I Heart Valentine’s Day

hearts.jpg Do you love Valentine’s Day?  It seems to elicit one of two diametrically opposed reactions from most people: either sentimental, tug-at-your-heartstrings devotion, or else complete, unmitigated disdain.  (I must admit I’m closer to the former).  But whether you love or hate it, wouldn’t it be fun to be a fly on the wall at someone else’s V-Day? 

Well, this year, I’m suggesting we both be flies on the wall (I know, technically that’s an incorrect grammatical construction, since I am only one fly and “you” constitute at least two others, so it should actually read, ‘I’m suggesting that we all be flies on the wall,’ but that just sounded stupid). 

I’ll be the little fly I remember so vividly from my childhood, the one in the original 1950s The Fly movie, who is trapped at the end in the evil, inescapable spider’s web and calls out pitifully in a tiny, wailing voice, “Help me.  Help meeeee. . . . ” 

And you can be the fly on my Valentine’s Day Dinner wall.  Or should I say, “Please be the fly on my Valentine’s Day Dinner Wall.”  What do I mean  by that, you ask?

Well, so far, my HH and I have spent 10 Valentine’s Days together.  Each year, we’ve gone out for a fancy dinner in a restaurant.  (For three of those years, I couldn’t drink wine or eat most of what was on the menu, but I’ve found that if the restaurant is expensive enough, they’ll accommodate almost anything.)

This year, with finances a little tight, we decided to do something different and entirely novel.  We’re going to stay home and cook a romantic dinner together. This is highly significant for two main reasons:  (1) my HH generally doesn’t cook. (I may have mentioned before his past record of two years in an apartment without using the stove once.) And (2) my HH has agreed that this particular romantic soiree will feature an entirely vegan meal!!

Whoo-hoo, I say.  Again, a monumental concession on his part.  In the past, by eating at restaurants, we’ve been able to accommodate his motto that “a meal without animal protein just isn’t a meal.”  (Wine fits the motto, too, if you add the word “special” before “meal.”)  This time, though, he’s happily going along for the ride as I leaf through my scores of cookbooks and attempt to choose some spectacular dishes for the meal. 

And here’s where you come in. I have a few okay ideas, but for this ground-breaking dinner, I would really, really, REALLY love some new ones.  

And so I am entreating YOU, dear reader, to please serve up some suggestions!  Now’s your chance–if you’ve been a silent reader in the past, here’s a perfect opportunity to speak up! (Truly.  It would just be too humiliating if there were not ONE single comment left here after this impassioned plea. I would be forced to make up some of my own. And believe me, that would not be pretty.)  

Here’s what I’m considering for the menu so far (some of which I’ll actually have to make up myself, as I can’t seem to find a great recipe):

Appetizer

Sweet and Sour “Neat” Balls (appetizer size)–I could use a better appetizer;

First Course

Caesar Salad (I’ve fallen in love with the Veganomicon one, but would love to try something I haven’t had before);

Second Course

Cream of Olive Soup (writing about it the other day got me hankering for this soup–and I must get myself some, even if I have to create the recipe myself!);

Main Course

Pasta with Pesto, Sundried Tomatoes, and Smoked Tofu–I’d REALLY like a better suggestion for the main course!

Dessert

Banoffee Pie (I’m partway toward a fabulous vegan whipped cream recipe, but not sure I’ll pull it off by then–so other suggestions for wheat-free sweets would be much appreciated.)

Now, the HH and I have also made another unorthodox decision regarding this Big Day.  Unlike the rest of the civilized world, we are going to celebrate on Saturday–February 16th.  (Who said the 14th has to have a monopoly on love?).  Since Saturday is the weekend, we’ll both have the day off to cook in a leisurely fashion, perhaps even stretching the loving vibe throughout the afternoon. I’ll have time to set up the candles and bring out the bubble machine (well, the bubble wand, anyway).  And besides, all the Valentine’s Day chocolate will be on sale by then (fitting perfectly into our more frugal approach to the holiday this year).

So if you have an idea for a main dish that’s fabulous, romantic, tried-and-true, or an all time favorite, I’d love to hear about it.  If there’s a great appetizer you sampled at a party and would love to share, go for it.  If you’ve been blown away by a (wheat-free-dairy-free-egg-free-sugar-free) dessert in the past and know the recipe, send it on over! And if you’ve already blogged about your recipe, let me know and I’ll gladly add a link (I was going to say, “I’ll even invite you for dinner,” but I don’t think the HH would appreciate that on V-Day.)

Here’s your chance to spread the love around on Valentine’s Day! (And just think, this way, years from now, you’ll be able to say you were a driving force in encouraging the HH to finally cook something! How cool is that?)

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Comments

  1. I’m going to try out making coconut-milk-based whipped cream on V-Day, but I can’t give you any reviews since I haven’t tried it yet!

  2. I don’t know if the wheat-free request extends to all recipes or just dessert. If not, the seitan and herb stuffed mushrooms in Vegan with a Vengeance are quite tasty for an appetizer.

    A great dessert might just be fruit with chocolate. Either pre-dipped, or fondue-style.

  3. How excellent! That menu is an inspiration. I must say, that pie sounds spectacular.

  4. Sweet and sours balls as an appetizer? Makes sense to me ;)

  5. Last year for V day I made a really rich tasting mushroom cannelloni, stuffed with tofu, spinach and walnuts and topped with a thick mushroom cream sauce. Really, it only had 1 T. or so of oil, but it felt so decadent! If you have easy access to tofutti cream cheese, I would sub that for some of the tofu in the stuffing. I blogged about it here: http://travelingvegan.blogspot.com/2007/02/valentines-day.html

    Andy really, really loved it, and said it would be perfect to feed to non-vegans, because it isn’t obviously vegan, and it feels so rich!

  6. Sally,
    I can’t wait to hear how the cream turns out–that’s the main ingredient in the whipped cream I’ve been playing with, too. Do let me know!

    Jamie,
    Thanks for your comment, and welcome! Yes, unfortunately, wheat and I are no longer best buds (wheat kind of turned against me a few years ago), so it does extend to everything. Which makes me sad, as I loved seitan, and your suggestion sounds great. But the chocolate/fruit combo could work well!

    Cakespy,
    Thanks! I will let you know how the pie turns out if the cream decides to cooperate :) .

    Jeremy,
    Hmmmnnnn. Hadn’t thought of it quite that way, but hey, if that’s your predilection, who am I to judge? ;). And I thought your own cartoon for V-Day was really a much funnier sentiment!

    Theresa,
    Thanks for your comment, and welcome to the blog! Your suggestion sounds fantastic, and I can see how it would appeal to a non-vegetarian (though to his credit, my Honey does eat everything I cook). If I can find non-wheat canneloni, I’m there. Thanks for the link to your fab recipe!

  7. I am an old fashioned girl and am very partial to a nutloaf for a special meal – the recipes on my blog that I would recommend are the mushroom nutloaf which is vegan (but you would probably need to deal with the wheat issue – although I have a GF nutroast with millet that I am considering trying soon). Nutroasts remind me of stuffing and meatloafs so that is why I think they are good for omnivores. I also really liked the parsley potato stars which if you were creative you could do as hearts! (or I guess I might if I were home this year on valentine’s day) Anyway might be a little late but that’s my two bob’s worth!

  8. Johanna,

    I’ve actually bookmarked your nutloaf recipe–it looked so delicious to me–but the HH has specifically requested a pasta dish for this meal. Though I wonder if I could convince him to try your haggis, what with the Scottish connection–! I love the potato hearts idea and will check that one out. Thanks for the suggestions (and hope you’re enjoying the week away!).

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  2. [...] I’m going to beg solicit plead implore ask you once again if you’ve got any neat ideas for a Valentine’s Day dinner that my HH and I will share on Saturday (we’re deferring the Big Day by two days, so you still [...]

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