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How to: Valentine’s dinner

Valentine’s Day seems to be a word that hangs in the air like cooking fish in the kitchen, some people love it and some people hate it. However, if you’re in a relationship whether you love it or hate it you should still acknowledge it with a delicious meal.beef bourgeon

If you’re cooking at home this Valentine’s Day (and honestly you should) cook foods that make you look like a rock star; begin with an easy starter, a main course that can be made ahead of time and a cold dessert.

The Starter: This is an opportunity to show your partner that you know their likes- create a salad with things they love. Use their favorite lettuces; favorite nuts and their favorite cheese then mix everything with a dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s simple yet delicious.

Need more concrete ideas? Try: baby lettuce, walnuts, beets and goat cheese or arugula, almonds and Parmesan.

The main course-Slow cooker recipes are perfect for a romantic evening because you can cook them a day ahead, the morning of or even 3 hours before and they will turn out perfect with little to no fuss during your actual dinner.

(c) HMFG Copyright 2016 photo by Mary Moran

(c) HMFG Copyright 2016 photo by Mary Moran

Try my delicious beef bourguignon (see recipe below) or try other slow cook recipes like Coq au vin or even Oso bucco.

The dessert- it’s a no brainer, a cold dessert is served cold, which means after dinner you don’t have to worry about cooking anything. All you have to do is go into your freezer or refrigerator and grab the dessert. Dessert is also a course you aren’t expected to make from scratch.

Try: Tiramisu, chocolate cake, truffles or even a decadent chocolate moose.

Your evening will be a hit and your date is going to think your a genius!

Beef Bourginon

Servings 2-3


  • 2 ¼ pound of stew meat
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of baby carrots, each carrot cut into 3’s
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1-tablespoon butter
  • 1-tablespoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1-cup of cabernet
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of bouillon


  1. Dry your meat with a paper towel.
  2. In a large pot heat on high with olive oil and once the oil is hot sear the meat on all sides (this should take about 10 minutes)
  3. Add paprika, salt and pepper once the meat has begun to brown.
  4. When the meat has browned remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  5. Add the olive oil and butter to the pot.
  6. Once the butter and oil are warm add the vegetables to the pot and remove the fond from the bottom and the sides using a rubber spatula and the vegetables.
  7. Cook the vegetables for 10 more minutes until they are aromatic, glossy and starting to turn brown.
  8. Next add the tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  9. When the tomato paste has cooked to a darker more brownish hue turn the fire off and add the cabernet to the pot.
  10. Return the fire to a low heat and cook out the alcohol.
  11. Add the meat, water and bouillon (you can also substitute stock or broth the flavor might not be as strong) to the pot.
  12. Bring everything to a boil and then turn down the heat to a low, low simmer or add it to a slow cooker.
  13. Cook for 3 and a half to 4 hours.
  14. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Serve with crusty bread, pasta or potatoes.

If you liked this try some of our other favorite Valentine’s day ideas— Cupcake cones or white chocolate pistachio bark