My husband typically plans a Valentine’s dinner out to a favorite restaurant either on or near Valentine’s Day, and then I plan a special meal at home for us with some of his favorite dishes. It’s a win-win for both of us! This year, I had some great help for our special ‘Valentine’s Date Night dinner at home’ from Moll Anderson’s (a lifestyle, entertaining, and romance expert) new book Seductive Tables for Two. I had read great things about this book and couldn’t wait to get more inspiration on how to create a romantic, dinner at home; perfect for parents with young children!
I love using special dinners at home (without the kids) as an opportunity to pull out our china and real silverware, that I admit don’t get used as much as I’d like around our home. I love that Moll Anderson recommends the use of china dishes for special at home dinners and she also gives great tips in her book on how to choose china. One of her suggestions was to choose white or cream dishes because they make it easier to choose linens, mixing plates, and are perfect for adding table accent. I really had no idea what I was doing when I choose our china when we were getting married, I simply choose a simple, elegant but modern pattern. I was excited that her book gave me a thumbs up on my choice; yay!
Anderson’s book also recommended strong colors to evoke strong emotions. I used her suggestion of using our Christmas red table runner as a perfect Valentine’s Day table accent. It was a great way to section off part of our HUGE dining room table to create a smaller, more intimate dining area. I also used our hanging candles and table side candles to create soft lighting for our dinner, as she shares in the book the shimmering of candles off of your stemware and other glass dishes/candle holders creates a shimmering light that calms and relaxes.
My favorite sections of Anderson’s book are the back reference sections! This is exactly what I needed to guide me in setting our table for romantic dinners for my husband and I, but also for more formal dinners with friends and family. She includes amazing recipes for all times of the day, explanation of spices and uses for them, how to wardrobe your table, and how to change your everyday to gourmet. While the rest of the book is full of great tips, amazing photos, and an abundance of ideas, I found myself constantly flipping to the back of the book for the ‘how-to’s’ of an amazing dinner for two!
- 2-3 Large Russet Potatoes, washed and scrubbed
- 1 stick unsalted margarine or butter
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Use a sharp knife to make thin cuts in each potato: about 1/8 inch apart, 3/4 of the way through the potato.
3. Next, add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully transfer to a baking sheet; let cool slightly.
4. Pat the potatoes dry. Combine the butter, garlic, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Melt and brush generously over the potatoes and in each cut. Reserve any excess butter for basting.
5. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake until the outsides are browned and crisp, about 2 hours, basting halfway through with the reserved melted butter sauce.
When the potatoes are almost done, spoon a little more butter sauce over the potatoes and roast 5 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and season with salt and pepper.
Our Garlic Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes were the perfect side to our Sautéed Mushroom Steak and Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad. We had plans for dessert, but we both agreed that we were too full to even consider dessert after our delicious meal. You can check out more about my shoppertunity for Moll Anderson’s Seductive Tables for Two on my Google + album.
You can get more great ideas for a romantic dinner at home from Moll Anderson on her:
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®. All opinions are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric #SeductiveTables”