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Aaron Hale's Blog

Romantic Valentine’s Day DIY Tips

Let’s be honest, we love romance (ok, maybe for some it’s just on Valentine’s Day)…but do we really know how to pull it off?  It’s really not that hard with some planning and a little action!  Here are some suggestions to make your “Valentine’s STAY Dinner” (get it…since so many restaurants closed or at limited capacity?) a night to remember from your friends at E.O.D Extra Ordinary Delights!

Setting the right ambiance is as simple or elegant as you want it to be.  If you have a fireplace (that doesn’t have a roaring fire in it for those of you up north) – fill it with tall candles.   If you can’t, simply place candles wherever there’s a flat surface (and please don’t burn the place down…it really ruins the romantic vibe you had going!).  You will be surprised how candles (of all heights) can create a huge impact!  Don’t underestimate yourself – you’ve got what it takes to transform your home into a hub for love!  And for extra romantic points use flower petals, soft music, and dim lighting to create the perfect atmosphere.  Oh, and use the good plates – paper plates are fine for a picnic, but at home – definite vibe killer. 

Now that you’ve got the place set up, it’s time to think about dinner…Yes, you could order food, but for added flirty fun, try cooking together.  First, let’s start with dessert (who doesn’t like to think about dessert BEFORE dinner) – if you missed out on the E.O.D Colossal Valentine’s Day Apples, it’s OK – our Colossal Caramel Apples are available year round and just like flowers and romance, there’s never a BAD time to indulge yourselves and our sweet treats ALWAYS satisfy!   So for now, I guess you’ll have to make Chocolate covered strawberries at home..   So, buy the nicest strawberries you can, the perfect melting chocolate, and make it a tag team romantic experience!  While melting the chocolate (careful, it’s hot!) wash and trim (optional), then dry the berries.  Once the chocolate is melted you and your partner work in tandem dipping those strawberries in the chocolate and then onto wax paper.  By the time you’ve eaten dinner, your dessert is ready to eat. Now, on to the main course.

Here is a great recipe for GARLIC HONEY SALMON, but if that doesn’t float your boat, then I’ve got the perfect steak recipe below too!


1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 6-oz. salmon fillets, patted dry with a paper towel

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, sliced into rounds


In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, add salmon skin-side up and season with salt and pepper. Cook salmon until deeply golden, about 6 minutes, then flip over and add remaining tablespoon of oil.

Add garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the honey mixture and sliced lemons and cook until sauce is reduced by about 1/3. Baste salmon with the sauce.

Garnish with sliced lemon and serve.

It’s important that you get your pan hot (not warm…hot without burning the oil hot) and the bottom of your pan thoroughly coated in oil. Place your filets skin side-up — you should hear a sizzle. Let the fillets cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes. (That’s how you get that delicious crust!) Gently lift a corner of one fillet with a spatula. If it releases easily, it’s ready to go. If not, give it a little more time. Flip, cook a few more minutes to get the skin crisp and the fish cooked through.  Now, I recommend serving this on top of rice…any type is fine – white, brown, wild rice, etc – the sauce is a great compliment to the rice of your choice! 

GRILLED AND THRILLED STEAK – Any good quality steak will work for this simple, yet scrumptious recipe – so pick two of your favorite cut and let’s get started:


1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium is fine)

3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce

2 Tablespoon minced garlic (optional, but delicious)

Salt and pepper , to taste


Place the steak in bowl or zip top bag.

Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Then pour over the steak. Seal bowl or bag and place the steak in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Best when marinated for 4 hours+.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean the grill grates with a wire brush and them lightly oil the grates. Place the steak onto the grill and cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and grill another 4-5 minutes for medium-rare (145° F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140° F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well done (160° F).

Remove steak from the grill and tent with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes, before serving. Top with a slice of butter and chopped parsley if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. 

The steak could be served with a baked potato topped with butter, chives, cheese, sour cream…really the options are endless so pick what you like and top that Tater like you mean business!  LOL 

Also, salad of fresh greens with your favorite salad dressing would be a great start along with a stuffed baked potato!

Aaron Hale
US Army SSG EOD (Ret) Founder of
Extra Ordinary Delights

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