Friday, February 14, 2014

A Romantic Dinner for Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from The Belle! I have a wonderful menu to share with you that I think would make a great Valentine's dinner to share with a special someone.

Photo credit: Bigstock/Awindle

Back in January, while planning to go to Kentucky for my aunt's funeral, one of my good church friends, Evelyn Hix, said she wanted to bring me a birthday cake. When she realized the funeral was on my birthday, and that I would be traveling home a couple of days later, she offered to bring dinner along with the cake.

Yes, she's a generous, wonderful friend!

So that evening after I got home wiped out from driving 6 hours, my husband showed up from work with this really cool (or hot!) serving thingy. I don't even know what to call it. Evelyn said she's had it forever.


I think maybe it's from the same generation as Edna. Maybe they were friends! The layers of metal tins stack on top of each other and then slip inside the red, white and blue thermal case, keeping everything piping hot.

Now, just to give warning. I didn't think of taking photos until after some of us had served ourselves. So some of the tins look pretty empty! :)

First layer…yummy yeast rolls.


Next…glazed, buttered carrots.


Next, the piece de resistance! (I'll be sharing the recipe!)…fancy green bean bundles. I can't begin to explain how good these were. Thus, the tin is almost empty!


Next…creamy mashed potatoes.


And in the bottom of the stack...Evelyn's famous chicken fingers. (I shared this recipe before, click here.)


It was a delicious dinner and fancy enough to have for Valentine's Day. So here is the wonderful green bean recipe. One of my other friends said she has done something similar. But rather than making the fancy bundles, she just dumped the beans in the casserole dish and mixed it up, then sprinkled crumbled bacon on top.

Evelyn's Green Bean Bundles

Note: Make this a day ahead of time so it can marinate overnight.

1-1/2 pounds fresh green beans OR 3 15-ounce cans of beans
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
Dash soy sauce
Garlic powder (optional)
Bacon

If using fresh beans, cook in salted boiling water for 10-15 minutes and then drain.

Gather 8-10 green beans in a bundle and wrap with a bacon slice. Secure with a toothpick. Put bundles in a baking dish.

Mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and soy sauce. Pour over the bean bundles. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

These are AMAZING. I think I could eat the whole recipe myself.

Oh! I almost forgot to share a photo of a slice of my birthday cake! Yellow cake with coconut between the layers, and chocolate icing. Thank you Evelyn!



I hope you all have a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Here's my Valentine to you, filled with love.

Photo credit: Crestock/Odina222
So what are y'all doing to celebrate?

21 comments:

  1. That tin serving thingy is the COOLEST EVER! Just awesome!! I'm in love!

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    1. Isn't it, Virginia?! She took the food to the church, and then my hubby finished up work, then brought it home. It was still as hot as can be! Even the mashed potatoes, which usually cool quickly, were steaming hot. Amazing.

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  2. That tin thingamabob beats Pyrex, hands down. SO COOL!!!!! I love it, Missy! I don't even know what it's called, but I'm in love!!!!!

    And does anyone else have to buy new Pyrex every black Friday because her Pyrex "walks away" during the year?????? No one would mistake Mr. Tin Carrier for theirs!!!!

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    1. Ruthy, all my Pyrex and Corningwear have masking tape labels on the bottom. LOL But those do eventually fall off. :)

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  3. I'm in awe too. I'm sure Edna knows something about Mr. Whathisname. Maybe it's a lost love kind of story. Hope Virginia's prepared if Edna has a fit of the vapors!

    Honestly -- totally brilliant when I think of all the times I've tried to take a hot meal to someone. Why don't they make these any more? Sigh, probably think it's not necessary since the invention of the microwave.

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    1. So true, Kav! This was so easy to carry. And Evelyn told me it was dish washable. So I just popped the containers in and ran a quick wash load.

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  4. Oh, that is the best thing ever. Running off to see if one is on eBay!

    Happy Valentines to you!

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    1. Let us know if you get one, Julie. So fun!

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  5. love the tin thingy..did you have to return it?! dunno about that bacon- doesn't look done enough for me but then if it were crisp it wouldn't stay wrapped huh?! I like my bacon DONE - like my eggs and everything else! I'd probably be doing the casserole dish with crumbled bacon version.
    Susanna

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  6. That meal is to die for. I want a thingie!!!!

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    1. Tina, don't you love my name for it? LOL But now, thanks to Susanna, we know!

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  7. I think I found one on ebay!
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/vtg-Regal-Aluminun-Picnic-Pack-stackable-5-section-food-storage-cookware-/371003070138?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56618196ba

    still looking...
    Susanna

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    1. Regal aluminim picnic pack search on ebya has a LOT - and boy they're kinda pricey...cook thing though!
      Susanna

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    2. That's it exactly, Susanna! Only it didn't show the insulated bag. But it's just like it! :)

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    3. when I wnt back and searched for regal auminum picnic pack the one you have showed up - unused condition!
      maybe someone here bought it LOL! when I first saw the pic it looked like the communion service I've seen at church - only more trays!
      Susanna

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    4. You're right, Susanna! It does look like the stackable communion trays. :)

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  8. What a thoughtful friend Evelyn is! I'm falling in love with her all over again!

    Her chicken is one of my family's favorites!

    ...and I'm heading over to ebay....

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's amazing, buttery chicken! I'm glad you've made it, Jan.

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  9. Here's another one on ebay. The extra handle is to attach so you can use the bottom layer as a fry pan. :)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Regal-Ware-9-Pc-Aluminum-Stackable-Picnic-Food-Lunch-Tote-Box-Camping-/201034071851?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ece907f2b

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  10. so did anyone buy one off ebay?! I've been good...taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace and paid for a financial coach like he recommended for singles..sigh..really cramping my spontaneity shopping :-(
    Susanna

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  11. Looks like I'm playing catch-up again. Like everyone else, I'm in love with the tin thingy. Why is it that all the best ideas fall by the wayside? That thing is genius!

    And I LOVE green bean bundles. They are too-die-for. Then again, they are wrapped in bacon, doused in butter and sugar... I mean, what's not to love. ;)

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