Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creating A Romantic Tryst For Two (with recipes)

Valentine Day is always special. While it’s nice to go out to dinner, some just love to make a nice romantic evening of it at home. Cold and snowy outside, warm and cozy inside with no fuss or worry about travel in inclement weather.

With a little preparation, an evening at home can be a special romantic tryst; no matter how long or short of time you’ve been together. An early dinner, followed up with some favorite romantic movies. It sets the mood for love and romance.

I thought I’d share a restaurant quality dinner that is special in our house. You can make it fancy or relaxed.

A candlelight dinner with a nicely set table makes it special.

Fillet Mignon


  • 2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
    salt to taste.

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ cup dry red wine (I used a Merlot instead or for different taste you can use sherry)

  • ¼ cup of crumble blue cheese (or you can use Gogonzola)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (I used brown sugar but white works too)

  • 2 cloves of garlic-minced

Let the filets rest at room temperature for an hour prior to cooking. Salt and pepper. Broil to desired taste. Place on a warm plate to rest and distribute the juices evenly.

In a saucepan add Balsamic vinegar, wine, minced garlic, sugar and reduce to a thick syrupy mixture—about 10 minutes. (Don’t reduce too far or it could burn) About half way through this process, lightly top the fillets with cheese and place it in the broiler a couple of minutes until the cheese melts.

Place steaks on a warmed plate, drizzle some of the balsamic syrup mixture over the top of the steaks and serve. You can put the remainder of the mixture in small serving cups and place beside the plates.

  • Side suggestions:
  • I served it with Steamed Asparagus and Red Potatoes. It would go well with a salad and baked potatoes too or a nice rice dish.
  • Wine:
    A nice Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Strawberry Tiramisu for Two


    • 1 pint fresh strawberries
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
    • 18 ladyfingers
    • 1/3 cup chilled espresso
    • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

    • Cut off the tops of the strawberries and slice the berries. Reserve 2 large whole berries for garnish.

    • In a blender, place 2 cups of strawberries and 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar; blend to puree and set aside.

    • In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, 1/4-cup cream, 1/4-cup sugar, and liqueur; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until thickened.

    • Place 6 ladyfingers on a serving plate and brush each with approximately 1-teaspoon cold espresso coffee. Spread or pipe out 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers, and layer with half of the sliced strawberries.

    • Repeat with the next 6 ladyfingers, espresso, remaining cheese mixture, and sliced strawberries; top with remaining 6 ladyfingers.

    • In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4-cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until just whipped, approximately 1 minute. Spread cream evenly over top layer of ladyfingers.

    • Dust cocoa over whipped cream, and garnish with 2 reserved strawberries. Pour strawberry puree onto two serving plates. Cut tiramisu in half, and place onto puree.

    There is actually enough left over for seconds or for later. Nice with a good cup of coffee snuggled up watching some movies.

    Romantic Movie Suggestions:
    Sleepless in Seattle


    Lake House


    Princess Bride

    50 First Dates

    • What are some of your favorite Romantic Recipes or Movies?
    • WRITERS: How you add sensual touches (using the senses) to your writing when writing Romance?

    Friday, I'll share a few more recipes for a special dinner Tryst.


    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    So, you're trying to create a Romantic Tryst. How do YOU set the atmosphere?

    Love to hear from you all.

    Nancy J. Parra said...

    Hi Sia,

    This sounds fabulous! Now I'm going to have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    I once made a picnic indoors, checkered blanket and all. We ate by the fireplace.

    cheers, Nance

    Dana Fredsti said...

    Move aside, crickets!!

    My favorite romantic meal includes bubbly, no matter what the feast is. possibly a nice red wine at some point, but I really do just think champagne/sparkling wine promotes romance and a light-hearted mood in a way very few other beverages do.

    i love having nibbles for a romantic meal. A rich triple cream cheese and hot sourdough... olives... finger foods. And at least one rich chocolate truffle for both of us. Speaking of truffles, nothing adds a more sensual flavor to a dish than truffle oil...

    Dana Fredsti said...

    Ooh, Nance, I love having indoor picnics... I miss the fireplace in my old house in Glendale, gotta say... In lieu of that, I love to light lots of candles. Just have to watch where I put them because of our cats. Sometimes romance is easier when you lock the felines out of the room...

    Netti said...

    OK, so that just sounds YUMMY! May have to try that if I can get rid of the heathens for a night :D

    We haven't really had the chance for a romantic tryst :( when we got together he had 1 child, and I had 2... no time :( We plan on saving all that up for when the heathens have left the nest *G*

    Marilyn Brant said...

    Oh, wow, Sia! That filet sounds delicious...and strawberry tiramisu?! You are killing my dieting willpower here -- LOL!!

    As for a romantic tryst -- I think it's all about creating a sensual mood fitting to the particular people involved. Not necessarily soft, romantic music over dinner, for instance, but music that really speaks to the person you're trying please. (Jazz for one man...AC/DC for another!) Giving the night those little touches that show you weren't just following a guidebook's idea of what he'd like, but that you really know HIM and what HE'D love. (I'm pretty sure my hubby would love that filet and tiramisu, though! Thanks for the great ideas. :)

    Beth Ciotta said...

    Ooh, Sia. Those recipes look delicious. I wish I was a better cook!

    Since my husband and I so rarely go out, we're going to have dinner at our favorite Thai place. Nice ambiance, fantastic food. It's an excuse for me to dress up and we always have great discussions.

    But then we'll come home, snuggle on the couch, drink champagne and watch a movie. Your movie recs are great. I've seen them all except '50 First Dates'. My romantic movie recs--
    *While You Were Sleeping
    *Shakespeare in Love
    *Dear Frankie
    *... or any movie starring Cary Grant

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Mmmm, finger foods and champagne. Sounds good Dana. I hear you on the cats. I have to do that with mine and the dogs. Can you imagine my huge Great Dane, Gidget, wagging her tail? oops there goes 5 candles. lolol!

    Nancy, I like how you think. and indoor picnic sounds like a wonderful tryt. There's something relaxing about eating picnic style.

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Marilyn, some great points about setting the scene with your guy in mind.

    The fillet Mignon is actually not hard to fix. Including prep time, it takes about an hour. You can also make it special by serving wine in the kitchen and doing the meal together. Tiramisu always tempts me away from whatever food plan I'm on, but oh wow, it is so good. I've even made it more special by adding some chocolate dipped whole strawberries to the top. Yum

    Dana Fredsti said...

    I forgot to add that for this particular Valentine's Day we're going on an early morning beach walk up to the Cliff House for brunch. Our special treat after not eating out hardly at all the last few months. The beach walk makes it the more romantic for the three hours of walking there and back will burn off the calories. :_)

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Beth, I LOVE Cary Grant movies. I forgot all about While You Were Sleeping. That's a good one. 50 First Dates is more of a Romantic Comedy, but a touching, awww, sort too.

    Enjoy your Thai food and night out. Sounds fun. :-)

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    I've been to Cliff House, Dana. Love that area of the beach. I'm sitting here with snow and you'll be walking the beach in February. I think I hate you, lolol! Can you tell I'm envious? Like big time?

    Helen Ginger said...

    Both recipes sound delicious. Since it's Valentine's day, I suggest both of you cook together.

    Straight From Hel

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Perfect idea, Helen. Serve some wine while preparing, talk and flirt with each other, what a wonderful memory and delicious tryst.

    K. A. Laity said...

    My perfect Valentines Day meals never start with me cooking. I'll bake, but my cooking is generally disastrous. I do make a lovely three pound cheesecake, but on a romantic occasion, I think it's much better to eat light :-) You don't want anyone getting sleepy. A little prosecco and some strawberries -- perfect!

    Anna Campbell said...

    Hi Sia! Perhaps you should retitle today's post as Over Cabernet Sauvignon! Love the sound of the steak - can't stand strawberries so I think I'd have to go and raid the chocolate cupboard. Snort! Actually when I saw filet mignon, I thought you'd wrap your steak in bacon. If you order a FM here, that's what you get. It's VERY delicious although definitely a relic of the 60s and 70s in terms of fashionable dining. But hey, I write historicals!

    Dana Fredsti said...

    Don't hate me, Sia! For all I know, it could be pouring rain on Sunday... I hope not, though!

    Dave and I cook together - he is my sous chef. We generally have a glass of wine or bubbly while we're cooking and I really enjoy it.

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Anna, I've heard of FM that way and also with prosciutto.

    As far as Tiramisu, you can substitute other berries instead of Strawberries.

    Thanks for stopping by, Anna!

    Kat Sheridan said...

    Ooo, Sia, the recipes sound yummy! I am soo going to have to try that tiramasu! No plans for Valentine's here yet, though there have been rumbles that a dinner cruise might be in order (considering what an inexpert cook I am, setting the kitchen on fire for Valentine's is probably not a good idea-setting his heart on fire, yes).

    For romantic movies,give me either Pretty Woman, or Romancing the Stone. Or Overboard, with Goldie Hawn (making someone laugh is very sexy!)

    Bon in 'Bama said...


    Were I writing this scene, I'd have the potatoes roasting in the fireplace, which would add two senses--smell and the sound of seasoned oak popping. It would also give the male protagonist something to do now and then in that all-important cinematic style of "show, don't tell."

    I can also feel the warmth of the coffee mug in my hands after dinner...

    Bon in 'Bama

    PS: I think I hear an owl outside your cozy Valentine's scene.

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Kat, I loved the movies you cite.

    Dinner cruise in Florida.oooo, that sounds divine.

    Have hubs help you with the recipe for the fillet. It's good. Nice combo of sweet and pungent.

    Let me know how the tiramasu turns out. You're great with that sort of cooking.

    mynfel said...

    Mmmmm...this sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing it - and in return I've awarded you the Sunshine Award for your blog. (You can steal the picture off my blog.) :)

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Bon! Love yah babe. Don't be a stranger.

    Love the writers perspective. Now that you mention it, we do have a couple of owls that we hear frequently at night. I love listening to them, especially when we don't have any real traffic out here beyond the back 40.

    Dayum, it's good to see you!

    Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

    Nothing like a good steak! YUMMY!

    I'll definitely try this recipe, Sia, and LOVE me some asparagus too. But I'll pass on the tiramisu and go straight for the chocolate with Anna. ;-)


    L. Diane Wolfe said...

    Princess Bride is perfect! "Our" movies are Doc Hollywood and When Harry Met Sally.

    And sorry, this vegan won't be able to try your recipes!

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    No problems Diane. I'll have to find a good Vegan meal, or I'm running some recipes on Friday, What's a romantic meal you fix. That would be cool to see.

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Aunty, if you're a meat lover, this one is a good one.

    You know what I always say, Chocolate is a girl's best friend.

    Olivia Cunning said...

    Sounds delicious, Sia! And Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies.

    HollyJacobs said...

    Oh, yum, Sia!


    VA said...

    The way to a man's heart Sia. Sounds delish. I do a similar version to your tiramisu except I make a parfait with amaretti cookies, berries of choice, and the marcaspone mixture with a sweet wine. Entre? I love crab legs and though you fight them it is fun and an easy going meal; paired with a nice Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio - sublime.

    Movies- you got some of my favorites, but antyhing that makes you both laugh is good. Galaxy Quest comes to mind and there is love.

    ~Sia McKye~ said...

    Yum, Viv. I've always liked Pinot Grigo. I hadn't thought of amaretto cookies,(raspberries would be nice to use to--a touch of tart to the sweetness) but the cookies would add firmer layers, adding more texture and I love the idea of using a sweet wine. I do have a recipe that uses brandy...I have to find that one.

    Personally, a meal with finger foods gives some options of feeding one another too and the possibilities are delicious and endless. :-)

    Houston A.W. Knight said...

    First let me say Daniel looks awesome in that picture on the side bar. I hope you leave it there in memory of him. (((hugs)))

    Now...OMG can I make this for my dinner on Feb 14th? This looks yummy!

    Funny since Twit came around I noticed a sharp drop in comments on blogs. :-( sad but true.

    I don't care for're limited in what you can how can you really chat with someone like you can on a blog?
    Just my HO

    hugs darlin'

    Tonya Kappes said...

    Sia-you are making my mouth water!! My husband and I spend Valentines with our kids and give them a few goodies. BUT we do rent a remote cabin during the year a couple hours from our house. We make our own Valentine's Day. It's been a fun tradition for us. Our favorite movie is Serendipity so we always watch it. Happy Valentine's Day.

    Elle J Rossi said...

    I'm drooling over here, Sia.

    Sounds scrumptious and not too difficult. Can't wait to try it out!

    Happy Valentine's Day!