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Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine's Dinner Recipes

Many of you enjoyed the pictures of our home Valentine's dinner that I put on Instagram and Facebook. Many of my male friends were lusting - you must repent!

I'm going to share with you how it all came together. For some of you, this may seem basic and you could do something far more elegant. For others, this may be helpful.

We had rib-eyes in the freezer, but I prefer sirloins, as they are less fatty.

I don't usually do this, but for Valentine's, I marinated the steaks in a bit of Worcerstershire and soy sauce.

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder (that's my favorite combination for most things)

My husband barbequed just right.

My mother-in-law taught me how to saute the best mushrooms.

WARNING: This is NOT whole, real food here, and we only eat these on special occasions.

1. I break off all the stems and only use the caps. The stems go to the pigs. NOTE: Mushrooms shrink when you cook them, so make sure you start with enough mushrooms - my pan was full at the beginning and mushrooms were stacked on top of each other, but the pan was half empty by the end of cooking.
2. Melt two sticks of butter in a saute pan.
3. Add diced onions & minced garlic.
4. Add mushroom caps.
5. Sprinkle GENEROUSLY salt, pepper, & garlic salt - don't skimp here!
6. Put a lid on and let them saute for about 15 minutes or until they are all tender. Walla!

The key: Mushroom caps must be floating in butter!!!

ASPARAGUS (there's many ways to make asparagus, but this is how I do it most of the time)
1. Melt a little bit of butter with some olive oil in a frying pan.
2. Add minced garlic.
3. Break of woody ends of asparagus spears. Place them in the pan.
4. Toss them around so they are well coated.
5. Sprinkle with salt, lemon pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder (you could add diced onions, but my kids freak at the sight of onions)
6. Cook until tender, but not limp. They are best when they maintain their bright color.

I bake my potatoes in the oven, no foil, at about 425 degrees. Depending on their size, they could take up to an hour. If I'm in a hurry, I'll microwave them first for like 10-20 minutes, then put them in the oven to finish.

I like my potatoes to have a slightly crisp skin.

So for the last 15 minutes of baking, here's my trick
1. Pull the potatoes out of the oven and drizzle olive oil on top of each potato.
2. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.
3. Bake for remaining 15 minutes.

We topped our potatoes with:
  • freshly grated cheddar cheese (I like the taste of cheese better when I grate it myself than buying it already shredded)
  • real bacon bits - I take a few slices of bacon, and cut bite-sized pieces with my kitchen sheers. Then I fry the pieces in a pan. Once they are really crisp, I drain them on a paper towel.
  • chopped green onion
  • butter, of course
  • sour cream, if you like
We had some sparkling cider to go with dinner, and See's candy for dessert! There you have it!

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