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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The master in the kitchen and on the written page, Sloane Taylor who as a self-proclaimed romantic reminds us of just how easy it is to create amorous settings with our special someone on the patio or deck surrounded by gardens that are at their peak. She even includes a menu of the perfect meal for the occasion, as well as the link to her latest cookbook.

Spring is an amazing time of year and my favorite because that’s when the Earth comes alive. All sorts of beautiful things happen. Trees are budding, tender plants push through the ground, romance is in the air and warm weather is just a few weeks away.

I am a romantic through and through. Always have been and with any luck I always will be. Romance is much more than a quick trip to tangle the sheets. It is about being with someone you love and doing little things to show them how much they mean to you. In my case I cook because I love it.

When summer arrives and the gardens are ablaze in color, I want to move the romance outside. So why not share a summer night with your someone special? What better way than with a sizzling romantic dinner, candles, wine, and music. You don’t need much to set the mood and turn your patio, balcony, or kitchen into a lover’s nook. Make your night special with great food because it is the doorway to infinite possibilities.

A printed flat sheet is perfect for a festive tablecloth or set out placemats for the plates and serving dishes. Use plenty of candles in different sizes and a variety of holders scattered around the table to enhance the mood, but definitely avoid scented candles. Stemmed wine glasses sparkle in candlelight and add a festive feel to your dinner. Use your regular dishes or, for fun, mix it up with a number of different plates that don’t match but compliment each other for the different courses. Experiment and have fun.

Now that you have the perfect location and setting for you and that right person, may I suggest you spoil yourself with an intimate dinner meant for lovers. It is easy to prepare and leftovers make marvelous sandwiches. This recipe also works great in the oven.

Ask your butcher to dress the tenderloin. If he won’t, then you need to remove the excess fat and sliver out the silver strip along the side. Easy to do. Slide a sharp knife under the strip close to one end. Use a back and forward motion like sawing to ease your knife between the meat and the strip as you lift it away from the beef.

MENU

Marinated & Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Potatoes Baked on the Grill

Grilled Asparagus

Sautéed Mushrooms

Dry Red Wine – Valpolicella.

Marinated & Grilled Beef Tenderloin
2 – 3 lb. (1 – 1.5kg) beef tenderloin
½ cup (120ml) olive oil
½ cup (120ml) dry red wine
3 rosemary sprigs or 1½ tsp. (7.5ml) dried
6 thyme sprigs or 1 tsp. (5ml) dried
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Oil to coat grill grate

Combine all ingredients in a long bowl or plastic bag and a shallow pan. Marinade in fridge 2 – 20 hours. Seems like a strange time span, but the longer the marinade the tastier the beef.

Remove meat from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling or roasting in oven. Meat needs to be almost room temperature.

Grill Instructions
Preheat grill to medium-high.

Pat tenderloin dry. Discard marinade. Add beef, close lid, and grill 15 – 20 minutes or until meat is done to your preference. Be sure to turn meat several times to avoid burning.

Oven Instructions
Preheat oven to 400° F (200°C).

Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Pat tenderloin dry. Discard marinade. Add beef to pan. Roast 30 – 40 minutes or until meat is done to your preference. Save the juice to moisten he meat when you serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!


Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Learn more about Taylor’s cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Sizzling Summer, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire on Amazon.
Excerpts from her romance books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The inventive Sloane Taylor who brings us a meal plan for any special occasion.

Do something extra special to celebrate any occasion. This brunch will show how much you care. A few fresh flowers on the table are a nice touch.

MENU

Quiche

Fresh Fruit salad

Croissants

Raspberry Jam

Butter

Zucchini Bread for Dessert

Mimosas

Quiche

1 frozen deep-dish pie shell

1 tsp. (5g) butter

6 bacon strips, cut into ¼ in. (.64cm) pieces*

¼ cup (30g) onions, chopped

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1¼ cups (230ml) heavy cream

3 pinches white pepper**

¾ cup (85g) swiss cheese, grated

2 tbsp. (25g) butter, cut in small bites

Preheat oven to 375° F (190°C).

Place pie shell on cookie sheet. Use a fork to poke several sets of holes in the bottom and around the sides of the shell. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add bacon, and ham if you’re including it, and onion when foam subsides. Cook until meat is lightly browned. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to paper towels.

Beat or whisk eggs, yolks, cream, and seasonings in a large bowl. Stir in cheese.

Scatter meat, into pie shell. Gently ladle in egg mixture. Sprinkle the top with butter bits.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the middle of the quiche comes out clean.

The dish may be served hot, warm, or room temperature. It also makes a wonderful appetizer. Leftovers reheat in the microwave beautifully.

*Diced ham, ¼ lb. (125g), is also good in this recipe in place of the bacon or along with. All other ingredients and process remains the same.

**No need to buy white pepper if you don’t have it. Use black pepper only a little more as it is not as strong as white pepper.

Fresh Fruit Salad

1 banana

1 pear

1 tbsp. (15ml) lemon juice

¼ pineapple

1 kiwi

10 seedless red grapes, halved

10 blueberries

10 raspberries, optional

Peel and slice banana into bitesize pieces. Scoop into a medium-sized bowl. Core and dice pear then add to bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over fruit to stop it from turning brown and mix well.

Remove rind and core from pineapple then dice the fruit. Add ¼ to banana mixture. Store the extra pineapple in a glass bowl or plastic bag. Refrigerate for future use.

Peel kiwi and slice then stir into salad. Gently fold in remaining fruit.

Spoon into a glass bowl, cover with cling wrap, and chill until time to serve. Leftovers are still good the next day.

Zucchini Bread for Dessert

Make this bread a day or two in advance to free up your morning.

2 cups (200g) grated zucchini

2 cups (200g) sugar

3 cups (300g) flour

1 cup nuts, chopped, optional

¼ tsp. (1.25ml) baking powder

2 tsp. (10ml) baking soda

1 tsp. (5ml) salt

1 tbsp. (15ml) cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil

1 tbsp. (15ml) vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C).

Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. Cut and fit a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of each pan. I do this because my pans are old and food sticks to the bottom. Nothing attractive about serving zucchini bread with a big hunk missing.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. This includes the zucchini. Adding fruit or veggies to a flour blend helps them to not sink to the bottom of the bread while baking.

Beat wet ingredients together in a large bowl.

Slowly stir dry mixture into wet mixture. Be sure to blend well.

Pour batter into pans. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack before slicing. This bread freezes great.

Mimosas

1 bottle sparking white wine or champagne, cold

1 carton orange juice, cold

Tall slender glasses

Fill glasses half full with wine. Tip the glass slightly as you pour to retain the fizz. Top off with orange juice. Don’t stir. That will destroy the bubbles.

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Learn more about Taylor’s cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Sizzling Summer, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire on Amazon.
Excerpts from her romance books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Read Full Post »