Also, since this is our last year celebrating Valentines without a screaming, pooping baby, I figured that I wanted to do something a little more special.
For our Valentines Day, we decided to do not one, but two things:
1. Have a nice dinner out, on a day that is *NOT* Valentines day, to avoid the inflated prix-fixe Valentine menu prices)
2. Cook a nice meal at home
Notice how everything that I like revolves around eating? =)
We chose to have our nice dinner out the Sunday before Valentines.
We knew we wanted to dine somewhere with a nice view of the sunset over the ocean, but all the places we looked in Santa Monica were ridiculously priced. After going down south on the map a bit, we found the restaurant, Kincaids, (located on the Redondo Beach Pier) with pretty decent reviews on Yelp. This was perfect, since we've never been to the Redondo Beach Pier either.
Part of the Redondo Beach Pier
We made dinner reservations for 5pm (since the sun sets at 5:30pm) so we can get a view of the ocean during the daytime, during the sunset, and in the evening, assuming we ate our meal slowly. =)
Prior to our dinner reservations, we walked around the pier, bought some ice cream, and got startled by giant pelicans.
This pelican gulped a fish down whole! You can see the fish in his mouth, getting swallowed
For dinner, the food was only OK (I don't know what all the Yelpers were raving about. It was really only mediocre), but at least the ocean view was quite nice. Also, I got to try my very first key lime pie for dessert, which I really enjoyed.
FINALLY! My very first key lime pie. I wish the lime to whipped cream ratio was inverted
For our nice at-home dinner on Valentines day, I made surf & turf (lobster tail and rib eye steak -- our favorite cut!) with mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side, and chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert.
The meal was very fast and easy to make and it came out delicious. I wrote up how I made the meal on my cooking blog.
Unfortunately, it was kind of a bad thing that the meal took less than 30 minutes to make!
My plan was to have the meal almost ready when Jeff returns home from work. His commute normally takes 15-20 minutes, so I planned to start cooking when Jeff leaves work, that way, the food will be ready in 10-15 minutes after Jeff arrives home.
Jeff texts me at 6:40pm saying that he is leaving work. I start cooking the potatoes, pruning the asparagus, and butterflying the lobster tails. I pop the lobster and asparagus into the oven... hmm... still no sign of Jeff.
The lobster and asparagus were done so I decided to start cooking the steaks, since the oven was already hot. Of course, now in hindsight, I probably should have simply started the steaks once Jeff arrived home.
It's 7:30pm, and still no sign of Jeff!
I call him, thinking that maybe he got held back at work.
NOPE! Apparently, Valentines Day caused A LOT of evening traffic.
The lobster and steak was getting cold, so I put them into the oven to keep them warm, but left the oven door ajar to prevent the oven heat from overcooking the meat. That was the best idea I could come with.
I really have no clue how to keep meat warm without overcooking it/drying it out.
Jeff finally arrived home around 7:45pm.
It took him 1 hour and 5 minutes to drive 5 miles! A commute that normally takes him 15-20 in typical after-work traffic!! Ridiculous!
I served dinner immediately and despite it looking quite delicious, it was actually quite hard and quite cold. =(
Oh well... it was the thought that counts I guess.
And the food was still decent.... since we love lobster, steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus anyways...
So there you have it.
We had two mediocre.... not so spectacular but still decent.... dinners for Valentines Day.