By the end of a work week, even one that’s been especially hectic all I want to do it pull on sweatpants and veg out (for those of you who have children, I am in awe and beside myself on how you do it all). G2 and I try to make a “date night” as regular an occurrence as possible. We’re not talking, get dolled up and go to an extravagant bistro type of date, but make a great dinner together, open up a bottle of wine and maybe watch a movie if it’s not too late kind of date (while wearing your sweat pants). Sounds boring right? In my books not at all, to turn of cell phones, computers and Ipads is a relief for the night.

Last Friday we planned that exact thing, the menu was Beef Tenderloin with a Blue Cheese Butter, Mushroom Barley Pilaf and a Blueberry, Peach & Feta Salad (from the fab blog Urban Country Style). The summer vibe of the salad was delicious with the steak and even again Sunday night with our Maui Style Ribs- as there was a request for it to be on the menu again.

The Blue cheese butter on the steak was amazing and I had more than enough to save for bread appetizers or other dishes. You can do it with other variations such as Chili- Lime, Garlic-Herb or even Cinnamon-Sugar. It’s great to mix things up and it can be frozen and stored up to 3 months for the times when you have to whip something up in a pinch!

Blue Cheese Butter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup crumbling stilton cheese
  • 2 tbsp Dijon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
Mix cheese, mustard and chives with butter. Use a ice-cream scoop to create individual servings in wax paper, or create a long log for serving. Chill in fridge for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
Mushroom-Barley Pilaf:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
In a medium saucepan with oil; Cook onions until soft, add mushrooms and cook another 2 min until softened. Stir in barley, broth and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until barley absorbs most of the liquid, about 18 min. Stir in dried cranberries and continue to simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10 more min. Stir in chopped parsley and serve.

Mushroom-Barley Pilaf