Okay… Where do I start? You don’t really have to make all of these yourself, just know where to find them at your local Supermarkets, Bakeries, Delis and Candy shops! Valentines Day gifting traditionally focuses on Chocolate, but there’s a lot more to delectable Valentines Dining than that!
Here’s just a partial list of things that I think can make Valentine’s Day extra special:
- Heart-Shaped Nibbles – These deserve a special mention of their own. If you don’t have a set of heart-shaped cookie cutters, you should get some! Cut any bread you like into hearts and proceed as you would for Garlic and Herb Toast, Bruscceta or any other ‘crouton’ treat. Or cut hearts from a sheet of Puff Pastry and bake off as directed. Poke your finger gently into the middle of each Pastry Tart when they come out of the oven to make a cavity for filling. Fill with literally anything you like – sweet or savoury!
- Which brings me to that old standard fave, Heart-Shaped Cookies! – Make any cookie recipe you like, but cut ’em out in hearts. Chocolate Wafers, Standard Sugar Cookies, Ginger Bread Cookies and similar styles all work well for icing and decorating!
- Heart-Shaped Lollipops – You can buy cute Marshmallow ones or make your own Chocolate or Hard Sugar Candy ones in molds from your Bulk Foods or Bakery Supply store.
- Anything Else Heart-Shaped, of course – For breakfast, for example, heart-shaped pancakes with Strawberry Syrup and either Whipped Cream or Powdered Sugar on top.
- Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes with Pink-tinted Cocoanut Icing.
- Any Italian standard Main Dish which features Marinara Sauce.
- Grilled Radicchio as an appetizer or side dish. Try it quartered length-wise, drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil and sprinkled liberally with fresh grated Parmesan or Peccorino Cheese! Grill til tender, then sprinkle. Amoré!
- Any good Rosé Wine, off the ice or out of the fridge. My first ‘grown-up’ Valentines Day celebration with a member of the opposite sex featured a Classic Portuguese Mateus. I still have the empty bottle!
- For a cocktail, I love Champagne with a splash of Crème de Cassis!
- Oysters are a classic lover’s treat! Supposedly an aphrodisiac… If you don’t like them iced, raw off the shell, with a splash of Dry White Wine, do a Rockefeller-style version, topped with Tarragon Butter, Garlic-toasted Bread Crumbs and some grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese! Broil for a minute or so at 400 – 450 F, until the cheese begins to brown and bubble, and the whole bite is nicely warmed through…
Starting to get the idea?
Use your imagination! Put a Valentine’s spin on things that are faves of yours and your honey’s! On Valentines day, the world is your oyster!
~ Maggie J.