We started dating 6 years ago, and we decided this was something worthy of a celebratory dinner. We prefer to stay home and make dinner rather than go out and pay someone to serve us overpriced food and drinks in a noisy poorly lit room full of other people eating. Maybe we’re crazy. I dunno.
I know you’re supposed to save the best for last, but I believe dessert is the exception to the rule. So, let’s begin with dessert. My personal favorite, cheesecake.
- 1-1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened (I used reduced-fat)
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup sour cream (reduced-fat)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (non-fat)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 (1-oz) bottled red liquid food coloring
- 1 (3-oz) package cream cheese, softened (reduced-fat)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Garnish: fresh mint sprigs (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Beat 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese and 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixture 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
- Beat 1 (3-oz) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.
I was a little concerned with the preliminary results of my attempt at a red velvet cheesecake.
Now, let’s talk dinner…
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 4 (4-oz) beef tenderloin steaks
- 1/2 Tbsp salt-free all-purpose seasoning (McCormick)
- 1/2 cup Merlot or other red wine
- 1/2 cup blackberry preserves
- 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
- Fresh blackberries (optional)
- Fresh chives, sliced (optional – I omitted)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.
- Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of steaks with all-purpose seasoning. Place steaks in skillet. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove skillet from heat and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
- Roast steaks in preheated oven for 4 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) or 6 minutes for medium (160 degrees F).
- For sauce, return skillet to heat and deglaze with half of the wine by scraping bits from bottom of skillet. Return to medium-high heat and add remaining wine, blackberry preserves, and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce with steaks. Garnish with blackberries and chives (optional).
Buttermilk-Garlic Smashed Taters
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
- 1 bag (16-oz) fresh diced red-skin potatoes
- 1 cup buttermilk (I used non-fat)
- 4 cloves roasted whole garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tsp butter seasoning (I just used good ol’ regular unsalted butter)
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream (I substituted non-fat plain Greek yogurt)
- Salt and pepper
- chopped chives (optional)
- Add potatoes to chicken broth in a large pot, cover and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes soft and you can easily break apart with a fork, about 12-15 minutes.
- Drain off chicken broth. Return potatoes to pot. Add buttermilk, garlic, butter, sour cream, salt and freshly ground black pepper. With a potato masher, mash potatoes until creamy but with lumps and peels visible. Garnish with chives (optional).
|My personal piece of Heaven.|
We got ourselves hooked on the show NCIS (we bought the complete first season on DVD) so we spent the rest of the evening over a bowl of popcorn and solving crimes. It’s not quite as good as 24, though.
Today, Alex changed the oil and tires on his truck and I mowed the grass. It’s a hot day, so it feels good to be back in the air conditioning. Thank goodness for AC! Hope you are enjoying your weekend so far!