Love is in the air my friends. I spent this weekend with Mr. Max in El Campo, Texas to be a bridesmaid in my sweet friend's wedding. Becca and Blair grew up together and started their dating adventure as sophomore's in high school, said "I Do" yesterday and on their way to the Bahamas today. It was such a special weekend meeting her family and other close friends, as well as seeing our close friends together in one place since we live all over this state now.
Mr. Max and I are celebrating Valentine's day next Saturday night, taking part in a cooking class at Central Market! For our first Hallmark Love Day, we went to a "hands-on" 4-course cooking class at a really cute little house off in the historic downtown of Grapevine. Fun fact, the little blog ID picture in our little aprons is from that night! I'm sure you can infer that the "..." means that it wasn't exactly hands-on, in fact, much of it was pre-made and just demonstrative. It was still a really fun experience and we did learn a lot that we put to use in our own kitchen. This time, we are doing a truly hands-on experience with a Couples Night Out: Texas Tastes class. I was particularly drawn to this class because we are not familiar with cooking a thing on the menu - well, we make green beans and squash but maybe not like they do. I hope they will allow me to bring a camera in to document it but next Saturday we will be making:
Texas Grilled Quail SaladHill Country Surf' n TurfChipotle-Cheddar Cheese Grits;Green Bean & Squash Medley with Roasted Peppersand Cinnamon Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice CreamI haven't decided what to make for our actual Sweetheart Day tomorrow night. I may do Veal Oscar again, which is what we made last year, P.B. (pre-blog) or finally conquer crab cakes. I wanted to give you a few suggestions for a Valentine's dinner treat if you are stay at home, cook it yourself-ers like us!
If beef is your calling, I would recommend this incredible steak I made Max for his birthday or if you do have a little extra money to spend, this beef tenderloin with madeira sauce from our New Years Eve feast. For more low-fat, low budget this flank steak will knock your socks off.
If you want a romantic poultry dinner, this chicken dish originally named Chicken Valentino would be perfect, or something with a little less work, the goat cheese cranberry stuffed chicken is still one of our favorites.
If pork is your thing, hands down the spiced pork agrodolce with the butternut squash risotto is your winner. However, this raspberry pork tenderloin would be a close second.
If fish is what your heart desires, then I recommend this halibut or impress with this very simple homemade teryaki glazed salmon.
If simple elegance is what you need on a Monday evening, try out this Goat Cheese Pesto pizza in the candlelight.
And finally, if you are going for the Italian influence for tu amor, this jazzed-up Baked Ziti or Italian enchiladas with a fine Chianti will be perfecto.
These are my "romantic favorites" and come with my guarantee that if served, you will impress your Valentine and he/she will become a smitten kitten all over again.