We don't do gifts or flowers. No poetry, no love songs. For us, it's all about enjoying together some of our favorite things: the food and the Champagne. As good Californians, we very much support our great state wineries most of the year, but on Valentine's Day, Champagne---the real stuff---wins out. We've had this year's bottle for a few weeks now. After some back and forth
And the food is my department. No arguments, no debates, no discussions. I get to chose it and I get to cook it. We became painfully aware many years ago, long before I had begun to identify my dietary limitations, that, for us anyway, the combination of restaurants and special occasions were risky business. Valentine's Day, like Mother's Day, restaurants are packed, kitchens are harried, wait staff is rushed and often inattentive. Nah, I'll take my kitchen and my sweetly set table. Maybe even a fire in the fireplace.
This year we'll start with a salad much like that pictured above. My current menu includes skewers of Alaskan halibut and salmon from Vital Choice Seafood (my favorite) served on cauliflower rice. This is the only part of the meal I've finalized. I will be forever in awe of those who can plan meals for the week. I often change the menu of a meal as I'm cooking it. I have not yet found the perfect-looking asparagus I had in mind, but the plan is a a tender green vegetable. If not asparagus, possibly snow peas. Mushrooms have to be in the mix somewhere, so I'll either stuff a few with an herb blend to serve as an appetizer or lightly saute them to serve with the fish.
And for dessert, a real rarity for us, I'm torn between large long-stemmed strawberries dipped in a blend of coconut oil and raw cocoa powder with a hint of pure stevia and pistachio nuts stirred into the same chocolate mix. Maybe we should have both.