Here’s the good news: There’s still time to shop for gifts and groceries for your Valentine! Here’s the other good news: Even if you’re not with the one you love on Valentine’s Day, you can still create a delicious meal celebrating your love for each other, and enjoy it with friends and family. And we’re about to make it a whole lot easier for you.

We’ve compiled the elements of a perfectly romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for you. All of the recipes below have been adapted from the Military Spouses who contributed to the Belvoir Officers’ Wives Cookbook (2001-2002) Soaring to New Heights, printed by Cookbooks by Morris Press. Note: You may need to adjust the recipes for the size of the meal you are making (family vs. dinner for two).

Are you vegetarian or vegan? We’ve got your heart (body and soul) in mind, too! Simply substitute the beef tenderloin with one of these meatless “steak” entrees instead.

On the Menu

Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Beef Tenderloin with Herbed Butter
Au Gratin Potatoes

Sangria or Pink Lemonade Punch

Chocolate Cream Pie with Meringue or Whipped Cream

Marinated Garden Tomatoes


What you need:

6 lg. tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2-cup, thinly sliced green onions
1/2-cup, olive oil
1/4-cup, red wine vinegar
1/4-cup, parsley, minced
1 tsp, thyme
Garlic powder (to sprinkle)
Salt and pepper (to taste)


1) Place tomatoes and onions in a shallow serving bowl.
2) In a separate small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme.
3) Pour oil mixture over the tomatoes and onions.
4) Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Beef Tenderloin

beef tenderloin

What you need:

3-lb., beef tenderloin (eye of round roast)
Any meat tenderizer
1/2-cup, salad oil
1 pkg., Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp., Kitchen Bouquet


1) Place beef in a large Ziploc® back, and cover it with the oil, Italian seasoning and tenderizer.
2) Marinate overnight, and save the marinade.
3) Bake at 350° for 20 minutes in an oven-safe dish.
4) Baste on both sides with the saved marinade, then spread Kitchen Bouquet over the meat.
5) Bake an additional 20 minutes.

Serve with the Herbed Butter.

Herbed Butter


What you need:

1 stick, salted butter
1/2-tsp., fresh dill
1/2-tsp., snipped chives


1) Cream the butter, dill and chives together.
2) Serve with the beef tenderloin or dinner rolls.

Au Gratin Potatoes


What you need:

(The proportions of these ingredients serves 8-10 people.)

8, medium potatoes (boiled and sliced)
1 can, cream of either mushroom, celery or chicken soup
1 pint, sour cream
1/3-cup, green onions (chopped)
1/2-cup, margarine
2 cups, Ritz crackers (crushed)
1/2-cup (or more), grated cheese
Salt and pepper (to taste)


1) Place potatoes in a well-greased 9″x13″ glass dish.
2) Mix together the soup, sour cream, onions and salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the potatoes.
3) Melt the margarine and mix it with the crushed Ritz crackers. Sprinkle the mixture over the potatoes.
4) Sprinkle cheese over the potatoes.
5) Bake 1/2-hour at 325°.



What you need:

(The proportions of these ingredients serves 1 person. Multiply quantities by the number of guests.)

Ice Cubes
3/4-oz., orange juice
3/4-oz., lemon juice
1/2-oz., corn syrup
4 oz., red wine
2 oz., club soda


1) Place ice cubes in a large glass.
2) Pour the orange juice, lemon juice, corn syrup, red wine and club soda over the ice and stir.

Pink Lemonade Punch


What you need:

(The proportions of these ingredients provides for 50 servings. Reduce quantities for fewer guests.)

4, 6-oz. cans lemonade concentrate
8 cups, cranberry juice cocktail
1 quart, chilled ginger ale
1 pint, lemon or orange sherbet
Ice cubes


1) Thaw and prepare lemonade according to package directions. Pour into a punch bowl.
2) Add cranberry juice and ginger ale. Mix well.
3) Add ice cubes.
4) Float 5 scoops of sherbet on top.

Chocolate Cream Pie


What you need for the Pie:

1, 9-inch baked and cooled pie shell
1-1/2 cups, sugar
3 Tbsp., cornstarch
1/2-tsp., salt
3 cups, milk
3, egg yolks (beaten)
1 Tbsp., butter
1-1/2 tsp., vanilla
3 oz., unsweetened chocolate


1) In a pot, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in the milk.
2) Cut up the chocolate and add it to the mixture. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil for 1 ninute. Remove from heat.
3) Place egg yolks in a bowl. Stir in half of the sugar mixture. Add egg mixture into the sugar in the pot, stirring constantly as you boil for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
4) Stir in vanilla and butter. Pour immediately into the prepared pie shell.

What you need for the Meringue*:

3, egg whites (at room temperature)
1/3-tsp., cream of tartar
6 Tbsp., sugar


1) In a small, deep bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer
several seconds until frothy.
2) Add cream of tartar. Beat on high until whites have lost their foamy appearance and bend over slightly when beaters are removed.
3) Reduce speed to medium and add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
4) Return to high speed and beat until white are fairly stiff but still not glossy
and soft peaks are formed.
5) Place meringue on top of hot chocolate filling (in pie) in mounds.
Use a spatula to push the meringue around the edges to cover the entire chocolate layer. Make decorative swirls and peaks.
6) Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
7) Cool on wire rack away from drafts for up to 2 hours before cutting and serving.
Use a sharp knife and dip in hot water after each cut.

*You can skip the meringue and top the pie with whipped cream instead, if you prefer.

Which recipe was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below, or share your story.


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