Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day/Weekend Recap

The bf and I celebrated Valentine's Day on Friday this year, mostly because one of my favorite artists, Robert Earl Keen, played at a club here in Chicago on Friday. The concert was amazing and as usual the bf knocked it out of the park in terms of making Valentine's Day special and not overly mushy/romantic (see previous post as to why).

Since we celebrated on Friday, we stayed home and watched the Olympics and did housework on Valentine's Day (which suited me just fine). Anyway, we had a great day and I made a special dinner that we ate while we watched even more of the Olympics (we're a bit obsessed). Because I wanted to make a special dinner, of course I needed to run to my local Aldi to pick up a few things and I'm glad I did for two reasons: (1) avocados were on sale for $0.25 each and (2) they had a large supply of roses ($3.99 for 6) so I picked up a dozen for myself and was entertained by all of the freaked out boyfriends/husbands doing extremely last minute shopping.

While I did want to make something special for Valentine's Day dinner, I didn't want to spend all night in the kitchen so I made one of my "steakhouse" meals that look super fancy but are quick and easy to make. We enjoyed a meal of fresh made guacamole as an appetizer, takeout sauce steak, cheesy garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini and onions.

Easy Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1/2 small onion minced
1 handful fresh cilantro chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon each: pepper, granulated garlic, Emeril's Essence, chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons salsa
Add the onions, garlic, cilantro, salsa and spices to a small bowl. Mix well. Add the avocado (I cut mine in half and then score them while they are still in the shell and scoop out the already chopped avocado) to the bowl. Mash up and mix with the existing ingredients. Now add the lime juice. Stir well, chill for a few minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
Take Out Sauce Steak
1 med. to large piece of top sirloin steak (or other inexpensive cut of steak)
1 med. to small container take out red sauce (either pizza or marinara -- whatever they serve with garlic bread)
1 small container take out salsa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tonic water
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons each: steak seasoning, granulated garlic
1 tablespoon each: pepper, Emeril's essence
Mix all ingredients (except steak) in a gallon size food storage bag. Add steak. Marinate for a few hours. Grill to desired level of doneness. Make sure to allow the steak to rest before slicing.
Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 lb potatoes (I used red)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 milk and/or sour cream + more if you like your potatoes creamy
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons granulated garlic
salt, pepper and Essence to taste
Boil potatoes. Drain and return to pan. Add butter, milk, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Mash with potato masher or electric mixer. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Sauteed Zucchini and Onions
2 med. zucchini sliced
1 med. onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper, granulated garlic and Essence to taste
Heat oil over med. high heat. Add zucchini and onions. Add spices. Saute for a few minutes (don't turn too much so that the zucchini will brown a little bit).
For desert I served slice and bake cookies. I don't make desert since it usually turns into a disaster.
As a side note, I realize the steak marinade sounds really weird (trust me, the bf definitely asked me what I was thinking when I created it) but I promise that it gives the steak a great flavor and is actually quite subtle. Also, you should serve the wine you use in the marinade with dinner, I did and it definitely enhanced the flavor of the steak.
I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day weekend!


Freck said...

Looks like you had a great Vday dinner! I still don't know why I haven't hit up the closest Aldi..

KatieSPerk said...

Wow! Looks delicious. I was also amused at the panicky boys scouring the grocery for last minute items. Poor things!

AmyT said...

we did the Friday thing too!! That dinner sounds soooo yummy!!! What a nice V'day!!!!

Kristin said...

Mmmmmmm. Those mashed pots sounds SO good!

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