Our special Valentine’s Day celebration continues with this nice and simple Valentine’s feast. Featuring a complete meal and wine recommendation. David Spencer creates Sweet Parsnips, Roasted Potatoes, Wedge Salad, Oysters from #realoystercult, Filet Mignon with Roquefort, Green Onion, and Walnuts, and finally heart-shaped Apricot and Plum Tart Tartelettes! The full recipes for all are below the video #livelifedeliciously






I. Candied Parsnips

I often serve candied parsnips with steak to have a little sweet on the plate to go with the savory.


6 parsnips – peeled

½ cup brown sugar

1 t salt

½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

1 t grated orange rind

1/3-cup butter – cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Boil parsnips until almost tender, around twenty minutes.  Drain and slice parsnips.  Arrange sliced parsnips in a casserole in layers, sprinkling the layers with some orange rind, orange juice, butter, salt, and brown sugar.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

II. Iceberg “wedge” Salad with Creamy Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing

For the Salad:

1 – head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1” thick slices through the middle

2 fresh tomatoes cut into wedges

For the dressing:

½ cup Reggiano Parmigiano, grated

1 to 2 t fresh ground pepper

½ t salt

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup sour cream

1 t Worcestershire

1 t lemon juice

Fresh thyme

Prepare the dressing by placing mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream in a mixing bowl.  Add Worcestershire and lemon juice, and stir to combine.  Grate the Reggiano Parmigiano (you can substitute aged Asiago from Italy if you wish), and add to dressing, stirring to incorporate.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Slice the head of iceberg lettuce down the middle.  Cut two one inch slices from the middle and arrange them on a salad plate along with the tomatoes.  Drizzle dressing over the lettuce, season with freshly ground pepper, and serve.

III. Filet Mignon with Roquefort, Green Onion, and Walnuts

1-½ lbs Filet Mignons about 1 -1 ¼ ” thick

1 T olive oil

2 T butter

Salt & freshly ground pepper

2T-minced shallots

1/3-cup dry white wine – I used Petit Chablis

1-cup heavy cream

½ cup crumbled Roquefort cheese

2 T minced green onion

3 T chopped walnuts – toasted

Pat steaks dry with paper towels.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, and let the butter melt and bubble a little to indicate that it is hot.  Add steaks and sauté for 2-3 minutes, making sure to adjust the heat so that the steaks don’t burn.  Turn steaks and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until desired doneness is achieved.  If you push on the top of the steak and it springs back, then it is medium-rare.  Transfer steaks to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven.

Discard excess fat from the skillet, turn the heat down to low, and add 1 T of butter to the pan to melt.  Add shallots and cook, stirring, for one minute.  Add wine to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high and bring wine to a boil, stirring and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan while the temp of the wine increases.  Reduce the wine to around 2 tablespoons, which should take only a couple of minutes.  Add cream and boil, stirring the mixture until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, which should take around 3 minutes.  When the sauce is the right consistency, turn the heat down to low and whisk in the Roquefort cheese.  Stir in the green onion.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the stove.

To assemble, spoon some sauce on a dinner plate and place Filet Mignon on top.  Drizzle more sauce over the top.  Top with toasted walnuts and a fresh grating of pepper.

IV. Apricot and Plum Tartelettes

These fresh plum and apricot tartelettes are a great finish to a filling meal.  The dough recipe is for 4 round tartelettes around 5” in diameter.  Since it’s Valentine’s Day I used a heart-shaped cooking cutter instead of a round one.  You can find these heart-shaped cooking cutters on the Ann Clark website:  annclarkcookiecutters.com.


 cup all-purpose flour

3 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 equal pieces

1 T canola oil

½ t sugar

 1 t salt

1 T ice water for dough if necessary

4 small ripe apricots

4 small ripe dark plums

2 T sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the flour, butter, oil, ½ t sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processer fitted with a dough blade, and pulse for 10 seconds.  Feel the dough and see if it is soft enough to form into a ball.  If you can gather the dough in a ball, then remove it from the food processor and form it in a ball, and place it on a floured work surface.  If the mixture is dry, add a teaspoon of ice water, and pulse again for 5 seconds.  Keep adding ice water until the dough is the right consistency.

Roll the dough on the floured work surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Using the heart cutter, cut a heart out of the dough and place it on a non-stick baking sheet.  Cut 4 hearts out of the dough, gathering up the dough and rolling again as necessary.

Slice the apricots and plums in half and slice into thin wedges.  Arrange the fruit on the heart tart shells, alternating between the two fruits.  Sprinkle the fruit with 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling a little and the tartelettes are golden brown.