… in cooking, as in life …©
Hey Guys, have you made plans yet for the big day? No, not the Super Bowl. Valentine’s Day! How about this: A romantic dinner for two (or more) in your own cozy dining room. It’s what John and I have been doing for years.
We usually invite over four or five other couples (with kids) and all the guys bring a dish. The guys coordinate the meal so everything goes together. Last year, it was paella and tapas. The year before that, it was Beef Wellington and traditional sides. I’m not sure what the guys will have in store for us this year, but I know it will be good!
If you decide to host your own Valentine’s Day dinner, here are some menu ideas:
BEVERAGE IDEAS (for $20 or less)
Riondo Pink Prosecco: It’s pink! Need I say more?
Lange Pinot Noir 2009: One of my favorite pinots.
Coppola Claret: A perfect red wine if there ever was one.
Cupcake Chardonnay: It’s not oaky (thank goodness).
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc: This is a family favorite. Crisp, light, affordable.
J. Lohr Cabernet: Very nice cab.
Hess Select Cabernet: More chocolatey than most, but I like that sometimes.
Keep ‘em Coming Crab Cakes: You won’t be disappointed! Serve with remoulade sauce.
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip: Serve with pita or raw veggies. Unique flavor.
Is-It-Hot-In-Here Stuffed Jalapeños: Sure to please. Makes a lot, so good for a group dinner.
MAIN COURSE IDEAS
Pesto & Pancetta Pork Tenderloin: So elegant and surprisingly easy.
Fish in Parchment with Pesto and Veggies: Adorable presentation. Light. Lovely flavor.
Grilled Steaks with Chimichurri: Perfect way to dress up a simple steak.
Grilled Steaks with Creamy Mustard Sauce: Another perfect way to dress up a simple steak!
Pistachio-Crusted Cod: Buttery and lemony with salty pistachios and flaky fish.
Old-Fashioned Beef Stew: Serve over extra-wide egg noodles. Top with Parmesan.
Easy Roasted Chicken: Garlic, lemon, thyme, butter. Yum.
SIDE DISH IDEAS
Roasted Beet Salad with Feta and Nuts: Only if your date likes beets. So find out first.
Green Bean Salad: One of my faves. So colorful. Use the thin French green beans for best results.
Steakhouse-Style Creamed Spinach: John’s favorite. Rich and delicious.
Simple Sautéed Mushrooms: Serve over steaks or chops. Hearty and satisfying.
Sautéed Peas with Shallots and Mint: Yes, it’s a strange combination. Trust me; they’re awesome.
Sautéed Squash with Parmesan: Use green and yellow for extra color.
Go-To Chocolate Tart: One of the best things you will ever eat.
Strawberry Shortcakes: Made with real butter and fresh strawberries.