* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Valentine dinner with friends

Happy hearts 1I friends and enjoy sharing fun special days with them, as I spend all other days of the year alone already with Doc Leo.  So last week I had some friends up for dinner, and I did everything in a Valentine theme.  Not only did I get out whatever red and heart shaped items I happened to have for decoration, but I made as much of my menu include red food as I could.

Much of the meal was in kit form, so my personal preparation was limited.  It was not an evening my guests would typically share elsewhere!

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Valentine red
While the decoration theme was red, the menu was very eclectic.  We started out with Italian bruschetta, which involves rubbing a piece of toast with a garlic clove, then pouring on some (homegrown) olive oil, then topping that with a chopped tomato mix.  That was so popular I ended up needing to make a second batch!

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Sharing friendships
For the starter, I served a shrimp cocktail with a homemade sauce, which of course was red.  I love shrimp cocktail and never have it, so that was a treat to myself.

As a treat for my guests, I found some little heart shaped candles in a little tin that can be re-used.  That was rather fun to do.

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A very social toy

We got away from the red theme a bit for the main meal, but that's where the fun part of the evening came in.  We just happen to have a little mini-wok set that serves six, and I thought using it would be perfect for this dinner. 

Not everyone has one of these toys, which we found in Italy a few years ago, and I figured guests needed to do their part in the meal anyway. 

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Making the guests work for their dinner
So we had sesame marinated chicken, with choices of red peppers, pea pods, bean sprouts, and mushrooms, which everybody could mix and match as they chose.

Instead of some simple rice or noodles, I did some Chinese noodles that I then fried, and I cut it into individual wedges.  For the main veggie, I served a Romano broccoli, which looks like a little Christmas tree.  It was all quite festive, certainly not a run-of-the-mill menu.

For dessert, I thought it would be nice to use my set of six banana split dishes.  Because it's winter, I sautéed the bananas first to make them nice and warm, covered them with vanilla ice cream, then added a hot chocolate sauce, a caramel sauce, and a raspberry sauce (for the red).  For the theme, I sprinkled on some heart shaped decoration over whipped cream.  As I said, it was quite the eclectic menu.

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Serving an American dessert . . .
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. . . to French guests

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A warm wintery banana split

Since we had such a nice Valentine dinner last week, tonight will just be a quiet twosome inside by our cheery wood stove, staying warm and dry from the rain we've had all day. 

I hope that all of your are having a chance to share the day with someone special whom you consider important in your life, whether it be a romantic moment, or sharing with a family member, or just enjoying time with friends.

1 comment:

  1. That thing you had the main dish in, the six dish wok, looks fabulous. What a great idea. And I want your bruschetta right now! You did a lovely shrimp topped salad when we came to dine with you when you were staying in those condos across from Warner Bros. which I remember fondly. It all sounds and looks delicious and everyone looks happy. As always, you are a terrific hostess.


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