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An At-Home Romantic Valentine's Dinner: Steak and Chocolate Cake

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For those of you who don't enjoy having a "romantic" dinner in a crowded restaurant on Valentine's Day, or for those of you who have yet to make reservations, have no fear. You can make a delectable, upscale and romantic meal at home. The key to making a restaurant-worthy meal is to keep it simple and let the natural flavors of each ingredient shine.

Show off your cooking skills and make this delicious meal featuring steak, a scrumptious side dish and a super-easy, fast chocolate dessert for your significant other. Pair it with your favorite bottle of wine and you'll have the perfect Valentine's dinner.

Now, this isn't something you'll need to prepare hours in advance or slave away in the kitchen to complete. Whatever level of culinary skill you possess, you should be completely comfortable making this simple Valentine's meal.

Start the meal with a restaurant-worthy wedge salad topped with crumbled blue cheese, chopped bacon pieces, diced tomatoes and a creamy blue cheese dressing. Simply chop a lettuce head into wedges suitable for two, dice two Roma tomatoes and crumble the blue cheese, then set all three in the refrigerator. Next, cook two slices of bacon in a skillet, drain the excess fat and crumble the bacon slices into bite size pieces to top the salad. To assemble, drizzle blue cheese dressing, then sprinkle the bacon, tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles on top. This is the perfect salad to begin a steak night dinner

Next, prepare the simple side dish of baked sweet potatoes with sea salt. A baked potato is always the classic side dish to pair with a steak, but it is also quite boring for a Valentine's Day dinner. Instead, dice sweet potatoes to roast in the oven and enhance their flavors with a sprinkling of sea salt on top. Not only will the sweet potatoes look beautiful with fine crystal sea salt on top, but they will taste phenomenal.

Sparingly sprinkle fine sea salt onto the diced sweet potatoes coated in olive oil. Top the sweet potatoes with some cracked black pepper, parsley, thyme and oregano, then roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the potato pieces are fork tender. Be careful not to over salt the potatoes because sea salt is saltier than table salt or Kosher salt.

Now, for the star of the meal -- the steak. To make a tender steak packed with rich flavors, cook your favorite steak in a cast-iron skillet. You'll create maximum caramelization and will have the most flavorful steaks. Season your steaks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in the skillet at medium heat, then sear the sides of the steak in a cast-iron skillet for five minutes each, then finish in a 450 degree oven for another four minutes, or until it is to the desired internal temperature.

Once the steaks are just about done, finish by drizzling balsamic vinegar all over the steaks to give them a sweet flavor. The balsamic vinegar will thicken to make a finger-licking good sauce. The balsamic glaze on the steaks take the steak dinner to a whole new level, with just one simple ingredient.

Finally, after you have enjoyed your wedge salad, sweet potatoes and balsamic steaks, you're ready for dessert. So, for a simple and overly sweet treat fit for Valentine's Day, you can whip together two chocolate mug cakes in just a few minutes. Add four tablespoons of flour, five tablespoons of sugar, three tablespoons of cocoa powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Then, add three tablespoons each of milk, melted butter and chocolate chips, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Finally, add one beaten egg, then pour the batter into two mugs, sprinkle each mug with more chocolate chips, then cover with microwave-safe wrap and microwave for one-and-a-half minutes on high. You'll have a delectable, ooey-gooey chocolate cake before you know it.

Enjoy this dinner at home on Valentine's Day for a romantic night in and a restaurant-worthy meal.

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