Celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic dinner for two. If you enjoy
cooking together, plan and prepare your dinner together. The meal doesn't have
to (shouldn't!) be an elaborate or time-consuming chore; if your partner's
favorite food is macaroni & cheese, serve it in a fancy dish and enjoy. Or,
this might be the perfect time to splurge on lobsters or a few pounds of shrimp.
Set your table with your best dinnerware, romantic linens, flowers, and
candles. Don't forget the wine and cheese and your favorite romantic music to
set the mood. Clean as you cook, but don't worry about the mess afterwards;
leave the dishes till morning and enjoy each other!
Tenderloin for Two with Peppercorn Cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 (6 oz) beef tenderloin steaks
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon multicolored peppercorns, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- hot cooked rice
- fresh oregano sprigs, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet until hot. Sprinkle tenderloin steaks with
salt and pepper. Sear tenderloin steaks on both sides in skillet. Remove from
skillet, and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat
(with electric oven door partially opened) 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until
meat thermometer registers 140 degrees (rare), 150 degrees (med. rare), or 160
Add brandy to drippings in skillet; bring to a boil, and deglaze pan by
scraping particles that cling to bottom. Add minced garlic, peppercorns,
oregano, and salt; cook 1 minute. Add whipping cream; bring to a boil, and cook
6 to 7 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half. Remove from heat; Whisk in
sour cream, and spoon sauce over steaks. Serve with rice. Garnish, if desired.
Yield: 2 servings.
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 pkg (3oz) cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced chives
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash pepper
- paprika, optional
- additional grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Scrub potatoes well; grease lightly with shortening and pierce with a fork
two or three times. Bake in 400 degree oven for 1 hour or until fork tender.
When cool enough to handle, split potatoes lengthwise and scoop out into
electric mixer bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except egg, and beat well. Add
egg and beat until smooth. Fill potato shells; sprinkle with additional cheese
and paprika, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees until puffed and lightly browned.
For your dessert...You're sure to earn brownie points with your
valentines if you whip up a batch of these heart-shaped treats.
36 2-inch graham crackers
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (don't use evaporated milk)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 6-oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glassware). While you
generously grease an 8-inch square baking pan, put your kids to work crushing
the graham crackers into fine crumbs. It's especially easy and fun if you seal
the crackers in a plastic bag and then use a rolling pin.
2. Next, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and salt
in a large mixing bowl. Add the chocolate morsels, pecans and graham cracker
crumbs and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.
3. Spoon the batter (it will be very stiff) into the greased pan. Use the
back of a wooden spoon (or clean hands) to pat the batter into an even layer.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
4. Finally, use a cookie cutter or a butter knife to cut out these
small brownies heart shapes. Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice
cream or raspberry sherbert. Makes about 8 to 12, depending on size.