Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentines Day ...

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It's the celebration of love, sharing and giving. Not that we don't do this everyday, or is it set aside for "couples-only". It's a day that everyone can celebrate the idea that love is eternal. Love is magical. Love heals all things.

So, how do I celebrate the magic of the day? I typical wander to Wine Country to pick up shipments, admire the shifting from Winter to very early Spring. And I hope to do this on that day as well.

What do I like to create for the trip? Start out with Cranberry Sparkling Wine Sippers. Simply enough. Take frozen cranberries and make a cranberry simple syrup.

1 cup cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cups water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bring to a boil until berries are pooped and sugar is dissolved. Allows to cool to room temperature and sift out all the berries either with a cheese clothe or strainer. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Place the cranberry simple syrup in to a vessel and let cool in refrigerator for an hour. To make the cocktail pour 2-3 tablespoons into a chilled Champagne glass. Then pour your favorite Sparkling Wine or Champagne to the top. For decoration float frozen cranberries or a twist of lemon or orange.

Now for the food. IT'S CRAB SEASON ... so anything with crab is a great idea (unless you're allergic). If allergic, shrimp can be a wonderful substitute. I like to roast the chosen seafood with salt, pepper and olive oil at 400 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. Mind you if you are doing the crab version ... it has to be shelled, cleaned and placed on a sheet. And use some parmesan cheese lightly sprinkled for texture and a retain moisture.

After roasting the seafood than serve with crackers, toasted baguette slices, or just a plate of the wonderful and delicious is good too with a salad or veggies. My favorite lately is to roast crab, toss lightly with mayonnaise, scallions, pickled peppers and a good slaw and serve on a lobster roll or Hawaiian bun. Recipes to follow on another blog post for Summer picnics.

To me the idea is less food and more connection with the people you love and surround yourself with on this special day. Use the food an enhancement, rather than the center piece.

Remember cooking with love,makes any recipe tales better ...and on Valentines' Day allow your heart to soar.