Shhh!… Valentines for the busy bodies

Recipes and styling by Thulisa Martins

Photography by Farayi Kambarami

This one is for the “love birds”, not the ones that have the entire time in their hands and have all their plans sorted out for valentines day.

So lets focus on the majority of us that do not have a clue of what to do for this day yet, or maybe those that know what to do and might run out of time to do so due to their hectic schedules.

Men, please pay attention as She will not be impressed if nothing has happened! and She will know if you have booked the only available restaurant in town as the rest are fully booked or bought take away and made it look like you’ve made it… lest She asks you how you’ve made those hidden centre fondants (that you’ve bought from frozen and reheated – hopefully correctly).

Anyway, let’s focus on the plan, there is only 5 days left – hopefully its still five days for you 🙂 and you better get your groove on and get moving to make this day special for your loved one.

Start the date with a glass of this super easy homemade cocktail – you can even say to the partner that its stirred, not shaken :). Prepare a glass jar with slices of lime/ lemon, with lots of pomegranate rubies and fresh mint leaves. Mix 150ml water with 100g sugar and heat this for at least five minutes until a syrup consistency, over medium heat. Let the syrup cool down and stir in a squeeze of lemon juice. Add the syrup into the jar and top up with champagne just before serving, stir and pour into flute glasses. This can also be made with a non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice.

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A charcuterie platter to share always looks amazing on a vintage wooden board – this will literarily take you less that five minutes to prepare. A selection of cold meats, olives and rosa tomatoes, use edible flowers to decorate. Make some dips by blending about 150g of your favorite soft cheese (cream cheese, smooth cottage cheese etc.) with a little olive oil, a clove of garlic and chopped flat leaf parsley. Make sure that for a vegetarian partner you make a vegetable crudite platter.

Then hit it off with a main course of either a pan seared salmon with balsamic reduction or lamb cutlets with exotic mushrooms – these will be max 20 minutes of your time in the kitchen. Scroll down for both recipes – Jan 2014 publishing.

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Then to end things on a very impressive note, make the chocolate mallow and raspberry champagne jelly hearts – these can be made a day in advance – so you really don’t have to sweat on the day, rather spend more time with your loved one. Recipe also published on the blog in Jan 2014 – so Go on print out the recipes and impress!

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Tips

– Make a “to do list” of what needs to be done

– Don’t forget the table setting – there are plenty of ideas on line – a personal touch always goes a long way

– Be prepared – all your shopping should be done the day before, table set and decorated and the gift bought and wrapped.

– Be relaxed and enjoy the date, not everything goes the way you have planned sometimes, we are all human, give it your best shot and enjoy!

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