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Better Than Dining Out for Valentine's

Valentine\What are you going to do for Valentine's Day to make sure you get all the love that's coming to you? I don't know about you but I am not going to sit around waiting for a table at some fancy restaurant. And with Valentine's falling on a Saturday this year, you know those waits are going to be outrageous. Who needs it?! Here's what I'm going to do: I'm making a nice dinner at home instead. Whole Foods Market did a survey and it looks like I'll have lots of company in my plans. Over 80% of the people said they would prefer to have a nice dinner at home with their partner instead of going out to eat. You can read more about why and how here. I think we are all getting more cautious with our spending and that makes sense. The good news is that it doesn't take a trained chef to turn out a great Valentine dinner at home. Since I'm the "meat guy" around here, I'm going to make a really nice steak dinner - two 12-ounce dry-aged steaks with sides can be served for much less than the cost of two meals at a steakhouse. You can, of course, get a lot of other great cuts from our in-store butchers - just ask them what they recommend. Here are my tips for cooking steak:
  • Choose well-marbled steaks to maximize flavor and tenderness
  • Heat the grill to peak temperature before grilling
  • To lock in moisture, bring steak to room-temperature before cooking
  • Keep the flavor natural - dry-aged cuts have such naturally robust flavor, there's no need to add seasoning
  • Never slice meat to check if done - check meat's firmness instead - very soft meat is rare; slightly firm meat is medium to well-done; and very firm meat is well-done
  • Let steak rest five minutes after grilling to allow juices to redistribute and flavors to mature.
Here's a video we put together on grilling steaks at home. No, I am not an actor so cut me some slack, please!
I'm going to serve Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes along with a mixed greens salad. I haven't figured out dessert yet. So, what are you going to serve your sweetheart for Valentine's?

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Doris says …

We can cook a steak more to our liking at home; and use a much better quality meat than at a "finer" restaurant in our area. I have a beautiful 2-rib roast that will be perfect for a romantic Valentine dinner. Garlic mashed potatoes and a salad is all we'll need; along with our favorite wine of course.

Patrice says …

Our family tradition is now one that we all look forward to, even though it's nothing 'new.' We have a nice meal at home followed by a box of good chocolates as we watch the movie 'Chocolat!' We usually exchange cards and sometimes small gifts and of course my husband insists on roses. We all can relax and enjoy the evening knowing that there'll be no stress!!

americandesi says …

wow, I'm surprised that more people would rather have dinner at home than at a restaurant. Personally, I cook every single day so on specials occasions I like to get a break and eat out. I think though that most Americans, on the other hand, don't cook so when they do it's kind of a "big deal" for them.

Gina says …

I enjoy eating at home rather then going out. I just found this great Valentine’s Day cookbook packed full of cherry recipes and best of all it is free. I downloaded it yesterday and I am already planning a great dinner with my boyfriend. With money being tight this year, I was looking for some unique ways to have a great Valentine’s Day and this will certainly help. Here is a link if you want to download it: http://www.traversebayfarms.com/valentines-day-recipes.htm

Kim DiCenso says …

I also do all my cooking, but there are times when you want a break. My husband and I decided to have sushi this Valentines's Day. I have to say, that your store has the best quality sushi anywhere on the South shore! I bought sushi at Hannaford's one time and I will never go back. So this Valentine's Day it's Sushi at home with a bottle of wine!

Ellen says …

I just did an Internet search for healthy Valentine's appetizers to serve my friends before we go out for dim sum that day. I'm thinking of red finger foods, and came up with roasted baby beets and baby red potatoes, tomato and mozzarella salad, and bowls of red berries. Now if people can only suggest some healthy red and white decorations that aren't made out of candy? Hmm, maybe some dark chocolate treats showcased in glass!

Mel says …

There is no other way to spend Valentine's Day than at home. After a few years of going out to eat at restaurants and constantly being disappointed, my husband and I have since celebrated this holiday in the comforts of our home. Even the restaurants we love in the "off season" have failed us on this day. It's a fancy restaurants busiest day of the year, along with all the other celebratory days in the year. So ask yourself, how many of us do our best when we are extremely busy? Not to many can say yes. Thanks Whole Foods for some good V-Day ideas.

Anna says …

Thank you, Theo! Your written and filmed instructions are very helpful and I think my home-grilled steaks will greatly improve ;~})

Lisa Grant says …

I would much rather eat at home on Valentines day. We will go out on another night. I plan on making some type of surf and turf since I like seafood and the husband likes steak. And I always have to have my chocolate covered starberries.

JessE says …

Great tips! We're parents of a toddler and recently bought a bigger house. Last year, my husband made a gourmet dinner at home, with some wine, the fireplace and a romantic movie (and a babysitter). It was perfectly romantic without breaking the bank. We have always gone out -- on top of the long lines even with reservations, the cost is getting prohibitive.