Sunday, February 14, 2010

valentine's weekend

On Saturday night we hosted a Birthday/ Valentine's dinner at our house. It was a very fun night, filled with good food and conversation, and of course we love spending time with our family!

the menu:

the easiest tapanade w/ french bread
romaine and fennel salad w/ orange vinaigrette
beef bourguignon
garlic mashed potatoes
chocolate pot de creme w/ vanilla whipped cream
chocolate covered strawberries

For the tapanade, it couldn't be simpler. Take one can of artichoke hearts, about a handful of kalamata olives, a couple of roasted red peppers, a big handful of parsley, and a couple pinches of salt. Pulse all together in a food processor until well blended. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Serve with toasted french bread.

For the salad, we kept it simple. Fresh chopped romaine, thinly sliced fennel bulb, a few fennel fronds tossed in, and we drizzled it all with olive oil, orange champagne vinegar (which can be found at Trader Joe's), and salt. Toss all together well and serve. So crunchy and refreshing!

The beef bourguignon was just as I hoped, flavorful and delicious. We used grass-fed beef from Miller Livestock, and it was great! Tender and juicy, it worked perfectly in this dish. We served this with Jerel's garlic mashed potatoes, that were perfect I might add. I will definitely be making this again!

I think the favorite of the night had to be the chocolate pot de creme! It was rich and chocolaty, everything you want in a dessert. I topped it with fresh whipped vanilla cream. I deviated from the recipe (link above) slightly, as I felt like I wanted to serve larger portions. I split the recipe between 5 ramekins instead of the recommended 8, which also meant more time in the oven. Just make sure the outside of the creme is firm and the center slightly wobbly before you take them out of the oven.

What a wonderful evening!

This morning, for Valentine's breakfast, I made my sweet some very berry buttermilk pancakes. I used my standard buttermilk pancake recipe, and topped them with raspberry syrup (raspberry preserves with a tiny bit of water, warmed up until it comes to a liquid consistency), and fresh raspberries and blueberries. Yum!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!


  1. Oh what a lovely and perfect menu for such an occasion!

  2. How busy you've been! That all looks amazing!