By 300 Sandwiches
That should mean something, right? That should mean that we should go all out, right? Book a dinner reservation at that overpriced restaurant with the snooty maitre’d and the methuselah of Cristal on the menu and eat mediocre overrpiced surf-and-turf and roll around in overpriced Egyptian cotton sheets in a room at that overpriced hotel, only to regret our decisions the next day to celebrate Valentine’s Day by maxing out our credit cards.
E and I love celebrating Valentine’s Day by not celebrating Valentine’s Day. And since it’s going to be negative 50 thousand below outside, what a perfect excuse to stay in. And cook.
For your Valentine’s Day, I have tons of ideas. For one, French toast. For breakfast or brunch. It’s decadent and sweet and indulgent and says ‘I love you’ much better than a box of Russell-Stover assorted chocolates. Try this dish, sandwich #65, which I made in honor of my parents’ wedding anniversary a few years ago. They were together for 38 years of marriage before he passed away. They know how to make love last for sure.
For the afternoon, you’ll need something savory, but not too heavy (gotta be alert and spry for that Valentine’s Day nookie nookie later on, right?). So, howza bout a grilled cheese that pairs deliciously with a hot tomato soup? Like this bad boy, sandwich #84, the roasted tomato and grilled cheese. Soup and sandwich are the perfect couple, they say.
Dinner is where you might want something more substantial. It’s perfect for sandwich #195, this lamb sandwich with fig jam and arugula, or sandwich #158, these pepper steak wraps. These are perfect paired with your favorite bottle of merlot or shiraz and served by candelight. If you’re going to buy one holiday themed thing on Valentine’s Day, buy candles. They do more to get your love in the mood than a Hallmark card.
As a final touch, serve dessert. Soufflés or cakes or pies or, well, chocolate are all delicious. But here’s an easy homemade treat that will touch their hearts: homemade heart-shaped hand pies. These are the easiest treats you can make on the fly within minutes for that special someone. Use pre-made pie dough and safe yourself hours’ worth of work (leaves more time for Netflix and chillin’). Stuff them with your favorite fruit filling or jam, and top them with sugar, turbinado or powedered. Or melted chocolate. Or Nutella.
I made these for my sweetie, who I love dearly, who cooked me dinner for the past two weeks while I worked and covered events and went to yoga and sat on the couch. This after I went vegan and nearly put our marriage in jeopardy. He deserves a homemade heart-shaped dessert. And much more.
I love him just as much — if not more — as I did when he was just my boyfriend.
1 pound frozen raspberries
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pre made pie crusts
1 egg, beaten
In a small saucepan, combine all but 1/4 cup of the frozen raspberries with the sugar and lemon zest. Let simmer until raspberries melt and get saucy, about 7-10 minutes (I kick started this process by spooning in a few tablespoons of warm water, so the berries diet stick to my bowl). Sprinkle on cornstarch, and stir. Set aside; the sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a flat, floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into hearts. Place bottom layers on baking sheet. Spoon a small amount of the raspberry filling onto a heart. Top with another dough heart, carefully pressing the edges together. Then, with a small fork, press the tines of the fork along the edges to make crinkles. Brush with the beaten egg wash. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on a wire rack.