It's true what they say – the fastest way to a man's heart (or a woman's for that matter) is through their stomach. So instead of forking out big money for flowers or extravant gifts this Valentine's Day, show how much you care by baking something for your sweetheart – a batch of One-Pot Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes should do the trick – or, better still, cooking them a really delicious meal.
If you're cooking a special dinner, remember that you're better to go for really good quality ingredients cooked simply, rather than getting yourself tied up in knots performing culinary gymnastics that will leave you feeling strung out instead of seductive. Plan a menu that incorporates your loved one's favourite ingredients and flavours, set the scene with candles and music, and keep the cooking simple so you can relax and enjoy the night too.
When I'm planning a special meal for two I'll often opt for a nice piece of meat as the starting point. I'll cook it simply and quickly in a pan or the oven or on the barbecue, depending on my mood, and serve it with whatever vegetables are in season in my garden at the time and some kind of a sauce drawn from my global pantry of flavours.
Recently I've developed some recipes for really quick and easy dinners that would be just perfect for Valentine's Day dinner. Most of them are for two people, and use lamb and venison cuts that are ideal for a special meal. I like to use Silver Fern Farms lamb and venison because it's already trimmed and aged, so I just have to open the packet, let it bloom for a few minutes, then pop it in the pan, but if you don't live in New Zealand these recipes will work just as well with any tender cut of lamb, venison or even beef steak.
There's sure to be one here that your Valentine will love:
But your seduction by food isn't done yet! Dessert is the icing on the cake, and traditionally there's only one option for Valentine's Day – chocolate. Here are a few of my favourites:
Whatever you cook and whoever you share it with, have a happy Valentine's Day!
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