Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Dinner

We decided to have dinner in for Valentine's Day. This is not out of the ordinary for us, but we tried to make it a little fancier than usual and I think we succeeded.
I won't go into all the details, but I'll give you the highlights.
I saw this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and had stuck in my head that we HAD to have pasta. I almost made that (and I'm sure I will one of these days), but I found another recipe in the Joy cookbook for pasta with fresh herbs.
We used chives, oregano (that came from outside and had survived the terrible weather), and lots of fresh basil. You toss the herbs in plenty of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, then throw in the cooked pasta with some of the cooking water. I imagine you can use any pasta. The recipe calls for fettuccine, but Nate doesn't like that so we used whole wheat angel hair. So it was healthy, too! ...

The other highlight.
We got our latest Cook's Illustrated and they had an updated version of the Boston Creme Pie. It's news to me, because I've never made it, that the "traditional" recipe is outdated and produces a gooey pie, with runny creme, and the chocolate on top cracks. So one of their contributors took the recipe and reworked it. Nate saw the recipe and was really excited and said, "Mmm, Boston Creme Pie is one of my FAVORITE desserts." (this was news to me)
So I said, "I'll make it for Valentine's dinner!"

It worked, and it was awesome. I made real pastry cream, like you would have in an eclair from a fancy pastry shop. If you need me I'll be sitting on the kitchen floor eating it out of a bowl with the cat. Or fighting with Nate about who gets to lick the bowl.
The finished product only uses 9 eggs, so its a good thing we had that healthy whole wheat pasta.

I only have a picture of the finished product to share with you. Mom told me that I should take process pictures, but it was too involved. Way to much constant stirring, and medium then low then medium heat, and whisking for 8 minutes straight. It was not possible. But here is the finished product on Grandmother's china.
I took a picture of the table, but our house was such a wreck that night that I cannot share it with you. But I'll tell you that we used our nice dishes!

So here's my first blog giveaway. I'll make one of these for the next family member who visits. Tempting, I know.

What did you do for Valentine's Day?


  1. You subscribe to Cook's Illustrated too? I am so impressed. The Boston Creme Pie looks amazing! Sounds like a lovely Valentine's dinner!

  2. Nate got it as a Christmas present from his parents. Do you get it as well? We love it!

  3. Does visiting in Colorado count?

  4. Molly, that looks great!! I think Colorado ought to count also.

  5. No way people. We may be traveling to be together, but that's not in the right direction.

  6. You Valentines day looks much yummier and prettier than mine. I watched TV and gave myself bangs in the wee morning hours. This was followed by a post-Valentines trip to the hair salon.

  7. Sheena,
    The good thing about this blog is that I can only post the good stuff. I had planned to do much more that day (clean the whole house, have dinner actually on the table when Nate got home, have him a drink ready when he walked in the door), but I got a migraine in the morning so I laid on the couch and watched BBC Pride and Prejudice while I snoozed it off. After dinner, Nate got a migraine and went to bed at, like 8:00. Nothing goes as you plan, and the good things are never simple. It's all part of the fun.