Dreamy Meal for Valentine's: Nicole Mari's Impressionist Picnic

What will inspire your Valentine's Day meal tomorrow? Are you staying in and avoiding the crowds? If you are, enter our Valentine's Day Dreamy Meal contest. Entry is quick and easy - just tell us your inspirational plans for a dreamy Valentine's meal.

The Impressionist style of painting lends itself well to dreamy, romantic images, and Nicole Mari was inspired by this painting to dream up her own Valentine's menu. To see her picnic menu, read on...

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Why does this image inspire you?

I've always loved John Singer Sargent and find most of his painting pretty romantic. In this picture, I love the diffused light and soft colors. The two make me wish I could sprawl out barefoot in the middle of a meadow to play chess, drink some wine, enjoy a picnic and spend a hazy, lazy afternoon with a loved one. So I came up with a list of picnic foods....which can be spread out on a blanket in the living room, since the weather isn't really conducive to meadow picnics right now!!

Nicole Mari's Impressionist Picnic
Fig-Sesame Jam - A delicious and easy sounding fig jam that could be the centerpiece of a gorgeous cheese plate...paired with a baguette, sliced pear and some Spanish cheeses like Manchego, Valdeon and a goat cheese.
Roast Chicken Legs With Lemon And Thyme - Roast chicken has been a romantic standard every since Cary and Ingrid on that balcony, but this by having roast chicken legs, you get rid of all the messy bits and have an easy to eat picnic food that can be served hot or cold. Pair with a nice green salad and the rest of the baguette from your cheese plate.
Fudgy Hazelnut Brownies With Marbled Chocolate Glaze - No picnic or romantic affair would be complete without chocolate. This extra-special brownie recipe may be more work than every day brownies, but this gorgeously rich and sinful brownie is well worth the effort.

Good luck Nicole Mari!

(Image credit: Miki Duisterhof for Gourmet)

Want to enter our Valentine's Day Dreamy Meal giveaway? You could win a big basket of chocolate from The National Confectioners Association or a bottle of ruby port from The Green Grape Wine Company. Entry is quick and easy - just tell us your inspirational plans for a dreamy Valentine's meal. Click here to enter.