What’s your meal plan for celebrating Valentine’s Day?

NAME: Peter Malinowski (shown with daughter Samantha, left)

WHERE ARE YOU FROM? My wife Stephanie and I are originally from Germany but we’ve been living in Colorado Springs for the last ten years. Since moving here, we were always looking for good meat and that’s how we found this place.

WHAT’S YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY FOOD TRADITION? That’s usually when I like to try something new. I just try to pick out something nice. Last year I did shrimp cocktail and Beef Wellington. This year I think I’ll try making a rack of lamb.

FAVORITE RFD PRODUCT? The ground beef! It’s the best tasting we’ve been able to find around here. I can definitely taste the difference. We also like to make traditional German foods like goulash or rouladen sometimes, but it’s hard to find the right meat for it. (Rouladen {click for a recipe} is thinly sliced beef that is rolled up and stuffed with bacon, pickles, mustard, etc. And yes, Ranch Foods Direct has it in the meat case, ready to stuff and roll!)

NAME: Aaron Mathis (shown at right)

WHO DOES THE SHOPPING AND COOKING AT YOUR HOUSE? We split it up between my wife (Haylei) and I. I’m actually formally trained. I previously worked as a sous chef although I don’t work in the industry anymore.

WHAT’S YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY TRADITION? I usually cook dinner on Valentine’s Day. I make something I know my wife will like but I also like to surprise her. Typically I go all-out. Last year I did steak and lobster tails with linguine.

ARE THERE SOME RECIPES YOU’VE COME ACROSS LATELY THAT YOU’D LIKE TO TRY MAKING? Turkey meatloaf layered with spinach and kale and stuffed with cheese. (CLICK HERE for Mario Batali’s version of stuffed meatloaf.) Also a fish stick recipe that calls for thick strips of cod or halibut, salted, peppered and battered in panko bread crumbs.

We don’t eat fish much, I’m not a big fan. I prefer beef, pork or venison. That comes from my background. I grew up on a farm in Tennessee where we hunted a lot. In fact we hunted squirrels. It’s a tradition that goes back to my grandfather’s generation. It’s a very dark meat and very greasy, but it does make great chicken and dumplings! So it’s a good stew meat. In Louisiana, they use it in gumbo sometimes. Out here, though, the squirrel meat is bitter and has a bad taste. I don’t recommend it. I think it’s the acorns they eat back home that make them taste so good.

Need ideas for Valentine’s Day? The sales staff can help with suggestions and recipes!