Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aphrodisiacs or not...

Shenandoah Journal, The (Dayton, VA) - Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Author: Regina Cyzick Harlow
A Valentine's dinner doesn't have to break the bank at a high-end restaurant. While dining out can be a nice break from monotony, an easy-to-fix meal at home can be just as special. Knowing what to fix can make all the difference in how the rest of the evening unfolds.

Although certain foods are not scientifically proven to be aphrodisiacs, most women insist that eating them evokes romantic thoughts. The Web site celebrating-valentinesday.com lists 20 ingredients that you might want to incorporate into your recipes this Valentine's Day.

The list of foods include oysters, chocolate, artichokes, avocados, honey, asparagus, strawberries, caviar, truffles, cappuccino, radishes, tomatoes, grapes, garlic, onions, vanilla, basil, wine, potatoes and pine nuts.

Following are a few suggested uses for these ingredients. There are many Web sites with recipes that use these ingredients and in fact, some foods even have their own site, including honey and asparagus.

Drinks: Hot chocolate, cappuccino, wine, strawberry basil lemonade

Appetizers: Hot artichoke dip, guacamole, dinner rolls with cinnamon-honey butter.

Main dishes: Asparagus chicken casserole, oysters on the half-shell and caviar.

Side dishes: Mashed potatoes with fresh pressed garlic or asparagus and onion casserole.

Salads: Add a combination of chopped avocados, onions, radishes and pine nuts to a tossed salad. Make a tomato, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella salad sprinkled with balsamic vinegar or create an asparagus and avocado salad with white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar with fresh mint. A grape salad with cream cheese, sour cream and sugar topped with brown sugar and nuts is a sweet and refreshing salad alternative and could also be used as a dessert.

Dessert: Brownies with vanilla ice cream.

If I were trying to include all of these ingredients for our Valentine's dinner just for fun, I might come up with something like this…

Oysters and caviar, potatoes with garlic, onions, artichokes and asparagus, a salad with radishes, tomatoes, avocados, pine nuts and basil, and wine. For dessert; brownies, topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, grapes and honey and a cappuccino.

But for someone who cooks for my family every night like me, the best aphrodisiac is when my husband says "Let's order take-out," or "Go sit down and put your feet up while I wash up the dishes."

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