This isn't so much of a recipe as it is a concept.
This was our first Valentines Day alone in.... 23 years. I wanted it to be different and unique. Since it fell on a Tuesday and I knew my husband would be tired coming home from work I wanted to do something relaxing and laid back. Plus, with 2 kids in college we're "trying" to be less frivolous. We still go out to eat but we're just trying to stay in a little more often.
I know that many of my friends worried about me this year. I'd been dreading the kids leaving for years. My husband and I both just really like being around our kids. My friends knew this void would be a major change for us. But really, it's not been nearly as hard as I expected. The silver lining in my little cloud is my husband. The fun thing about being alone this much for the first time in 23 years is how you reconnect. It's sort of like remembering how you felt when you first fell in love. It's rather nice! We've always been in love but somehow it just gets sweeter. (ok, enough of the gushy stuff!)
In the last few days I was thinking about what to make for a special meal. It's hard because we cook all the time and we like to cook together. We've had some pretty amazing meals lately. So I really liked the idea of a non-meal.
Tapas, or "little bites", is really Spanish. I'm not sure if you can call this Tapas. My version wasn't really Spanish. Joe and I both loved our little meal that we've agreed we need to do this more often. And definitely this is a must-do with friends.
We had little serving dishes with:
Garlic olive oil, aged balsamic, and fresh cracked pepper and Italian herbs
hummus with roasted pine nuts
cut fresh pineapple
sliced bosc pears
baked brie in pastry with cranberry chutney
fresh toasted herb bread
And of course a romantic drink was in order!
The nice thing about this tapas concept is you can make it as gourmet as you like and put a lot of effort into your romantic meal or you can keep it simple and still keep it very elegant. Everything we had was store bought. The most effort I put into this was plopping the brie into the oven and slicing the pears. :)
Ain't love grand?
Try this next time you want to set the mood and make someone feel special!
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!