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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

So how was it for you?

How was your Valentine's Day?

Were you pampered, or were you doing the pampering? Did you switch off and wish it would all go away and that people would stop going on about it?

I just thought I'd share my Valentine's Day efforts with you. I decided my Valentines Day gift would be to cook a meal for my wife.

Starters was Sophisticated Salmon Ceviche

Did it look like the photo? No. Did it look like layers of squidge in the bottom of the glass? Yes.
But, the leeks were melt in the mouth and the combination of smoked salmon, leek and orange juice vinaigrette was very tasty.

verdict **** (Sure I'm biased :D)

Main course was Beef Stroganoff

Did my Stroganoff look like the fabulous picture on the left courtesy of Jamie Oliver? No. Did it look like the extremely suspect pile on the right? If only it had looked that appetizing!

Big mistake - I had three different recipes and I blended the "best" bits from them. In hindsight - why would anyone do that? One recipe suggested using hot paprika for a "subtle heat". That sounded good. I put in half the amount suggested to be safe and it still made the eyes water! I also put some Worcestershire sauce in it, but I think it would have been better without it. On the plus side, it certainly wasn't bland!

verdict ** (I'm not making it onto masterchef any time soon)

Dessert was home made lemon mousse.

Courtesy of Sophie Dahl and the BBC

2 people recommended it, but they were obviously haute cuisine trained. My efforts? A wonderfully sharp lemon syrup on the bottom with a rich creamy topping suffused through with jelly-like lemony blobs. *sigh* (Yes we still ate them, and yes they tasted awesome once you got past the weird texture!)

verdict * (Anytime Ms Dahl wants to pop round and show me how it should be done, she will be very welcome!)

Disaster? No, actually it was perfect. As we laughed over the lumpy mousse, I realized that despite trying really hard, and being really fancy, I could not manage anything as good as my wife cooks. In the end, for a Valentine's Day gift, perhaps that's what really mattered.


  1. Dom, that sounds delightful and scrumptious, laughing is what really matters! That's love :-)

    I'm so happy to hear you say you're taking several weeks to know fellow crusaders....I've started the *mega* list and am a tad daunted, I can tell you! What a fabulous quest, though - I've met so many new chums already.

  2. I took the easy road; we made supper together! Nothing fancy so chance of disaster minimised! Sounds as if you had a good time though and that is most important. Anyway, Im sure it tasted and looked better than you say!

  3. Awwwww of course it's the thought and the effort that counts!!! You should give yourself a million and ten stars just for this!! Yay!!!!

    Take care

  4. I think it was wonderful of you to try cooking a fancy dinner! I, personally, am an abysmal cook, so I admire your ambition.

    Good idea about going round the crusader blogs slowly - it is a daunting list and to really take a good look is time-consuming.

    You mentioned on my blog that you didn't see me as a follower on yours, but your blog tells me I AM following, so I'm confused (not hard :))

  5. Dom,

    How sweet... You definitely get an A for effort. I sure your wife beamed at you through the whole meal. It isn't easy to cook. You really have to have a passion an a knack for it.

    I manage to get by, but I am a baking wizard. SO we all have our specialties.

    As for the Crusaders. You are so right about the time. Luckily we know many of them and also follow, so that takes it down to about a hundred or so. I've been trying to get through 25 a day. Not easy, but it's fun.

    What's really great though is many blogger who never knew you existed will make you day when you've touched them with your own spin on life.

    GOOD JOB! I admire you for trying.


  6. I love all things lemony, so I'd have eaten it anyway. And how sweet of you to cook for your wife!

    Before we were married, I told my honey there was one rule he had to obey, no matter what. If I cooked something and he didn't like it, he had to tell me. There have been a few times when he's said, "Well, we don't really need to have this again." hahaha

    Our evening was spent cooking together (very simple-steak and baked potato), a little TV, then computer time for each of us. We're just not into Valentine's day so much.

    Kudos to you, though. I would never have tried anything that complicated! And I'm glad it was fun for you :)

  7. hmmmm beef stroganof!! yummy... I like to add Brandy to mine :-) just a little...

    anyway thanks for stopping by my blog and helping me with me Character Sam. It is much appreciated. So many wonderful comments that have helped.

    many thanks

    and best of luck with the writing!


  8. You really ARE a romantic! Your wife must have been thrilled that you took the time and effort to make the day special for her. A dinner in a five star restaurant would never have tasted as good as your Valentine's cuisine.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful memory you'll be talking about in the future. I once put 4 tsp of pepper in stew instead of 1/4 tsp. It was... Spicy.

    I made beef stroganoff once. It tasted great and looked ookey. I'm sure you got points for trying.

  10. The secret is to go for simple but elegant (I cheated and did a starter of parma ham and figs so all I had to do was arrange it artistically on a plate!)

    I'm sure she thought it was all wonderful though - because you made it with love. That's the most important ingredient.

  11. Awwh that is so lovely. Glad you celebrated in style.

    I do the same with recipes (mix and match) sometimes it works. I tried to make hubby a bullied pacific cake for his big 50, but didn't realise I had photos of 2 different types = disaster. Oh well it tasted good.

    We had our fav Costa coffees, watched a film exchanged gifts, cards and flowers. Lovely! :O)

  12. Ah but you tried, that's the important thing and your wife didn't have to cook, so I'm sure she appreciated it. :)

  13. Hi Dom, it sounds like you had an interesting meal! I'd never have thought of putting Worcestershire sauce in a Stroganoff but it certainly wouldn't taste boring :-)

    It looks like we're in the same group in the Crusade, so I look forward to crusading with you.

    I see what you mean about taking weeks to get through the big list though.

  14. Aha, I knew it! I wrote a nice, long, complimentary comment yesterday, and didn't send it properly. It had something to do with not filling in the verification word. Now I can't remember what complimentary things I accidentally deleted, but please consider them said, re your extraordinary culinary efforts.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  15. Hello Fellow Crusader! We're in the same group.

    I think that what you did for your wife was so wonderful! I personally LOATH V-Day, but you reminded me that it's not all bad. You took such time and care in planning out the meal, and I think that says a lot about you.

    Well, see you around the crusade!



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