A meal fit for the Greek Goddess of Love

As promised I’ve scoured through dozens of books, spent hours doing online research, poured over stacks of clinical research all to help you put an extra punch into your Valentine’s Day dinner…am I exhausted, or what!

If you buy that one I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell sell ya..(insert evil cackle here).. Actually being that I have an ever growing collection of cook books I’ve turned to a couple of those to help out. In this post I’ll be giving you a few of my favs. I realize that many of you may already think my taste is lacking, so I’m starting with a list of edibles you can use as you see fit, that are reported to “bring back that lovin’ feeling”…oh, that lovin’ feeling… cuz it’s (oh you know the song!). I’ll finish up with some recipes and detailed instructions for my famous “Shake u hiney it’s so fine-y” dance made famous at SITS roll call..okay stop laughing!! I’ll leave the dance out of it!! (meanies)

Asparagus: Aside from the more “obvious” attributes of this wonderful veggie, it also contains a high levels of potassium and phosphorous that are believed to help increase hormone production. Heck Ben Franklin actually wrote about the stuff and WE ALL KNOW about his famous “love life”. Of course he wrote that it makes your pee smell funny but that’s not a very romantic story.
Chile Peppers: What do you think makes Latin flavor so HOT HOT HOT? Chills DUH, but there is some real science in this one. The capsaicin in chile peppers gets your blood pumping, you get flushed and might just feel a little warm and tingly (sort of like the effects of a great kiss)
Basil: There is an old folk tale in the Islands that Erzulie (the goddess of love) leaves a path of Basil under her feet.
Grapes: What would a beautiful Greek fresco be without the ethereal looking young slave woman feeding grapes to a God? How many famous love poems include references to wine (a grape by any other name) and lips? You can use your imagination from there.
Strawberries: Not a big surprise here, this one is a famous fruit of love.
Honey: Hippocrates himself, father of the Hippocratic Oath, prescribed this luscious golden elixir for amorous vigor. In India it’s given as a gift to newlyweds.
Rosemary: A traditional holistic treatment for headaches, rosemary opens the nasal passages allowing you to breathe easier, relax and enjoy the smell and each other.
Edible flora: Did you know that there are several types of tasty flowers you can cook with and eat? Being that Valentines day is the day of roses my recipe will use them but lilies, fuchsia, hibiscus, pansies and jasmine are some of the others you can choose (all are great dipped in chocolate or rolled in sugar)

Are ya ready to cook? Here are a couple of recipes I’ve prepared and recommend.

Pasta with Strawberries
(a sweet and savory dish)

2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
3 tbsp butter
1/2 pound of thin spaghetti or angle hair pasta
(torn basil for a garnish.. two for one on the aphrodisiacs in this dish)
Cook pasta according to the box directions. Put the berries in a blender and pulse until smooth, strain out seeds. In a medium pan melt butter, add cream and simmer on medium heat 2-3 minutes add in cheese until it melts into the cream. Turn off heat, mix in berry puree and pour over strained pasta. Serve with extra grated cheese on top and the torn basil.

Spicy Shrimp and Mango
(a sweet and spicy dish)
1 pound large shrimp (peeled and deviened)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic (minced or grated)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup diced mango
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Heat oil on medium high heat, add in garlic and saute for 1-2 min until golden. Toss in shrimp, lemon, and pepper flakes. Cook until shrimp is pink. Add in mango, toss and serve.

Roses and Champagne
(a fragrant libation for the occasion)
Pedals of one rose
1 tbsp sugar (super fine if you can find it)
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 bottle champagne

Separate rose pedals into a bowl, add sugar. With a pestle or the back of a spoon gently crush the pedals until the sugar begins to dissolve. Put Champagne into a pitcher (glass is best).. and the juice (this gives flavor and helps keep it cold) and float the rose pedals in the mix.

I hope you all have a wonderfully romantic Valentine’s Day!

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