Thursday, February 11, 2010

Foodie Friday

Valentine's Day summons visions of truffles, roses, layer cakes, and steak dinners for two. There are three ways to celebrate the day with your beloved:

  1. Dine out
  2. Cook a romantic meal (from scratch)
  3. The Gollum Way

Store-bought cupcakes can be dressed up with wrappers and sweetheart roses (I found boxed cupcakes and sweethearts roses at Publix).


Chocolate-dipped strawberries aren't complicated to make, but you do need spare time. If you're in a rush, many groceries sell them.


I love gilding cupcakes.





For the entree, I pan-grilled steak, sliced it, and arranged it over romaine. Then I added toasted walnuts, green onions, and tomatoes .

Grilled Steak Salad

Grease a heavy grill pan (or spray with Pam). While the pan heats, season the steaks with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and chopped herbs. Sear steaks on both sides, flipping them in the opposite direction to create those lovely "grill" marks.

Let the meat rest, then slice. Toast walnuts in a pan. Chop green onions and tomatoes and toss into the salad. Add walnuts (chop). Serve with your favorite dressing and French bread.


***



I made a heart topiary for the centerpiece (a wire heart with moss plus silk ivy --that's right, silk--from Kmart). I made an epic mess, but everyone loved it. And I can't kill it.


You are invited to add your FF recipes with a link to your blog at
The Foodie Friday Gallery .

You're invited to a party next Friday.
Foodie Friday's 1st Anniversary is next week with door prizes galore. To read more about next week (and future give-aways) click HERE.

Mr. Linky awaits your recipe. Just add your PERMALINK, blog name or your name, and/or the name of your recipe.


67 comments:

  1. Hmmmm, great minds think alike. Brunch at home with pre-made chocolate dipped strawberries then out for dinner here!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

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  2. I just love visiting and seeing all your great pictures. I really appreciate them, I know it takes awhile to do them.
    Thanks for hosting!
    ~Liz

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  3. Gollum,

    Love your entry for tonight, and your topiary is so cool! You always take the best pictures, too.

    I have been trying to figure out how to post to your gallery (and what to post to your gallery), but I will figure it out yet.

    I was checking out your link earlier to the sock monkeys on Colonial Candles website. They are SO cute. I saw a bunch of the Monkeez at Christmas in a shop in Florida, and I actually ended up with a couple of tiny ones. If Mr. Magpie knew about that monkey site, he would freak because I have a little thing for sock monkeys. I think you've gathered that. ;-) And next, I'm going to check out Mister's recommendations. Could be danger, Will Robinson, danger!

    Happy Foodie Friday!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  4. Hi I'm Bunny and I left a link to my Valentine Recipes and I also left a link to my son Oliver's at 'Sippy Cups For one and All", he is the little 4 1/2 year old blogger!! He is sleeping now and asked me to post his link. Thanks for inviting him he is so excited.
    Your recipes and Valentine's setting is absolutely gorgeous and looks so delicious.
    Have a wonderful Valentine's Weekend
    xoxo
    Bunny
    ps, If Oliver has time tomorrow before he leaves for nursery school I'll have him pop over and leave a comment.

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  5. Honestly, I don't know where you find all the time!

    Love your adorable topiary, despite it's humble beginnings.

    Mmm... we love steak strips on salad!!!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  6. Michael...your blog is a feast for eyes and the tummy! You guys do some good eating at your house!
    :-) I LOVE your heart topiary...topiaries are one of my favorite things...although I can never seem to keep them alive for very long.
    XOXO
    Susan

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  7. We are having the hardest time deciding if we want to go out...or cook. I don't like the crowds...but, I don't want the work either. Carryout maybe? I wonder if roses would dress up carryout Thai food?

    Those cupcakes look delicious...oh, for a decent bakery in my town!

    Sue

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  8. I like the Gollum way! Happy Friday....Denise

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  9. Oh you are killing me here. My supper is cooking and I am really hungry. I don't have photos but we are having pasta with paremesan and butter topped with some brussel sprouts, green onion, fennel slices and asparagus.
    Gotta go...it's ready.

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  10. Susan, I've killed every plant I've ever owned. The ivy is silk from Kmart. :-)

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  11. Your hubby is one lucky guy to get all that yummy food! I hope you have a wonderful Valentines day!!!

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  12. Michael, stunning as always. Allie is having a ball going through your pictures and she has school tomorrow! This is her favorite blog event and I have to bite my tongue as I watch her "style" the dishes, but I am SO loving it! Have a wonderful Valentine's day
    xoxo Pattie

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  13. Thanks for your lovely words Michael. So your hubby runs when you make pork chops... here's what you should do. Forget about the lemon garlic pork chops, make these pork chops instead (link below). You'll need an oven proof internal probe thermometer (not expensive), but I promise he'll ask you to make them again and again!

    :)
    ButterYum

    http://butteryum.blogspot.com/2009/03/indoor-grilled-pork-chops.html

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  14. I am delighted to see the growth not just of the blog...but of your own talents...keep flying Michael...for there is so much heaven to explore!

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  15. There's that darn Publix again...the one we don't have. Surely, you found the cupcakes and not the wrapper at the grocery store. I can never find pretty wrappers locally. The steak salad sounds wonderful. Happy Valentine's Day and thanks for hosting! Oh yes, all our Kmarts closed too :(

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  16. Michael Lee this post is stunning! Your pictures look so professional, just like the glossy pages of a magazine. How do you do it? You must have some secrets. Wanna share?
    Oh, I am going to mention that copper pan again. It would look great in my kitchen;>)

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  17. I really like the new style of your blog now. Always such beautiful designs.

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  18. I haven't made a steak on my grill pan indoors yet, but I think it's time! Usually we get one warm day over the winter,and we can fire up the grill, but it's been nothing but bitter cold in PA this year. That salad looks too wonderful for words...Nancy
    PS: Happy Valentine's day.

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  19. Oh, how I adore that topiary! Fabulous post as always!

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  20. ML, you could make a stale saltine cracker look good!
    Your salad looks wonderful, we like that too..and it is healthy so we can indulge in all the desserts afterward.:)
    Thanks for hosting FF, and I can't wait for the big celebration.
    I'd better start thinking about what I should make now!

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  21. Happy Foodie Friday ~ Valentine's Day! Your post is beautiful as always. Thanks for all the inspiration you give us!

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  22. girl i am so loving your pics, egads you make me want to take lessons, get a white box and lights... its not often i even think that!

    i am with you on store bot, i have had no time to email you back, i have not forgotten, i have been baking for my books all freaking day... i read faster then i want to cook and its starting to crowd out my life! hope to see you at food for thought and happy valentines day!

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  23. What beautiful photographs - and the recipe for steak salad has my mouth watering!

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  24. Steak salad will be on my menu this weekend, as will chocolate dipped strawberries.

    I made shortbread today. My kids always pretend it is lembas bread, though they may have more difficulty with that this time, since I cut it in the shape of hearts.

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  25. How completely wonderful.
    That steak salad is gorgeous and I bet yummy.
    Every single shot on your site is a feast Michael ~
    kudos
    (thanks bunches for hosting)
    xoxo
    Robin

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  26. Wow; your pictures are so beautiful!and those strawberries; I can almost taste them. Lovely post.
    Rita

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  27. Hello Gollum, as always your post is beautiful and delicious to the eye and tummy. I love your photos. A genius at work.
    Hugs, Jeanne

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  28. Very festive cupcakes for Valentines! Pa would be happy to see you're serving beef!

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  29. Perfect for dinner tonight, then we can splurge on a cupcake! Have a great weekend!

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  30. Those are some gorgeous cupcakes... love the fresh roses... each cupcake is a mini bouquet!

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  31. I am so in LOVE with all the pretty cupcake wrappers they are selling. Pricy with all the cut outs but so worth the extra $. They are my latest little paper items to purchase. They really pop up a treat. Happy Valentine's day. I have enjoyed my year of sharing recipes on your blog.
    Joyce

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  32. One would never know those cupcakes were so inexpensive, they are beautiful!
    The meal is so festive and pretty. Certainly something you can eat with your eyes before even tasting!
    LOve it!
    Once again, Happy Anniversary!

    Leigh
    Tales from Bloggeritaville
    www.lbratina.blogspot.com

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  33. Girl, you do gild those store-bought sweets so well! The cupcakes are gorgeous. I like the topiary also.

    The steak salad looks wonderful! Happy Valentine's Day to you and Dr. G!

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  34. Cupcakes, roses, chocolate covered strawberries — these are a few of my favorite things……

    OMG, Bunny and my dear, sweet valentine, Oliver are here today! What a sweetheart you are for inviting him. Thank you so much!

    Happy Valentine's Day to the Gollums!

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  35. Love what you did with the cupcakes and I want a plate of that salad for lunch today! :) My heart shaped topiary is silk ivy also - 70% off after Christmas at the Cracker Barrel. A real one would not have a chance in my care.

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  36. that salad is making my mouth water...

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  37. The cupcakes are wonderful! I just love the steak salad, I was trying to talk hubby into taking me to Road House Grille for one! Here you made it at home. Wonderful, set a plate for me!

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  38. Oh my, everything is so perfect, just as I expected it to be! Have a great day!

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  39. The cupcakes are gorgeous and who would know you didn't make them from scratch. Those little papers are the cutest. The photography is stunning.

    Kathy b

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  40. The cupcakes are gorgeous and who would know you didn't make them from scratch. Those little papers are the cutest. The photography is stunning.

    Kathy b

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  41. The cupcakes are gorgeous and who would know you didn't make them from scratch. Those little papers are the cutest. The photography is stunning.

    Kathy b

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  42. The cupcakes are gorgeous and who would know you didn't make them from scratch. Those little papers are the cutest. The photography is stunning.

    Kathy b

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  43. I'm going to have to start campaigning to get a Publix in our area - they really should have one in Memphis! I love the way you buy something there and then embelish it to make it look so special. Those cupcakes and roses are beautiful! And oh that salad, my husband would think he was in heaven. I'll definitely be making that some time. Love the big urn with the ivy topiary. I've tried some live ivy heart topiaries before, and have been unsuccessful. I'll have to do a faux one. Thank you so much for joining the party. laurie

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  44. Hi Gollum! Your post is beautiful, the photography of your tantalizing foods amazing! You have not only a gift of words, but a gift making everything beautiful and delightful! I really wish you would compile and write a decorating and entertaining book! I love your fiction, and know this type of book would be a huge success, too! Thanks for sharing your home and gifts! ...and Happy Valentines Day! ~Rhonda :)

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  45. Ahhhhhhh (huge sigh) ... cupcakes so beautifully decorated and presented +++ an amazing salad! Happy Valentine's Day to YOU.

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  46. You are incredible! What a delicious and gorgeous feast. Your Valentine is truly one lucky guy!!

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  47. Good gracious what beautiful and romantic photos! I want to eat at your house for Valentine's Day!

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  48. I just love your blog! The photos are sooooo beautiful! Those cupcakes are unbelievable! Also....2 funny notes: Yesterday, the 11th was my anniversary, so the beautiful table with the romantic red colors looked extra pretty...and seeing the word "Publix" today, made me feel like I was with my relatives that live in the Atlanta area! We don't have Publix here in the Midwest! Thanks for sharing your fabulous talents!

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  49. Oh, that salad looks so delicious and so pretty too! Love what you did to the cupcakes. See, I'd never think of doing stuff like that. You? Genius!

    Justine :o )

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  50. Everything looks great and beautiful especially the flowers. The grilled steak looks yummy too. TFS

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  51. Me too, I choose the Gollum Way, those cupcakes and roses make a beautiful combination. Kathy.

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  52. Gorgeous, all of it, Michael!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  53. I just love visiting your blog and seeing all of your great ideas. Once again, you did not disappoint :) Everything looks absolutely gorgeous.
    Have a great weekend

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  54. Well, I have a 4th way to celebrate....have a dinner aprty, which is what we are doing! On the menu: chicken marsala, cheesy potato casserole, molded cranberries (in heart shaped mold), Peas and pearl onions and glazed carotts! My best friend is bringing dessert. I have a faux heart shaped topiary on my table too!!!! Your pictures and the salad look WONDERFUL!!!!!!!! You are SO good at the photography! Have a great V['s with Dr.! XO, Pinky

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  55. Beautiful beautiful the cupcakes with the roses are just wonderful, love all the reds, now i need a cupcake....Phyllis

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  56. This is cupcake heaven. I wanted to reach in my sceen and help myself. Your steak dinner looks so delicious and your topiary turned out wonderful. Doesn't the best things result from making gigantic messes first?
    Although I didn't link up this week...I have been under the weather. I wanted to come by and wish you and the Doc a very Happy Valentine's Day. Thank you for posting the Valentine's cake last week. I am making it Sunday for my Valentine!
    ~♥

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  57. Everything is beautiful, Michael. The wrappers are a really great idea for making store bought cupcakes shine, but the roses stole my heart. They are truly beautiful. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  58. Beautiful, inspiring photos. Thanks for some great ideas.

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  59. Michael, always a "treat" to visit! I luv your heart topiary. Happy Valentine's weekend!

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  60. What a gorgeous Valentine post! Love all the beautiful pink roses and delicious treats! Happy Valentines Day and thanks for hosting this amazing event each week! Wonderful!!!

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  61. Michael, It's sooo hard to stay on a diet while reading your delicious blog!!! I love it!! Thanks for sharing.
    ~Holly

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  62. Your food looks so good, Michael. I will have to try that steak salad. I bet John will like it. Love your topiary creation, so cool! Congrats on your coming anniversary! Time sure flies when we are having so much fun...Christine

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  63. Lovely cupcakes and what a delish dish to make! Hope to join in again soon enough...

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  64. What a sweet treat! Love truly lives in the details.

    Happy hearts day!

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  65. Now those cupcakes are too beautiful to eat! Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's.

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  66. Your foods always look terrific, but your photos just keep getting better and better. I am so lacking in photographing skills. Any hints?

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  67. So much festive delicious food for the holidays! YUM!

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