It's our favorite month of the year!
been digging around to find the origin of Valentine's Day. It
seems that the tradition of celebrating love began with the
Roman festival of Lupercalia, where girls wrote their names on
slips of paper and young men drew the names out of a jar to find
his sweetheart for the following year. Fast forward a few
decades to St. Valentine, a Roman priest who married young
couples in defiance of Emperor Claudius II. When he was found
out, he was arrested and beheaded...ouch. His sad demise occured
on February 14th, the eve of the previously mentioned festival.
Ever afterwards, the date was celebrated in his honor. Bring
on the champage! The chocolate! The kisses!
• Sexy: Roses.
Sexier: Her favorite flower,
hand-delivered. With a card...
• Sexy: Box of chocolate.
Sexier: Fresh, juicy
strawberries hand-dipped in chocolate.
• Sexy: Norah Jones' new CD.Sexier:
Vintage Ella Fitzgerald.
• Sexy: His soft,
clean-shaven face. Sexier:
You helping him lather up and razoring it off...
• Sexy: Perla Lingerie.
Sexier: Modeling the lingerie,
a la Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. Unleash your inner
• Sexy: Getting it on.
Sexier: Taking your time. It's
A LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO CHEF ANDREA FRONCILLO
Yes, St. Valentine was Italian. Casanova,
St. Valentine, Andrea Bocelli. Me. What a bunch of handsome,
passionate fools we are...!
Isn't it ironic that the month that celebrates love is also
the shortest month of the year? Ah, but there's the lesson:
even if love doesn't last for very long, it's always worth
celebrating. Love is a feeling that I want to have over and over
again, even when it hurts, which it has many times... I think
the painful part of love is what we learn and grow from - and
pain, after all, is not such a big price to pay for the rewards
that come from love. And when a loving relationship does end,
the pain passes and another chance comes along... and you can
use the lessons you learned from the last time.
There are many parts of my body that have changed since I was
a kid. Some of the traumas I've gone through have certainly
changed my soul. And then there's my mind, which changes all the
time. But my heart - that impulsive, reckless muscle - THAT has
never changed. It does what it wants to do, even when I try to
My mind keeps me sane and compels me to do what I should -
often with great rewards, both personal and financial. But it's
my heart beat (that quiet tick) that fires me up and fills me
with energy and happiness... so it's no wonder that when I
follow my heart the outcome is so rewarding.
The heart does what it does for the love of it. Even when
the body is weary and the mind is tired, the heart's passion
fuels us up and keeps us moving forward. So if you have no
heart, I pity you. Or if you simply haven't listened to your
heart lately, I urge you to. Don't do things because they make
sense - do them because your heart beats faster - do it for the
passion - for the love.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! And that includes my two
favorite Valentines, my son and daughter. That's a picture of my
son and me on the left, eighteen years ago... no matter how much
hair I pull out over that kid, I still love him with all my
heart. My last bit of advice is just to remember that if you're
making a list of presents for your loved ones put your own name
at the top of the list. The things we do to pamper and care for
ourselves make us that much more open and loving to the people
And as for this guy... I think
my gift to myself this month will be a visit to my other
favorite Valentine... my mamma. I'll tell you all about it when
I return! Ciao!
PLAN FOR IT...! Saturday, February
AHI TUNA CARPACCIO w/ sesame-soy glaze
is so simple, and yet decadent...
• 6-8 oz. piece sushi-grade ahi tuna (ask for it at the fish
• 1/2 english cucumber, sliced into circles
• 1/4 cup red + yellow bell peppers, diced
• Black sesame seeds
• 4-5 Tblsp. ponzu sauce
• Sesame oil
• 1 tblsp. lemon-infused olive oil (optional)
Wrap tuna in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.
In a small bowl, toss together the sliced cucumber and diced
pepper with the ponzu sauce. Ponzu is citrus-infused soy sauce;
you can easily find it in most markets. Cover and marinate for
at least two hours.
Just before serving, lightly coat a chilled plate with sesame
oil. Slice the frozen tuna as thinly as you can and lay it
on the plate in a single layer. Arrange the cucumbers and
peppers in the center and drizzle the leftover ponzu sauce over
Sprinkle black sesame seeds over the top. Finish with a
light drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil, or if you don't have
that, a few drops of sesame oil.
Search the Recipe Database...
CANDIED ROSE PETALS
Decorate your Valentines Day table with
candied rose petals... they're gorgeous and delicious!
Here's how to do it:
• Pick out 6-12 roses in your favorite colors. Separate
the petals and pile them on a plate. Note: if you plan to
nibble, you must buy organic roses so that you're not munching
• Create an egg wash by stirring together one egg white
with 1 tsp. of water. Stir just to mix! Mixture should stay
• Lightly brush the egg wash over each petal. You can use
your fingertip or a small pastry brush. Simply swab the main
surface area; you don't have to cover every millimeter.
• Sprinke superfine sugar over the petals, and lay them
out on a wire rack to dry for a few moments, then place them on
baking sheets in a 175 degree oven. At this low temperature,
they should slowly crisp up without changing color, in about 45
minutes - 1 hour. Monitor them carefully so that they don't get
Here are some of our favorite things to do with candied rose
- Sprinkle over a salad
- Decorate a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream
- Heap over a cheese platter
- Pile on the table
... whatever and wherever you like!
STRAWBERRIES double-dipped in
MARSHMALLOW + DARK CHOCOLATE
double-dipped. Strawberries in chocolate is a classic, but the
addition of a layer of marshmallow makes it even better... a
chewy, chocolately bite with a juicy center. Absolutely
• 1 pint basket fresh large strawberries, leafy caps intact!
• 1/2 cup small marshmallows
• 1 Tblsp. brown sugar
• 4 oz. dark chocolate (we like Scharffen Berger 70%)
Gently wash the strawberries, leaving the cap intact, and
pat dry with a paper towel. In a small glass bowl, melt the
marshmallows for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Stir to form a
creamy paste. Dip the strawberries in the marshmallow, leaving
about 1/2" of berry showing. Place on oiled waxed paper.
Sprinkle the marshmallow area with just a bit of brown sugar.
In another bowl, melt the chocolate. Dip each berry into
the chocolate, leaving a ring of marshmallow exposed. Place the
berries back on the waxed paper and cool in the refrigerator for
at least 10 minutes.
Feeding the berries to your dinner companion is highly
You are receiving this email because you're a fan
of food and romance...You think life is a sensual adventure, and you
hope to nibble and sip your way to bliss. We hope this helps. If you're
hungry for more, head straight to our
Copyright 2003 • Sex and the Kitchen, Inc. • All Rights Reserved.