Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dinner at 8pm: Valentine's Day Dinner

Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo
with a Balsamic Reduction

We decided to spend Valentine's "in" this year. So we fed the kids some spaghetti, mixed veggies, and French bread, then put them to bed a bit early and made ourselves a delicious dinner.

One of our favorite restaurants used to have a dish on their menu called "Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo with a Balsamic Reduction". It was my favorite "date dish" to order (i.e. a dish to order when it is just Jared and I) so I decided to attempt a copycat recipe for February's Dinner at 8pm. It turned out pretty good. I paired it with garlic herb cooked carrots and roasted garlic French bread. We then had red velvet brownies with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and a chocolate drizzle. I also made skinny caramel lattes with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.

We ate dinner on the couch, chatted, and watched a movie while the kiddos all slept. It is always a nice time to enjoy each other's company without spending a fortune on dinner, dessert, and a babysitter!

Red Velvet Brownies with fresh strawberries,
whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle
We've done "Dinner at 8pm" a few different times and have enjoyed each one. I got the original idea from a bit of sunshine, then we had one in June and one in September. It doesn't need to be an elaborate meal just something you will enjoy as a couple. My sister decided to do "Dessert at 9pm" a few months back and she had my brother-in-law stop and pick something up but it was still a nice time to reconnect as a couple. If take-out is easier for you to manage, by all means get take-out. I am a WAHM so I can start prep in the morning and let things rest till I'm ready to make dinner. This is the order that I prepared our meal.

Roasted Garlic French Bread
Step 1 - I roasted the garlic and started the dough for the French bread at 3pm.

Step 2 - As I waited for the dough to finish in my bread machine, I cut up the carrots, placed them in the pan, seasoned them, and put them in the fridge to await cooking. I also programmed the coffee maker for 8:15pm and filled a quart mason jar halfway with milk for our lattes.

Step 3 - I made the kids' French bread (I rubbed butter and sprinkled garlic on the dough before rolling it up to rise and bake) and then our bread (I minced the roasted garlic and sprinkled it over the dough before rolling it up to rise and bake). I also made up the brownie batter and baked them while the bread was rising.

Step 4 - At 7:45 we placed the steaks in our cast iron skillet and put them in the oven. I used my mixer to make up the caramel whipped cream and put it in the fridge to chill till dessert.
Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo with Balsamic Reduction

Step 5 - At 7:55, I took the carrots out of the fridge and started cooking them on the stove; however, you could also use my crockpot glazed baby carrot recipe and start them much earlier. I started a pot of water for the noodles and began to prep my alfredo sauce and balsamic reduction.

Step 6 - At 8:15 we set the coffee table with our dinner and began eating while the coffee maker started coffee for out lattes.

Step 7 - Halfway through the movie I went out to the kitchen and prepped our lattes and dessert plates. Then we enjoyed our remaining time together.

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