Last year I made a Valentine’s Day dinner that was for the books…the dinner itself was pretty good (linguine and clam sauce with baked parmesan-topped zucchini) but the dessert, which I invented myself (mistake #1), totally sucked. Everything with it went wrong, to the point where it was amusing. Click here for a link to the story of that culinary disaster.

Now, apparently Joe and I are deemed to never celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day. For years we went out to dinner, never on “the day of” but perhaps the day before or after, the weekend before or after or what have you – mainly to avoid the crowds but sometimes just because we weren’t available to be together very much on the actual holiday (case in point – this year I had 4 patients in the morning/afternoon and choir rehearsal in the evening, and Joe was working 2pm to 9pm. We exchanged “morning breath kisses” when I left for work, were “ships passing in the night” as I got home from my patients and he went to work, and then we didn’t see each other again until 9:30pm). But since our anniversary is a week and a half after Valentine’s Day, we started downplaying the whole “romantic going out to dinner” for the holiday, holding it for our anniversary and we’d just have a “nice” meal at home for Valentine’s Day. Last year was the linguine and clams and the dessert monstrosity that we still make fun of. This year I think we did significantly better.

I bought a good steak from Whole Foods, which for me is a huge deal because (A) we only have steak at home once every 6 months or so (we only have red meat once every 2 weeks but that’s usually some sort of pork product) and (B) because I so rarely buy beef, I never can remember what type of steak is the best one to get – short of knowing that filet mignon is on one end of the spectrum and chuck is on the other, my choice is usually based on price and size. This year I got a NY Strip, which turned out to be perfect. Anyway, along with that I bought a bunch of asparagus and I already had some potatoes that I knew I would mash, so we were all good with that. And I was NOT going to experiment with dessert – I picked out 4 recipes  (granted, all of stuff that I had never made before but they were recipes – tried and true. And I follow directions well ;-)) and let Joe choose which one he wanted me to make – which turned out to be a cheesecake.

Joe is the grill master, at least when it comes to steaks. He also suggested that we grill the asparagus, so I prepped them with olive oil and Kosher salt and he cooked them on the grill while he was doing the meat. I made a big bunch of mashed potatoes so we would have 3 or 4 more servings each, to store in the freezer, on top of what we had for the night’s dinner. I also modified the cheesecake to be lower fat and sugar-free and it still was (one of my favorite terms for something like this) “pretty good for what it was” ;-).

And here’s how we did:


New York strip steak, mashed potatoes grilled asparagus



Cheesecake with chocolate-covered strawberries

Want a slice of that?


I don’t know if it would be considered “food porn” but I sure think it was. Well, that and I want to see if and how my hit counter changes if I use the word PORN in a blog entry! 😉

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day, y’all!