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Man-Catching Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu

February 3, 2012

O.K. – I know that the title of this post may make some of you cringe.  But, I’ll bet you’ll still read it to see just what recipes I’ve deemed to be “man-catchers.” Each item on this menu has been tried and tested by many a generic male-type person. Moans of enjoyment, eyes brought to tears from sheer pleasure and even a marriage proposal are just some of the reactions to the various dishes.

It’s a fairly simple menu and not everything on it is “from scratch.” But, trust me, it’s always been a hit.  So here it is. And, if you are trying to catch or even just please a man, good luck.  Just make sure that the man you serve this to is one who is worth catching – or pleasing!

Warm and Creamy Bacon Dip

(recipe below)

Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin Fillets

(recipe below)

Mashed Boursin Potatoes

(recipe below)

Green Beans

(use a 12 ounce steamer bag from the frozen food aisle and when cooked add 1 TBSP. of butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste)

Parker House Style Rolls

(I use Sister Schubert’s brand which is found in the frozen bread section)

Chocolate Sheet Cake and/or Pineapple Cake (a.k.a. “Man Cake”)

(recipes below)

WARM & CREAMY BACON DIP

(for 2 – makes 1 ½ cups)

1 8 ounce container of sour cream

½ of a 3 ounce package/jars of real bacon bits

1 cup shredded/grated sharp cheddar cheese

½ of an 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese

½ cup finely chopped green onion

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients.  Place in a 1 quart baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven and heat 20 – 25 minutes or until hot. Stir and serve with crackers and/or chips.

To make 3 cups of the dip:

16 ounces of sour cream

1 3 ounce package/jar of real bacon bits

2 cups of shredded/grated sharp cheddar cheese

8 ounces of softened cream cheese

1 cup finely chopped green onions

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Place in a 2 quart baking dish and cover with aluminum foil OR place in a hollowed out round sourdough loaf and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in oven and heat for 25 – 30 minutes.  Stir and serve with crackers and/or chips.

BACON WRAPPED BEEF TENDERLOIN FILLETS 

2 4 – 6  ounce bacon wrapped beef tenderloin fillets

1 – 2 TBSP. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1 TBSP. butter

Combine salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small cup or bowl. Rub or brush both sides of the fillets with the olive oil and season each side with the salt mixture. Place fillets on a plate and allow meat to rest 30 minutes before cooking.

In a medium sized skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Cook fillets in skillet for 3 – 5 minutes each side or until desired degree of doneness is reached.  If using bacon wrapped fillets, you may have to brown the bacon on the side by holding the fillets with tongs and rotate the fillet to cook the bacon.

Serve fillets by themselves or with Bernaise sauce (I use Knorr’s Bernaise Sauce mix)

MASHED BOURSIN POTATOES

(serves 2)

1 pound of red potatoes washed and cut into chunks – you’ll need about 3 cups of potato chunks (whether you leave the skins on or not is a personal decision.  I leave the skins on)

2 TBSP. butter

1/3 cup canned evaporated milk heated in microwave for 30 seconds

½ cup Boursin garlic and herb flavored cheese

½ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Place potatoes in saucepan with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add ½ tsp. salt to the water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot stirring over low heat for 1 minute (this evaporates excess moisture so that the potatoes can better absorb the rest of the ingredients).

Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until half of the potato chunks are smooth.  Add butter, milk and Boursin cheese and mash until the desired consistency.

Stir in salt and pepper. (Taste test at this point to see if you need to add more salt and/or pepper – but add sparingly as you don’t want to over salt and it might be better to let each person add their own salt to taste).

TEXAS CHOCOLATE CAKE 

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 sticks of butter (1 cup)

1/3 cup cocoa

1 cup water

½ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp. Mexican vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray 2 cake pans with non-stick baking spray (has both flour and oil).

With a whisk in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Mix well and set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, combine butter, cocoa and water.  Bring mixture to a boil and pour over flour mixture and mix well with the whisk. Combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and whisk into cake batter. Mix well and then divide batter between the 2 prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Take cakes out of the oven, leave cakes in their pans, make the frosting and pour warm frosting over warm cake. Cool completely in pans several hours before cutting and serving and/or covering with plastic wrap for storage.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING 

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

¼ cup cocoa

6 TBSP. milk

4 cups powdered sugar

½ tsp. Mexican vanilla

After you take the cakes out of the oven, immediately begin to make the frosting. Measure the powdered sugar into a large bowl. In a small saucepan, whisk the butter, cocoa and milk together over high heat. Bring to a boil and once it does, take it off of the heat and pour over the sugar in the bowl.  Whisk together well and then pour half of the frosting over each warm cake. Spread the frosting over the entire cake(s) and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

SPECIAL NOTE:  If you’d rather make this recipe into one large sheet cake, then pre-heat the oven to 400° and use a 10” X 15” jelly-roll pan that has been sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Follow the directions for the cake as written and pour all of the batter into the 10 X 15 pan.  Bake the cake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean. Take cake out of the oven, prepare the frosting as written and pour the entire amount over the warm cake.  Cool in pan completely before cutting/serving and/or covering with plastic wrap for storage.

PINEAPPLE CAKE

a.k.a “Man Cake” 

1 ½ cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp. soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar – divided use

1 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in its own juices

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Spray an oblong cake pan (13” X 9” X 2”) with non-stick baking spray that has both oil and flour. Or, you can divide the cake batter between 2 square cake pans.

Sift together 1st 4 ingredients. Add ½ cup of the brown sugar and whisk together until well mixed. Stir in pineapple and eggs. Pour into prepared pan.

Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining ½ cup of brown sugar. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave the oven on but remove the cake from the oven and immediately begin making the icing.

ICING 

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

¾ stick (6 TBSP.) butter

¾ cup sugar

1 5 ounce can of evaporated milk

Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in 350° oven for 8 minutes. While pecans are toasting, combine in a small saucepan the butter, sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

When toasted, remove pecans from oven and sprinkle over warm cake.  Then pour boiled icing over the pecans and cake. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

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