Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is in the air....

Long ago, hubby and I decided to skip the madness of restaurant reservations and long stemmed roses and just celebrate Valentine's Day in our own way.  I'm more a "tray of bedding plants" kind of girl than long stemmed roses anyway.

So, for the last few years, we've stayed home and whipped up our own meal.  We decided to celebrate this past Saturday night, since I knew I wouldn't have it in me to whip up this meal after a long day's work on Monday.

What Valentine's meal would be complete without chocolate covered strawberries??

I wanted something a little different this year, so I opted for Chocolate/Kahlua Dipped Strawberries.  You can use any liqueur you like (the recipe calls for orange flavored liqueur), but I thought Kahlua would give the chocolate just a little extra zing without taking over the flavor. 
Next time, I might add just a little more...ahem..."zing".

6 oz. sweet chocolate
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
2 tsp. orange flavored liqueur
1 tbsp. softened, unsalted butter
1 1/2 pt. strawberries, with stems attached

In top of a double boiler, set over hot water stirring to melt the chocolate. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream, the liqueur, and the butter and heat the mixture, stirring until smooth. Dip the strawberries in chocolate. Place on a wax paper lined dish and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Man cannot live on chocolate alone (woman definitely can!!) and I know the way to my man's heart is through beef, so I decided to pan sear some rib eyes. 

I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Why three rib eyes for a romantic dinner for two?".  Well, that would be because we shared our dinner with our 24 year old daughter, who moved back home to go to law school and is in a long distance relationship so she didn't get to spend Valentine's Day with her boyfriend....whew...that's a mouthful....hence the three steaks.  She served as my sous chef on this meal and it wouldn't have been nearly as easy, or fun, without her. 

 I love the simplicity of it and the way it allows the flavor of the beef to shine.

Rub on a little oil, salt and pepper, then throw the steaks in your pre-heated cast iron skillet. 

Place the seasoned side down and repeat on the flip side.  Sear them on each side for 30 seconds"ish" and then put the hot pan back in the 500 degree oven.

Make sure they get that beautiful crust.

...and always make sure you have your "vacuum cleaner" ready for spills.

Lola, a/k/a Hoover
I like to make a little herbed butter to dot on the steaks immediately after they come out of the oven.  Just soften a stick of salted butter and add whatever herbs you like.  I think this time around I used garlic, tarragon, basil and pepper.  Mix it all up and then roll it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until ready to use. 
P.S., the leftover butter is great on grilled cheese sandwiches. 

As soon as the steaks come out, put on the pats of butter and let them rest for a minute or so to allow the juices to redistrubute.

I served this with Creamed Spinach.  I opted not to go with a starch since we were saving our carbs for the dessert course.

Crack open your favorite bottle of red wine and enjoy. 
Happy "low stress" Valentine's Day!!

The "sous chef" snapped this picture unbeknownst to us.  I kind of like it.


  1. Shannon, your dinner looks delicious! What a sweet picture of you and the hubby.

    I ran to Sam's and picked up ribeye's for this evenings dinner.

  2. Yum, I was at the wrong house Saturday! Love your pictures and of courses the strawberries. Happy Valentine's day my friend.

  3. Your meal looks delicious! Happy Valentine's Day!

    My tennis girls would love these strawberries post match this spring. I need to remember this!

  4. Sounds like a fabulous Valentine's celebration to me! And I love your last picture. Tell M. she did a great job on that photo!

    By the way, thanks for the link for the Jazz Festival poster. I may try to purchase one but it is a little pricey for a poster just for the person in it and me not having any other connection with it (besides you of course). I have saved it to use as a background on my computer at some point. THANK YOU!