Divine Dinner Party

A Romantic Meal Idea:
Choosing the Best Romantic Menu

Food's not enough, you think. You want more than just a romantic meal idea this anniversary or Valentines day!
Cooking a ROmantic DinnerSo you wrack your brain trying to come up with an answer, trying to find the perfect gift. Would he like a remote control truck with its bed full of rose petals? Nah, too silly... and too sappy. Maybe you should get him a Shetland pony and name it "Happy Pony of Endless Love"? Nope. That's too much, well, everything. And would be more for you than him, anyway.

Finding the perfect gift for a man can seem impossible. They're so picky! So stop worrying so much about the gift and worry about dinner instead. With a great romantic meal idea and the perfect recipes, he won't even notice that you got him a pen-flashlight for Valentine's day.

A note about recipe names... From a light-but-delicious filet mignon to a fiery dessert, this menu is the best romantic meal idea for your anniversary or Valentine dinner party for two. I've even given all the recipes ultra-silly names so you can laugh together about how glad you are not to be married to (or dating) someone as ridiculous as me.


Romantic Appetizer:
Camembert "Melts my Heart" with Truffle-Cuddle Cream

Camembert with Hot Truffle Cream SauceThis creamy, easy appetizer is a great start to your romantic dinner. Served with either bread or fruit, you can decide how filling you want it to be. The original recipe stated that this serves four. My hubby likes it so much that it serves two in our house. You're not big pigs like us? Scale it down by half.

You can find similar recipes for baked cheeses here on my baked brie recipe page.

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Ingredients:
2 tsp. shallots, minced
1 tsp. butter
1 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. white truffle oil
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh chives
4 oz. camembert, room temperature
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: In saucepan, cook shallots in butter over med-high heat, until softened.

Add cream. Simmer, uncovered, until reduced to about 2/3 cup.

Remove from heat. Stir in truffle oil.

Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in chives.

Cut Camembert cheese into two wedges and arrange on plates.

Pour hot cream sauce over and around cheese.

Serve with your choice of fresh fruits, nuts, and breads. Serves 2-4.

Note: Want to use this for a main meal? A rich, romantic meal idea that guys will love is to serve this over a cheeseburger. After all, what says love to a man like beef smothered in cheese?

Romantic Main Dish:
Filet Mignon with Mushroom-Wine Sauce of Love

This steak is a great romantic meal idea, because while it's tender and super flavorful, it's also relatively light. Served with roasted asparagus (recipe below) and mashed or baked potato, this is the perfect recipe for a romantic dinner for two. Without all the fat of lots of butter or cream, it leaves room (and energy) for all kinds of desserts. Wink wink.

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter, divided
3 tbsp. shallots, minced
1/4 C. fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
3/4 C. dry red wine, divided (cabernet is nice)
5 fl. oz. beef consomme
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh thyme (garnish)

Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce

Instructions: In a nonstick frying pan, saute shallots and mushrooms in 1 tbsp butter for about 4 mins, til tender.

Add 1/2 cup of red wine and 3 fl. oz consomme. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the mushrooms from sauce, set aside.

Boil wine mixture over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup.

Combine sauce with mushrooms in bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, combine combine soy sauce with cornstarch. Set aside.

Sprinkle filets with pepper to taste. Saute steaks in remaining 1 tbsp butter over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side for a 1-inch thick steak.

Reduce fire to medium-low heat; cook steaks until desired level of doneness. Remove from pan, keep warm.

Add the rest of the red wine and beef consommé to the skillet, scraping to deglaze pan and incorporate tasty steak bits into the sauce. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Add mushroom/sauce mixture, cornstarch/soy sauce mixture, and the thyme. Boil one minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Place steaks on plate and pour sauce over. Garnish with fresh thyme. Serves 2.

Romantic Side Dish:
Garlic and Love all the Thyme Roasted Asparagus

This is a great recipe for a Valentine dinner party or romantic dinner-- it's easy, light, and flavorful. You just toss it together and forget about it. The asparagus bakes in the oven (along with a pair of baked potatoes to make a scrumptious but simple romantic meal) while the rest of the dinner comes together. After all, sweating your butt off in the kitchen isn't a very romantic meal idea.

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Ingredients:
1 lb. green asparagus, washed, ends snapped off
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
coarse sea salt, to taste

Ingredients: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place asparagus in an oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with garlic and dot with butter. Pour olive over asparagus, sprinkle with thyme and pepper. Add salt to taste.

Roast uncovered 40 minutes, tossing halfway through cook time. Serves 2.

Did you know asparagus was an aphrodisiac? Check out some other aprhodisiac ingredients here. We use lots of them in our menu-- after all, tossing in an aphrodisiac or two isn't a bad romantic meal idea.

Romantic Dessert:
Ignite the Flames of My Desire Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster with Rum and Ice CreamI have yet to meet a man that does not love bananas foster!

It's rum-rich, creamy, and spicy with cinnamon. Also, the flames are sorta sexy (this works especially well if your man is a pyromaniac), as is the sensual combination of cold and hot, making it a great romantic meal idea if you want a sensual dessert. The recipe was originally intended to feed four, but we can eat this between the two of us, no problem. (Do you see an eating pattern emerging here?)

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Ingredients:
1/4 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 bananas
1/4 C. dark rum
1/4 C. banana liqueur
vanilla ice cream

Instructions: Cut peeled bananas in half lengthwise, then halve each length. Set aside.

In a large skillet combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon over med-low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Add bananas. Saute, stirring gently, until banana pieces begin to cook and brown slightly.

Pour in dark rum and banana liqueur. Heat through, about 30 seconds to one minute.

Tilt skillet slightly. Using a long-handled lighter, ignite the rum and liqueur. Shake gently to spread the flames.

When flames have subsided, serve one banana (4 pieces) with one or two scoops of ice cream, to taste. Spoon over lots of warm sauce. Serve before it melts.

Serves 2-4 depending on pigginess factor.



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If you're looking for romantic dinner ideas especially for Valentines Day, check out our Valentine's Day Dinner page.

It's full of romantic meal ideas, recipes, Valentines dinner party planning help, and even gift ideas.

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Hippity, Hoppity,
Easter's on its Way


The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.

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