The Wooden Spoon Diaries: Valentine’s Day

By Allison Melton – Special to the Navarro County Gazette

Hello foodie friends! Your favorite Wooden Spoon Diaries chef is here for more party tips and tricks! 

Valentine’s Day is upon us and we all know I love holidays. I know Valentine’s Day is not everyone’s favorite, but any time I can find a way to plan an event with my friends or my husband, I am happy. Whether you are having a Galentine’s Day brunch with your girl gang, or a romantic night in, these two meal ideas will be perfect! 

This year I wanted to do something small for a few friends. I created a Galentine’s Day grazing board. We know grazing boards have been all the rage this year so anytime I can pull a board out I am 100 percent all in.

This board was easy to put together and was all store bought foods. We had our get together around 10 a.m., so brunch + mimosas were a must. When making boards I always try to add at least one large item, a few snacky items, fruit and then any other toppings needed. 

Galentine’s Day Grazing Board – Courtesy photo

Love is Sweet – Galentine’s Day Board 

  • Homestyle Eggos – I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out small hearts
  • Thick and Fluffy Eggos – Vanilla Bean 
  • Powdered Donuts
  • Chocolate Donuts 
  • Vanilla Sugar Wafers 
  • Frosted Animal Cookies
  • Soft Icing Sugar Cookies
  • Strawberries
  • Syrup 
  • Whipped Cream 
  • Champagne flutes with orange juice and a mini champagne bottle

Setting the Table 

We all know presentation is key, so the set up to me is just as important as the food! I used my 3 ft. long grazing board from Kirkland’s and set it in the middle of my dining room table. I placed my bowl of syrup, bowl of whipped cream, champagne flutes, and the mini bottle of champagne first. I then set up my waffles, donuts, and large sugar cookies. After that, I placed the sugar wafers and frosted animal cookies. Last but not least I filled in any gaps with strawberries. I placed rose petals around the entire table for a fun and festive pop of color.

Now, If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a lover and you want to skip the restaurant this year, then keep reading! 

When I think of a romantic meal, I always think about a fancy steak, or maybe something Italian. This year I wanted to change it up! I made my husband a roasted balsamic pork tenderloin with a tomato chutney. To accompany our main dish we also had a silky poms puree and caesar salad. This meal is simple and almost foolproof! 

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin – Courtesy photo

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin Ingredients1 pork tenderloin 1.5 cups olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar1 tablespoon of honey2 cloves of garlic, minced 1-2 teaspoons of onion powder Salt and pepper to taste. 
Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. You want to make sure there is a little extra on the ends so you can seal edges later. 
  • Place pork tenderloin on the sheet pan and add your salt and pepper to each side. 
  • In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic and onion powder 
  • Pour entire mix over tenderloin
  • Seal all the edges of the foil around the meat, make sure nothing will leak out
  • Cook in the oven for 45 – 60 minutes. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees. 
  • Once out of the oven let rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Do not slice into meat before it has had time to rest. 
  • While meat is cooking you can start on your tomato chutney.

Tomato Chutney 

Ingredients 

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1oz of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped 
  • 2oz of red wine vinegar 
  • 1.5oz red wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Salt – to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped green chiles 
  • 1oz golden raisins, chopped small 

Directions 

  • Combine first amount of red wine vinegar (2oz), garlic, and ginger in a blender until smooth 
  • Combine tomatoes, garlic mixture, second amount of red wine vinegar (1.5oz), salt, and sugar in a  saucepan 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stir to dissolve sugar
  • Cook at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. Should reduce a bit. 
  • Add in the chiles and raisins. Simmer another 10 – 12 minutes
  • Remove from heat and cool
  • Add more salt if necessary

Once the pork tenderloin is done resting, slice and serve with chutney drizzled on top. 
I hope these two love-inspired menus make it to your home and into your hearts. Have a happy Valentine’s Day! 

Love,
Allison Melton 

Please be sure to support those that support us here at the NCG and check out our advertisers:
Goin’ Postal | Oiltown Comics | CANA Girl Speaks Podcast | Warehouse Living Arts Center | Salvation Army

Categories: Food