A mid-day stop for flights of vodka and a caviar tasting with your mom isn't a typical day in the life. Well, at least not my life! But on a recent blustery cold New York afternoon, my mom showed me a little sunshine in the romantically lit, over-the-top glamorous dining room of The Russian Tea Room. Considering it was a work day, I wasn't able to fully partake in the vodka sipping, but I did find something just as indulgent, though less nap-inducing, on the cocktail menu.
I have a chocolate crush. I'm rolling in the deep with it. It's even a touch embarrassing — like the times when I'm the only person at the table who orders dessert. Oh, but St. Valentine's day. That's a day I can indulge in without judgement. A day I can fill with chocolate, a day I can plan an all-chocolate dinner meal. And it's not as sweet as you may think.
I often wonder what would happen if I could pursue all of the ideas and dreams that churned within my brain. I might be a Nobel prize winner, best-selling author, philanthropist, olympic athlete, or a beauty queen by now. I would definitely be a better girlfriend, daughter, sister, and friend. I would listen harder, talk less, and love more. I would do all of these things, if only...
It's Valentine's Day; break out the Red No. 40! Seriously, though, the day is accompanied by a slew of artificially-colored red and pink foods. But if you'd like to stay away from the fake stuff, here are a few alternatives to consider for your homemade Valentine's Day treats:
Q: Any ideas on making yogurt-covered pretzels? I wanted to make my beloved an edible Valentine with yogurt-covered pretzels, but my boyfriend is allergic to chocolate (brown and white). Any recipe suggestions?
Yes, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and yes, since it is a universally acknowledged date night, that is one reason I'm writing this post. However, as Anjali noted earlier today, she thinks (and I agree) that gestures of love are far more special on a day you're not being pressured to do it. So, this really goes out to all the nights — tonight, tomorrow, next week — you and your special someone wanna heat things up in the kitchen.
I don't much go for the trappings of Valentine's Day, but I do appreciate the excuse to cook something brilliantly, undeniably pink. Most often that means playing with beets, and this year I'm roasting them up to make a velvety, magenta-colored soup.
My mother was a reluctant cook, yet she still managed to acknowledge every single holiday with food, starting with breakfast. St. Patrick's Day meant green grits. (We are Southern, after all.) On your birthday, you could be sure there would be candles in your pancakes. April Fool's Day, when you might find cotton balls in your scrambled eggs or a plastic rat in your cereal, was kind of the worst.
I speak not as an angry spinster but as a happily married woman when I say: I hate Valentine's Day. It probably stems from my general dislike of anything overly girly or pink, and my feeling that a sweet gesture of love is much more special on a day when society isn't pressuring you into doing it. And don't even get me started on how alienating the holiday is for anyone not in a romantic relationship.
In short, my feelings about Valentine's Day are a lot like this popcorn: salty and a little bitter, but impossible to ignore.
Aw, we like sweet stories, and this is a great one: the owner of this Hobart N50 mixer, Matt, wanted to turn it into an awesome gift for his girlfriend. She loves to bake and the couple love San Francisco, so those facts spun into this: a mixer that looks like a San Francisco-style cable car, complete with a gold roof and a working bell! More photos and more about the project below: