Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day Recipes

Normally for Valentine's Day, we do small things for each other.  We write sweet letters, leave hidden notes in places, bring the other one coffee in bed, etc..  If we do buy gifts, they're pretty small.  Sometimes one of us makes dinner for the other one, which varies year to year, and other years we'll go out to celebrate.

Keeping up with our normal Valentine's Day routines, I bought Chris a pair of slippers.  He's been complaining about getting up and walking around with his feet freezing, so I thought it was a cute gift that he didn't necessarily ask for.

And he got me beautiful diamond earrings.


Chris's reasoning was that it's the last time he can go 'big' with these kinds of gifts.  After May, our priorities shift with little Miss Hart coming into the world.

But that's okay...even though our gifts are lopsided, which we never actually care about, I know my husband well enough (and he knows me well enough) to know that for him, the way to his heart is through his stomach, and for me...Diamonds are a girls best friend!

Chris came home from work to this in the making :

Apple Onion Pork Tenderloin with glazed carrots and mashed potatoes.  I really wanted to put this on our fancy china and actually plate it so it was really pretty.  I'm clumsy enough as is though, and adding pregnancy instability to that made me decide to just use our every day plates.  It took me about two hours to make this from start to finish, and it was absolutely delicious.  Not just being arrogant here, it really was!  Recipe at the bottom of this post!

After we ate dinner, we had to rush off to Chris's volleyball game.  So romantic, I know!  It's so hard to sit on the bleachers and just watch and not be able to play!  He won all three games (yay!) and then we headed home for dessert.

And as most of you know, I do not bake.  But I did have something fancy planned for dessert.

Banana Foster (sans foster for my preggo self!) fondue.  Eat your heart out Melting Pot...mine was sooo good!!!  Recipe for that at the bottom of this post too.  This one is simple!

So that's our Valentine's Day in a nutshell.  I tried to fatten Chris up, and he dazzled me with diamonds.  So sweet, right?!

Here's the promised recipes.  Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!


Apple Onion Pork Tenderloin:
1 pork tenderloin, cleaned and divided in half. (I saved the second half and will cook that this week with the left over sauce.  You could cook both though if you'd like a bigger serving).
1 red onion, thinly sliced.
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded, and cut into 8 wedges
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 1/4 cup reisling wine (any sweet white wine will do)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small cubes) (I just used spread)
1/2 cup chicken stock
8 whole cloves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose seasoning (I have no idea what this is...I just used my chicken and poultry seasoning, and it tasted fabulous!!)
1 tablespoon black cracked pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

Combine apple cider, 1 cup of wine, cloves, cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and chicken stock in 1 1/2 quart sauce pan.  Cook on medium high heat and reduce by half.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Coat pork tenderloin with all purpose seasoning and press cracked pepper into meat until it's thoroughly coated.
Pre-heat small skillet on medium heat.  When hot, add oil to coat bottom of the pan.  Place pork in pan, and slowly turn meat as it browns.  When its browned, remove from pan and place in a broiler on 350 degrees and set 10 inches from heat.  Cook until the center is 150 degrees (depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, this can take between 45 - 60 mins).  Remove from broiler and let rest (don't cut into it just yet!).
Finish the sauce by removing cloves from liquid, return pan to heat and whisk briskly.  When mixture just begins to steam, not boil, add apple sauce and remaining brown sugar.  Remove from heat and whisk vigorously to blend completely.
Using the same skillet you cooked the pork in, add butter, apples, and red onion slices and return to heat.  Slowly stire ingredients until apples and onions begin to brown.  Remove from heat, add 1/4 cup wine and stir well to deglaze the pan (I skipped the added wine here since it wouldn't be cooked...so I can't say what that part tastes like, but the apples and onions were surprisingly (to us anyways!) delicious!)
Take pork tenderloins and slice in half-inch medallions.  Pool sauce on service plate and place slices of pork so they slightly overlap each other.  Arrange apple and onion mixture around meat.  Pour sauce around apples and onions as desired.

Bananas Foster Fondue

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
4 ounces caramel
1/2 banana, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp banana liqueur (I left this out, but would try it if I wasn't pregnant!)
1 tsp spiced rum (ditto here!)
desserts for dipping into fondue (I used pound cake, cheesecake, marshallows, rice krispy treats, bananas, and strawberries)
Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments.  Stir inbetween each iteration of the microwave, until its melted.
Place banana slices in the bottom of the fondue bowl.
Pour melting chocolate ontop of bananas.
Blend the caramel with the warm chocolate on top of the bananas.
I just enjoyed this from here, but if you're not pregnant : add banana liqueur and rum to the pot and carefully stir the mixture together.

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  1. whoa! diamond earrings...so lucky, and what a great guy. i can't complain, i got shoes! shoes are the way to my heart...though diamonds wouldn't hurt. what a great dinner and dessert, too!

  2. Wow!! The food looks nothing short of amazing...and beautiful earrings!= )

  3. That first picture is hilarious! And your recipes sound delicious! Definitely something I'll have to try! :)

  4. We were on the same mind track for V-day this year! I thought cooking Kris steak, potatoes and asparagus with a card, chocolates and a NetFlix membership was a great present....until he came home with long stem red roses, chocolates, card and a Pandora necklace and charms! Not quite diamond earrings but the necklace does sparkle :-)

  5. Hi! I host a weekly blog hop -- It's a Keeper Thursdays. I'd love for you to stop by and link up!

    Christina @ It's a Keeper


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