Valentine’s Day Is This Week

So this Thursday is Valentine’s Day and we all need to be ready! If you are a man/husband reading this make sure you remember your girlfriend/wife and if you are a girlfriend/wife make sure you remember your boyfriend/husband!!

For Valentine’s Day you could go out to lunch or dinner. When our kids were young we would do lunch so we didn’t have to pay a sitter. We could have a nicer lunch that did not cost dinner prices.

Now that we don’t have little ones at home I usually make something wonderful and eat at home. This year I am making dinner at home and we are going out the next day so maybe it won’t be so crowded.

I wanted to give you a few recipes for a nice dinner at home. I think I am going to make Lobster this year but I can’t post it yet because I have not made it.

So how about Gorgonzola, sage, bacon wrapped tenderloin with asparagus and bakes sweet potatoes? It makes for a very colorful plate! And for dessert the most romantic dessert of all……chocolate covered strawberries and strawberry cake and a red wine!

Here goes:

Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola:

At our house we love to get together for fun family dinners. This is one of the easiest but most favorable steaks I have ever made and it is always a hit! The Gorgonzola cheese and sage with the most tender steak bring lots of compliments to the cook.

4 beef tenderloins cut 1 to 1 ½ inches thick

4 pieces of a thin cut bacon

1 cup crumbles Gorgonzola cheese

1TBS butter

1 TBS olive oil

Sage leaves for topping steaks

4 toothpicks

Wrap 1 piece of raw bacon around tenderloins and use a toothpick to attach. Use a thin cut of bacon so it cooks well. Heat skillet  to medium  high and add butter and olive oil.  Sear both sides of tenderloin for approx.. 3 minutes each side. Remove from skillet and put on baking pan.

Preheat broiler.  Top each tenderloin  with ¼ cup Gorgonzola cheese . Broil until cheese melts. Remove from oven and garnish with thinly sliced sage leaves. The flavor is out of this world!

Grilled Asparagus:

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A bunch of asparagus

A little bit of salt

Olive oil

Wash and snap the end of 1 asparagus. Then cut then ends of the other asparagus to match. Most asparagus that are bunched together will have the same breaking point.

Lay flat on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Then a little bit of salt.

Heat grill on low. Lay asparagus on grill and close grill for about 5 minutes. You may want to turn asparagus depending on how big they are.

This same process can be put in the oven on a cookie sheet for 10 or so minutes at 350*

Female asparagus are the thicker stalks and the thinner ones are male.

Sweet Potatoes:

2 large sweet potatoes

4 TBS butter cut into 4 even pieces

Brown sugar

4 pieces of foil about 12 inches

Wash sweet potatoes. Cut sweet potatoes in half long ways. Rub skin with butter and sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar over buttered skin. Put leftover butter on other side of sweet potato and sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar. Wrap and cook at 400* for around 40 minutes. Serves 4.

Also, bread and oil go well with this meal and a salad. I just buy the take and bake bread in the deli section at the grocery store and then make my own oil:

Bread Dipping Oil:

1 garlic clove chopped

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons fresh grates Parmesan cheese

¼ cup olive oil

A little bit of cracked black pepper and salt to taste.

Then comes the dessert:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:

A carton or fresh picked strawberries will do. The amount depends on you.

1 bag of semi sweet chocolate

Wash strawberries and let them dry full because the chocolate will bot stick to the strawberry if wet. Leave green caps on.

I prefer to use the microwave. I put chocolate chips in a bowl and place in the microwave for 1 minute, take out stir and place back in for 1 minute. Then I do 30 seconds a time if still needed. After dipping strawberries place them on wax paper or parchment paper to dry.

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Then the cake! The cake is a Paula Dean recipe from http://www.foodnetwork.com. I decorated it with chocolate covered straberries.

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Ingredients
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners’ sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting: This recipe makes a lot of icing.

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

So you are now equiped to do Valentine’s dinner at home! Happy Valentine’ Day everyone!!!!!

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