Valentine’s Day in the Smoky Mountains

While flowers and chocolates are the go-to items on Valentine’s Day, it’s always nice to mix things up a bit. What better way to do that than to plan a romantic getaway to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville, Tennessee? With cozy mountain cabin rentals, incredible scenery, fine dining, great shopping, and tons of attractions, it’s the perfect place to steal away for a few days with that special someone.

Start planning today for an amazing Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas on food, fun, and romance in Gatlinburg, Tennessee:

Where to Eat

Cherokee Grill – Located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, Cherokee Grill offers a “timeless mountain lodge setting” with delicious food and wine and a nice atmosphere. The interior of the restaurant is highlighted by granite and walnut décor, so it’s a beautiful setting for a romantic night. The menu has a selection of juicy steaks, fresh seafood, rotisserie chicken, salads, and more. 

The Peddler – Set on the Little Pigeon River with lovely views, The Peddler is a cozy and unique restaurant with steaks cut tableside. The Peddler also has a large salad bar, fresh mountain trout, and tasty desserts. Built around the home of one of the area’s pioneer families and constructed with materials from other local cabins, the restaurant is rich in tradition and local flare. 

Greenbrier – One of Gatlinburg’s favorite family restaurants, Greenbrier is set in a 1930s cabin with great food, ambiance, and views. The menu features salads, homemade dressings, appetizers, and desserts, including lobster, shrimp, prime rib, and vegetarian dishes. There is also a full bar with wine, beer, and cocktails. 

What to Do

Take a hike. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has dozens of peaceful trails and calming creeks. Bundle up and enjoy a romantic stroll.

Go night skiing. Ober Gatlinburg offers night skiing and snowboarding, so hit the slopes with your favorite ski bunny.

Curl up in the cabin. Stay cozy and warm next to the fire while sipping on a cup of hot cocoa and watching some romantic movies. At the end of the night, unwind with a romantic soak in the hot tub.

Sit and sip. There are several great wineries and distilleries in the area. Enjoy a romantic, peaceful day browsing, buying, and tasting. Check out Smoky Mountain Winery, Sugarland Cellars, or Smoky Mountain Brewery.

Spend a relaxing day at the spa. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have an abundance of salons and day spas, many of which offer Valentine’s Day specials. Enjoy a couple’s massage or facial, which often include extras such as champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries on that special day. You can even book an in-cabin massage for the ultimate in romance! 

See a show. The Smoky Mountains is known for its shows, from Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud, the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, and Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show to the Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Show, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, and The Comedy Barn Theater. Have some fun with dinner and a show for a unique, fun, and romantic night in town! 

Renew your vows. Take advantage of Sweetheart Month at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge to re-spark your love in a whole new way. For the month of February, the museum is offering couples a chance to renew their vows on the Grand Staircase, the breathtaking focal point of the Titanic’s ballroom. Every ceremony is presided over by the ship’s captain, and the museum offers several renewal packages which are sure to fit any price range.

Take a mini staycation. Cabin rentals are the perfect way to spend Valentine’s weekend. Select a secluded one-bedroom cabin from Cabins for YOU and relax the weekend away by sipping a cup of hot chocolate and enjoying your scenic mountain view. Go grocery shopping the day of your trip and treat your significant other to breakfast or dinner. Make the meal easy and stress-free for you – think an omelet or breakfast casserole for the morning and spaghetti or lasagna for dinner. Cozy up in front of a fire, light a few candles, and be prepared for all your worries to drift away! And don’t forget to add a great gift basket for the perfect stay-in-the-cabin-all-weekend getaway!

Stroll hand-in-hand at Anakeesta. Walk along 40+ feet in the tree canopy, duel zipline together, and watch the sun set over the mountains with a meal.

Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Walk through multiple levels of majestic sea critters, see an adorable penguin paint, and grab matching souvenir Ts before you go.

Browse The Village Shops. Peruse the 27 shops and eateries around this fairytale village inspired by classic European architecture. 

Have fun at the Gatlinburg SkyPark. Ride the chairlift to the top of Crockett Mountain, walk across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, and dine with the mountains. 

More Valentine’s Day Ideas 

  • Share a kiss under the sharks in the underwater tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
  • Tour the local Rocky Top Wine Trail and pick out a bottle of red or white to take back to the cabin.
  • Have a fun date day with arcade games and famous Ogle Dogs at Fannie Farkle’s.
  • Check out all of Gatlinburg from the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
  • Get an old-time photo taken in downtown Gatlinburg.
  • Have fun at Ober Gatlinburg, where there’s always something to do!
  • Meet the artisans in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.
  • Listen to live music after sampling some great moonshine in the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler.
  • Book a cabin with a private movie theater and enjoy a romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day!
  • Make some hot cocoa and enjoy it from the deck of your romantic Smoky Mountain cabin.
  • Stroll hand in hand along the sidewalks of downtown and do some window shopping.
  • Spend the day at The Island, where you can shop, dine, and play!
  • Work together at The Escape Game Pigeon Forge.
  • Take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel in Pigeon Forge.
  • Check out the shows and shopping – and cookies the size of your face! – at Dollywood
  • Spend an evening at a dinner show downtown.
  • Have a romantic afternoon tea at the Wild Plum Tea Room.
  • Spend the morning playing and jumping at TopJump.
  • Take private painting lessons at Art Studio of the Smokies.
  • Cook together in your cabin’s fully equipped kitchen.

Great Gifts Ideas in the Smokies

  • An old-time photo to frame
  • A box of creamy fudge from downtown
  • Matching airbrush t-shirts
  • A beautiful piece of handmade jewelry from the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
  • A new handbag from a boutique at The Island
  • Designer duds for date night from the Tanger Outlets
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries from Aunt Mahalia’s
  • Outdoor gear from the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center)
  • Old-fashioned candies from the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
  • Ornaments for the Christmas lover from Santa’s Claus-et
  • Hiking gear for the next trip from The Day Hiker (The Village Shops)

Top 5 Romantic Spots in the Smokies

While relaxing at your private cabin for your entire Valentine’s stay may be tempting (and perfectly okay in our book), taking your lover to top-notch romantic spots in the Smokies (other than your mountain cabin, of course) is a good idea, too. After all, memorable moments flourish in new settings. Enjoy incredible views on your romantic weekend at these top romantic spots! 

Steal a kiss atop The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at The Island, a modern-day amusement park in Pigeon Forge. Plan for a classic date day at this shopping and entertainment complex, featuring 60+ shops, stellar restaurants, a show fountain, exciting games, fun rides, and a 200-foot-high Ferris wheel.

Show your sweetie a view to remember from the tippy-top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Ride a glass elevator on high 407 feet above the city, showcasing stunning views of the calm Smoky Mountains all around and bustling downtown life below.

Take an early morning drive together through Cades Cove, a beautiful valley area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This scenic 11-mile loop road boasts wondrous wildlife, historic buildings, old churches, and beautiful scenery with every glance.

Bring your love to new heights with Scenic Helicopter Tours. Yep, one of the most romantic spots in the Smokies is literally in the clouds! From rushing rivers and serene lakes to city views and rolling hills, soak it all in with your sweetheart by your side.

Walk hand in hand through the enchanting Vista Gardens at Anakeesta. Wait, gardens and winter don’t mix, right? Flowers aren’t the star of this mountainside stroll, which harbors a flowing stream, a quaint gnome village, an elegant pergola, and incredible mountain views.

10 WAYS TO GET THE KIDS EXCITED ABOUT VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day often centers around couples. Restaurants, hotels, and area attractions feature special menus, decorations, and fun focused on romance. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, the kids often get overlooked. But Valentine’s Day is about love and friendship, for both kids and adults. Valentine’s Day is a great time to get away to the mountains, with snowy mountains, fun area events, and cozy cabins to retreat to. If you’re headed to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge for Valentine’s Day, be sure you plan some fun for the kids!

You can have your own romantic time – soaking in the hot tub, sleeping in a comfy king-size bed, taking a soothing bath in a jetted tub, relaxing in front of a big screen TV and fireplace, enjoying a glass of wine with a view on the deck, or sitting down for a romantic candlelit dinner in the privacy and comfort of your own Smoky Mountain cabin

After you’ve planned some time for yourself, take time to do something fun for the kids! We have 10 great ideas for fun ways to get your kids excited about Valentine’s Day this year!

  1. Do some Valentine’s Day crafts. From Pinterest and Buzzfeed to Martha Stewart and Real Simple, there are hundreds of great crafts for kids. Many are made from materials you already have around the house, while others will cost only pennies or a few dollars to make. There are lots of great ideas online, so browse for frames, crowns, garland, and more.
  2. Let them choose an activity. A great way to get kids excited about the holiday is by letting them choose some things to do. Find some local attractions that work with your budget and give them a few options. They’ll feel more in control and it will give them more motivation to participate.
  3. Whip up tasty Valentine’s Day treats. Just like the crafts, there are lots of ideas for tasty holiday treats online. And with fully equipped kitchens in our cabins, you’ll find all you need to bake, saute, simmer, broil, boil, chop, blend, and roll! Bake some cookies or brownies, dip some strawberries or pretzels in chocolate, or try something fun like fruit-filled crepes, milkshakes, or heart-shaped pizzas!
  4. Let them make Valentine’s Day cards for family back home. One great craft to do is making Valentine’s Day cards. The kids will love picking out paper, stickers, and colors and making cards for family and friends back home.
  5. Have a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt. Great for any holiday, a scavenger hunt in and around the cabin or in downtown Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg will be fun for kids and adults. Go on the hunt for Valentine’s Day-themed items like hearts, cupids, chocolates, hugs, flowers, and more.
  6. Decorate the cabin. Make the cabin really feel like home by decorating the cabin with streamers, balloons, cards, and any other fun holiday-themed décor you’ve brought along.
  7. Have a daddy-daughter date night. Daddy-daughter date night has become a popular thing with families. It’s a way for dads to show their daughters how they should be treated by a man – and how much they love them. They dress up, bring them flowers, have a nice dinner, and enjoy some quality time together. What better place to do this than in a beautiful and cozy cabin in the Smoky Mountains? Set the table and make her a meal she’ll always remember!
  8. Let them help out. You don’t have to make the whole day about the kids to get them excited. If you still want to have a romantic dinner but don’t have a babysitter, let the kids participate. Let them help cook dinner, set the table, or even pick out flowers, jewelry, or cards – whatever you’ll be exchanging with your spouse.
  9. Watch movies together. A fun way to end the night is with a movie for the whole family. You might think that romantic comedies are your only option, but there are a lot of fun movies that the kids will love, too. Try Lady and the Tramp, The Princess Bride, Beauty and the Beast, Gnomeo and Juliet, Shrek, Enchanted, or The Lorax, to name a few.
  10. Bring some games. If you want some time to yourself on Valentine’s night, bring along some games and let the kids play in their room. You can take a dip in the hot tub and they’ll feel extra-special getting to stay up a bit later and play! If you do have someone to watch them for a few hours, they’ll love having some playtime to themselves while you check out some couples’ attractions downtown.

SWEETEN UP YOUR GATLINBURG CABIN THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day Recipes

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’re tucked into a cozy Gatlinburg cabin with your love. You have a soothing hot tub on the back deck, twinkling stars above, mountains rolling in the distance, an inviting fireplace in the living room, a comfy couch, a relaxing master suite…everything you need to keep you in the cabin for relaxation and romance this weekend. 

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show the one you love how much they mean to you. Whether you’re newlyweds wanting to stay in that honeymoon phase or old loves looking to reconnect, slipping away to the Smokies for a weekend retreat is a great way to have some romance.

But what would Valentine’s Day be without some sweet treats and delicious dinners? Thankfully, your romantic cabin also has a fully equipped kitchen, complete with a coffeemaker, oven/stove, microwave, dishes, glasses, utensils, counter space, and a dishwasher so you don’t have to clean up. So read on to find some tasty apps and main dishes – and decadent desserts to whip up this weekend – right in your own Smoky Mountain cabin!

From savory to sweet, these delicious recipes are romantic enough for Valentine’s Day and easy enough to whip up in your Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg cabin. Start with a savory appetizer, impress with a delicious main dish, and finish it all off with a decadent dessert.

APPS, MAIN DISHES, AND VALENTINE’S DAY DESSERTS

Ham and Asparagus Rollups | Food.com

prep: 15 min | cook: 15 min | servings: 15 rollups

Ingredients

  • 9 oz deli smoked ham
  • 5 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 lb asparagus, about 15 spears, trimmed
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Flatten and dry the ham slices. Stack ham in piles of 2 slices each; spread each stack with 1 teaspoon cream cheese. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Place 1 asparagus spear on one of the long sides of each ham stack; roll up.

Place in 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake for 15 or 20 minutes or until heated through. If making the day before: Make rollups (without baking) and refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve. Uncover and bake as directed.

Crispy Rack of Lamb with Honey & Mascarpone | Food Network

prep: 10 min | cook: 35 min | servings: 4-6

Ingredients

Lamb

  • 3 (1-1 ½ lbs each) racks of lamb, trimmed, with ¼-inch fat left on meat
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons herbs de Provence

Sauce

  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¾ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Drizzle the olive oil on both sides of the lamb. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Grill the lamb for 5 minutes on each side until brown. Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes for medium-rare. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the crème fraiche, honey, cumin, and mint. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until just combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cut the lamb between the bones into individual chops and serve with the sauce.

Note: The lamb can also be browned for 4-5 minutes on each side in a large skillet over high heat.

Caramelized Pancetta and Fennel Salad | Food Network

prep: 15 min | cook: 10 min | servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb fennel, halved and cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 5 slices pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces (about 6-7 cups) mixed salad greens
  • Red wine vinaigrette (recipe below)

Red wine vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss together fennel, pancetta, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the ingredients on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook until the pancetta is crisp and the fennel is caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, place the salad greens, crumbled pancetta, and caramelized fennel. Toss the salad with the red wine vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Red wine vinaigrette: Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Truffled Mash | Food Network Kitchen

prep: 20 min | cook: 30 min | servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 lb peeled and quartered russet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated truffled pecorino cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Cook 1 pound peeled and quartered russet potatoes in a pot of simmering water until tender, 30 minutes; drain. Heat 2/3 cup half-and-half and 2 tablespoons butter in the pot. Add potatoes and mash. Stir in ½ cup grated truffled pecorino cheese, salt, and pepper. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Raspberry-Chocolate Parfaits | Food Network Kitchen

prep: 5 min

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur (optional for 21 and over!)
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Whipped cream

Directions

Toss ½ cup raspberries with 1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur; layer with crumbled brownies and chocolate ice cream in 2 glasses. Top with whipped cream and more raspberries.

Cream Puffs | www.allrecipes.com | 20 servings 

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.5 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Directions

First, mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream, and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set. Next, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, missing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown. The centers should be dry. Lastly, when the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

Brownie Tart | www.foodnetwork.com courtesy of Ina Garten

time: 55 minutes | servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ¼ cups (20 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.

Valentine Night Strawberries | 15 minutes | allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 20 fresh strawberries
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 ½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Dice 2 strawberries and set aside. Cut the stems off each of the remaining strawberries, forming a base for strawberries to stand on. Starting at the pointed ends and cutting most of the way, but not completely through the stem end, slice each strawberry into 4 wedges.

Beat the cream cheese until fluffy; stir in the diced strawberries, walnuts, and powdered sugar. Spoon or pipe about a teaspoon of mix into each strawberry.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Fudge | 15 minutes prep, 1 hour resting | delish.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • 1 cup strawberries, washed and halved
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions

Melt white chocolate chips in 20-second intervals until melted, then stir in vanilla frosting. Pour into a foil-lined 8×8 baking dish. Press strawberry halves onto fudge, then refrigerate to set, 1 hour.

Cut fudge into squares. Mix chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Pour into a resealable plastic bag, clip off one end, and squeeze to drizzle chocolate on top of the fudge.

Valentine’s Day Bark | 35 minutes | delish.com

Ingredients

  • 24 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 6 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1 ½ cups pretzels
  • 2 tablespoons heart sprinkles
  • White sprinkles
  • Red sprinkles
  • Pink sprinkles

Directions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread semisweet chocolate onto parchment paper in an even layer. Scatter all over with pretzels and red, pink, and white sprinkles.

Transfer white chocolate to a piping bag (or a ziplock bag snipped at one corner) and pip white chocolate into the center of each pretzel until the middle is filled. Place a heart sprinkle in the center of each pretzel. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Hot Chocolate Float | 5 minutes | delish.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce, for serving
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • Chocolate shavings, for serving

Directions

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar and stir until no lumps remain. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off heat.

Pour chocolate sauce into a small dish. Dip cups in the chocolate to rim the cup. Pour hot chocolate into each glass, then top with a scoop of ice cream and some chocolate shavings.

Chocolate-covered Strawberries | www.foodnetwork.com courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr.

servings: 8 | time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pretzel rods
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3 (4 oz) bars semisweet chocolate, melted (recommended: Valrhona chocolate)
  • 8 long-stemmed strawberries

Directions

Chop the pretzels and nuts and place them in 2 separate bowls. Chop chocolate. In a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth and velvety. Dip strawberries in chocolate and then in pretzels and/or nuts. Place covered strawberries on a ½ sheet tray lined with wax paper. Allow to set at room temperature and serve.

Chocolate Stout Affogato Egg Cream

servings: 4 | time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 oz coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
  • 16 oz plain seltzer
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle stout or chocolate stout, such as Guinness
  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream, slightly softened

Directions

In each of 4 tall glasses, add 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur. Pour in ½ cup seltzer. Divide the beer among the glasses and stir to combine. Add 1 or 2 scoops of ice cream to each glass. Drink Immediately or allow to sit a few minutes to let the ice cream melt in the glass.

Seared Steak with Blistered Tomatoes | Good Housekeeping

Toss some steaks on the grill with fresh tomatoes on a romantic night on the deck 

Ingredients

  • 2 (1 ½)-inch-thick strip steaks 
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper 
  • 4 tbsp
  • olive oil 
  • 6 cloves garlic, in their skins 
  • 2 bunches of cherry tomatoes on the vine (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp crumbled blue cheese (about 1 oz)
  • Arugula salad, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Heat large cast-iron skillet on medium-high. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon oil to skillet, then add steaks and garlic and cook until steaks are browned, 3 minutes per side.
  2. Place tomatoes on the vine and rosemary in skillet, drizzle with 2 teaspoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until steak is at desired doneness and tomatoes begin to slightly break down, 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Transfer tomatoes and garlic to platter; squeeze garlic cloves from skins.
  3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; stir in onion and fold in blue cheese. Serve steak, tomatoes, and garlic drizzled with vinaigrette, and arugula salad.

Lobster Bisque | Food Network

Ingredients

  • Two 2-pound lobsters, steamed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry 
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery 
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 

Directions

  1. Twist off the claws and tails from the lobsters. Remove the meat, discarding the green tomalley, and reserving the shells. Coarsely chop the meat to measure about 2 1/2 cups, and transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium. Add the lobster shells, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sherry, and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, 4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard the solids. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomato paste, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the reserved lobster stock and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Place over medium heat, stir in the milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Add the lobster meat, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bites | Delish 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix, plus ingredients called for on the box
  • 2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Prepare red velvet cake batter according to box directions. Divide batter among liners and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Break 4 cupcakes into small crumbs. Save remaining cakes for another use.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. 
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop cream cheese mixture into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer to chill, 1 hour.
  4. Roll balls in red velvet cake crumbs until fully coated, then return to prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Our 1-2 bedroom cabins offer lots of romantic amenities: comfortable king and queen beds, DVD players for romantic comedies, fireplaces, soothing hot tubs, quiet decks where you can relax, and dining tables for candlelit dinners in the cabin!


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