Romantic Valentine Meal Done The Local Way

I have been asked to put together a Romantic Valentine Dinner, using as many local ingredients as possible, to be published in several of our local newspapers. As many of you know, it has been almost 2 years since I have purchased foods from the grocery store..we are an all local foods home these days and that seems to amaze everyone we know. It really isn’t that difficult of a task with so much available all year now. I thought it would be a nice extra for everyone if I posted it to the Blog as an easy reference for others to try it too!

Ok, so here is the menu: Local Leaf Lettuces served with a Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette, Beef Burgundy, Root Vegetable & Butternut Squash Bake, and Fresh Raspberries with Shave Chocolate. Keep reading…here are the recipes…

Lemon-Honey  Vinaigrette

¼ c.        Light oil (EVOO, Canola)

¼ c.        Water

2 T          Lemon Juice

3 T          Local Honey

Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and set aside. I do not refrigerate this..takes away from the flavor!

 

Beef Burgundy

This is a super easy recipe and takes only 35 minutes from prep to eat!

2 lbs.      Sirloin (cut into 1 inch cubes)

8 oz.       Fresh Mushrooms

1              Medium Onion

2              Cloves Garlic, minced

½ c.        Butter

¼ c.        Flour (or Cornstarch)

¼ t          Sea Salt

¼ t          Black Pepper

¼ t          Fresh Thyme (chopped)

1/8 c.     Fresh Chopped Parsley

1              Bay Leaf

1 C          Red Burgundy Wine (Pinot Noir)

2 C          Beef Broth

1 C          Pearled Onions

Optional : 2 – 3 slices of crumbled bacon

Combine flour (cornstarch), salt, pepper and one minced garlic clove in a zip lock bag. Add in cubed beef and seal. Shake to coat the beef. Set aside. In a sauce pan, melt ¼ cup of butter, add mushrooms and onion. Sauté until soft. Set aside. Melt remaining ¼ cup of butter in a large sauce pan. Add second clove of minced garlic and coated beef. Brown beef on medium heat. Once the beef has browned, slowly add the Burgundy wine and beef broth. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Thyme and Bay Leaf. You want to see the liquid reduce by about 1/3 and the sauce thicken. Keep simmering and scraping during this process. Towards the end of the simmer process, add the parsley, bacon crumbles and pearled onions. Serve against the Root Veggie & Butternut Squash Bake…it’s great if some gets on it. The combined flavors..yummy!

 

Root Veggie & Butternut Squash Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1              Large White Potato, cubed

1              Large Sweet Potato, cubed

1              Large Carrot, cubed

1              Medium Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

2              Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 T          EVOO

¼ t          Sea Salt

¼ t          Black Pepper

Several pats of butter

Put all ingredients into a zip lock bag..shake to coat. Spread in a flat baking dish and drop a couple of pats of butter on top. Bake until tender (approximately 45 minutes).

With this meal I have chosen not to make a super delectable, over the top fattening desert. Instead, take a couple of handfuls of fresh Raspberries and put in a bowl, shave really expensive Semi Sweet Chocolate on top and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. It’s easy, it’s romantic and sexy to feed to each other and clean up is a breeze!

I hope everyone who tries this loves it..enjoy and remember, with few exceptions, all ingredients can be locally sourced.

 

 

 

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What Valentine’s Day Means To Me

From the time that I can remember I have known that Valentine’s Day was not just another day. It was most special in my home growing up and a big deal was always made of it. Why you may ask, well let me tell you.

One of the most special and influential people in my life was born on Valentine’s Day. This lady was so cool. She would spend the week before hiding Valentine’s all over the place for me to find..in my lunch bag, under my dinner plate, inside my pillow case, I never knew when a card was going to jump out at me. All of my friends loved it because she would do the same for them too. The house was always brimming with red and white roses from her fans. She made heart shaped cupcakes, big cakes and even once she baked a pork tenderloin shaped like a heart and did a ruffle of mashed potatoes and cherry tomatoes (Have you ever tried to do this? I have, apparently I don’t possess enough love!!). Not only was Valentine’s special to her because of her birthday, it was also her wedding anniversary. She just dripped with love at every turn on her special day and she shared it with everyone she knew.

This wonderful lady has been gone for over 33 years now but every Valentine’s Day I give my Mother a bud vase with one white rose (for this special lady), one red rose for her and one yellow rose for me. We were always the three generations..yes, the special lady was my Grandmother.

Today, as I walked down the hall of the hospital to my Mother’s room, with my 3 roses in one hand and my husband’s hand in the other, I prayed quietly for this tradition not to end quite yet.

I hope that everyone has had a Happy Valentine’s Day and that each of you have remembered all of those who have meant “love” in your lives..you know, it’s not just another day!