if music be the food of love, play on…..
At St. Valentine’s Day a young man’s mind turns to love and romance, and having been a young man once I can vouch for that. For all I know a woman’s mind turns to love and romance, and probably food too.
But what to do? Perhaps the young man want’s to take his best girl out for a special meal, in which case find the best restaurant within a reasonable distance of her place, even if you can’t quite afford it….. If the restaurant is in or near a good hotel, and if you think she would like it, then book a room, have champagne sent up.
Or, you could cook something special for the object of your affections. Here are some recipes that might go down well on this Valentine’s weekend.
First for this Valentine’s Day we have a steak. Cooking a great steak is fairly easy if you know how, and Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has a fabulous recipe for smoked ancho chile salted steaks with drunken burst sweet cherries + burrata. If your paramour likes a big red with their steak, then maybe find a bottle of Barolo.
Smoked Ancho Chile Salted Steak
From Joy the Baker there’s a fabulous recipe for shrimp étouffée risotto. Joy suggests that you cook this dish together ~ whatever floats your boat. (An étouffée is a spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and seafood.)
Shrimp Étouffée Risotto
If you want to risk pasta, what with your date dressed up to the nines and all, then we have 15 romantically simple pasta dinners that scream ‘That’s Amore!’ This from Brit+Cco. This is a very risky dish of linguini with clams, but it’s so easy and so impressive.
Linguini with Clams
Should your love be vegetarian, vegan, of just into eating a lot of plant-based food right now, then Heather Christo has a collection of 100 plant-based recipes. To save you the bother of looking through this list I’ve found you this beet quinoa salad with pomegranate, mint, and pistachio. This dish can serve as a starter, entree or a side, and you can make it ahead of the evening and keep it in the refrigerator.
Beet Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Mint, and Pistachio
Our idea for a romantic dessert comes from In Diane’s Kitchen; this delicious looking strawberry pie. Diane says this is the easiest strawberry pie she has ever made, and face it, you don’t want to be spending all evening in the kitchen.
Our final collection for this Valentine’s day comes from Country Living; 65 Best Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas for the Most Romantic Date Night. I particularly like this Engagement Chicken Pasta, but maybe don’t tell her what it’s called unless you have the ring.
Engagement Chicken Pasta
if you are eating Italian, ask if the restaurant has a demi-frizzanti Franciacorta. That will impress.
Eating a good lunch is important, if you’re not going to fade in the afternoon.
A lot of working people miss out on lunch, or buy from a deli, or eat at some greasy spoon, (cheap café or restaurant serving fried food), or Mexican joint, or have something even more unhealthy such as ‘pot noodles’. Instead of that, why not make your own lunch to take to work?
This week I’ve found some quick, easy, simple lunches for you. Many of these you can mostly prepare at the weekend for the week ahead. As it’s coming up to summer, and I don’t want to get into anything made with bread, (I’m avoiding wheat and flour at present), there are some salads here.
For hot food, the first thing you need to do, if you’re taking a great lunch to work, is check out the facilities in your lunch room. Do you have a microwave? If you do, then you are all set to make any of these recipes ~ but remember, you can’t microwave foil…
First this week, from the lovely Averie Sunshine we have this bacon potato salad. Averie has this as a side dish, but I think it will make a great lunch, and should keep chilled in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. And, if you make a batch, you can also use this as a side dish with your evening meal.
Bacon Potato Salad
From Chungah Rhee, (aka Damn Delicious), another potato dish you can prepare ahead ~ sausage, potato, and green bean foil packets. If you have an oven in the lunch room you could cook these packets at work, or you could cook them ahead and eat them cold, or whatever… And, you could swap bacon for the sausage…
Sausage Potato And Green Bean Foil Packets
Another potato dish, which you could eat cold or warmed in the lunch room microwave. From Heather Christo, smoky potatoes with asparagus and chorizo.
Smoky Potatoes With Asparagus And Chorizo
We are heavy on the potatoes this week because you can prepare them in advance, they are a better source of carbohydrates than bread, and they make a great base for a work-lunch salad. Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest gives us this grilled potato salad with almond-basil chimichurri and 7-minute eggs. And, that’s one substantial lunch.
Grilled Potato Salad With Almond-Basil Chimichurri And 7-Minute Eggs
Elise at Simply Recipes gives us this Mediterranean potato salad, personally, as a complete lunch I would add bacon or chicken pieces to this recipe, or use it as a great side dish.
Mediterranean Potato Salad
Anne is a professional chef in Wine Country, and on her site Tasting Everything she has this easy, light, and healthy feel-good fresh and light citrus and avocado salad recipe.
Feel-Good Fresh And Light Citrus And Avocado Salad
For me, the secret to having a good lunch at work is to make too much food for dinner. If you choose your dinner menus well, then what you don’t eat at dinner, you can take to work the following day, or the day after. But, if you’re not that organised I have some lists of easy recipes for lunches you can make from scratch. From Ariel Knutson at thekitchn we have 23 make-ahead lunches to get you through the work week, while from Allyson Dickman of Brit+Co there are 17 make-ahead lunches to get you through the work week. And, The Everygirl has 15 lunches to make ahead for work.
Finally for this week. After looking around the web for a long time, getting frustrated, I finally found this post from Eating Well ~ cheap healthy lunch ideas for work. There are 51 recipes in this post, most of which I could make ahead and take to work during the week. The recipes include this ravioli & vegetable soup, which will freeze if you make a batch and is perfect if you have a microwave in the lunch room.
Thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday.