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4 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 unsalted sticks of butter
1/2 c + tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 c + 2 tsp all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
Sweeten whipped cream (optional)
Shaved chocolate or chopped pecans for garnish (optional)
Melt chocolates in top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Add butter and sugar and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs and next 3 ingredients and beat until mixture thickens to a mousse consistency, about 8 mins. Divide mixture into 6 lightly buttered 1 cup soufflé dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze about 3 hours.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from frozen soufflés and bake for 11 mins or until edges are set but centers are moist and shiny–DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
Remove from Oven and cool 10 mins. Serve topped with sweeten whipped cream and garnish w/ the shavings or pecans–add a cherry for that special touch.
After a romantic dinner for two, indulge your valentine’s sweet tooth with a delicious, non-alcoholic drink from “The Mocktail Bar Guide”.
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
½ cup papaya, chopped and seeded
1 ounce lime juice
10 ounces Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider
2 whole strawberries
Blend first 4 ingredients in blender at high speed until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Pour over crushed ice in 2 collins glasses. Garnish each rim with whole strawberry. Serve with straws.
Yield: 2 servings
The Mocktail Bar Guide : 200 Recipes for Safe and Sober Partiescontains recipes for 200 alcohol-free drinks for nondrinkers, designated drivers, expectant mothers and anyone who enjoys great tasting drinks. Portions of the proceeds from this book go to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Doing things together makes a Valentine’s Day really special. Get inspired for some really romantic and sensual things you can do together with your Valentine to make this Valentine’s Day truly memorable and fun.
1. Romantic Hot Spots at Home
Find a romantic spot within your home to romance away the evening. Dress up the spot with candles and flowers and/or plan what special activity you can do there together. It could be sipping wine, watching a movie, cooking together or anything else you truly enjoy doing with your partner. If you are married and have kids, just lounging together and talking about ‘non serious’ stuff is in itself a great thing to do on Valentine’s Day.
Finding a romance spot right at home also gives you the luxury of ‘not having to drive back‘ after a fun and relaxing hour.
Our top favorite romantic spots within the home are:
Bath Tub or Jacuzzi
The bathroom is the perfect place for a romantic rendezvous. Create a comfortable warm temperature. Light a few candles, put on romantic music and make a bath ready. Use rose petals and soft fragrant bubble bath depending on your mood. Invite your lover in by a trail of rose petals.
Especially in the colder months, and during cool nights, the fireplace is an excellent place for a romantic date. For added ambience, place candles around the open fire, spreads a soft blanket and put out your favorite treats to nibble. Share a glass of wine, cuddling together, talking together or play a game.
An often overlooked romantic hot spot is your own bedroom. Since it is your own bedroom, it gives an immediate sense of confidence and is the perfect place for a relaxed, sensual evening. Use luxurious linens, lit the room with candles and turn romantic music. Alternatively, you could watch a romantic movie or give massages.
Under the Stars
Head out in the garden or on the balcony, if you have one, and get cozy with your partner inside a warm blanket watching stars and sipping wine.
Your attic can be a romantic hideaway. Hang some paintings on the walls, prop a mattress on the floor with lots of pillows and a soft blanket and you are ready for a secret rendezvous with your Valentine.
Good food and romance go hand in hand, so it is no surprise that the kitchen is a part of this list for romantic hot spots. Have a romantic cookout together and then enjoy the prepared meal right in the kitchen.
2. Romantic Breakfast in Bed
Start the morning right and all the day can not go wrong. Surprise your beloved with a delicious breakfast in bed. Some ideas for a romantic breakfast in bed are:
Cut vegetables into cubes, hearts or fun shapes
Cut strawberries in the shape of hearts
Make thin pancakes, and pour chocolate syrup or jam to write “I Love You” or make a heart shape.
Bake waffles in a heart-shaped waffle maker
Server freshly squeezed fruit juice and coffee or tea
Buy the muffins and croissants from the baker and warm them up in the morning
Serve freshly baked rolls in different sizes and variations
Make a toast with the words: I love you or a Heart Shaped Raspberry Jam Toast.
Make the breakfast very special by serving champagne
Bake cookies in the shape of hearts
Muesli and yogurt or cottage cheese or fresh (red) fruits
See more Valentine’s Day Breakfast Recipes
Hide a love poem inside the breakfast
Put a red rose on the tray
Put candles on the tray
Sprinkle rose petals on the tray
If you have kids, you can either choose to involve them or give them breakfast in their own beds.
For growing number of young couples in the early years of marriage, the custom of giving a diamond Anniversary, Eternity or Alliance ring—the band of diamonds that says ‘my love runs out at the circle’s end’—is a symbol of love’s reaffirmation. It is a custom that is stronger and more powerful now than it has ever been. Most women still want a diamond. It’s the stone of choice for brides. They’re beautiful, precious, timeless, lasting and traditional. Diamonds…Their power and indomitable force came to be acknowledged as the perfect symbol of love. Diamond is considered a manifestation of the most important power on earth: the power of love.
The diamond symbolises love and appreciation and can be gifted in very imaginative and special ways. Throw away the velvet box.
1. Take your love out for a romantic dinner and pamper her to the hilt. Have an arrangement with the restaurant, so that when dessert is served, the diamond ring is used as part of the topping. Your lady love won’t be able to resist the diamond-encrusted offering!
2. Gift her a beautiful porcelain doll and place a gorgeous diamond bracelet around the doll’s hand. She might initially go ‘ga ga’ over the doll, but once her eyes settle on the bracelet she won’t be able to stop talking about it.
3. Gift your wife a book of poetry with some of the pages folded together. Hide a sparkling treasure inside those pages.
4. Before you leave for work leave a big wrapped box in the middle of the living room so that when your partner comes home, that’s the first thing she sees. When she opens the box she will find a smaller one with a special note or poem from you. The boxes will get progressively smaller and the last box will contain your diamond gift.
5. Take your wife for a long drive and ask her to get a cassette out of the glove compartment, when she opens it, the diamond ring will be lying there. Or you could ask her to take a particular cassette out and have the diamond ring in the cassette cover.
6. Propose to your girlfriend on your birthday. Say you don’t want to open your presents and would rather she did it. Make sure the first present she opens has the ring in it. You can pop the question once she has unwrapped the gift.
7. Tell your partner that you have taken a keen interest in musicand you would like to put up a show for her. Your grand finale? Pulling out a diamond necklace out of your hat!
8. If you wish to make her work for the gift, try organizing a treasure hunt. Strew rose petals from the doorway to the bedroom so that the moment she enters the house, she will be entranced. Leave fun clues for her around the house, so that each time she solves a clue and reaches the destination she receives a small gift like perfumes, chocolates, etc—the beautiful diamond gift will be the spectacular prize at the end of the hunt.
9. Replace the bookmarks in her favourite book with a pair of earrings.
10. If she’s an animal lover bring home a little puppy or kitten. Tie the ring around the animal’s collar with a ribbon.
11. Buy your love a heart-shaped box of candy and replace one of the pieces with a diamond ring. When she opens it, she’ll be in for a nice chocolicious surprise!
12. When she’s not looking, slip a diamond bracelet onto her key chain. She might not notice the addition immediately, but it’s sure to guarantee a second look and a delightful shout!
13. Renew your wedding vows on your anniversary by gifting each other new diamond rings!
14. ‘Dress’ her favorite bottle of perfume with the solitaire ring.
15. Cook your wife a romantic dinner. Using a ribbon, tie a diamond ring to the stem of a champagne glass.
16. Express your love by giving your wife a foot massage. When you are almost done place the diamond on her little toe. This is one massage she won’t forget!
17. Place a diamond ring on the knob of the alarm clock….. What better way to start her day.
18. Give her the handbag she always wanted with a diamond ring inside it.
19. Replace your man’s old cufflinks with diamond-encrusted ones.
20. Surprise her by coming home a little early from work. Ask her to close her eyes, take her hand and slip on a diamond ring.