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Impromptu steak dinner!

Valentine’s has never been a favorite holiday of mine. I would go so far as to say I used to hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I still don’t like it, but it’s a lot easier to like when you’ve got someone to buy you pressies and bring you flowers and whatnot.

So as a “Happy Valentine’s, sucka” to my fella, I decided to put my relatively newfound culinary skills to good use and cook us up a feast.  I’m a slow chopper and a perfectionist, so we didn’t eat until 9, but I think we were both pretty satisfied (as was Nina… it’s not everyday that a puppy gets fillet mignon bits!).

I aimed high with the following menu:

Starter (yes… starter!):
Wild mushroom & leek soup w/ parsley dumplings (everything, including the vegetable stock, from scratch)

Pan fried, peppercorn-crusted fillet mignon
Green bean salad with marinated red onions in a homemade vinaigrette

Ghiradhelli loveliness from Spencer

First I started out with about $10 worth of assorted veggies for the stock…

Wanna see how it turned out?

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It’s been pretty cold by SF standards lately, so I figured it was time to indulge in one of my favorite wintertime foods… homemade beef stew! I’ve always loved simple beef stews – they fill you up, super easy to make, and they’re usually pretty cheap due to all the simple produce involved. Safeway was having an unbelievable sale on beef, so I got a 3 lb chunk of delicious chuck pot roast for only $3.45!!! “Good grief,” I exclaimed to myself, “that is some cheap beef! Let’s make a stew!”

I got that bad boy home and set to chopping it into about 10 hearty chunks. Browned them in some olive oil and butter and then set to chopping up the veggies. Usually I like to include baby bella mushrooms (my cheapie mushroom of choice), but I was all out, having used the rest of mine for the previous night’s breakfast-for-dinner omelette. So this time, I used a nice big red onion, celery, carrots, and turnips.

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Steak Salad.

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