Valentine’s Day is the most wonderful, romantic day of the year. Alright, maybe from where you’re sitting, it’s just another Hallmark holiday … or worse a painful reminder of a relationship gone bad. Whether you are ready to embrace or shrug off the day, here are a few DOs and DON’Ts.
Like it or not, if you are a woman, your enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day is tenfold that of your sweetheart. Yes, there are exceptions but for most women, a big romantic gesture is not going to happen. DON’T go out and buy every vase you can find. Unless you are dating a billionaire (and you’re in a movie), you probably won’t be receiving 200 dozen roses. Same goes for packing a suitcase for a surprise trip to Paris; it’s probably not going to happen.
Even with this reset to your expectations, you can have a lovely Valentine’s Day, romantic even. DO get dressed up, DO enjoy a fabulous meal and DO drink champagne. DO insist that your sweetheart do the same.
By all means, remember Valentine’s Day deserves a special venue. Unless there is some delightfully romantic story involved, DON’T pick up dinner at the drive-thru. At the very least, there should be a candle and flowers on the table and a waiter to take your order.
Or forget the restaurant, cooking together can inspire all sorts of passion. DO know your limits; it’s not the night to make your very first beef wellington. DO choose a menu of foods you both love and can have fun with it. Turn on the music, pour some champagne and cook up some magic.
Think outside the box for your romantic gift. Instead of a dozen red roses or a box of chocolates, DO give her an armful of tulips or give him a dozen of his absolute favorite bagels. DON’T give any grown man or woman a giant teddy bear or a star. You have each other to cuddle, you don’t need a giant stuffed animal. As for the star-thing, sorry but that’s more or less a hoax.
Think outside the box for your amorous celebration. DO go on a hike and share a delicious picnic afterwards … or go ice-skating (preferably in Central Park!) or rent an amazing sports car, channel Grace Kelly and Cary Grant and go for a long drive.
If there is no Mr. Wonderful in your life right now, DON’T go and get all depressed. DON’T go and eat a pound of chocolate all by yourself. Instead, DO indulge with your girlfriends. DO girly things like spa treatments, mani-pedis or a chick flick marathon … and DO drink champagne.
However, DON’T drink too much champagne. It’s not a night to drive by an ex’s house six or seven time. DON’T stalk him on Facebook, text him incessantly or call him – even if you hang up before he answers. Remember, he has caller ID; everyone has caller ID so don’t call his new girlfriend either.
If you go out on the town with your girlfriends, DON’T reserve a table at the most romantic bistro in town. DON’T surround yourselves with cooing lovebirds. Instead of one lone sobbing and/or cursing woman at home, you’ll have with a tableful of sobbing and/or cursing women. Although I think I’d prefer karaoke, a sports bar might work. You might even find a new Mr. Wonderful.
Have a happy Valentine’s Day! Bon appétit!
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Dry white wine
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
About 4 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1-2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1-2 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
5-6 ounces fresh scrod
Garnish: lemon wedges
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Depending on how many portions you are preparing, butter a baking dish, ovenproof skillet or baking sheet.
Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Remove from the heat, add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Put the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a bowl, season with thyme, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add a little olive oil, enough to lightly coat the breadcrumbs,and toss again.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and place the portions in the prepared pan. Drizzle with a little white wine. Top each piece of fish with spinach and sprinkle with the cheesy breadcrumbs.
Bake the scrod at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. The fish should be flaky but not dry.
Remove from oven, transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve immediately with a lemon wedge.
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Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
What about you? How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2017