Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Noe and I have a tradition of NOT going out on Valentine's Day. Neither of us are against the holiday, and we don't make a huge deal out of it or buy presents, but I like goofy cards and Noe likes candy, so it's really sort of a good fit for us. However, almost four years of working in "the most romantic restaurant in Ann Arbor" convinced me that Valentine's Day is one of the LEAST romantic days to go out, and certainly not a great time to try to really get a feel for a restaurant you haven't yet tried. So Noe and I try to collaborate on a really good dinner at home.

Sometimes we run into disagreements because I like to make "fancy" food (Noe considers any meat with a sauce to be "fancy") and things I haven't tried to make before, and Noe likes the tried and true. We also disagree on what constitutes a great dessert. This year, we decided to do things a little differently than usual - instead of Noe selecting the majority of the menu and me cooking it, I made the appetizer, one side dish, and dessert, and Noe made the main dish and one side.

(We did Valentine's Day dinner last night because we have the big New London Main Street bash tonight.)

For an appetizer, I chose seared scallops sauced with white wine, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, and parsley. I served these with a little split of Champagne.

Searing the scallops 

Scallop appetizer with Champagne...
and look at those awesome glasses...

Noe used our new grill pan to cook up some excellent rib eye steaks from Four Mile River Farm. For his side dish he (of course) chose rice. I went simple and steamed some asparagus.

Noe at work on his part of the meal

These steaks were huge

 I had to cut mine in half!

Dessert was difficult. I looked at a lot of different options. I finally decided to go decidedly un-fancy with red velvet cupcakes topped with a gigantic swirl of cream cheese frosting. This was my first time baking red velvet cake or cupcakes, and I think the results were spectacular.

Cooling and ready to be frosted

 Oh, yeah.

All in all, a great collaborative meal. Letting Noe take over the main course every once in awhile might not be a bad idea - and now that we have the grill pan, he can keep his skills sharp for summer.

What did you eat for Valentine's Day dinner?


Jessica Watkins said...

While you were eating this fab Valentine's dinner, Dave and I were eating at Red Robin with friends, after bowling :) We don't have any plans today except maybe grocery shopping and cleaning the attic. He did make me breakfast this morning, with heart-shaped eggs/toast. One year, I made red velvet "conversation heart" cakes for Valentine's day, after seeing it on the Martha Stewart show. They had a speckled cinnamon frosting that was really good. I took pictures of the ones I made, but I don't know where they are at the moment. This is the link to the recipe:

Lydia said...

Food sounds amazing! We are decidedly boring on Valentines day, due mostly to the fact that our anniversary is only a few weeks prior. Last night for our Valentines meal I made broccoli and potato au gratin soup, homemade honey wheat bread and a lemon cake for dessert. J provided the tulips <3.

Decorations By Design said...

Looks like the cupcakes were a success! If only I could get Josh to actually cook with me. He can manage when he wants to, but apparently it all "tastes better" when I make it. Not sure I buy that one!

Alison said...

The steaks look great. For some reason, even though I always order "rare to medium rare" in a restaurant, I can't bring myself to have any pink in my meat at home -- I'm too paranoid! And then I end up completely ruining the steak.

Scott said...

Horray for cupcakes! Yum yum.

Everything else looks amazing too (especially now that it is Ash Wednesday).

Tameri T. said...

I blogged about our Valentine's day meal at Funny thing is our meal included pan seared scallops too. All of the other courses were different though.

天氣晴朗 said...