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What are you cooking your Valentine for dinner?

What are you cooking your Valentine for dinner?
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  • What are you cooking your Valentine for dinner?

    Post #1 - February 11th, 2008, 7:07 pm
    Post #1 - February 11th, 2008, 7:07 pm Post #1 - February 11th, 2008, 7:07 pm
    We've been travelling too much recently, and it's been ages since we've had an intimate dinner for two at home. So rather than go out on Thursday, I'll probably cook a special meal and we'll go out for dinner this weekend. That said, I'm just starting to look for inspiration for a dinner menu, and I'm curious what others are planning to cook.

    For an entree, I was thinking about doing a roast pork loin. Or, I've been promising to make a cheese souffle for weeks now, so I could do that with salad. (We keep complaining about recently having had too many heavy meals, so the cheese souffle would feel like a lighter entree, even if it isn't particularly light.)

    If I don't do souffle, I'll probably make a semifreddo for dessert. For a dinner party in last month, I made a chocolate-toasted almond semifreddo with caramel sauce and sea salt. My BF is still raving about it, so I may repeat that one, or possibly do a raspberry semifredo with a dark chocolate sauce or balsamic reduction.

    No ideas for a starter yet, or for a side dishes if I go with a pork loin.

    If you're eating at home on Thursday, what are you cooking?
    Last edited by chgoeditor on February 11th, 2008, 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - February 11th, 2008, 7:30 pm
    Post #2 - February 11th, 2008, 7:30 pm Post #2 - February 11th, 2008, 7:30 pm
    What else? You may leave your heart in San Fransisco, but Bossy's is in my freezer, just waiting for this occasion... :D
    (Edited to add: Found this recipe, which I plan to use...)
    Last edited by Mhays on February 11th, 2008, 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #3 - February 11th, 2008, 7:31 pm
    Post #3 - February 11th, 2008, 7:31 pm Post #3 - February 11th, 2008, 7:31 pm
    Starters:
    Stir fried something - not sure what just yet. Prolly green beans.
    Chicken and vegetable spring rolls
    Chicken potstickers
    ====
    Main:
    Inside out spicy tuna rolls with cucumber, tobiko and hot chili oil
    Spicy (mayo) namasake rolls with cucumber and avocado
    Any fish leftover turns into hand rolls with waaaay too much wasabi.
    =====
    Dessert:
    Eli's cheesecake.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #4 - February 11th, 2008, 10:07 pm
    Post #4 - February 11th, 2008, 10:07 pm Post #4 - February 11th, 2008, 10:07 pm
    Mhays wrote:What else? You may leave your heart in San Fransisco, but Bossy's is in my freezer, just waiting for this occasion... :D
    (Edited to add: Found this recipe, which I plan to use...)


    Groan!

    After a little more thought and perusal of some recipes, here's the menu I'm considering:

    Soup: Roast beet soup with creme fraiche or fresh pea soup with mint
    Entree: Roast pork loin with garlic and rosemary, polenta with sauteed mushrooms
    Dessert: Rasperry semifreddo with dark chocolate sauce and chocolate hearts
  • Post #5 - February 12th, 2008, 8:56 am
    Post #5 - February 12th, 2008, 8:56 am Post #5 - February 12th, 2008, 8:56 am
    Haagen Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream. One pint, one spoon, and one bubble bath. And some sparkling wine, maybe.

    Being single on V Day doesn't have to be sad ;>
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing!
  • Post #6 - February 12th, 2008, 8:59 am
    Post #6 - February 12th, 2008, 8:59 am Post #6 - February 12th, 2008, 8:59 am
    way to busy to cook during the week, after the 10+ hours of work, and 2+ hours of commuting each day.

    Most likely carry-out from a local place: LaSalle County Fried Chicken, Pork tenderloin sandwich, and mashed potatoes, and gravy.

    Plan B: Chinese carryout
  • Post #7 - February 12th, 2008, 6:23 pm
    Post #7 - February 12th, 2008, 6:23 pm Post #7 - February 12th, 2008, 6:23 pm
    A simple dinner for the Lovely Dining Companion (who doesn't yet know that Charlie Trotter's is in the offing for Saturday). She's a woman of simple tastes, tending vegetarian-ish. So, what with the weather and all, I decided we'll have a fontina-based fondue (with either steamed or roasted veggies, or both, for dipping) and a chocolate fondue for dessert. Easy for me. Scrumptious for us both. And weather-appropriate!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #8 - February 12th, 2008, 8:21 pm
    Post #8 - February 12th, 2008, 8:21 pm Post #8 - February 12th, 2008, 8:21 pm
    Curried mussels with monkfish (or sea bass) on a bed of wilted spinach. A Gordon Ramsay recipe from "The F Word". Pretty easy to make, not a lot of prep, very tasty.

    For dessert, home made mint chip ice cream.
  • Post #9 - February 13th, 2008, 10:50 am
    Post #9 - February 13th, 2008, 10:50 am Post #9 - February 13th, 2008, 10:50 am
    To Liz in Norwood Park-
    reminds me of the old Elayne Boosler joke-
    says on the carton of Haagen Daz, serves 4:
    Guess I just haven't met those other 3 people yet!

    Enjoy-
    sounds like a very indulgent evening with few demands,
    something those of us with families often find lacking in our lives....
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #10 - February 13th, 2008, 11:05 am
    Post #10 - February 13th, 2008, 11:05 am Post #10 - February 13th, 2008, 11:05 am
    irisarbor wrote:To Liz in Norwood Park-
    reminds me of the old Elayne Boosler joke-
    says on the carton of Haagen Daz, serves 4:
    Guess I just haven't met those other 3 people yet!

    Enjoy-
    sounds like a very indulgent evening with few demands,
    something those of us with families often find lacking in our lives....


    Thanks, hopefully the girl child will be asleep by 7PM...unless she's too hyped from eating chocolate at school all day. Either way, no way is she getting any of my ice cream....she can have her own carton! :twisted:
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing!
  • Post #11 - February 13th, 2008, 4:15 pm
    Post #11 - February 13th, 2008, 4:15 pm Post #11 - February 13th, 2008, 4:15 pm
    I'm going to make my Sweetie breakfast on Sunday: Heart-Shaped Laatkes.

    Just regular ol' potato pancakes, crispy and brown on the outside, soft on the inside, but in heart shapes. Then I was going to make them Conversation Heart pancakes by writing mushy, gooey comments on them with sour cream from a pastry bag, until I realized the little bastard doesn't like his 'cakes with sour cream. Blimey! :evil:
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #12 - February 13th, 2008, 4:20 pm
    Post #12 - February 13th, 2008, 4:20 pm Post #12 - February 13th, 2008, 4:20 pm
    Liz in Norwood Park wrote:Haagen Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream. One pint, one spoon, and one bubble bath. And some sparkling wine, maybe.

    Being single on V Day doesn't have to be sad ;>


    Sounds like Heaven to me. Did you see those new high-end flavors? Sweeeeet. And there's some new brand at Jewel in clear containers, very upscale and freakin' pricey, but their dark chocolate gelato and raspberry sorbet looked so good I think I drooled on the freezer door. As soon as my home stash is gone, I'll be coming home with arms loaded.

    Sorry to get off topic! :oops:
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #13 - February 13th, 2008, 5:20 pm
    Post #13 - February 13th, 2008, 5:20 pm Post #13 - February 13th, 2008, 5:20 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:
    Liz in Norwood Park wrote:Haagen Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream. One pint, one spoon, and one bubble bath. And some sparkling wine, maybe.

    Being single on V Day doesn't have to be sad ;>


    Sounds like Heaven to me. Did you see those new high-end flavors? Sweeeeet. And there's some new brand at Jewel in clear containers, very upscale and freakin' pricey, but their dark chocolate gelato and raspberry sorbet looked so good I think I drooled on the freezer door. As soon as my home stash is gone, I'll be coming home with arms loaded.

    Sorry to get off topic! :oops:


    The Hawaiian honey & sweet cream flavor is quite good.

    I have to work all day, so I'm doing a pork loin in the crock pot with potatoes, carrots, herbs, etc. Usually I'd make a dessert, but I'm just not feeling up to it, so I'll probably stop at the bakery on the way home.

    Mmm, I'd be happy to stop by for some heart-shaped latkes with sour cream on Sunday, Pie Lady! Yum!
  • Post #14 - February 13th, 2008, 10:57 pm
    Post #14 - February 13th, 2008, 10:57 pm Post #14 - February 13th, 2008, 10:57 pm
    Valentine's Day has officially be postponed until Saturday (at least, it has in my house). So I may also be celebrating with some Ben & Jerry's, a good glass of wine and a bubble bath!
  • Post #15 - February 13th, 2008, 11:10 pm
    Post #15 - February 13th, 2008, 11:10 pm Post #15 - February 13th, 2008, 11:10 pm
    Linguini with red clam sauce.

    Sauteed zucchini with shallots and fresh thyme.

    A nice Chardonnay.

    Couple of slices of triple chocolate mousse cake.

    Simple and tasty meal for a weeknight celebration.
  • Post #16 - February 14th, 2008, 7:38 pm
    Post #16 - February 14th, 2008, 7:38 pm Post #16 - February 14th, 2008, 7:38 pm
    It was the best of meals, it was the worst of meal prep.

    Lamb loin chops with tandoori spices and crisp-fried shallots (2 ea)
    I set these up to marinade at lunch time: fresh ginger and garlic (about a tbs each) and had to go through most of a head of garlic just to find some that weren't sprouted or shriveled. A pinch of cayenne, a hefty dose of cumin, coriander, paprika and cardamom, salt, lemon zest and juice... now where's the yoghurt? Both tubs of plain Y in the fridge have this beautiful Wedgewood blue mold growing on them (one of them was unopened, but old). I ended up using cottage cheese and trying to mash it. The marinade looked like, well, it wasn't pretty.

    The shallots were sliced thin, dusted with some flour, salt, white and red pepper, then fried in oil. Some of this shallot-y oil was then used in a hot skillet to sear the lamb chops, now scraped of curd. They went in a 350F convection oven with the probulator set to 145F.

    The marinade was combined with some cream and an immersion blender was used to de-curd the cottage cheese. Simmered over a low flame to thicken while other things went on. Reminder -- use other end of stove so the immersion blender can reach the burner. The sauce went down on the plate before the chops, then the crispy shallots sprinkled over the top.

    Sides: Spanish Tortilla and Haricot Verts
    The greenie beanies were no trouble: Just a quick steam in the micro.
    The tortilla was a bit of a mess, needing more eggs than we had in the house (Thing2, now with drivers license, was sent out for more), done in a too-wide pan, requiring two serving platters to flip it, rather than just plates (more of the shallot oil used here to good effect). Recipe from "One Potato, Two Potato".

    Dessert: Molten Lava Cakes
    I forget which recipe MrsF used, but she was running a little ragged between this and the tortilla. Separating one of the last eggs, she knocked over the measuring cup into which the whites had gone. I told her, "You know how much I love you? I didn't laugh there." Well, then she went to clean it up, trying to sponge a handful at a time off the counter to put in the trash, and the whole thing shlucked off the counter. Then I laughed.

    It all came out beautiful, we used nearly as many pans and platters as we would to feed three times as many people, but a great meal.
    Image
    Image
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #17 - February 14th, 2008, 8:10 pm
    Post #17 - February 14th, 2008, 8:10 pm Post #17 - February 14th, 2008, 8:10 pm
    Awww...you crazy kids!

    That is too sweet...so, were you photojournaling all evening?

    Thanks for sharing!
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing!
  • Post #18 - February 14th, 2008, 9:52 pm
    Post #18 - February 14th, 2008, 9:52 pm Post #18 - February 14th, 2008, 9:52 pm
    Naaahhh, but MrsF has new new spiffy cam (Canon Rebel XTi), I'd just cooked a pretty meal, it seemed like time for some food pix.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #19 - February 14th, 2008, 10:52 pm
    Post #19 - February 14th, 2008, 10:52 pm Post #19 - February 14th, 2008, 10:52 pm
    I ended up coming down with an awful sinus infection and we stayed in and I decided to go the comfort food route for dinner.

    I made the Ultimate Cream of Tomato soup recipe I took out of a Cooks Illustrated, some beef stew and mashed potatoes.

    Everything was well received and my children were happy to have something to float their goldfish crackers in. :)
  • Post #20 - February 15th, 2008, 9:28 am
    Post #20 - February 15th, 2008, 9:28 am Post #20 - February 15th, 2008, 9:28 am
    I ended up cooking garlic mashed potatoes and having salmon with an orange sauce. Orange sauce consisted of the juice from 2 clementines, half stick melted butter, 3 tablespoons of honey, and 3 tables spoons of sweet hot mustard. I then created a layer of breading(remenants of the last broken potatoe chips from a bag, cashews, and some dry white crackers. Yummy. Desert was just some Baileys Ice Cream
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #21 - February 15th, 2008, 10:04 am
    Post #21 - February 15th, 2008, 10:04 am Post #21 - February 15th, 2008, 10:04 am
    Didn't want to post it before V'Day, because I wanted the meal to be a surprise.

    Started with a little smoked duck (from Eurostyle Deli) over lentilles du Puy, with a mustard-chile vinegrette

    Garlic Scape soup (frozen scapes from last spring)

    Shrimp gumbo with andouille over brown rice

    Chocolate pudding cake

    Seemed to be well-received.
  • Post #22 - February 15th, 2008, 10:13 am
    Post #22 - February 15th, 2008, 10:13 am Post #22 - February 15th, 2008, 10:13 am
    V-Day dinner for us always involves favorite ingredients or recreations of dishes tasted at significant events.

    Beet Borscht Terrine
    Minted Chevre Cream, Arugula
    My one experimental dish for the evening -- turned out okay, but not so well that I feel compelled to do it again.

    Baked Codfish
    Herbed Panko Crust, Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette
    Alan Wong recipe... one we enjoyed at both our engagement and honeymoon.

    Beef Ravioli
    Tuscan Chicken Liver Sauce, Pecorino
    One of my ladylove's faves. We miss Italy.

    Warm Chocolate Cake
    Caramel Cone Ice Cream, Pear-Caramel Sauce
    An amalgam of some dessert favorites.
    Last edited by Dmnkly on February 25th, 2008, 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #23 - February 15th, 2008, 10:55 am
    Post #23 - February 15th, 2008, 10:55 am Post #23 - February 15th, 2008, 10:55 am
    We didn't cook, just a nice plates of cheeses with some dried fruits and a split of champagne.
  • Post #24 - February 15th, 2008, 11:05 am
    Post #24 - February 15th, 2008, 11:05 am Post #24 - February 15th, 2008, 11:05 am
    Had a lovely dinner, which my family generously allowed me to document:

    Beef Heart Shepherd's Pie, sauteed garlic spinach, pan-seared tomatoes:
    Image

    For dessert, Blood Oranges in Cuantro Sabayon (with minor modifications to the recipe) with a Dove dark chocolate heart
    Image
  • Post #25 - February 15th, 2008, 11:07 am
    Post #25 - February 15th, 2008, 11:07 am Post #25 - February 15th, 2008, 11:07 am
    Hmmm... I just noticed that nobody needed quotations in their menus :D
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #26 - February 15th, 2008, 12:55 pm
    Post #26 - February 15th, 2008, 12:55 pm Post #26 - February 15th, 2008, 12:55 pm
    We had an indoor picinic of pata negra, jamon serrano, manchego cheese, black olive tapenade, marinated artichokes, crusty sourdough, an OK sparkler and some chocolate.
  • Post #27 - February 15th, 2008, 1:22 pm
    Post #27 - February 15th, 2008, 1:22 pm Post #27 - February 15th, 2008, 1:22 pm
    My Valentine's (Avoidance) Day was transformed into a celebration of girlfriends. Taking our cue from an article on Grace Kelly where we learned she dined on hamburgers and champagne with her closest friends. Ultimately we conjured up a fantasy whose sole theme was: What Would Grace Do?

    Appetizers:

    Ole Salty's Potato Chips with California Onion Dip.
    Guacamole with blue tortilla chips.
    Deviled eggs topped with salmon caviar.

    Main course:

    Hamburgers cooked to medium rare on toasted Rosen's sesame seed hamburger buns (meat from Poeta's meat market) -- nobody needed to return the burger to the kitchen.
    Cheese options were Maytag blue, French Brie or Sharp Cheddar
    McDonald's french fries ("I proudly go to McDonalds!")
    Sweet Sour Coleslaw
    Assortment of pickles and condiments.

    Dessert:

    Pecan Pie
    Peach Pie (I made the filling last August)
    Whipped cream
    (Ice cream forgotten in the freezer)

    Beverage:
    Cristalino (Spain)
    There was a bottle of Moet White Star champagne, which nobody was interested in once it was chilled.

    Fun food and better yet, fun company. It sure was better than leftovers and laundry.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - February 16th, 2008, 1:08 pm
    Post #28 - February 16th, 2008, 1:08 pm Post #28 - February 16th, 2008, 1:08 pm
    Alas, Valentine's Day has been indefinitely postponed as my BF jets all over the place in the name of business. (He's been gone three weeks, including two trips to London in the last 10 days.) I thought he's be home tonight, so yesterday I prepared Pea Soup with Creme Fraiche (replacing 12 oz of the water with 12 oz of chicken broth) from the 3/01 issue of Gourmet and Food & Wine's Frozen Raspberry and Chocolate Chip Semifreddo Parfait (which seems like a redundant name) using a couple bags of TJ's frozen raspberries.

    Since dinner was postponed, I decided to sample the goods for lunch today.

    Wow! Talk about a taste of summer!

    The pea soup is different from many in that it uses fresh (frozen) peas, not dried split peas, and has no ham in it. It was full of bright, happy flavors that made me think of fresh peas from the garden.

    And the semifreddo just made me smile. This would be a great dessert on a hot summer day, but even today--when the temp is only in the mid 20s--I didn't mind eating a frozen dessert because it reminded me of summer!

    I highly recommend both of these recipes. The pea soup takes about 25 minutes to make--start to finish--and you may already have all of the ingredients at hand.

    The semifreddo is a bit more involved, but still easy to make if you're comfortable with the techniques, or can follow directions. (I discovered that even on a cold winter night, chocolate easily melts as you try to chop it.)
  • Post #29 - February 16th, 2008, 9:24 pm
    Post #29 - February 16th, 2008, 9:24 pm Post #29 - February 16th, 2008, 9:24 pm
    My husband was in New Orleans all week and came home just in time for Valentine's Day. I wimped out and ordered a heart shaped Lou Malnati's pizza and made chocolate fondue with all the fixiings. My daughters thought it was the best ever-go figure! 8)
  • Post #30 - February 18th, 2008, 12:55 am
    Post #30 - February 18th, 2008, 12:55 am Post #30 - February 18th, 2008, 12:55 am
    Herb salad mix (my new addiction!) with tomatoes, hearts of palm, artichokes, cucumbers and vinaigrette

    Fondue--peanut oil with beef, chicken, shrimp, scallops. Also lots of veggies and dipping sauces.

    Chocolate fondue with fruit and pound cake for dessert.

    Mmmmmmmmm....

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