On Time For Valentine’s Day | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

A celebration of heat and passion, Valentine’s day, comes in February one of the coldest month of the year.  For some people there will not be anybody to cuddle with. I agree with some of them who think expectation and pressure to perform well is high on this day. They should take advice from Didi Lorrilard of Modern Manners and Etiquette who suggests celebrating Leap Year in alternative to Valentine’s Day. It would be so easy for the unattached people to shift their attention from Valentine’s Day to an unusual celebration that comes only every four years.

I remember one year I gathered all my nice single people and celebrated entering into Lent time. After that event, some of them got married, some are still living together and in the meantime ten years have gone by. Did I want to be a match maker? No, but my choice of friends was so selected that I slipped right into that role.
So far I have read about Valentine’s day in “all sauces and soups” sort of speaking, from table settings, to bedroom romance.

Here it is something simple, healthy, fast and easy, good for Valentine’s Day or any other celebration. It will take me less than an hour and it will be perfect.

Olive Oil Roasted Almonds
This is a nice complement  to a cheese variety.
Place the almonds in a baking pan. Grate the peel of an orange.
Add  a couple of spoons of extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt to your liking and coat the almonds well.
Bake at 350˚ F. for about 10-12 minutes. Serve in a nice bowl.
Almond can also be savory, roasted with rosemary and garlic, or herbs de Provence and they can be made sweet with brown sugar, or honey.

Grape Covered in Chocolate
For a spin on a classic romantic strawberries covered in chocolate.
Wash and pat dry seedless grape.
In a saucepan combine  4 oz. of milk 2 tablespoon of butter and 4 oz. of dark semi-sweet chocolate.
Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted completely.
Dip each grape in the chocolate holding it by the stem.

Sit them on a cooling rack. Chill in the refrigerator  for 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
Use the same chocolate to cover Jalapeño (photo at the top). Serve them together with the grape to get the sweet and the spicy hot, I guarantee you will add some extra heat to your romance.

These products are also available at Guiltaste.com. (photos from Guiltaste)
I wanted to order from them, but didn’t make it this past week. As easy as they are, I produce them myself in my kitchen, as I said in an hour time or less.
I will present to my friends a simple bites,  some small tartletts with wild mushrooms, stuffed mussels
(from my book http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen) and some extavagant cheeses.

I have just enough time to get the prosecco, the table and myself ready for some friends to come over.

I hope you will have wonderful time celebrating the day of love, but please don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to express your love to someone. Ciao,

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking.
She especially loves to design all those rooms with a “make me feel good” tag attached, such as kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms.
She is a public speaker and a mentor. She is also the author of two Italian regional cuisine books, available here in this site on the Books page, on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and in various locations.




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