I'm only going to say what I'm about to say because I can hide behind the protection of my computer and the interwebs:
I'm so glad it's colder again.
That's what I'm really thankful for today, in addition to the fact that it's Friday. TGIF! The relatively warmer temperatures made the city a slushy, impassable mess this week. Say what you will about disliking winter, but I think we can all agree colder temperatures and drier roads and sidewalks are slightly preferable and much safer. I've seen enough videos of sliding buses and spinning cars for a lifetime!
Hopefully all of you (and your vehicles) survived the week in one piece and can spend the weekend at home, snug as a bug in a rug. Matt and I don't have anything big planned other than some cleaning for company next weekend. Fingers crossed I can convince him to hit the furniture stores with me in search of a buffet cabinet. I'm thinking it's a good weekend for a movie date and some baking, too.
Speaking of food, I'll also be planning our dinners for the week to come, which includes a special Valentine's Day home-cooked meal. Looking through past blog posts, I picked five of my most favorite, special occasion-worthy dishes to serve yourself and your sweetheart, too. (Hint: All look like a million bucks but are secretly much easier to make than you think.) Enjoy and have a fanciful weekend!
1. Portobello mushroom lasagna - An upscale twist on the classic Italian casserole. The meaty portobellos and rich white sauce make this dish feel so grown-up.
2. Sun-dried tomato parmesan salmon - There are two food groups that folks think of for special occasions, and seafood is one of them. Even if salmon is part of your everyday diet, dressing it up with sun-dried tomatoes and nutty parmesan cheese will surprise your taste buds.
3. Herbed chicken in puff pastry - Chicken's answer to traditional beef wellington -- and way more delicious, in my opinion! Flaky and buttery pastry purses are bursting with juicy chicken, fresh spinach, and creamy garlic and herb cheese. This is the very first dinner I made for Matt, so you know it's magical.
4. Steaks with creamy blue cheese onion sauce - The second of the aforementioned special occasion food groups is most definitely steak. I made this for Valentine's Day last year, and it made Matt want to marry me all over again... at least that's what I imagine he was thinking as he mmmed his way through dinner. Heads up steak novices, which includes yours truly -- this is so easy and so divine. The blue cheese onion sauce is decadent with a capital D.
5. Shrimp & asparagus risotto - My friend, Val, was telling me yesterday how much she loves risotto, which reminded me of this exact recipe. Great timing! Risotto gets a bad rap for being fussy and difficult to make when, in fact, it's actually really easy and just requires a little patience and time. Tweak the ingredients to your liking, be it shrimp or scallops or even chicken, and whatever vegetables you like. Just don't forget the cheese -- it adds a creaminess to the final dish.