Category: Dinner

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes

This Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes recipe is designed to offer the most perfect results for each ingredient…If you are using your Instant Pot, or other pressure cooker, because you need to hurry up and get this food on the table, […]

Bacon, Brie, and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Bacon, Brie, and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

This twice baked potato recipe happened because of leftover Super Bowl ingredients, kind of like my Creamy Avocado Dressing, and I couldn’t be happier.  They are amazing!  The brie flavor isn’t overpowering, so even the couple of people in my family who don’t care for […]

20 Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes for a Romantic Dinner at Home

20 Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes for a Romantic Dinner at Home

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Home?

You could go out to a restaurant for your Valentine’s Day dinner, if you make reservations in advance and then sit among the crowd of other people who chose to do the same.  If you’re like me, you won’t be able to help but to notice the people at the entrance waiting for your table, wishing you would just finish up and get out already.  Then you’ll pay an arm and a leg for a meal that probably wasn’t cooked the way you would like it anyway…

That’s not romantic to me.

But this is sexy…

raw new york steak
Look at these beautiful things! I could eat them already!

You could stay in and have a nice, quiet Valentine’s dinner at home.  You can put on whatever music you want, make your food the way you like it, and stay at the table as long as you like.  I’m a fan of sliding off the chair onto the floor when I’ve eaten too much, which is generally a no-no at the places I’d like to eat at.

Eating at home is much better on the budget and there’s nothing like impressing your date with an amazing looking dish like the ones below, most of which are super easy and fast while looking like they take a lot of skill and effort to make.  Another option, which I find romantic, is to cook together in the kitchen.  Not like those ads that show the couple holding the knife and chopping together–that’s just plain weird; but my husband and I work around the kitchen as if it’s a dance.

Don’t be Intimidated

The following recipes are designed to help anyone get into the kitchen and create a beautiful, romantic dinner.  From delicious sea food dinners (and yes, I know that lobster isn’t really a budget food–but it is more affordable than getting it at a restaurant), to savory steaks, juicy chicken, lamb, and perfect pastas, you are bound to find something you’d love to try on this list…..

This is important: Every single one of these bloggers has given me consent to include them in this post.  I’m using their photos, with permission,  but you have to click on their link to see the recipes, as well as some great tips and tricks to making their recipes.  That’s why this is not stealing.  To make this collection any other way would be unethical, and possibly even illegal.

20 Romantic Valentine’s Dinners to Make at Home

1. Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Marie Rose Sauce

This dish stands beautifully on its own as a main course. It also compliments a surf-n-turf spread perfectly because the Marie Rose sauce is also wonderful with beef.

grilled shrimp skewers

By:  Click here for the recipe.


2. Surf and Turf

This is my husband’s Surf and Turf, and I can tell you from experience that it is perfect.  It uses very few ingredients, yet the flavor is impressive.  It compliments the goodness of the meat and shrimp without overpowering them.  To top it off, it’s fast and easy.

surf and turf with garlic and dill butter

You’re already on my website, the link to this recipe is right here.

3. Lobster Shrimp Risotto

All you need to make a delicious plate of risotto is some Arborio rice, butter, an onion, some stock and some cheese.  This blogger is ready to step you right through the process to create this fancy looking dish for your sweetheart.

lobster shrimp risotto Get this recipe from by clicking here.

4. Roasted Salmon Tacos with Black Grape Sauce

Of course tacos made my list!  If you’re going to make them for Valentine’s day, you should go the extra mile to make these colorful and flavorful tacos. It might sound difficult, but they’re easy to make and can even be made ahead!

Roasted salmon tacos with grape sauce

Get this beautiful recipe from by clicking here.

5. Baked Lobster Ravioli in Lemon Butter Limoncello Cream Sauce

What if this author told you that ravioli can be made without pasta dough and without boiling. Would you believe it? Sheet pan BAKED Lobster Ravioli in a Lemon Butter Limoncello Cream Sauce can be made ahead with wonton wrappers (no pasta) plus no boiling pots of water or fuss!  You’ll have plenty of time left to do other things!

Baked lobster ravioli in lemon butter limoncello cream sauce

Get this sheet pan magic from by clicking here.

6. Sexy Shallot Chicken

Okay all you Instant pot fans….Here’s one you don’t even have to defrost!  “Bring some elegance to your dinner table with this easy chicken recipe for instant pot or crock pot. Comes together in minutes, but tastes like you’ve been working on it all day. No defrost recipe!”

shallot chicken instant pot no defrost from frozen romantic chicken

Get this recipe from by clicking here.


7.  Ahi Tuna Poke

I have a Hawaiian recipe to share with you!  The author (and diabetic coach) says: “Whenever it has been a while since I have been to Hawaii, I start to suffer from acute ahi tuna poke withdrawal.” She goes on to say that she loves Ahi tuna, and would eat it every day if she could.  Sounds good!  I love Ahi Tuna too!

ahi tuna poke romantic hawaiian dinner

Get this recipe from can be found here.


8.  Brocolli, Rabi, Ricotta, Gnudi, Parmesan Cream

An absolutely delicious recipe for broccoli rabe and ricotta gnudi (like gnocch, but made with ricotta cheese instead of potatoes), with a simple Parmesan cream sauce. Light and soft gnudi that melt in your mouth with the most amazing cheesy sauce, a special dinner without the effort.

Get this mouth watering recipe from  by clicking here.


9. Filet Mignon Beef Tenderloin Recipe

a good filet mignon is one of the most expensive dishes you can get at a restaurant , but it’s so simple to make at home! “Learn how to cook the best filet mignon – pan seared in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven. It’s unbelievably easy and takes just 15 minutes!”

filet mignonGet this recipe from by clicking here.


10. Linguine con le Vongole (Linguine with Clams)

A classic seafood dish that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight, and can be dressed up to serve for a special occasion.

linguine with clams con le vongole

Get this recipe, compliments of by clicking here.


11. Chicken Marsala

This easy, one-pan low-carb Chicken Marsala recipe is gluten-free, paleo, whole 30, and made with just six ingredients in a skillet.

Chicken Marsala low carb paleo whole30

Get this recipe from by clicking here.

12. Pork Tenderloin with a Creamy Mustard Sauce

Here’s an easy way to cook ultra-tender roasted pork tenderloin with a creamy mustard sauce.  If you’ve never tried a creamy mustard sauce before, you are missing out, and need to try this right away.


pork tenderloin with creamy mustard sauce

This recipe is from and can be found here.

13. Hoisin Orange Chicken

Now for something Asian inspired, and absolutely beautiful.  The author explains that housin sauce, commonly used in Asian cooking and often referred to as ‘Chinese BBQ sauce’,  is a versatile and delicious sauce; and this recipe only takes 20 minutes, so you can be enjoying it in no time!

Hoisin Orange Chicken

This recipe is from, and you can get it by clicking here.

14. Grilled Lamb Chops with Spinach, Roman Style

Grilled Lamb Chops With Spinach Roman Style will certainly tantalize the senses, and is a perfect main course for your romantic Valentine’s dinner at home.”  It certainly looks delightful, and is going on my personal list of things to try.

Grilled lamb chops spinach roman style

This recipe is from, and can be found here.

15. Prawn and Mussels Rougaille

A gorgeous dish is a classic Mauritian recipe.  It’s in a richly flavored tomato sauce, that combines Creole cuisine flavors like onions, thyme, garlic and chilies.

prawn mussels rougaille

You can find this recipe from by clicking here.

16. Simple Beef Wellington for Two

This dish looks impressive, but Michele promises it’s not as intimidating as it seems, and she even provides a video to step your through it.  Speaking of, you should ignore this photo and look at the video, where her beef is perfectly medium-rare (this photo was actually taken of the leftovers).

simple beef wellington for two

This recipe is from  You can see the video and get the recipe here.

17. Baked Sea Scallops with Crispy, Gluten-free Topping

Here’s a gluten free, low-carb, and Keto option, that can be a main course, or an appetizer.  The carbs are reduced by using an interesting and flavorful combination to replace the bread crumbs.To reduce the carbs in this low carb version, pork rinds and cheese are used for topping rather than a bread crumb mixture.

Low car, keto, gluten free baked sea scallops

This creative and fun recipe is, and can be found by clicking here.

18. Perfectly Reverse-Sear

I wanted to add this because I love cast iron. If you like your steak medium rare, you should definitely give this cooking method a try.  Even if you like it another way, reverse searing gives you more control over the end results of your steak.

How to cast iron steak reverse sear

This recipe is by, and you can get it here.

19.  Chicken Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

This gluten free blogger shares flavorful chicken pasta with Alfredo sauce, and shares with us the secret to her tender and tasty chicken.  It’s definitely worth a look!

garlic basil chicken pasta with alfredo sauce

This recipe is by, and you can get it here.

20. Bacon Washed Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

This isn’t technically a dinner, but it does have bacon in it, so it could be an entrée in my book.  Or you could just have it with your dinner, if that’s your style.

bacon washed bourbon champagne cocktail   This  recipe is by and you can get it by clicking here.

Surf and Turf – A Romantic Dinner at Home on a Budget- In time for Valentine’s Day

Surf and Turf – A Romantic Dinner at Home on a Budget- In time for Valentine’s Day

This surf and turf is simple, yet absolutely mouthwatering.  The few ingredients compliment it wonderfully, rather than competing with it.  It only takes a half hour to make, at most, but is an impressive plate that really says “I love you.” If you are looking […]

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos

Enough for a crowd, or to freeze some for later When I try to do a Taco Tuesday, we end up with a taco week, as I’m sure you can imagine when you see this recipe!  If you’re not cooking for a crowd, you can […]

Beef Stew- A flexible recipe

Beef Stew- A flexible recipe

I am trying to stick to real food (for at least 6 days a week), stay on a budget, and reduce the food we waste around here.  This stew is really good for this.  It’s very flexible; You can substitute for whatever you have on hand.  There’s no need to go to the store and buy precisely what I list for ingredients here, like “3 fresh tomatoes”…. It’s just what I had in my fridge that would be delicious in the stew, and needed to get used up anyway.

I’m going to be completely honest about my choice of meat… It wasn’t the best.  It was the “premium stew meat” found at the grocery store, and I don’t think I could have boiled it enough to make it as tender as I wanted.  Next time I’m probably going to chop up my own stew meat, or go with ground beef, which is what I grew up with and sometimes prefer.

I’m  also going to be honest about my “real food” journey… I should probably call it “real-ish,” because that’s about my level right now.  I have been doing research, and following 100 Days of Real Food, and there is a lot for me to learn.  I’m doing the best I can, and I expect to keep getting better, but never be perfect at it.  I’m also not throwing out a lot of foods, so while moving forward I would make sure tomatoes were canned with less ingredients than the ones I used, I’m using it up anyway.  I did substitute whole wheat flour for white, and am happy with the results of that swap!  My goal is to be healthier, but not to obsess over it.

I started this “real food” journey just a week ago yesterday, after deciding to quit weight watchers because of what it was doing to me.  I’m just getting started, but if you stick with me, I’m going to be growing the Real Food section of my blog with ideas, recipes, and tips for enjoying healthy food.  I would be honored if you wanted to follow my journey or even join me!

My helper is unloading the cupboards for me.


Connect with me of Facebook if you’d like to follow my journey to eat healthier, stay on a budget, and reduce food waste…among other things; especially if you are too!

Beef Stew

January 23, 2018
: 8
: 10 min
: 1 hr
: 1 hr 10 min
: Easy

These ingredients can vary greatly. I recommend you open your fridge and see what needs used up that would go well with stew and toss it in!


  • *These ingredients can vary greatly. I used:
  • 2 lbs premium stew meat (I'm chopping my own next time.)
  • 1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1 onion (I used red)
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 3 or more cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups of broth, or 1 cup of wine and 1 cup of broth
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • 1.5 qt canned green beans
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water (approximately)
  • 6 scrubbed potatoes, chopped
  • 6 sprigs of Thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • fresh groundnSalt and pepper
  • Step 1 Heat coconut oil until a piece of your meat will crackle gently when you put it in.
  • Step 2 Toss the beef in the flour until covered
  • Step 3 Shake off excess flour, and reserve it for later, as you work in batches to brown the meat
  • Step 4 Brown each batch of meat in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring it around a few times to get all edges of the meat nice and brown (be careful not to crowd them).
  • Step 5 Remove the last batch of meat, and stir in the onion, celery and carrots, and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Step 6 Add garlic and thyme and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Step 7 Add tomatoes, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, green beans, bay leaf, broth (and wine if using), chopped potatoes, and as much water is needed to bring the fluids up above the potatoes.
  • Step 8 Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to simmer.
  • Step 9 Simmer for up to a few hours on low (for best results) or simmer it a little hotter for less time if you want to hurry up and eat…which is what we did.
Pork Schnitzel- Blake and Christina’s Way

Pork Schnitzel- Blake and Christina’s Way

If you’re antsy to get to the recipe, and I don’t blame you, just click on “Jump to Recipe” above. Otherwise, stay with me to see some photos of this beautiful food, and also get some other tid-bits, including some info on the mashed-potato recipe […]

Baked Parmesan Chicken with Corn Flakes

Baked Parmesan Chicken with Corn Flakes

Adding the Cornflakes to this chicken not only makes it extra crunchy, but it makes it extra golden, which my mind into thinking that I’m eating real fried food.  In fact, I read that putting Turmeric on Mac and Cheese tricks you into thinking that […]