Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Evening of Mr

In honor of Lover’s Day, I I decided to dub Monday “An Evening of Mr.”  That’s right, I dedicated all of Yummy Monday dinner to mr and his favorites.  That means mr loved it all.  It also means we had a weird menu, because some of his favorites don’t exactly go together.
Interesting, to say the least.
I spent a somewhat harried day - shopping at the cheapy store for our staples, then dragging the threes and mini to the craft store to meet dad so he could help me locate the items I need for a super fun tutorial coming up (yep, that’s a teaser), then on to WallyWorld, where I didn’t realize I’d forgotten my wallet until we were all checked through so I had to drive the kids home to get it, then go back and buy the food, then on to a local grocer who has an AMAZING meat section to purchase the piece de resistance of dinner, then home where I took pictures of the kids outside in order to make the 3-D Valentine’s I showed you yesterday, then lunch, then creating the project for the tutorial I keep teasing you about, then making last minute Valentine’s and wrapping up mr’s present, and FINALLY on to cooking.  Which I did for a FEW HOURS.   Yes, hours, multiple.  That was the longest run on sentence in the history of this blog, and I am now going to share our dinner with YOU, because all of that work needs documenting (and all of this babble is getting ridiculous).  Sooooo, hours and a few helping hands later, we embarked on our “Evening of Mr” with:
Course #1
Soup and Sushi.
Yes, soup and sushi.  I know, that’s kind of a weird pairing.  But like I said, some of mr’s favorites don’t really mesh.  And these are his two favorite appetizers.  And not just any Soup and Sushi.  Clam Chowder.  (food.com) EVERYONE loved it.  Even me, and sometimes clams make me cringe.  Here’s the recipe:
Clam Chowder
2 (6 1/2 oz) cans of minced clams
1 C chopped onion
2 C diced potatoes
3/4 C butter
3/4 C flour
1 quart half and half
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
pepper to taste
Put the onion and potato in a saucepan and cover with water.  Drain the clam juice into the saucepan.  Cook this for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.  In a large pot, melt the butter.  Add the flour and stir, to create a roux.  Add the half and half, salt, sugar and pepper.  Cook on medium or medium-high heat until thickened and smooth - stirring constantly.  Add the water/veggie mixture to the pot and stir well.  Remove from heat and add clams.  Stir.  Serve warm.

I was surprised at how easy it was to make!
I did not take a picture of the sushi, because I did not make it.  It was a rainbow roll made with tuna and salmon.  Fresh.  Which is saying something around here.  He loved it.  mom almost hurled.  Ah, well.
Course #2
Now, this salad wasn’t EXACTLY mr’s favorite, as we have never made it before, but it sure did sound like something he would like.  It’s called Spinach and Avocado Salad with Sesame Wasabi dressing.  He enjoys every component used in the title (and, obviously, in the salad).  So I threw it together, and if you’d like to try it, just click the link.  I will not post the recipe here.  Why?  Because I hated it.  It was gross.  I think it was the sesame oil that ruined it for me.  Maybe a little too much?  mr liked it, it reminded him of an appetizer he likes at one of his favorite restaurants.  The rest of us weren’t fans, although mom liked it better than the sushi.  dad and I couldn’t even finish ours.

Course #3
Meat and potatoes.
Not just any meat.  Ready for it?  Bleu Cheese Fillet Mignon with Rich Vinaigrette Glaze.  Oh, yes.  Fillet Mignon.  Aside from the price, this was totally something I could have every night - and I don’t do steak.  I mean, I really don’t.  I have NEVER made a steak myself, and I do NOT order steak when we are out - even at a steak place.  I guess it really does depend on the cut and how it’s prepared.  DELICIOUS.  A note:  our local amazing meat department grocery store has a bacon and bleu cheese stuffed sirloin.  So that’s what I bought to make this with - hence the bleu cheese.  You could easily duplicate the flavors by making a small slice in each steak, crumbling some bleu cheese and a bit of bacon, and stuffing it inside.  The vinaigrette sauce is yummy on its own, though, so regular sirloin would be good too.  Also, the original recipe (which you’ll find at the link) called for dry red wine, which I thought I had, but turned out I only had either red wine vinegar or cooking sherry.  Hm.  Which to use in place??  What would YOU do?  Well, here’s my version of the recipe and how to:
Filet Mignon with Rich Balsamic Glaze
4-6 (2-4 oz) sirloin steaks
4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
6 strips of bacon, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/2 C cooking sherry
2 T brown sugar
First, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Season both sides of the steak by rubbing with salt and pepper to taste.  Slice your stake open from one side to the center and stuff with some of the bleu cheese and bacon crumbles.  Place your steaks in the hot pan and cook for about one minute on each side, or until browned.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in the balsamic vinegar and cooking sherry.  Cover and cook for four minutes.  Turn the steaks over and cover and cook for another four minutes.  Baste with the sauce when you turn them.  Remove the steaks from the sauce and place on a serving platter.  Turn the heat to medium-high and add about 2 T brown sugar - more or less to taste.  Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens a bit.  Stir frequently.  When the sauce has reduced, pour the glaze over the steaks.

Was not hard at all.  I guess I’m not afraid of cooking steak anymore.
I served it with homemade mashed potatoes.  Here’s that recipe, although I’m sure you know how to make mashed potatoes.
Creamy Potatoes
8 baking or russet potatoes
1/4 of an 8 oz container of sour cream
1/2 C of butter
2 tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
Put a pot of water on the stove to boil while you clean your potatoes.  Wash and cut your potatoes into quarters.  Place your potatoes in the water.  Once the water starts to boil, turn your timer on for about 15 minutes.  Check your potatoes to make sure they easily crumble by sticking with a fork and twisting it.  Cook more or less as needed.  Drain the water. 
Mashed potatoes couldn’t be easier.  Stick your potatoes in the mixer’s bowl and turn it on low.  Add sour cream, butter and seasonings.  Turn the speed up and mix until they reach your desired consistency - about 5 minutes.
They are still pretty easy.  Mash them up with a potato masher.  Add the other ingredients and use a hand mixer to make them smooth and creamy.
And steamed green beans.

Right about now mr said he had passed the point of being stuffed and mom was pretty much in a food coma.  But we still had:
Course #4
Now, here’s the one exception to the “Evening of Mr.”  Had I really been making a dessert that was just for him, super special, I would have made this Black Forest Trifle found on Sophistimom.  He loves Black Forest Cake, and I don’t think he’s had any in years.  BUT, when I saw this recipe for “Double Kisses” I couldn’t resist.  I mean, it’s Valentine’s Day!  Plus, there is peanut butter in the recipe, and one of his favorite combos is peanut butter and chocolate.
They are super cute, right?  I had mr write the tags out while I baked and wrapped.  I know, they’re pink, not white, but we didn’t have any white paper on hand.  
So you open up that jumbo kiss, and what do you see?  

This chocolate cookie kiss!
And you bite into it and what do you see?
A hershey kiss, all melty and yummy!
I found this on food.com.  Here’s the recipe:
Double Kisses (cookies)
1 1/2 C flour
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/2 C butter, softened
1/4 C creamy peanut butter
2/3 C sugar
1 large egg white
small package of hershey kisses (42 kisses total) - I only used about 20 ish
Aluminum foil cut into squares
small white tags with your message written on

Heat oven to 350.  In a small bowl, blend the flour and cocoa powder.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter.  Add the peanut butter and sugar and cream a bit longer.  On low speed, add the egg white.  Add the flour mixture.  Measure out about 2 T of the dough and press into a disc on a cookie sheet.  Place an unwrapped kiss in the center of the disc and form the dough up and around it in the shape of the kiss.  Place them about an inch apart.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely.  Remove from sheet, place them on a square of aluminum foil, wrap the foil up and around the cookie and stick the tag in.

Some thoughts on this:
They are adorable.  BUT they are NOT the yummiest dessert I've ever made.  I think I might make them for the kids for Valentine's Day every year - kind of a tradition that's easy on the budget, and kids love cookies - but they won't be made anytime else.  They just aren't tasty enough for the effort.  That said, I think I over-baked them a bit.  BUT, then I noticed this recipe online, for Double Kisses TRUFFLES.  TRUFFLES, people, TRUFFLES!!  So maybe I'll try those sometime.

mom couldn’t eat any.  I think she may have passed out by that point.  The rest of us had one.  I was pacing myself the whole time, taking very small portions, since I knew what was in store, so I could totally enjoy the warm chocolatey goodness.  Poor mr and dad.  I think “An Evening of Mr” might have done them in.

*Be sure to check the sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

Oh what a fun evening! Your Mr. is a lucky guy!

Brianna! said...

those are the cutest double kisses:)


Ginger said...

Mmmmm! Looks yummy! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

Meg Luby said...

those are SO cute! love the kiss shapes!! glad to have found your blog!
@ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com
@ http://www.myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

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