's "Marvelous" Bourride.

                                                                                                                                            1. http://practicalcookingforone.com/

                                                                                                                                              Something from there! With bitterness for dessert. ;-)

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                I am working on v-Day. So will be cooking a budget meal for 150 guests. We're "even" :)

                                                                                                                                              2. This year the highlight of the meal is going to be Julia Child's Bombe Aux Trois Chocolat. We haven't done this in years but DH is up for it and so am I!

                                                                                                                                                It is arduous and rich, rich, rich so main dish will be Eggs in Purgatory and a good green salad, Italian style (fresh greens gently bruised with lemon, olive oil and salt...period). I am making a French stick to mop up those juices that do survive purgatory.

                                                                                                                                                The wine? Prosecco, kissed with Cassis!

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                  oh LSJ, you are wicked............
                                                                                                                                                  ^^^^^^in a good way^^^^^^ :)
                                                                                                                                                  sounds wonderful......

                                                                                                                                                2. yesterday I noticed Lobster tails on sale in Vons' fish market here in Los Angeles which is where we live.
                                                                                                                                                  They also had real nice fillet mignon roasts.
                                                                                                                                                  so it's gonna be lobster in drawn butter, grilled steaks, green salad with hard boiled egg/crisp lettuce/toasted walnuts/sliced beets/carrot shards/celery slivers/jumbo croutons/heirloom tomato slices/Nanna's bleu cheese dressing, huge bakers with butter/sour cream/shallot greens, Brussels with bacon and cheddar. White chocolate cheesecake drizzled with raspberry coulis.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                    I believe in lobster as the key to the heart of the loved one-we live in lobster country and since we moved here, it has lost some of its lustre as a 'once-in-a-while' wicked luxury, kind of a dish--thanks for reminding me of lobster's rightful place in the romantic repetoire. Have fun, il Divo!!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                      LJS, I'm the lobster lover, my darling isn't.
                                                                                                                                                      my thoughts are who wouldn't or couldn't love a succulent piece of lobster bathed in melted butter? bought bleu cheese crumbles for atop hubby's steak. but I'll bathe it, the steak, in melted butter too. not trying to do him in, just want to give him a good mouth feel and delicious flavor on lovey day.........and thanks LJS, you too......

                                                                                                                                                  2. Lobster capellini with leek-tarragon cream sauce.


                                                                                                                                                    We'll start with lox, cream cheese, etc. A salad of arugula with shaved Parm, Meyer lemon olive oil and champagne vinegar. Sparkling rose'.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                      Yum. I'll have to try out that lobster recipe when the spring lobster season rolls around again.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                                        You just have to rub it in, don't you? Spring lobster indeed :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                          There has to be some perks to being a fishermans wife! ;)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                                            You never have to worry about freshness...or price!

                                                                                                                                                    2. wups - wrong year - moved to 2013

                                                                                                                                                      1. We went out last night. Oysters on the half shell, foie gras mousse, seafood pasta with black ink sauce, Brazilian tiger fish steamed in plantain leaves with a side of coconut black forbidden rice, and a large ribeye. Chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Bottle of LaSorda red wine.

                                                                                                                                                        Tonight is Persian khoresh with carrots and prunes and sweet potato and chard layered in phyllo dough. Don't have high hopes for it compared with last night though.

                                                                                                                                                        1. So I played around with seared scallops and tuna tartare rolls for this Valentines Day dinner. Used a lot of greens and edible flowers from the garden as well as the tomatoes which are doing well this year. The tomato hearts were a CHOW tip and yes they are a bit sappy but it went over well.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                            The hearts are adoreable. And the food looks AMAZING! Just wow.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                              beautiful job scubadoo. hope your sweetheart enjoyed!

                                                                                                                                                              1. Dinner completed, sweetie is doing cleanup while I monitor homework and then walk the dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                Pot roast with gravy
                                                                                                                                                                Cheesy grits
                                                                                                                                                                Baby bok choy sauteed with garlic, ginger, sesame oil

                                                                                                                                                                1. Nothing. We ordered sushi. The cook needs a break.