It’s that time of year! I’m not a fan of how commercial Valentine’s Day feels, but I also can’t really hate on any holiday that celebrates love. Growing up my dad would get my sister and I each a small, heart-shaped box of truffles from our favorite local chocolate shop, Lilac (it’s still in business, thanks goodness, and even has a location in Grand Central). My mom got the large box. All of us would savor the candies, sometimes taking only half a bite and returning the other half of the box for later. We showed a remarkable amount of self-control for children, but really we just had the foresight to spread out the enjoyment over a period of one or two weeks.
Instead of making something new for this week’s vday-themed blog hop, I’ve dug into my archives to find some of my favorite romantic recipes. To start the evening, sip on a bright red, tropical cocktail and pretend you’re on a secluded beach somewhere. I’d recommend the fresh and fruity B7 Cocktail with vodka or gin, pomegranate and grapefruit juices, and mint simple syrup.
Of course you’ll need a nibble to go with that, and what’s more romantic than fondue? I have a simplified version that requires no special equipment or skewers. My Raclette Fondue is a fusion of two great Swiss melted cheese dishes, and includes a white wine-infused cheese sauce drizzled over potatoes.
For a main course, how about a deceptively easy Tagliatelle with Shrimp and Champagne Butter Sauce? Yeah, I thought so. Whether you’re up for making your own pasta or not, this elegant and fancy-feeling dish screams romance. Serve it, of course, with a flute of bubbly.
Or, if you want to stick with a red theme, make just about anything with beets! I’m of course a fan of my Red Beet and Barley Risotto, which is slightly healthier than traditional risotto made with arborio rice and is vibrant red in color.
Then of course there’s the finale. Top off the meal with a decadent chocolate dessert, like this silky-smooth, salty-sweet Spiced Chocolate Pots de Creme with Candied Bacon and Maple Cream. (Vegetarians of course can omit the bacon.) Each element of this easy but elegant dessert adds a layer of flavor, from the sultry dark chocolate to the warm spices, and from the slightly sweet maple whipped cream to the smoky bacon.
Or, if truffles are more your thing then make your own with my crazy easy Chocolate Ganache Truffles recipe. I just made these again yesterday and was blown away, once again, by how easy and delicious they are. The best part is deciding what to roll them in! This time I opted for cocoa powder, coconut, and chopped hazelnuts but anything goes. You can also customize them by adding a little flavoring to the ganache before it sets – try a drop of rose water or a few dashes of Kahlua for an extra special treat.
For even more Valentine’s Day inspiration, check out last year’s Valentine’s Day Blog Hop (including my recipe for chocolate-covered strawberries!). And now it’s your turn to add your favorite romantic recipes to the menu!
If the blog hop doesn’t show up below, click here to view the collection and add your links.