The PERFECT Valentine’s Day Gift for Her

Magician makes magic for Valentine's DayGift ideas for Valentine’s Day

Guys, guys, guys… Flowers? Chocolates? Really? Okay, sure. Why not? But in addition to the usual, why not take it to the next level?

If you want to really reach a woman’s heart let her know that you understand (and are paying attention) to what she loves. Don’t try to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to getting her a present. Don’t risk it! Instead, take what you KNOW she likes and repackage it.

Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking…

 

  1. Put her favorite songs on a new iPod that is for her bedside or for working out or for whatever she does for her “me time”.
  2. Take her favorite photos and place them beautifully in a nice album. Take her to a special and picturesque place where you can give it to her AND take some new photos of the both of you to add to the last page of the album.
  3. Surprise her by telling her you’re taking her out on a date then surprise her with her favorite restaurant’s food delivered (or picked up for home) and have dinner in front of her favorite movie (DVD) on TV for an “at home” date night.
  4. Find her favorite pair of shoes that are worn out and have them refinished at a shoe repair shop. Present them to her along with a night out for her to break them in all over again.
  5. Set up an appointment at the counter of her favorite cosmetics at Nieman Marcus (or similar) for a makeover and the purchase of all new makeup. Bring wine and cheese in a small cooler when you take her. Make it special (and be prepared for the sticker shock of what good makeup really costs!)
  6. Her favorite restaurant and meal? Learn how to make it and surprise her by cooking it at home. Even a bad attempt will be appreciated. Make your dining area look like the restaurant. Type up a menu. Dress like a waiter. Make it fun!
  7. Fly in her best friend that she hasn’t seen in a long time for a visit with her. Nothing is more appreciated than you arranging time for her with a missed friend. Give THEM a night out (without you) at a hotel so then can “girl talk” and catch up.
  8. Many women love a good massage. If you really want to treat her have the masseuse come to your home. Secretly set up a room at home to look like a spa room. There is nothing greater than getting a massage and not having to get in a car to drive home.

These are just some suggestions. Think about the things she loves the most. The places she likes. Then, repackage them in an unexpected way.

Give gifts that are from the heart and not the wallet. These are the gift’s that will capture her heart and that she’ll tell her friends about for years…

About the Author: David Hira is both an entertainer and a keynote motivational speaker. David connects people’s heads to their hearts and has them care about any job or task that is before them. Learn more about David at www.DavidHira.com

David Hira’s Prime Rib Roast Recipe

David Hira’s FAMOUS Prime Rib Roast

This is the most delicious prime rib roast you will ever have! That said, you can’t leave out a step. The right roast makes a big difference. The 3 days of dry aging? Imperative. The seasoning? Don’t skip or add anything! Most of all, check your oven’s temperature with a thermometer days in advance to be sure that it the oven is accurate. Lots of ovens are not accurate. It is a MUST. Good luck!

Needed:

  • 1 6-7 lb. Prime Rib Roast (no bones) preferably from the loin end. Look for it to be well marbled with fat throughout the meat. I use Costco’s Prime Rib Roast.
  • Canola oil or Olive oil, to coat roast
  • 3 large carrots – cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 yellow onions – quartered
  • 2 cups of water
  • Horseradish for serving to your guests (I like creamy myself!)

Seasoning Mixture: (combine these in a small bowl)

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons freshly cracked tri-color pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated or powdered garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated or powdered onion
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

Au Jus (Gravy):

  • 3/4 Cup of Red Wine (Any kind – I use pinot noir)
  • 1 Beef Bouillon Cube dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water
  • 4 Fresh Sage leaves OR 2 tablespoons of crushed sage spice
  • Pan drippings MINUS the onions and carrots
  • 1/2 cup of flour

3 Full Days prior to cooking: Age the Meat
This is the most important step! “Aging” is a natural way to breakdown the chewy fibers and muscle that may be in the meat. Aging is simple: Remove any plastic wrapping or butcher’s paper from the roast. Place the standing rib roast upright onto a half sheet pan fitted with a rack. (A “broiler pan” works fine.) The rack is essential. Place dry paper towels on top of the roast to help to draw moisture away from the meat. Place in a refrigerator at approximately 50 to 60 percent humidity and between 34 and 38 degrees F. (measure with a refrigerator thermometer.) Change the towels daily for 3 days days. The meat will become dark and dry on the 3rd day. You’ll notice the difference!

3 Hours Prior to Cooking (6-7 hours prior to serving)
Gently slice 1/2” deep lines across the entire roast creating a “diamond pattern” (approximately 1-1/2” inches apart). Do this on all sides and on the ends. Rub the roast down with oil on all sides. Then rub the seasoning mixture all over the roast and INTO the slits. This rub should be plentiful and thick all around the roast and into the slits.
Important: Once seasoned let the roast sit out on the broiler pan or rack for 2-3 hours prior to putting it in the oven. Meat should always be room temperature before cooking.

Cooking the Roast
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Make sure the oven is at 250 degrees prior to putting the roast in the oven.

On a deep cookie sheet or in a large roasting pan, spread out the carrots and onions to about the size of your roast. Set the roast ON the carrots and onions with the FAT SIDE OF THE ROAST UP. Add 2 cups of water into the pan.

Place a GOOD meat thermometer into the the thickest part of the roast. Place the pan with the roast into the oven with the dial of the thermometer facing the oven’s window so you can see it without having to open the oven. Close the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200 degrees.

Note about cooking times:
My 6.12 lb. roast (weight prior to aging) took approximately 3 hours to cook up to 120 degrees internal temperature. I recommend an electronic meat thermometer with an external probe reader. The probe goes in the meat and the probe is attached to a cord that comes out of your oven and sits on top of your oven. It can be set to “beep’ when the roast reaches 120 degrees internally.

NOW WHAT?
When the roast has reached 120-122 degrees on the thermometer, carefully remove the roast on the pan. Set it somewhere safe and immediately cover it loosely with foil. (This important. The meat is still cooking even though it is out of the oven. Do NOT remove the thermometer!)

Let the roast “rest” like this for 15 minutes. While the roast is “resting”, turn up the oven to 500 degrees.

After 15 minutes has passed do two things:

  1. Drain the liquid from the pan into a frying pan.
  2. Remove the foil and return the roast to the hot oven for 15 minutes

You’ll be making the au jus once your return the roast to the oven.

Au Jus: This is NOT traditional, but it works!

  • Pan drippings from roast, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup of beef boullion dissolved in boiling water OR beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 sage leaves OR 2 tablespoons of crushed sage (spice)

Into the roast pan’s drippings that you’ve poured into the frying pan, crinkle the sage leaves in your hands and then add it (or the crushed sage) to the liquid. Bring to a boil on the stove. Whisk in the flour slowly. Turn down the heat to medium-low and constantly stir for about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the beef bouillon (or beef stock) and the red wine. Keep stirring. Crack in some black pepper. Put into a gravy boat for guests to “add their own”.

Now that the roast has been at 500 degrees pull it from the oven. (Careful!) Move the roast to a cutting board (I put my cutting board into a larger baking pan to catch the juices.) Carefully remove the meat thermometer (juice may spurt out). Carefully cut your roast into whatever thickness you’d like!

Serve with creamy horseradish on the side and your au jus. We like a salad, potato (mashed garlic or baked) and brussels sprouts with our prime rib. Try making easy “popovers” to serve with this too! It’s a “bread” that is perfect for sopping up the juices from the prime rib.

Leftovers? Eat the meat cold on Hawaiian King rolls with horseradish or some cold au ju OR on english muffins instead of Canadian bacon for Eggs Benedict. Good luck!

David

From David and Angela’s Kitchen: Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Try this exactly as described. The mint with the cucumbers and the watermelon with the red pepper flakes that took me by surprise. Really, this is awesome…You and your guests will be HOOKED on this wonderful summer side dish!

Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp fresh mint (very important)
• 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (very important)
• 2 cups seedless watermelon
• 2 cups cucumber, seeded (cut out the middle section) & thinly sliced into half moons
• 1/2 cup chopped red onion

Directions:
• Whisk the first four ingredients together until sugar dissolves.
• Add the rest of the ingredients, toss and coat.
• Serve CHILLED!

Valentine Magic – Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Magician makes magic for Valentine's Day

I recently was a guest at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was hired to be the closing motivational keynote speaker for U.S. Foodservice and spoke to their top sales people. That evening, I entertained as the “world’s greatest magician” with expert sleight of hand for their social hour.

I noticed the chocolate covered strawberries from The Broadmoor’s kitchen right away. With a bit of coaxing, their awesome chef happily shared their secret to making these gems at home. I thought that I’d share this recipe with you for Valentine’s Day. Yes, you could buy these already made, but show your loved one how much you care by making them yourself.

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
DARK & WHITE CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES 

Chef Remy Fünfrock, Executive Pastry Chef at The Broadmoor
Makes 10 Strawberries

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz. High Quality Dark Chocolate – 70% Cocoa
  • 4 oz. High Quality White Chocolate
  • 10 Ripe Strawberries
  • 1 Candy Thermometer
  • 1 Baking Sheet Lined with Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Pastry Bag Fitted with a Small Round Tip

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler.  Stir consistently making sure                                                                             the temperature of of the chocolate doesn’t exceed 88° F.
  2. Melt the white chocolate the same way as the dark chocolate except that                                                                                 the temperature should be 84° F.
  3. Dip a strawberry in the dark chocolate and place it on the lined baking sheet.                                                                     Repeat for all of the strawberries.
  4. Fill the pastry bag with the white chocolate.  Drizzle white chocolate over                                                                                 the strawberries  making thin lines.
  5. Refrigerate with until set.
  6. Serve with a Liquid Love cocktail…

TIPS FROM CHEF REMY

  • Use good dark chocolate for this- Ghiradelli or Nestle work great.
  • When melting the chocolate, go back and forth over the double boiler to avoid                                                             overheating the chocolate.
  • Never add water to thin out chocolate.  If it is too thick, it probably isn’t a good                                                                 quality chocolate.
  • If you choose to use milk chocolate instead of dark, work with it the same way as                                                                   the white chocolate.

So there you have it. Give it a whirl. Don’t just tell people you love them… SHOW them you love them. This should do the trick!

From David and Angela’s Kitchen: Potatoes Au Grautin (with olives!)

Potatoes Au Grautin From Motivational Speaker David Hira's Kitchen

Rich, wonderful and popping with flavor… this potato recipe has been our family favorite for decades! When we have a family gathering all of the nephews and nieces beg my wife to make this. The green olives and bacon make this recipe an absolute standout.

Potatoes Au Gratin (with olives!)

6 – 8 baking potatoes, baked in oven with the skins on
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut in cubes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 onion, chopped OR onion flakes if real onions aren’t handy
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 strips of bacon, chopped and sauteed until half cooked
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove skins from cooked potatoes and cut into large cubes.
Toss with all ingredients.
Pour into greased casserole dish (Square and deep is best!).

Bake uncovered at 325 for 1 hour.
Serves 8-10

From David and Angela’s Kitchen: Alfredo-Rotel Sauteed Filets

As good as a cook as I am (yes, still humble) I was always afraid of cooking fish. Why? Who knows! But I’ve learned that its really easy and, if you cook it my way, it can be REALLY fattening and wonderful!

So, with that in mind, you simply cannot go wrong with this WONDERFUL and easy fish entree. Angela and I like this served with rice and broccoli or asparagus on the side. Make a batch of garlic bread too! We hope you like this as much as we do.

ALFREDO-ROTEL SAUTEED FILETS

2-3 lbs filets (Black drum or redfish; I like to use snapper)
15 oz Alfredo Sauce (I use the kind in a glass jar)
1 can Rotel
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Creole seasoning
Lemon pepper

Rinse skinned filets and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle both sides lightly with Cajun seasoning and lemon pepper.  Heat cast iron or non-stick skillet on medium-high until HOT THEN add olive oil and then butter. Place filets in hot skillet. Sear fish several minutes per side until light brown and easily flaked in the thickest parts.

Drain Rotel and mix it with Alfredo sauce. Pour this over filets once they are mostly cooked.

Decrease heat and cook several minutes until sauce begins to brown at edges.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let rest (sit in pan) for 5 minutes.  Yields:  4 servings.

To serve, lay fish and sauce over rice. The sauce is excellent in the rice, and you sop up any excess with the bread!

From David and Angela’s Kitchen

My wife, Angela, and I are big fans of the television show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. Host Guy Fieri did a show on Kelly O’s Diner and we fell in love with her “Haluski” recipe. I remember having a similar dish when I lived (briefly) in Cicero, Illinois in the heart of a Polish neighborhood. Ethnic foods like this are aromatic, unique and fun to cook. Your kitchen will smell great and its a fun meal to cook with your family.
Kelly O’s Haluski Recipe
Ingredients:
1 Head of green cabbage (core removed and leaves separated)
1 Stick of unsalted butter
2 Large Spanish onions, julienned
1 Tablespoon garlic salt, divided
1 Pound sliced bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
5 Cups wide egg noodles, cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ Cup grated Romano cheese
Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and julienne.
Melt the butter in a LARGE skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle on half of the garlic salt, and let the onions sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the cabbage and cook, stirring all the while, until the onions and cabbage start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the crumbled bacon, the noodles, the remaining garlic salt, and the pepper. Let the haluski cook for about 5 more minutes until all nice and brown and slightly crunchy. Plate it, and top it with Romano cheese.

Recipe from David and Angela’s Kitchen

Okay, I’ve been to nearly 400 events this past year. I didn’t eat at all of them, but I’ve had my share of food “tastings” from cruise ships to 5 star restaurants to private home parties with some of the TOP chefs in the country.

Last Friday night this simple warmed dip took me and everyone at a small office party by storm! It is one of the most delicious and addicting foods I’ve had in a long, long time. This tastes like hot chicken wings, but without the mess. It is irresistible and perfect for any gathering. Serve it with club crackers or tortilla chips (or both). I don’t even eat hot spicy foods and I just LOVED this! It was just enough, but not too much “heat” for me. Try it- you will love it!

Great for holiday parties!

Chicken Wing Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and hot pepper sauce until well blended. Mix in the Ranch dressing, chicken, and Cheddar cheese. Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. If oil collects on the top, dab it off using a paper towel.
  • Serve warm with tortilla chips and club crackers

Hope you enjoy- Merry Christmas!