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A Complete Valentine’s Day Menu with Gift

 February 8, 2013


It’s that time of year again. Birds are singing. Flowers are blooming. The sun will hopefully be shining. Love is in the air! It will soon be Valentine’s Day, and you know what that means? It means I have to come up with a new gift idea for my husband. The criteria are one, that doesn’t cost too much money, two, that it is useful, and three, that it will remind him of how lucky he is to be married to me.

It’s just never easy. But if you’re in the same predicament that I am, then I have your solution right here. I have searched the internet and come up with a yummy, man-friendly, romantic dinner and a fun gift to boot! What man doesn’t like to eat? And if you make it yourself, then he will worship the ground you walk on. The way to his heart really is so often through his stomach.

I’ve taken all the recipes off of Food Network  as I have found that sight to be tried and true. Of course here is my disclaimer. I haven’t actually tried these recipes yet. You’ll have to check back in with me after the 14th to see how it went and let me know if you tried any of my ideas. Each recipe was placed at the level of “easy” so we should be able to make it through without burning down the kitchen or catching our hair on fire! The filet mignon will definitely be the most expensive item on the list.

Here are my suggestions for the evening, followed by the recipes:

  1. Greet him at the door looking ravishing and calm, not a trace of the fact that I’ve been slaving in a hot kitchen all day.
  2. Inform him that dinner will be served in about 15 minutes if he would like some time to relax and get comfy.
  3. Serve an excellent dinner followed by a scrumptious dessert.
  4. Let him open his very creative Valentine’s Day present that will prove that he really did choose the right woman when he married me.
  5. Enjoy the evening!

The gift:

Now ladies, this takes a bit of thinking but not a whole lot of craftiness. For those of you with skills in the crafty area there is plenty of room to be creative. The idea is to give him a coupon book with coupons devised especially for your man. These don’t actually have to be difficult, time consuming activities. Use your discretion.

I plan to give a coupon good for listening to his style of music without complaint. Other ideas I’ve seen are for back rubs, exclusive rights to the remote control, watching a movie of his choice, and even mowing the lawn. I figure this could even become a tradition with different specials each year. That way he always gets something new yet I’m not stuck scratching my head each year wondering what he would like. Here are a few links to the books I’ve seen:

Coupon Book Template

Coupon Book Template 2

Coupon Book Template 3

Coupon Book Template 4


Dinner is served:




Filet Mignon with Mustard Cream and Wild Mushrooms




3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 (6-ounce- beef fillets, about 1 ½ inches thick)
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish


Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes.

Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet over high heat until hot. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. Sear over medium-high heat, turning once halfway through, until browned, about 12 minutes for medium. Transfer the beef to a platter.

Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the mustard and heavy cream and bring to a boil, cooking until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Spoon the sauce on the plate; place the beef on the sauce and scatter the mushrooms over top. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.




Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans
Tyler Florence




1 pound thin green beans
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmigian-Reggiano


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim off the tough end of the beans and arrange the beans on a nonstick cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and bake until the cheese melts and forms a crisp shell over the beans, about 10 minutes. Let the beans sit a few minutes for the cheese to cool slightly. Lift the beans out onto a platter and serve.

Rice Pilaf



3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups basmati-style long grain rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary


Melt the butter with the shallot in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter. Increase the heat to medium-high. Let the rice cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let set for 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary and bay leaf. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

Molten Lava Cakes
Paula Deen




6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
10 Tbsp (1 ¼ stick) butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp orange liqueur


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Grease 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Add the flour and sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur. Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.


Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas.  She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.


Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger California 



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