Oops ... before I forget, here's a quick post on Valentine's Day: rather than try to get reservations at A&G, we instead decided that we were going to start a tradition of cooking each other dinner every other year. Since Lauren cooked when I came down last year, it was my turn to cook this year. Sorry, there are no pictures of the meal ... I'm usually the picture taker, and I was too busy cooking it to take any pictures.
The meal itself came out very well, although it turned into a running dinner because we had to cook the Cornish hens a little bit longer than the recipe called for ... no biggie. It just simply meant we were eating dinner while watching the movie Chocolat rather than before.
Soup: I originally planned a curried pumpkin soup, but I changed my mind and used a box of Campbell's Select Gold Roasted Portabella Mushroom soup instead. This is comfort food.
Roasted Cornish Hens: These were done with a marinade of whisky, Splenda, lots of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and freshly ground pepper, for three to four hours, then baked at 375 for a minimum of 1 hour (not 30 minutes as the recipe called for). Then, for a tasty sauce for the hens, I took a cup of the marinade, added an equal amount of balsamic vinegar, and reduced it down for 2 minutes.
Asian Spinach: to complement the Cornish Hens, I did a pretty simple stir-fry of spinach with toasted sesame seeds, minced garlic, soy sauce, and a bit of Splenda to balance the soy sauce off ... sort of a continuation of a theme.
Rice with Carrots, Lemon, and Mint: long-grain rice with a mirepoix of minced carrots, scallions, and the juice and a small amount of zest from one lemon.
Dessert: Woodgie had bought a small set of Chinese New Year specialty chocolates (the Lapsang Suchoung and dark chocolate ones were sublime). We had these with a chocolate-infused tea from the same company.
When done, she proclaimed it one of the best meals she has had.