A blog full of LOVE <3

V-Day (aka Valentines’ Day): you either love it or hate it, depending on your ‘romantic’ situation. Well, we thought we’d get into the spirit of things either way, so here’s some fruity food suggestionss, a nice little dinner menu if you’re loving enough to cook for your other half, and some cheeky gift ideas!

Foods to get you in the mood!

• Chocolate
Pure chocolate contains a chemical that gives the consumer a natural psychoactive good, excitable feeling, stimulating both attraction and euphoria. This is top of the list of aphrodisiac foods!

• Basil
Basil has many positive effects on your body and the smell of it alone is believed to be an aphrodisiac. The taste is also known to stimulate sexual desire and increase the heart rate – add it to your dishes!

• Bananas
Of course there is the obvious shape that associates the banana with…but it is also fact that bananas are filled with B vitamins, potassium and magnesium which help the male sexual libido!

• Chili peppers
Eating chili peppers generates physiological responses in our bodies (e.g., sweating, increased heart rate and circulation) that are similar to those experienced when having sex.

• Asparagus and Avocados
The vitamin E in these green eats helps your body churn out hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which circulate in your bloodstream and stimulate sexual responses.

• Red Wine
Besides relaxing you faster than a neck rub can, red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps boost blood flow and improves circulation before and during intercourse.

The Perfect V-Day Menu

You’re a student; you need a simple, and easy meal that will impress your lucky loved one. So here’s the perfect three-course meal that’s easy, affordable, and guarantee a cheeky reward!

STARTER: MUSHROOM & GOATS CHEESE PUFF WRAPS

Ingredients
• 1/2 sheet puff pastry
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 125g mushrooms, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 50g crumbled soft goat’s cheese
• Handful finely chopped fresh parsley

Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200 C. Lightly grease a baking tray. Lay puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface and cut into 8 squares. Prick the squares in several places with a fork. Place the puff pastry squares on prepared baking tray.
2. Bake the puff pastry squares for 7 minutes. Remove tray from the oven, flatten the squares using the backside of a spatula. Return puff pastry to the oven to bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan over high heat. Cook and stir the mushrooms and garlic in the butter until mushrooms are tender, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Top the baked puff pastry squares evenly with the mushroom mixture. Crumble goat cheese over mushrooms and sprinkle with parsley

MAINS: STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST WRAPPED IN PANCETTA

Ingredients
• 2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
• 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
• 150g gorgonzola cheese
• 12 slices of pancetta
• Italian olive oil

Green bean salad:
• 2 handfuls green beans
• ½ lemon, juice only
• 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of cling film and, using a meat mallet, bash out the pieces to make them thinner. Remove the cling film.
2. Spread 1 tbsp of cranberry sauce over each chicken breast. Place a piece of Gorgonzola in the middle of each, season and roll up the chicken to enclose the cheese. Place six slices of pancetta, side by side, on a chopping board. Place one chicken breast on the pancetta slices and tightly wrap around the chicken. Repeat with the remaining chicken and pancetta slices.
3. Place the chicken on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted.
5. Meanwhile, blanch the green beans for a few minutes in boiling water and then refresh in iced water. Toss the beans with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the bean salad between the two plates. Top with the cooked chicken and serve at once!

DESSERT: SEXY CHOCOLATE MOUSSES

Ingredients
• 175g/6oz dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), chopped
• 110g/4oz butter, cut into cubes
• 3 large free-range eggs, separated

Method
1. Melt the chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the butter – stir until melted and combined, then add the egg yolks one by one, stirring constantly.
2. Whip the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form, then fold them into the chocolate mixture. Transfer the mousse to small cups/ramekins and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

Romantic gifts ideas

Here’s some really cute foodie ideas we’ve spotted that will help you win that special person’s heart ;)

PRESENTS FOR LOVE - We’re loving these Valentine’s Day foodie gift ideas as advertised on the Channel4 Food website – especially the ‘Love’ toast stamp, dessert hamper and ‘strawberry love’ jam!

LOVE HEARTS – You know, the classic sweets with the soppy message on them. Check out their website for some even more cheesy/romantic ideas for your loved one: send them a personalised message, play the ‘Love Calculator’ game, shop and win goodies for them!

PERSONALISED INNOCENT SMOOTHIE – Now THIS from the geniuses at Innocent (see top of website) is a thoughtful way of impressing someone while giving them a taste of one of the best smoothies around! Genius idea guaranteed to at least win a smile!

ROMANTIC NIGHT FOR A FIVER - Is this even possible? And if so can it actually be good and have decent food? Well, as the lovely Gourmet Mum shows, it can indeed be done with her great suggestions and Easy Budget Recipes showing you can be cheap and classy ;)

CUPCAKES! – Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be the same without some tasty cakes, buns and muffins – all decorated in all things red, heart-shaped and glittery! We particularly love these gorgeous Valentine Pops by The Tiny Cupcake Company, who sent us these DELICIOUS photos to put up! *drools* (They can be found at Weeton’s Deli in Harrogate, The Yorkshire Pantry in York, and a few other places!)

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