7 Foolproof Steps You Need for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner Party for Two

Create an easy romantic dinner party for two or Valentine’s Day dinner?  Do you have a new man or woman in your life? I have 7 foolproof steps for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner Party for Two. These steps will work for any romantic dinner for two at your place.

Okay well, you say you have had several lunch and dinner dates and a movie date too. You seem to click so well and…you have caught yourself thinking that this one, might be “The One.” You want to invite this special person in your life into your home for a lovely dinner. You have discovered that your date’s favorite meal includes a medium rare tenderloin steak. I have a seven-step foolproof plan to make this romantic evening a success. However, to make this work, you will need to be the kind of person who believes fun can be romantic. And it helps if your date feels that way too.

Step 1:  Prepare and Cook a Tenderloin Steak and Salad dinner

What’s that you say, you are not a very good cook and even worse at grilling? Don’t give up! Fortunately, I have a very easy recipe for how to prepare and cook the perfect tenderloin steak dinner.

Step 2:  The Couple Who Cooks Together Stays Together

Set the stage for a relaxed romantic atmosphere by letting your date know that you will be preparing the meal together. Be sure to have a women’s apron and/ or a men’s apron, one for you and one for your date. Now you have successfully arranged to make your first dinner date at home together a relaxing and romantic evening of sharing and fun.

Step 3:  Give Yourself Plenty of Lead Time to Prepare for This Special At-Home Dinner Date

You don’t want to be rushed and appear nervous and tense. Decide what you will wear and have your outfit all ready for you to slip into shortly before your date arrives. If scheduling a maid service to come by the day before will take some of the stress off of your shoulders, then by all means make arrangements for that to happen.  Now take a deep breath…because you are almost home free.

Step 4:  Make a List and Go Grocery Shopping Two Days Prior to the Date Night

Review the recipe ingredients in Step 6 below, and be sure to have everything on hand that you will need to prepare the steak and dinner salad. Maybe even check with your favorite local meat market a week beforehand to ensure the tenderloin steaks you need will be available. Try to have an alternate meat market in mind just in case.

Step 5:  I am Going to Give You a Surprisingly Simple Recipe for Cooking Tenderloin Steaks Perfectly

First you will need to have all the items listed below on hand in your kitchen. If you are missing anything, add it to your grocery shopping list.

  • Cast Iron Skillet – If you don’t own a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, borrow one, or purchase a new pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. I will provide a link for one below; and if you have an Amazon Prime account they can usually deliver your purchase in only two days.
  • Olive Oil – It’s great if you have a no drip olive oil dispenser
  • Sea Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • Lettuce-I prefer Boston lettuce, but choose your favorite or your date’s favorite, if you know it.
  •  Salad Ingredients-Add salad ingredients as desired. I like peeled and sliced cucumbers, tomato wedges. For a real treat, add frozen blueberries that you have washed, dried and frozen a few days ahead of time.
  • Salad Dressing-You should probably know your date’s favorite salad dressing by now since you’ve had several dinner dates. If not, plan to have a few popular selections on hand. You might even whip up a vinaigrette dressing.

Step 6:  This is the Perfect Time to Turn on some Ambient Romantic Music to Invoke an Atmosphere of Relaxation and Romance

Light the candles on the dinner table on which you placed a lovely romantic table setting. Uncork that nice bottle of Bordeaux wine, let it breathe a little…then fill the wineglasses. Mmm, sounds nice, no? Yes. Ah, what a lovely feeling of pleasurable contentment. Now is the perfect moment to don and tie up each others’ aprons. Together you will create that wonderful steak and salad dinner together.





2 (2 – 2 1/2 inch-thick) tenderloin steaks (set the steaks out at least 20 minutes ahead of time)
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
coarsely cracked black peppercorns


You and your date can don your aprons and have fun preparing the salad. Wash your salad and spin dry in a high quality salad spinner. I can personally highly recommend the OXO Good Grips Green Salad Spinner. You can work together peeling and slicing the cucumber and slicing the tomatoes into wedges. And if your date likes blueberries you can share a kiss and a couple of blueberries, or maybe share a blueberry and a couple of kisses too. Once you have added all your salad ingredients, place the salad in the fridge to keep it nice and cold and crisp.

Okay, here we go!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat (do this about 10 minutes before adding the steaks to the pan). Turn on and set your stove-top hood fan on high for ventilation.

While the skillet is heating, use paper towels to pat dry the tenderloin steaks. Brush the steaks with olive oil, using more or less as necessary (adding the oil directly to the steaks will mean less smoke in the skillet). Salt and pepper the steaks on both sides. Don’t be afraid to go a little heavy with the salt and pepper as the searing process will cause some of the salt and pepper to remain in the skillet and not on the meat.  

When the skillet is extremely hot, add the steaks and sear evenly on all sides (top, bottom, and edges) for about 3 minutes per side and about 30 seconds per edge. This searing process should take about a total of 8 minutes.

If you have seared the steaks in an extremely hot cast iron skillet for 8 minutes or so, you should now have rare steaks.

If you prefer your steaks more well done, turn off the stove, grab an oven mitt and place the skillet with the seared steaks in the preheated oven on the center rack.

Cook the steaks for:

4 – 6 minutes for medium-rare (your date’s preference)

6 – 8 minutes for medium well

8 – 10 minutes for well-done (not recommended)

Once you have cooked the steaks to the desired done, remove the skillet from the oven and place the steaks on a board or plate. Tent a piece of aluminum foil over the steaks and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Remember that the cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the steaks.

In the meantime, remove the salad from the fridge and place it on the dinner table. Uncover the steaks and place them on the table and enjoy what you have created together.

There you go, a very simple, but very satisfying steak and salad dinner. All you need to do is add the ambiance and romance.

Step 7:  Enjoy the rest of the evening, because this tenderloin steak and salad recipe provides the added ingredient of an easy cleanup.



Favorite Party Potluck Dishes

“…perfect and easy potluck dish to bring to a spring or summer party event.”


Susan reminisced about potluck parties we planned, hosted and attended over the years. We love to talk recipes at tea time. We talked about our favorite potluck dishes, Martha’s White Chili, Nellie’s Mexican Casserole, and Sue’s Corned Beef with Cabbage, Cheese and Broccoli Quiche just to name a few. Ah yes, Susan and I were getting hungry now.

tea time talk recipes
We love to talk recipes at tea time.

Then Susan exclaimed, “You know what I really loved the most? And quickly followed up with, “That pea salad, that delicious old fashioned pea salad that you know who brought to that party, you know, that party!” I thought it over for a few moments and then it came to me in a delightful flash! Polly’s Pea Salad! Yes, Susan was quite right. Pollys Pea Salad was very delicious and yes it was also on the old-fashioned side. Polly’s Pea Salad was delicious but it wasn’t just Susan’s favorite, it was one of everyone’s favorite potluck dishes. 

Sadly, Polly passed away a few years ago. Polly had given me the coveted recipe and I knew I must have it somewhere. I proceeded to check all my Word file folders for a document named Polly’s Pea Salad…but found nothing. Then I checked all my file folders on my laptop and on my tablet, but still no Pollys Pea Salad. Well Susan and I decided to go out to lunch because we had developed quite an appetite talking about food and Polly’s Pea Salad. The entire day passed without me knowing what had happened to Polly’s Pea Salad recipe.

The next morning when I awoke, yep, you guessed it, I was still thinking about Polly’s Pea Salad. I went to the storage room and began rummaging through boxes filled with cookbooks and loose sheets of paper with hand-written recipes on them. Just when I was about to give up on ever finding it, there it was! Polly’s Pea Salad! The recipe was scrawled in Polly’s chicken-scratch handwriting. I went right to work typing up the recipe taking care to get the “translation” right. So here is a perfect and easy potluck dish to bring to a spring or summer party event. Everyone is sure to love it!


2 boiled eggs dices

1 boiled egg thinly sliced (reserve for later)

½ cup diced sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup diced sweet onion (optional)

1 (15 ounce) can early peas (sweet peas) – drained

¼ cup salad dressing (Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip®)

2-4 slices crumbled bacon (optional)

1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

2 quart or 2 ½ liter mixing bowl

Place one-half of the peas in a mixing bowl. Place 1/23 of salad dressing on top of peas. Add one-half of onions and one-half of the diced eggs. Do not mix.

Repeat above adding another layer of all ingredients. Fold ingredients from middle to outside being careful not to smash the peas.

Transfer to a decorative serving dish. Place egg slices on top. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Chill to serve.

Polly’s Pea Salad one of my favorite party potluck dishes


Polly’s Pea Salad was delicious but it wasn’t just Susan’s favorite, it was everyone’s favorite.