Food and romance are as much a part of Valentines Day as chocolates, red roses and sweet whispers.
And nowhere does that pair play out more than in the kitchen.
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Credit Harriet Van Horne, the late columnist-celebrity, for that bit of wisdom. English author Virginia Woolf (One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.) would probably agree.
Mixing it up in the kitchen is a delicious way for a couple to celebrate Valentines Day, perhaps with a bottle of bubbly adding sparkle to the proceedings.
Choose a menu of your favorite dishes or consider this easy-to-prepare, easy-on-the-wallet menu.
On a last-minute supermarket visit, cruise by the floral display to buy a few blossoms, then grab a spool of red ribbon in the wrapping paper aisle.
At home, tie a blossom to a table napkin with a red ribbon. Too fussy? Gather up all the white candles in your home (avoid scented ones) and cluster them on the table.
If you make the chocolate mousse the night before, the meal can be put together in 30 to 45 minutes, laughter included, with time enough to savor the food and each other.
Start by popping the cork on a bottle of sparkling cava (an inexpensive Spanish bubbly) and stuffing tiny love apples (pommes damour, aka tomatoes) with an herbed cheese or smoked trout spread.
Prepare the scaloppine, cook up the orzo and wilt a favorite green (spinach?) in a bit of olive oil and finish with Parmesan shavings.
The finale: A decadent and super simple chocolate dessert. For as Lucy Van Pelt, that Peanuts gal, would say: All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesnt hurt.