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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Food & Romance After the 14th

By Chef Domenica Catelli

Romantic Treats

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. For many of us that day is filled with chocolates, flowers, and a dinner out. For others it’s trying to get 40 school Valentine’s cards filled out with our child while managing their sugar meltdown after all the classroom parties. Since food is my thing I try and plan a menu that has a combination of what are considered to be “aphrodisiacs”. This year, with the holiday falling on Tuesday, my husband working out of town, and me serving up hundreds of dinners to those celebrating their love at my restaurant, I lost track of my own celebrating. The good news is that we can all stretch this romance out throughout the year.

Just slowing down to make a special meal at home is a good place to start. Taking the few extra minutes to put candles and a small bunch of flowers on the pre-set table starts the mood out right. And then there’s the food: did you know that many aphrodisiac foods have other health benefits (beyond the obvious!)?

We have all heard about oysters being aphrodisiacs, but here’s the reality: most of us are not going to go home after a long day at the office or with the kids and shuck our own oysters. Fortunately, there is just as much love power in other more accessible foods.

For their shape there is asparagus, cucumbers, and bananas. Simply drizzle extra virgin olive over asparagus and sprinkle with kosher salt and roast on a sheet pan at 450 degrees for 3-7 minutes depending on how thick they are (the pencil-thin ones cook fast). Serve on a platter at dinner and try feeding them to each other!

Another sexy food is honey. This natural sweetener can be used throughout a dinner. Use it in a blender salad dressing to offset pungent vinegar. Drizzle over goat cheese and serve as an appetizer. Use as a glaze with mustard for chicken.

According to nutritionist Elizabeth Ward’s article “Eat your way to a spicier sex life,” the term “honeymoon” came from an old European tradition in which newlyweds “drank honey wine during the first month of marriage to improve their sexual stamina. As a bonus, the long-ago lovebirds also got small amounts of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from honey.”

And of course there is always chocolate. Not many of us need much coercing to have a little extra chocolate. The fact that dark chocolate has a nice amount of antioxidants and is linked to love…what other excuse do we need?

So whether it’s the 16th,the 21st or the 5th of the month, try and keep the romance alive with time together sharing a special meal.

How do you keep the romance alive throughout the year? Share your tips and thoughts in the comments below!

Posted by: Chef Domenica Catelli at 1:03 pm

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