What I Ate Wednesday #74: Our Valentine’s Feast

One of the reasons I love Valentine’s Day is because everyone loves showing off their “best meal ever.” Certainly I’m no different and I can guarantee you our dinner and dessert.. and drinks.. were all fabulous! We always make an effort to come up with a menu together, Nathan takes over the protein, we work together on the sides, and I’m in charge of dessert. It’s my favorite. And when everything comes out perfectly, it’s that much better!

I got dressed up.. right down to the shoes 😉

Cherry Dress

Nice angle, yes? Haha

Appetizer

We cheers-ed to our 10th Valentine’s Day together with Lagranja sparkles.

Lagranja Sparkling Wine

Don’t be fooled by the small pour. We smashed that bottle!

I love their red wines and figured I couldn’t go wrong trying this. We also demolished an awesomely tasty plate.

Truffle Gouda Grapes Balsamic Jam Almonds Nut Thins

Truffle gouda, grapes, balsamic jam from Italy, smoked almonds, & nut thins.

The chunks of truffle in the cheese took us right back to Italy. That cheese is really something special!

Entree

To make the crust, we threw pistachios, rosemary, and garlic into the food processor. I think we both could have polished off a plate of the crust by itself. That’s always a good sign!

Pistachio Crusted Lamb

We hit the pan.

Pistachio Crusted Lamb

The flip. Check out that crust!

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Cherry Port Sauce Moroccan Wheat Berries Butternut Squash Carrots

The final product! Pistachio-crusted lamb with cherry port sauce, Moroccan wheat berry salad, and roasted carrots & butternut squash.

The flavors of each pieces blended so well. I love the bite that the wheat berries have, the carrots and squash were roasted just right, and the lamb. Ooooh the lamb. Nathan couldn’t have cooked it more perfectly. It was medium rare and the crust had such a nice crunch. The cherry port sauce was flavorful and not sweet at all. I could have eaten more!

Dessert

More to drink? Beer goes well with dessert, right?

Goose Island Matilda

One of our faves.

What wouldn’t go with bourbon banana cheesecake?

Bourbon Banana Cheesecake Bourbon Coconut Cream

Bourbon banana cheesecake with bourbon coconut cream, cinnamon,
and dark chocolate shavings.

I thought that amount of chocolate looked nice for my picture but I immediately added more before I actually sat down to eat it. It was so creamy and I’m happy to report that it’s actually not so bad for you either! I’ll be sharing the recipe this week 😉

Valentines

My valentine.

After just a few drinks [ha!] and with full bellies, we cozied up on the couch to watch the first episode of House of Cards [holy moly!] I hope you had as great of a day as we did. Perfect way to kick off the weekend!

Food for Thought

What were your plans for Valentine’s Day?
Do you stay in or go out to celebrate?

Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter Cup PARTY Popcorn

Last night was the premiere of the Tone It Up girls’ new show on Bravo, Toned Up. Aside from creating a wonderful fitness and health plan [that really works!], these girls have also formed an incredible community around the world. In Baltimore, this community brought me together with a group of ladies who happened to make an appearance at my wedding 😉

Tone It Up Baltimore BMoreToned

Don’t mess!

Knowing what a strong community this is, I quickly took advantage when I came to California. I’ve been welcomed to the Bay Area group with open arms and when I was invited to a Toned Up premiere party, I jumped at the opportunity to get to know these girls too! Obviously I couldn’t show up empty-handed so I needed to figure out a figure-friendly snack to bring.. that I could make in the hotel room.

Peanut Butter Cup PARTY Popcorn

Serves 6

Peanut Butter Cup Party Popcorn Barr & Table

Ingredients
– 12 cups popped popcorn
– 1/3 cup sliced almonds; toasted
– 1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips [these are the best!]
– 2 oz dark chocolate squares
– 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Dreams
– 4 tbsp Old Fashioned Smooth
– Pinch of salt

Directions
Lay popcorn, almonds, and coconut chips out in one flat layer on a couple trays. In one small bowl, add dark chocolate squares and Dark Chocolate Dreams. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove from microwave, and stir the mixture. If it’s not melted, microwave in additional 30 second intervals until fully melted. Using a spoon, drizzle over the popcorn mixture.

In another small bowl, add Old Fashioned Smooth and microwave about 15-20 seconds until melted. Using another spoon, drizzle the peanut butter over top of the popcorn mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over all of the popcorn, almonds, and coconut. Place the trays in the freezer to setup.

Peanut Butter Cup Party Popcorn Almonds Barr & Table

MMM toasted almonds!

This recipe is what I call “dangerous.” It makes enough to serve about 6 people, but if you’re anything like me, by the time it makes it out, it might only serve 1 😉

And how could I show up without the proper accompaniment?

Lagranja Tempranillo

Red wine is better with chocolate than milk.

I’m not too picky when it comes to my wine, but this is one of our faves! Trader Joe’s is the best. How did I ever live without wine in grocery stores?!

I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to meet up with these girls for the premiere of the show and I hope to meet more of the Bay Area girls next time!

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

Did you watch the Toned Up premiere?
What is your favorite drink with chocolate?