Recipe for a successful Valentines day!

Recipe for a successful Valentines day!

Well this year Valentines day is on a Sunday, so for daddies like me with hands full of children, the usual option is to get offsprings tired and in bed as early as possible! This is in order to have a quiet evening with your beloved one at home.
On a normal day if you are lucky enough to have your children grand-parents available it would not be a problem. But Valentines day is for everyone and it would not be fair to get any of your parents busy on that day, would it?

So I guess the way to get your children tired is to organise physical outdoor activities, fun of course and not too tiring for you as you need to keep some energy for the evening…
Well you may want to start your day with a nice breakfast and a good idea is to engage your children to help preparing it:
You can cut fruits and ask you little ones to put them in a big bowl with a mix of nuts. They will be delighted to help with spreading butter and jam on the toasts, if supervised of course as you don’t want to see a full jar of marmalade on two slice of breads…
Once breakfast is sorted out, served, eaten, let’s get prepared to go out in the wild. Packing food is an option but in the middle of the winter here in North east of England, eating a sandwich outside is not really pleasant so I prefer to plan eating inside a nice place, ideally at a park.
Now before planning eating in a restaurant with all your kids, think twice… It’s Valentines day remember! It can get busy and you can get really frustrated if you end-up being rejected in so many different restaurant, and if finally you find one, another challenge starts then. The look of an entire army of couples that either have no children or got a deal with the grand parents for lunch time, firing you as soon as one of your children raise his voice above normal pitch. So it can be risky and not enjoyable to eat out on such a day.
However it is quite possible to find a nice place like a Café within a park natural. And the other challenge there is that you may not be toally relaxed, but it’s not the point,. The point is to get your children happy. And you will find loads of parents like you having to deal with their bairns too. So at least they won’t judge you and they may feel as you do!
You can stay home for lunch too, but that requires a bit more work, especially if you still plan to go outside.
Whether you had lunch at home, in a restaurant or a Café, the best is to be in the open air as early as possible in the afternoon. Depending on the whether all gear should be ready ideally the evening before if needed. Meaning checking weather forecast and planning accordingly should be done on at the latest on Sunday morning, to make sure if you need warm, rainproof clothes or shorts and sunglasses (probably not). Bear in mind that you want them to run, jump, splash like lion curbs, also to laugh as loud as possible, to scream of joy. This may mean bringing a ball, a kite (check the wind…), hoola hoops, bicycles or anything else that can enhance one’s kid happiness.
The idea is to have a long afternoon, with a little snack in the middle, like some apples and banana (beware bananas don’t like to be squashed …) cereal bars, water or light fruit juice.
One advice: avoid too much sweeties or sugared drinks as always, as it would create bursts of “fake” energy and delay your main plan… getting them to bed in order for you to have quiet time with your loved one.
Once you have spent 3 to 4 hours outside it’s time to move on to the next part of the plan…
The second part of the plan is to get them so relaxed their all system will start to shut down.
This is the theory but I have observed many times that happiness and joy can  bring even more energy… But be patient and stay calm, in the end a calm and relaxed atmosphere once back home should works. The snack should be their dinner, hot chocolate, fruits, a nice treat maybe.
Choose one of their favourite cartoon/movie that you know will not get them too excited, and give you some time to start cooking for grown-ups…
It’s a good idea to have them ready for bed (pyjamas on, teeth brushed,…) before playing any of their favourite film because if everything goes as planned they may fall asleep before the end of it!
Again choose a short bed time story, I am sure you know that if you show any sign of impatience, they would pick up on it and make sure you wait a little bit longer…
Once the kiss good night has been given, finally you can cook one of these two easy, quick and aphrodisiac recipes! (Trust me I tried them both!)

(Serves 2 Non vegetarian- about 15 mins)
Steak Eros:

  • 2 steaks (2 X 150g)
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 bunch of Parsley (roughly cut)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • White wine

Tenderize meat until thin and spice up with loads of pepper.
Melt butter until roux and add Worcester Sauce in a pan
Quickly fry steaks in the pan
Remove steaks and sprinkle parsley on them.
Quickly deglaze (reduce) the sauce in the pan with 1/2 glass of white wine.

In your plates, pour the sauce on the steak, with parsley on top.
It’s ready!
Serve with mashed potatoes or chips (French fries), you can add steamed peas and carrots too.
I like a salad with tomatoes on the side
I am not a specialist but a Cabernet Sauvignon should match perfectly with your steak, where the remaining white wine you used for the sauce may not be so good with the peppery taste of the meat.
A chocolate desert is probably unavoidable…

(Serves 2 Vegetarian – about 15 mins)
Truffles pasta:

  • 20 to 40g of truffles (grated)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 1 dried red chilli (cut in halves – you decide the quantity! it has to be hot but enjoyable)
  • 1 bunch of parsley (roughly cut)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

While having your spaghetti cooking in a big pan of gently boiling water with a pinch of salt, until al dente, you can prepare the sauce:
In a frying pan add the olive oil, once warm enough, add the garlic, the chilli and the parsley. Cook gently (at medium-low) , and as soon as the garlic is getting a bit gold, remove it from the pan. It should take about 5 mins. Remove the chilli as well.
Add the grated truffle in the pan and cook very gently for one minute.
Add the drained Spaghetti in the pan and continue cooking gently a couple more minutes.
Again chocolate desert will go very well after this succulent recipe.
Dim lights, soft music and I leave the rest to your sole imagination!

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