Seared Scallops with Chili-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta

Seared Scallops with Jalapeno-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta
Seared Scallops with Jalapeno-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta

Britain is a big old seaside with a few towns in the middle, and while we were there, we often had excellent seared scallops when we ate out. This is our attempt to recreate this dish, served over pureed peas with crisped pancetta.

In the spirit of curmudgeonliness, here’s the real history of Valentine’s Day.

st.-valentine
St. Valentine

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., a Roman priest named Valentine was executed.

A little background: Emperor Claudius II (not the stuttering one) had a problem. He was having trouble maintaining a strong… military (not a euphemism, for once). For some reason the men of Rome were reluctant to join an army led by a man whose nickname was ‘Claudius the Cruel’. Go figure.

Claudius presumed it was because of their strong attachment to their wives and families, so he did what any reasonable ruler would do. He banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.

Valentine, hoping his name would one day be synonymous with chalky chocolates and teddy bears holding roses, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

That is until he was arrested and beaten to death with clubs. And then his head was cut off.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter

Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese Chive Butter and Balsamic Red Onions

Grilled steak ramped up with a tangy, creamy blue cheese and chive compound butter. Watch out, steak night, the bar just got raised.

Okay folks, strap yourselves in tight because it’s going to be an exciting ride (picture me winking and making a clicking noise while pointing at you). This is a “seal the deal” kind of dinner. The kind of dinner I make for Matt when I really want him to say “Huh? Whatever. I wasn’t listening but ‘yes’ as long as you make this again.” It’s that good.

There’s something about the combination of rich beef and tangy blue cheese that just works (which is why the best burger combination is blue cheese and crispy bacon, in my opinion). Well, this recipe takes that classic pairing to the next level.

We grilled New York Strip steaks and topped them with the most delicious blue cheese and chive compound butter and served it with Balsamic Roasted Red Onions with Thyme. You’re licking your screen, aren’t you? I understand, here’s a tissue.

Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese Chive Butter and Balsamic Red Onions

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Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Guys.

Guuuuuuuuuuys.

I just can’t with this cake.

LOOK AT IT!

Is this not the most delightfully bonkers looking cake you’ve ever seen? Hello? Are you listening to me? You’re hypnotized, aren’t you? It’s okay, I get it.

*SNAP*

Welcome back. You can put your shoes back on now and I’ll just hand you back your wallet. Ahem.

Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Last week, when my oldest and dearest friend Heather decided to come up and hang out with us for her birthday, Matt and I knew we wanted to make something really special for her. Her birthday also happens to fall on Valentines Day so instead of going out to an overpriced restaurant, we decided to Nerd it up at home and go ALL OUT.

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Chocolate Truffles

Yes, these chocolate truffles are decadent and luxurious but they’re also simple to put together and they will wow a party or an intimate dinner for two.

Chocolate Truffles

FADE IN

INT. MATT AND EMILY’S LIVING ROOM. 2PM, VALENTINE’S DAY.

Fast-paced close-up montage of: Fastening crampons. Pulling on ski mask. Adjusting gloves. Snapping on protective goggles.

EMILY: This is madness! You’re never going to make it!

MATT: I’ve got to try! Don’t you see? (Looks out window at a wall of swirling white, a brutal blizzard)

MATT (CONT’D): (Quietly) I have to at least try.

EMILY: Okay. Be careful.

MATT: Wait, what? (Looks back out window as a chicken blows past, another victim)

MATT (CONT’D): Are you insane? It’s crazy out there! Isn’t there anything we can make with just chocolate, butter and eggs?

EMILY: (Also looks out window, into the middle distance) Yes. Yes there is.

                                                                            CUT TO:

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES!

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Salted Caramel Brown Sugar Pots de Crème

Salted Caramel Brown Sugar Pots de CrèmeGo ahead, call me a curmudgeon, a cynic, an eye-roller. A grump, a sourpuss, a grumbler. A killjoy, a grouser, a mutterer. A crab, a sorehead, a miserablist. A gloomy Gus, a doubting Thomas. Go on, I can take it. 

The truth is, I think Valentine’s Day is a crock of $&@%.

I think it’s a made-up holiday designed to make single people feel bad and coupled people spend money. It’s a scam, people! *
 
Now, while I may be an anarchist at heart, I am also a hypocrite so, while I don’t require a fancy dinner out, I do enjoy a nice Valentine’s Day dessert. 
 
(*Full disclosure – I’m married to a wonderful man who has taken me out many times to delicious, romantic Valentine’s Day dinners. I still think it’s a scam, but a girl can only take the moral high-ground so far before someone waves a confit duck leg under her nose and then all bets are off.) 

Salted Caramel Brown Sugar Pots de Crème

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