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February 15, 2005

Valentine’s Day menu 2005

Last year, Luke cooked a gourmet multi-course dinner for me so this year I told him I would return the effort. I didn’t realize that this year Valentine’s Day would be on a Monday so my time was very limited.

But, I managed to pull together a tasty meal that wasn’t entirely of things we’ve had before!

First course:
warm edamame — since i realized i didn’t have any major proteins in the rest of the meal, I decided we should start with these beans. Plus, Luke could nibble while i tinkered in the kitchen for the finishing touches of the meal.

my new favorite: Arugula, Endive, Avocado, Granny Smith, Fennel and Dried Cranberries with a lemon vinaigrette. The original recipe called for chunks of provolone, too, but I skip the cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed with Fennel on a bed of Radicchio and Pea Risotto. I served a half red bell pepper with long slivers of fennel wedged inside. It kind of looks like a red heart with a white center — although I absent-mindedly chose a pepper that was more square than heart shaped. I drizzled balsamic vinegar inside the pepper halves before putting the fennel in and placing them face down on the top rack of the broiler. It was quite sweet and contrasted very well with the creamy, slightly bitter risotto. Eating risotto always reminds me of living in Venice, and eating home-cooked risotto with Adriana and Luigi.

I bought two mini tarts from Once Upon a Tart on Sullivan Street: the chocolate walnut and the pear almond. To tart them up for Valentine’s Day, I heated some wild berry preserves with a little bit of white wine and lemon juice, shaved some orange rind over it and then circled the plate with the ruby-red sauce. I sliced some gorgeous blood-red strawberries and placed them around the plate in and on the sauce. The tarts stood alone in the center. MMMM. it was hard to go from the pear to the chocolate because the pear tart was so subtle and smooth, with a light hint of lemon and not very sweet at all. The chocolate tart is a chocoholic’s dream, a deep, dark chocolate flavor.

What did Luke make last year? Check out his menu.

jeanhee @ 12:23 am

February 14, 2005

Sappy Valentine’s Eve story…

Warning: sappy story below. read at your own risk!

It’s been about 6 months now since Luke and I got married, and just over a year since we began living together. I was struck recently by how smoothly we’ve integrated our lives together.

Of course, there have been little bumps here and there, but mostly just two people who get along and are pretty mature and respectful of each other.

One thing I’ve learned in the last year living with Luke is that he has no self-control around a pint of ice cream. I eat small portions, even of my absolute favorite ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. I can take six small bites and then put the pint back in the freezer until the next night.

Not so, Luke. He opens a pint and only when he sees the first sliver of white cardboard at the bottom does he stop and realize he ate the whole pint and didn’t save me anything. Guilt drives him to put the pint in the freezer at that point, with maybe one or two teaspoonfuls left. Inevitably, i see the damage, and turn to Luke with my saddest face and ask, Why?

The other night I apparently administered cruel and unusual punishment, because I bought a pint of chocolate almond brownie soy ice cream and left it in the freezer unopened for two — 2 — nights! On the third night, Luke pulled it out of the freezer and asked me if I wanted any. I wasn’t in the mood for it but I told him I would have a little, because, I said in my most petulant voice, if I didn’t get my bite at the beginning, I wouldn’t get any at all. And I gave Luke my pouty accusatory look.

He returned with his exaggerated wounded expression and thrust the pint at me. “You left it unopened — unopened! — for two nights and look at how much I had.” I took the pint and noted that it felt full.

When I opened the top, however, there were a few bites taken out, carved in the shape of my initial, J.

We shared a little laugh, and then I took a single bite, gave the pint back to Luke, and he finished the whole thing.

jeanhee @ 1:14 am