A Cautionary Tale:

 

One morning, a woman told her husband that she had dreamed that he gave her a pearl necklace.

"What do you think it means?" she asked him.

He smiled. "You'll know tonight, darling," he said.

That evening, the man came home and presented a wrapped package to his wife. Delighted, she opened it...only to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams".

We hope you'll behave better than this husband. He slept on the couch for many long nights after he pulled that stunt. But don't worry... we're here to help!

A LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO CHEF ANDREA FRONCILLO

Is it only me, or does time go by unbelievably fast? It seems like I was just scribbling out recipes for my holiday getaway to Tahoe, and suddenly it's February! As the New Year's festivities began, I started thinking back on 2005... and one of Frank Sinatra's songs came to mind. "2006...it was a very good year..." And it was. Full of friends and family, and fun travels, it was packed with the best kinds of memories.

The boys and I had a great time in the mountains, cooking and catching up. I've posted a few photos below so that you can have a peek at what we were up to. I had forgotten what it's like to be in such a remote spot... being so far from civilization is really fantastic until you realize that you've forgotten an ingredient. There's no Whole Foods around the corner, or even around a lot of corners, by the time you've gone out, found a market, and returned, you forgot what you were going to make in the first place!

But like I said, that was ages ago now. We're cruising towards Cupids' day, with his bows and arrows and downright mischief. If you haven't made reservations yet, don't even bother. Who wants to eat out anyway, when all you want to do is get your hands all over each other? Call someone to clean your house the day before, and then turn on your favorite music, relax and have fun. I've included some recipes that will hopefully help to get your creative juices flowing.

It must have been February 14th when "God created woman to be a companion to the man, using a rib from the man to create her..." If you read the Bible, you might decide that it definitely explains why we men are always chasing women around - we want our rib back! Oh, well. They say men are pigs, but I think it is more accurate to call them dogs... so watch out if one starts to smell your butt.

And speaking of smelling... what's that great fragrance I smell? It ought to be a combination of roses and chocolate - isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about? Well, that and diamonds. Right, ladies?!

But if you want to do something more special than the old candy box and plastic-wrapped flowers, I can help you take it to the next level. Check out the "Steam it Up" section below for some advanced ways to use those two standbys.

For my Valentine to you, I made up a special Riddle ... can you guess what it is?

Blushing is not a sign of embarrassment
But rather the characteristic of its real color
It can melt or break by feelings alone
Your mind cannot alter it
But it will often knock- sometimes fast, and sometimes slow
It does this to let you know
That is there to stay
So you can cry and smile and learn its way.


Here's hoping that your Valentine's Day is as wonderful and special as you want it to be. May it bring your joy and lighten up your _____________ (the answer to the riddle above - if you haven't figured out the answer by now, I'm seriously concerned about you!)

Even though I don't know many of you, I send you my love! Thanks for being a part of my life, even if indirectly.

Next month, I'm going to show you a step-by-step method for making Burrata, a fresh mozzarella cheese with a soft center and a smooth, buttery texture. Call me food-obsessed, but I think it would make a great date to invite a special someone over to make burrata together. You get to plunge your hands into soft, creamy curds, and form your own cheese. Cheese, a bottle of wine, and someone you're crazy about... does it get any better?!

Huge hugs to each of you,

Andrea

P.S: Don't forget to pre-order your copy of the Stinking Rose Restaurant Cookbook! To celebrate the publication of the book, I'll be making appearances all over the Bay Area, at places like Draeger's and Safeway, cooking and having fun and signing books. I'll let you know places & dates in the next issue of the newsletter, and hopefully I can meet some of you in person!

Check out the Web Site!



 

A Re-Cap of Christmas in Tahoe
Nonsense type Nonsense type Nonsense type Nonsense type Nonsense type
The house we rented in Tahoe turned out to be just as beautiful as I had hoped. It had wood-beamed ceilings and a huge fireplace, and a kitchen that was not nearly big enough for all of us trying to cook! Tracy and I were joined by my close friends Mario and Stephanie of Cafe Macaroni, their daughters Gabriella and Isabella, Giovanni Scala of Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa, and Francesco of Il Pastaio. Oh, and who could forget Ciccio, the snow-white dog; we were afraid of losing him outside! We had a blast, as you can only imagine... looks like it's going to become a yearly tradition.

Bistro Don Giovanni

Me, You and Pops: Potato Pancakes and Caviar

Some people like caviar during the holidays, but I like it to enjoy it this month, with someone I love.

- 1/2 pound Yukon Gold fingerling potatoes, peeled & grated.
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup diced red onions
- 2 ounces American sturgeon caviar

In a mixing bowl, beat together the grated potatoes with the egg. Add the flour, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously to combine. Place a strainer over another bowl and pour the potato mixture into the strainer to allow excess moisture to drip out.

Pour 3 inches of vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet and place over medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble, gently drop tablespoons of the potato batter into the oil, working in small batches. With the back of a wooden spoon, flatten each ball into a disc. After about 3 to 4 minutes, when the discs are golden brown and crispy around the edges, remove from oil with a slotted spoon. Place on a paper towel to drain.

Top each potato cake with a dab of creme fraiche, a sprinkling of red onion and a teaspoon of caviar. Enjoy immediately.


The Quickie Salad

This salad combines the light, fresh flavors of arugula and fennel with the salty tang of prosciutto, all served in a crispy parmesan basket for a dish that is both pretty and delicious.

- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
- 3 ounces diced prosciutto
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the cheese baskets, place three tablespoons of grated cheese in a small heap in the middle of a lightly oiled skillet, Turn the heat on medium-low and watch carefully as the cheese melts into a circle. As soon as the edges of the cheese circle begin to turn golden brown, remove from the skillet with a spatula and drape the melted circle over the back of an overturned rocks glass. With your hands, shape the cheese over the glass to form a bowl. Repeat with the remaining cheese. Let the baskets harden for about 15 minutes before turning the glass over to slide the basket off.

To make the salad, combine the arugula, prosciutto and sliced fennel in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with lemon juice; toss again. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop the salad into the cheese baskets, and serve immediately.
 


Too Hot To Handle

Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday this year. That means that you might be working all day, and you might come home tired, and whatever plans you had might end up being kind of lame. But it doesn't have to be that way. We like to celebrate our birthdays for an entire month, and we like to celebrate Valentine's Day starting the weekend before. Who says that everything has to happen on the 14th?

If you do decide to stay in - on Tuesday, or Wednesday, or whatever night you choose - here's a hot idea that we think takes the old "flowers and chocolate" concept to a new level. Enjoy!

Read this through all the way before you begin. This makes a wonderful dessert, to be followed by a long, warm bath. Take your time, go slowly, have fun.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm a bar of the best chocolate over very low heat. I like Sharffenberger or Valrhona, but use your favorite. Stir with a wooden spoon until just melted, then remove from heat. Let it cool just slightly so that you can dip your finger into it without getting burned. With your index finger, dip into the chocolate and smear "dots" of chocolate onto your own or (better yet) your partner's body. Immediately, stick a rose petal into each chocolate dot.

You're making art here... so let your imagination guide you. If you have a camera around, click away! Create some fun snapshots to look back on. When you're finished playing, you'll have to find a way to clean up your "edible rose." Yum!
 

More Tasty Ideas....


Warm Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

What is Valentine's without chocolate? And what is more sexy than warm chocolate cookies...? Don't even try to answer. Just make them, and enjoy. Note: You�ll need a heart-shaped cookie cutter for this recipe.

- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces (or try mixture of white and dark chocolate)
- 1/2 cup ground macadamia nuts

Place the butter and sugar into a saucepan and set over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves into the butter. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

Pour the butter mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, whisking vigorously. Add the flour, cocoa powder and chopped nuts. Stir until the mixture is evenly combined. Divide the dough in half and cover with plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the dough is stiff to the touch.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place them about 1 inch apart on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to crisp just slightly. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the chocolate pieces over low heat. When the chocolate is thick and shiny, remove from heat. Dip one half each cookie into the melted chocolate, then dip into the ground nuts. Place on a waxed paper sheet to prevent sticking.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.


From the Mailbox

Dear Andrea,

I've been with my man for almost ten years now. You could say that we know each other very well... we love each other dearly, but over the past couple of years, the bedroom has become a place where all we do is sleep.

Which would be fine and dandy if we were elderly, but we're nowhere near retirement, if you know what I mean. I'd like to have many more years of fun with this person. With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it would be a good time to try something new and maybe get the engines going again.

Can you help us spice things up?


A Reader


Dear Reader,

You still want to be with this guy after ten years and a bed that's only used for sleeping in? You're either a saint, or you're an amazingly patient woman. I wish I could tell this guy how lucky he his.

I think that you can definitely bring the spice back. But I've got news for you. In order to get this guy excited again, you're going to have to introduce him to another woman.

Wait a second! Don't start writing me a nasty note! What I mean is this: there's someone inside of you who is crazy and wild and breaks all the rules. I don't know if she's a blonde or a brunette, or if she dresses like a ballerina or a French maid, but you need to find her and bring her out to play.

That doesn't mean that you need to go to one of those stores where they sell cheesy fake leather outfits that you'd never, ever want to wear, except for on Halloween. I'm talking about discovering your alter-ego that is really, truly sexy. Finding "her" might involve spending a couple of hours in the lingerie department at Neiman Marcus; it might involve calling some of your single girlfriends to find out where they're shopping for special stuff.

There's a great web site called StockinGirl that has high-end lingerie and stockings that are likely to bring out the enchanting side of any woman... that might be another place to look. Wherever you go for your "costume," make sure that you feel knock-down-dead gorgeous in it.

The next thing you do is to call your man and schedule a date. In a place the two of you have never been together before. In a place with low lighting and good music. You arrive early, feeling daring and delicious. When he arrives, you send a drink across the bar. You flirt from a distance, without revealing who you are. Eventually you walk over and watch the delight and surprise that lights up his face...

I can guarantee you this: there won't be much sleeping going on when you finally do get back home! Anything less than that, and you should contact Pfizer company or knock 'im dead... and good luck with that!

Let me know how it goes, okay?!

xoxo,

Andrea

StockinGirl Boutique



 

Image

For the One I Love
Message to Tracy
 

Dreamy Strawberry Sundae

Creamy, decadent and rosy red: this is a dessert for sweethearts. If you can't find fresh strawberries at your market, substitute any fresh berry of your choice.

- 2 sundae or parfait glasses
- 1 shot Chambord liqueur
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 10-12 ladyfinger cookies
- 1 pint vanilla custard ice cream
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peak stage.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice and Chambord. Dunk the ladyfingers into the mixture just enough to moisten them; remove and place the ladyfingers around the inside of a sundae glass. The cookies should be propped up vertically, leaving a hollow in the middle. Place one scoop of ice cream in the bottom of the glass; add a row of strawberries; place another scoop of ice cream on top. Add another layer of berries.

Repeat with the second sundae glass.

Fold the sugar into the whipped cream, and place a generous spoonful of whipped cream on top of each sundae. Serve with an ice cream spoon.
 

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream


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 web site.

Copyright 2006 : Sex and the Kitchen, Inc. : All Rights Reserved.

 


 

 

Forward this message to a friend
Email:

 

This message was sent by LOVE NOTES using VerticalResponse's iBuilder.
Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.