I am not going to lecture on the merits of spoiling a loved one on Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it….men are now donning aprons and creating fabulous meals and woman can buy their own flowers and chocolates. Does this mean that Valentine’s Day has lost its appeal? Does it mean the death of romance?
I was looking forward to some commercial quiet time after Christmas to recover from Boney M and fake trees. There are just no commercial breaks…a few days into Jan and the ‘V Day’ paraphernalia hits the shelves. Red and white balloons, cuddly teddy bears and heart-shaped truffles are set up to mark the celebration of love. I feel marginally irritable thinking, ‘I am not emotionally ready or just give us a break!’. Have you noticed that this year, the V Day displays are smaller? Have the chain stores unlocked some secret? I wonder what happened to the girlie girl in me that would have loved chocolates or flowers. Have I become cynical or is it just growing up? After a bit of soul-searching and many chats with my mates, I realise that there was a time that a man had to treat a woman….now, woman just treat themselves! So, let’s move past the whining about not being spoilt and get on to something more important.
Romance is not about a V day gift. Its starts out with how you feel about yourself. Do you ever feel sexy when you know you are not taking time to look after yourself? This is not a lecture about dieting. It’s about feeling good from the inside out. Bad eating and punking out at gym visits bump romance off my To Do list.
Romance is hard work and not a one night event…it’s not about expensive restaurants and gifts either….its about the little things that we take for granted. I am a lucky girl and its not because I am materially spoilt. It’s because I get up every morning with the clunk of a coffee mug on my bedside table. Rob makes me coffee every morning and although it sounds like a small thing, in my book, it’s my first dose of love for the day! Stop buying stuff and start paying attention to your partner!
Here are some Valentine’s resolutions to consider:
Eat more slowly and talk more during meals – when I say talk I mean talk and not remind your partner about the leaky tap or electrician, handyman or plumber that needs to be summoned!
Smaller portions are the way to go so you don’t feel stuffed after a meal – its such a mood killer and let’s not mention what it does to your sex life!
Watch your diet – It’s not a one day game with this one, but after some time you will definitely feel the benefit. Add more dark chocolate, ginger, chilli, cardamom and berries to your diet.
Why don’t you kick off this romantic year with a few resolutions? Here are two luscious recipes that will definitely get you in the mood for some serious loving!
Chilli Cream Prawns
2kg frozen prawns (16/20), shell on
Salt to season
50ml Spar sunflower oil
8 cloves garlic, crushed
10ml red chilli powder
65g Spar butter
100ml fresh cream
1 lemon, juiced
200ml chopped coriander
Defrost the prawns.
Use a sharp kitchen scissors to cut from the head through to the tail.
Use the tip of a knife to remove the dark vein.
Gently rinse under cold running water and drain.
Season the prawns with salt.
Heat a large AMC chef’s pan and when it is smoking hot pour in the sunflower oil.
Place the prawns in a single layer and turn them when they are light golden brown.
Add the garlic and red chilli powder.
Stir for a few seconds before adding the butter.
Pour in the cream and sprinkle the Magic Masala over the prawns.
Simmer for a minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice.
Sprinkle the chopped coriander in and toss lightly.
Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread.
Nothing shouts out love like a luscious Red Velvet Cake. Just a quick tip – I do insist on Spar Cream Cheese for this recipe! Its my favourite cream cheese especially for frosting!
Red Velvet Cake
375ml cake flour
15ml cocoa powder
1 bottle red food colouring
5ml vanilla essence
250ml sunflower oil
5ml bicarbonate of soda
Sift the flour and cocoa powder.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until very pale in colour.
Fold in the half the sifted dry ingredients and then the buttermilk.
Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients.
Fold in the red food colouring, vanilla essence and sunflower oil.
Continue folding the ingredients to ensure the oil is well combined.
Pour the vinegar over the batter and then sprinkle the bicarb over.
Mix well to combine.
Divide the mixture into three 20cm greased and lined cake tins.
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out on a wire rack.
Leave the cakes to cool completely.
Cream cheese frosting for Red Velvet Cake
125g soft Spar butter
750ml Spar Icing sugar
2 tubs Spar plain cream cheese
5ml Vanilla paste or extract
80ml fresh cream
Chocolate hearts, to garnish
Cream butter and icing sugar well until light in colour.
Add the cream cheese and continue beating until well combined.
Add vanilla essence and fresh cream.
Continue beating for a 30 seconds – do not over beat as the frosting can split.
Spread the frosting over the layers and sandwich the cakes.
Frost the sides and top of the cake.
Garnish the cake with chocolate truffles and berries.