Seduction Meals is about food + romance and the premise that everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish—a Seduction Meal, to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life...
We're not quite over that Valentine's Day buzz, and we're betting you aren't, either. So why not join us in a Seduction Meals tradition: February 15th breakfast in bed?
It's up to you whether the first one awake does the preparation, or one of you makes the coffee while the other cooks the food. Any way you do it, it's pure luxury to slip back under the sheets, cozy up to your sweetheart and welcome the morning together over a tasty treat.
First, make your favorite coffee...
Then, whip up an energizing morning meal. For instant gratification you can always pick up some pastries from your favorite bakery ahead of time and simply pop them in the oven to warm up; but for those of you who don't mind a little kitchen time before you're properly caffeinated, here's a few ideas from the Seduction Meals archives.
In our article A Late Winter's Date in NYC, we told you all about West Village sensation Barraca. Now, as a special treat to cap off our Rhapsody in Red celebration, meet the talented master chef who creates the magic. Chef Jesús Nuñez, master of combining exquisite flavor with artistic presentation, was kind enough to grant us a Valentine's Q&A.
How is your work at Barraca different from the dishes you created at Gastroarte?
JN: Although the style of food is very different, it is the same in one aspect: I try to make the best food possible. At Barraca I'm cooking genuine, authentic Spanish food--comfort food, casual dishes that bring a bite of Spain to the table. At Gastroarte, I was transforming Spanish recipes and creating contemporary interpretations of traditional dishes--melding ideas together and playing with food.
Where do you find inspiration when thinking up innovative ways to present a dish?
JN: I don't have a concrete answer for this question. My inspiration comes from everywhere--from a color, a texture, an ingredient, a picture, a dream, a form, a crazy idea, a sunset, a conversation, a building, an artist. I don't look at food as just food; I look at is as the medium through which I can be creative. Sometimes when I walk in the kitchen, I know what I'm going to do. But sometimes, I play with a dish, using the ingredients as legos, trying to fall in love with the presentation. Of course, though, the most important thing is the flavor, and this is something that I never forget.
Can you describe your most memorable/romantic Valentine's Day meal? Was it created by you, or for you?
JN: The most memorable Valentine's Day meal was cooked for me by my girlfriend, who created an entire menu in just one dish. Let me explain: She was following a pasta recipe that called for spinach, but when she finished, the pasta ended being more like a soup (first course), with rough, raw spinach piled on top, resembling a salad with walnuts and cheese (second course), and then a pasta (entrée). But love was in the air!
What advice would you give the casual chef on plating a dish to create an extraordinary Valentine's Day meal?
JN: Cook with love and passion--this is the secret. Don't drive yourself crazy; prepare something simple. The extraordinary part of dining on Valentine's Day is enjoying a meal with the person you love.
What is your favorite seductive dish?
JN: Foie gras terrine with sea urchin, Iberian ham sauce, persimmon and passion fruit. This is an explosion of flavors and textures that you can't forget. When you eat this dish, you fall in love with it, and then with me (haha).
What kind of romantic gift or special treat do you like to give your lover for Valentine's Day?
JN: A nice card written from the heart. Then I try to get home early from work to giver her a massage. Simple, honest and effective. Anyway, I'm not really a Valentine's Day guy; I'm an "every-day-is-Valentine's-Day" guy.
Thanks to Chef Nuñez for taking the time to answer our questions! Take his advice and remember that the love and passion you pour into the preparation of a meal is what makes it truly special, and the time you spend savoring it with the one you love is the most important part. May your day be filled with romance, delicious food, and sweet seduction.
So many people, especially in the States, tend to think of Valentine's Day as a 'commercial' holiday. Sure, it's meant to be a day to celebrate the love in your life, but in practice, isn't it just an excuse to sell greeting cards, flowers, chocolates and dinner reservations?
That's the cynical attitude, but here at Seduction Meals, we treat February 14th as the rhapsody in red it's meant to be. Just as love itself can take so many different forms, the demonstration - and celebration - of love can be as understated or as extravagant as feeling dictates. We like to err on the side of extravagance, of course; and luckily for us, there's one city that's as shamelessly romantic as we are.
The beautiful Italian city of Verona is the setting of the most iconic love story of all time, Romeo & Juliet. On February 14th every year, Verona celebrates its lovestruck reputation with an all-out, citywide festival: Verona in Love.
In the week leading up to the festival, the streets and shop windows are decked out in heart-shaped lanterns and festive decorations. Romantic events including photography and art shows, the screening of classic date movies, live music and food and wine tastings take place throughout the week. The House of Juliet, said to be the home of the real Juliet Capulet, is open for free tours on Valentine's Day. And at the center of it all, the fountain at the Piazza del Signori is transformed into a giant crimson heart.
There's no cynicism to be found here - just lovers, and lovers of love. The enchanted atmosphere is said to be intoxicatingly contagious. Doesn't it make you feel a little more amorous just to know that this kind of unabashed romanticism is taking place somewhere in the world?
In fact, the whole thing sounds so delightful we might just take a vacation next year. See you there, lovers!
Sometimes the best gift you can give to the one you love is an escape from the stress and tedium of everyday life. While you're racing to keep on top of all your responsibilities, it's easy to forget to make time to keep your romantic connection strong. A weekend getaway at a small, intimate bed & breakfast is a great way to unwind and get back in sync with each other. And when you book in the off-season, you're guaranteed the utmost privacy, peace and quiet.
As part of our Valentine's Day Rhapsody in Red, we've collected four of the Hudson Valley's premiere spots for a red hot weekend rendezvous. Make time to focus on yourselves and one another.
Charming Woodstock has been a gathering place for creative minds since the turn of the 20th century. Exquisite local restaurants and shops and beautiful hiking and walking trails are all within easy walking distance of the Inn's front door. The Inn itself is cozy, friendly and situated beautifully on the babbling Millstream.
For a more inclusive getaway, Milton's Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa will cater to your every need without your ever having to leave the grounds. The spa utilizes entirely natural, organic products, and the inn's accommodations range from plush rooms to a private house. Order room service and gaze out at the Hudson River views for a weekend of lazy luxury.
The town of Hudson has seen a recent revival as a new epicenter for the local art scene. If you like live music, you'll have a blast spending a weekend at the beautiful and historic Croff House. The luxurious, fully appointed rooms will make you feel right at home, and the town's quirky, lively vibe will send you home feeling energized. Don't miss dinner, drinks and entertainment at Helsinki Hudson, the area's hottest new venue.
Nestled on nearly 18 acres in the heart of the Catskill mountains, Nehapwa is a luxury retreat offering true country privacy. A ten minute drive gets you to the gorgeous Hunter Mountain ski areas or Catskill hiking trails. Nehapwa's organic, farm-to-table breakfast is not to be missed. This retreat aims to send their guests away feeling revitalized, and the beautiful grounds, picturesque surroundings and comfortable atmosphere are guaranteed to do just that.
Whether your ideal weekend getaway involves taking in some small-town charm, a full spa treatment, a whirlwind night on the town, or getting cozy in the mountains, the Hudson Valley has you covered. If you're not in the area, we hope you'll feel inspired to find the perfect retreat where you live - and share with us in the comments!
There's just one more step in our mix-and-match Valentine's Day Seduction Meal series: the dessert course. Once you've picked out an aphrodisiac appetizer, tantalizingsoup or salad, and mouthwatering entree, it's important to choose a dessert that will finish off the meal by complementing, not overpowering, the flavor palate you've established. We've assembled five fruit-sweetened treats that make a perfect ending to a very special dinner.
We're fascinated by the art of the love letter. Ever since we started coming across these intimate pieces of romantic history, we've felt compelled to share them with the world. So to celebrate our Valentine's Day Rhapsody in Red, here's one more installment in our series of love letters from famous figures throughout the ages. Don't forget to check out part one and part two.
These letters, and many more like them, came from the fabulous and fascinating blog Letters of Note.
First, a letter of love and longing from artist Rockwell Kent to his wife, Frances:
"Frances! I am so lonely I can hardly bear it. As one needs happiness so have I needed love; that is the deepest need of the human spirit. And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit. It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love -- to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know. How long these hours are alone! Yet is good for me to know the measure of my love and need, that I may at least be brought to so govern myself as never to lose the love and trust that you have given me. Dear Frances, let us make and keep our love more beautiful than any love has ever been before. Forever, dearest one. Thy Rockwell."
No less lovely for its wildly different style, here's a letter from beloved comedian George Carlin to his wife, Sally: "SALLYBURGER, If you took THE NUMBER OF SUB-ATOMIC PARTICLES IN THE UNIVERSE and multiplied that number times itself THAT MANY TIMES; and then added the total number of MICRO-SECONDS since the beginning of time, times itself; and then added 803--you would STILL have only the tiniest fraction of A BILLION-BILLIONTH PER CENT of the amount of love I HAVE FOR YOU. Love, your candle partner, the romantic Mr Carlin, your eternal flame."
And finally, a letter of pure, raw emotion from writer Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolfe: "...I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn't even feel it. And yet I believe you'll be sensible of a little gap. But you'd clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan't make you love me any more by giving myself away like this -- But oh my dear, I can't be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don't love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don't really resent it."
May these heartfelt words inspire you to send a love letter of your own. Happy Valentine's Day, lovers!
It's no secret that we love our chocolate here at Seduction Meals. So whenever we get an opportunity to provide you with a chance to win some dark, creamy gourmet goodness, we jump right on it. (Don't mention it, really.)
If you've never experienced Chuao Chocalatier, now is the time to find out what you've been missing.
For a whole year, Chuao will supply one lucky winner with chocolate treats to satisfy the soul. Four runners-up will get a nice sampling of four Chuao chocolate bars. Willy Wonka, eat your heart out. Like Chuao on Facebook to grab your chance to win!
Who says seduction has to be serious? After all, laughter releases those feel-good endorphins that help to get you relaxed, happy and ready for anything. To that end, we've collected some of our very favorite couples' games - some sexy, some silly, some enlightening - to get you talking, laughing and loving.
Now that you've picked out your appetizer and your soup or salad course for your red-hot Valentine's dinner, it's time to take a look at a few entree options. Whether you prefer steak, seafood, poultry or vegetarian, we've got you covered - four fabulous dishes, each with an aphrodisiac twist (naturally). It's all part of our mix and match Rhapsody in Red.
For the past several Valentine's Days, we've gotten into the habit of pointing you towards the most luscious and luxurious artisan chocolates on the market, and we see no reason to stop now. In keeping with our Rhapsody in Red theme, here are some exotically flavored handcrafted chocolates to ignite flames of passion.
What could be more perfect than aphrodisiac-themed truffles? With ingredients like kumamoto oyster-infused cream, champagne, and pearl dust; mamajuana and chamomile; and ancho chillies and Ceylon cinnamon, this is a box of chocolates unlike any you've tasted before.
Pave Glace are decadently delicious chocolates created with ground hazelnuts, saffron, and cocoa butter, designed to resemble the cobblestones of a Swiss mountain village. Elegant, unexpected, charming and very tasty.
A fiery collection of four sweet, hot bonbons to light up the senses. Chipotle, pasilla chile and cayenne combine with more traditional ingredients like caramel fudge, sea salt, cinnamon chocolate ganache and macadamia nut praline to put an intriguing spin on some old classics.
Made especially for Valentine's Day, this truffle collection from Romanicos offers rich and creamy flavors like vanilla, champagne, holy berry, and coconut. Takes the heart-shaped box of chocolates to a whole new level.
Chocolates from His/Her Hometown
Want something a little more personal? Call up an independent chocolatier or candy store in your partner's hometown and order up a box from them. It's a sweet way to support a local business while honoring your loved one's roots.
The music you choose can make or break a romantic evening. This Valentine's Day, we're putting together some playlists made up of the best mood music from classic to contemporary eras. Sexy, slinky tunes about love, sweet love - press play and watch the sparks fly.
It's a good thing we've got Valentine's Day to brighten up February, because this can be a tough month to ride out. It's easy to come down with some serious cabin fever while you're waiting for the snow to melt and the sunshine to return. But with the most romantic day of the year just around the corner, this is no time to hibernate - so we wracked our brains to come up with the sweetest, hottest New York City date imaginable. A stimulating museum, a red-hot gourmet meal and a feel-good dessert will get you out the door and feeling fine.
Arousing, entertaining, and surprisingly educational, it's the city's only museum with sex appeal! Beside the permanent collection of sexual art, artifacts and oddities, the Museum houses an array of ever-changing exhibits, a lower-level aphrodisiac bar and cafe, and a fully stocked "gift" shop where you and your date just might want to pick up something something frisky and fun to play with later on. Click here to get an instant discount on admission!
You're going to have quite the appetite after all that excitement. Well, do we ever have a treat for you. Make your reservations early, because a table at Barracais hot property.
Chef Jésus Nuñez, the mastermind behind the revolutionary cuisine at Gastroarte, puts a modern spin on classic Spanish tapas and paella with a four-course tasting menu of dishes as gorgeous as they are delicious.
The West Village setting is irresistibly romantic, and the restaurant's house-infused sangrias will put you in a good mood in no time. Feast on creative fare like oyster and sea urchin soup, torta del Casar cheese fondue, and hake fish in vegetable Mediterranean sauce, while enjoying Barraca's rustic ambiance and elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere.
After dinner, should you wish to treat yourselves to a little extra dessert, take a stroll to Union Square to find the (in)famous Max Brenner restaurant. With signature confections like urban s'mores, pearl sugar chocolate waffles, crepes brulee, and a variety of fondues, it's the perfect conclusion to a decadent Valentine's date in the city. Stay warm, lovers!
For our Valentine's Day Rhapsody in Red, we want to give you plenty of ways to wow your lover. Impress them with a home-cooked four-course meal - choose a soup or salad, mix and match with one of our spicy seafood appetizers, and you're on your way to a dinner to remember. Stay tuned for entrees and desserts!
What to give your guy on Valentine's Day? Something sweet, something sultry, something a tad suggestive... or all of the above. It's the thought that counts, and since February 14th is for lovers, why not make that thought a little dirty?
Reading a love letter is like getting a voyeuristic glimpse into the most secret recesses of the writer's heart. It's even more fascinating when the writer is a famous figure from history - knowing their work inside and out is one thing, but to read their most intimate personal thoughts is irresistibly intriguing.
As part of our Valentine's Day Rhapsody in Red, we're bringing you the most beautiful, touching, funny, frequently sexy celebrity love letters we can find, in the hopes that they'll inspire you to express your own romantic feelings to the one you love.
from jimi hendrix to an unnamed lady friend...
happiness is within you....so unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow--
like the sweet flower you are.....
I know the answer--
Just spread your wings and set yourself
Love to you forever
from frida kahlo to diego rivera...
"Diego, my love,
Remember that once you finish the fresco we will be together forever once and for all, without arguments or anything, only to love one another.
Behave yourself and do everything that Emmy Lou tells you.
I adore you more than ever. Your girl, Frida
johnny cash to june carter cash...
"That's really nice June. You've got a way with words and a way with me as well.
The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.
A prime cut Rib Roast dinner sure to impress! We serve this dish with a horseradish sauce and a robust au jus.
Here is one tip when cooking a rib roast: prime rib is a generic term for prime meat. In this case Prime refers to the grade of meat not the cut of meat so be sure ask for a prime grade Rib Roast as opposed to a choice rib roast - which is similar but not as aged or marbled as we want for our prime grade roast. This is what makes the best roast you can serve; and we want to serve our loved ones the very best!
Roasted Prime Rib with Horseradish Sauce
Ingredients for Prime Rib:
8 lb prime cut bone in Rib Roast,
Salt & Pepper
1/3 cup of Mediterranean dry rub* (salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, celery salt and sage)
1 tablespoon of Smoked paprika
*this can be purchased or you can make up a mix of dry spices outlined above
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Pat dry with paper towels and place uncovered in refrigerator over night
Remove from refrigerator and trim excess fat, leaving some on
Generally salt the entire roast and then add, smoked paprika and fresh cracked pepper then rub dry rub all over roast
Place in roasting pan, bone side down, cooking until the temperature reaches 120 degrees F for medium rare.
Take roast out of oven, cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes
1 cup of beef stock
1 beef bullion cube or 1 teaspoon of beef bullion paste (concentrated beef stock)
1/2 dry red wine
1 teaspoon Pepper
Cook over medium heat, simmering for 15 minutes
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
Garnish Optional: Chives
Mix ingredients together and refrigerate for 1/2 to 1 hour. Serve with Rib Roast and garnish with Fresh Chives.
Before this cherished month of romance comes to an end, first, we hope you enjoyed one of the most romantic days of the year with your loved one; but I always wonder...why just one day? Why not extend this romantic tradition longer?
Why not keep the flames of passion alive after Valentine's Day by spending the day with your loved one, perhaps lingering in bed all day long. I bet you will agree, one of the most romantic things you can do is to serve, or be served, breakfast in bed. You could go all out and prepare an enticing gourmet feast or you can keep it simple with home-baked muffins and coffee--trust me, either approach will be appreciated. Just the act of sharing breakfast in bed is so romantic and comfy. And, you can stay in bed for hours doing all sorts of things together: tackle the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle, share your deepest secrets and fantasies, read poetry to each other, catch up on this year's Oscar nominated movies, listen to your favorite sexy music and of course... get ready for an afternoon of continued delight. Enjoy the day and revel in each other's company--isn't this what love and happiness is all about?
Having your Cake and Eating it Too! While taking a day off from work might make you feel a bit guilty, shake that silly thought away as you enjoy an enticing breakfast together in bed. If you're thinking it's not healthy to indulge in any sweets, think again. The chefs at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) have teamed up with researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) to dispel the low-fat-is-healthy myth and give you five delicious muffin-makeover recipes to serve to those you love. Below is their reconstructed Blueberry muffin.
But wait....what's this?
HSPH research showed that low-fat diets are no better for health than moderate or high-fat diets--and for many people, may be worse. To support these findings, nutrition experts as HSPH and chefs at the CIA developed five new muffin recipes that incorporate healthy fats and whole grains, and use a lighter hand on the salt and sugar. Their goal? To "make over" the ever-present low-fat muffin, touted as a "better-for-you" choice when in fact it often has reduced amounts of heart-healthy fats, such as liquid plant oils, but boasts plenty of harmful carbohydrates in the form of white flour and sugar.
Take a regular blueberry muffin from a national coffee shop, for example. It has 450 calories on average and most of those calories come from carbohydrates from white flour and sugar. However, now that national chains have eliminated trans fats, a regular muffin does have heart-healthy fat, usually from soybean or canola oil. A low-fat muffin still has about the same amount of calories, but contains more carbohydrates and sugar and about 60% more sodium than a regular muffin. The new made-over Blueberry Muffin recipe below is less than half the size of a coffee shop muffin and contains just 130 calories. It is made with a mixture of whole wheat and white and almond flour, and uses canola oil, a healthy fat.
"There are so many ingredients available to home bakers who want to offer their families healthful, flavorful baked goods," says CIA Chef Richard Coppedge, Jr. "The five recipes not only include a wide variety of whole grain and nut flours; they also demonstrate how more unusual ingredients like canned chickpeas and extra virgin olive oil can be used in baking." Show the ones you love how much you care. Bake up a batch of delicious "made-over" muffins, sure to become favorites, and let them indulge in a more healthful way.
Makes 18 muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 eggs, large
1 1/4 cups low-fat (1%) buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Place the rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Add the fresh blueberries and toss gently to coat the blueberries in flour. This will help keep the blueberries suspended in the batter instead of falling to the bottom.
In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the buttermilk, brown sugar, canola oil, orange juice, and vanilla. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled or lumpy.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until most of the flour is incorporated. The mixture can be slightly lumpy; don't over-mix. Divide the batter among the 18 prepared muffin cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown around the edges.
Nutrition analysis per 6-ounce ounce: 270 calories, 12g protein, 5g carbohydrate, 21g fat, 1,050mg sodium, 50mg cholesterol, 2g fiber. See also the recipes for Cranberry Orange Muffins, Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Muffins, Lemon Chickpea Breakfast Muffins, and Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins.
Remember how adorably sweet it was in the third or fourth grade when a girl or boy would approach you with a little card or gift and shyly ask...."Will you be my Valentine?"
When was the last time you used Valentine's Day to let someone know you are interested, or want to get to know them better, or to shower them with sweetness to let them know how much you really appreciate and love everything about them.
Three things to make Valentine's Day Special
1. Enjoy a romantic meal for two at home. While dining out at your favorite restaurant is almost always a pleasure, Valentine's Day is all about cooking for volume, moving people in and out, mostly bad service and overall, you are taking a chance on whether or not the experience on this special day will be a good one. (And if you live in a city like New York, catching a cab home can be a trying experience). Don't get me wrong, there are a good number of restaurants who still cater to quality and the experience no matter the day of the year; but on this day, they are far and few. So....
Prepare an amazing three-course home-cooked meal that shows your creativity and passion for making this night a special event
Or, if you don't cook, hire a private chef, or have your favorite restaurant prepare (and if they have the bandwidth, deliver) a meal to your home. Set up a table for two in your living room. Use a white table cloth, add flowers and candles and an impressive table setting.If you have a fireplace, get that going.
If you think you will be together the next day, be sure to plan for a wonderfully seductive breakfast in bed
2. Surprise and Delight your Loved One Go out of your way to do something that will truly charm and delight your Valentine. Be creative and do something out of the ordinary...something that will make their hearts go pitter patter.
Send a special invitation to your Valentine's Day dinner. Provide the details of your romantic evening to build anticipation of something special.
Go for a couple's massage at your favorite local spa before dinner
Sprinkle rose petals from the door to the table, where two glasses and a bottle of chilled champagne awaits
Dim the lights and set (unscented) candles throughout the room to create a sense of twinkling magic
Hire a waiter for the dinner portion of your romantic eventing. They should leave as soon as dessert is served.
Consider hiring a 2 or 3 piece ensemble to play a few romantic tunes during your cocktail / appetizer portion of the night
Create a music playlist that is made up of your shared favorite songs
3. Gifts While there are many little things you can do to make the night special, each a gift in its own right, don't feel you have to give someone a gift for Valentine's Day, but if you want to, here are a few ideas that you can order online:
Piper Heidsieck Brut Rose Champagne & Vosage Exotic Truffles Pour a little pink bubbly to start any celebration! Piper Heidsieck brut rosè Champagne dry Champagne pours a rich, deep crimson. Lively effervescence is punctuated by notes of plum, cherry and blood orange and finishes with a touch of cinnamon.
Ravishing Red Roses Hatbox Bouquet A luxury bouquet, artfully arranged in a contemporary vase and delivered in gorgeous keepsake hatbox. The flawless blooms of rich red luxury roses express so elegantly your love and affection, and when situated in a red square glass vase they'll sweep your Valentine right off her feet. A bouquet of twelve roses arrives already perfectly arranged inside the vase, and the romantic gift is elegantly presented in a berry satin hatbox topped with a green bow.
Reasons I Love You Stones The
reasons are infinite, and now nine of them are etched in stone. One
side of each brushed-nickel token says "I love you" and the other bears a
compelling reason, from "because you're an inspiration" to "because you rock" to "because I
just do!" Comes in a red faux-suede
Vivre Bag of Passion The ultimate bag of passion, created exclusively for Vivre by Nancy
Gonzalez. An exotic crocodile and leather pouch houses a set of
crocodile "love" totems that say it all: a pair of red lips (for
kisses); a silver moon (over the moon); a key (to your heart); and a red
heart (no words required). Encased in a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" red leather
pouch with natural Cayman crocodile trim.
Personalized Hidden Message Collar Stays Why
settle for tucking love notes in his briefcase when you can deliver a
message of love from much closer range? Our set of twelve stainless
steel collar stays (six each of two different sizes: 2 ½" and 2 ¾")
comes in a compact leather carry case. Each collar stay is
personaled with your choice of quote or message. So, get creative.
Be it love or lust, your 12 different flirty messages--customized
especially for your sweetheart--are sure to make his day.
Beer of the Month Club For the beer lovers in your life, here is a gift that will put a smile on his face. Gift recipients receive 12 bottles of premium microbrews (4 different kinds) every month from award-winning breweries nationwide. Free shipping and instant gift messages with all orders. Available in 3, 6, 12 month and quarterly lengths.
The Groove Collection A study of the African-American influence on America's musical history through chocolate, story and song, The Groove Collection is a chocolate + music experience. The featured artists range from Otis Redding to Grandmaster Flash, and the perfectly synched truffles boast ingredients such as roasted yams, buttermilk banana pudding, Jack Daniels® Tennessee Whiskey, and Kentucky tobacco smoked deep milk chocolate. Twelve musical genres await. Read, listen, feel and taste your way through history. And for the feel-good quota: 10% of proceeds from this music-chocolate-sensory experience are donated to Little Kids Rock, an organization dedicated to restoring and revitalizing music education in U.S. schools.
For many, now is the time to start planning that special romantic meal for two that is shared on February 14th! If you are making reservations its best to get on top of that right away. But for those who prefer a more intimate, romantic and hassle-free evening, creating and sharing a home-cooked meal is the best option. This Valentine's Day why not add a few aphrodisiacs to your menu and let the sparks fly!
1. Champagne Apropos for a special celebration and a symbol for love, Champagne would certainly rank among the top five aphrodisiacs for love. Select an elegant set of glasses and christen the evening with the festive sound of a popping cork. Share in the delight of taking in its sparkling effervescence as you begin to feel a sense of euphoria and anticipation of a very special evening with each sip taken.
A Champagne Cocktail for Love / Makes 1 cocktail 2 ounces fresh tangerine juice 1/2 ounce rose water 2 fresh mint leaves 2 ounces dry (slightly sweet) champagne
Add the tangerine juice and rose water to a champagne flute. Twist the mint leaves with your fingers and drop them in the glass. Fill the glass with champagne.
2. Seafood Not only does Seafood go perfectly with Champagne....there is just something sexy about eating seafood. Think of slurping a raw oyster; feeding your lover a beautifully prepared canape with caviar followed by a shot of vodka, or sharing a piece of lobster dipped in butter. There are many varieties of seafood that have found their way on top lists of aphrodisiacs: Caviar, lobster, oysters, scallops and clams. Here is a wonderful appetizer to consider for your Valentine Seduction Meal by Alton Brown--Scallops on the Half Shell. The presentation is greatly enhanced by taken the extra step of purchasing the shells to serve the Scallops on, or perhaps you have scallop appetizer plates such as these from Micheal Aram.
Sweaty palms, increased heart rate, raised body temperatures- feels just like love right? Well, the right pepper will have you thinking that if you didn't know better, but how wonderful is the spicy pepper and all it brings to a dish. If you are a steak lover, here is a spicy dish that will liven things up: Grilled Ribeye Steak or Filet Mignon with Chimichurri Sauce. Originating from Argentina, Chimichurri is a delicious sauce simply made from chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. It is typically served with grilled steak, but can be served over chicken, fish and roasted vegetables. For all those garlic lovers out there....this is your sauce! You may even consider it your all time favorite, or just... the BEST sauce ever!
It is truly amazing to watching a person succumbing to their chocolate desires...with their eyes closed, and their motions slowed downy to savor every moment of this its experience - dare I say...it's almost orgasmic. For many, chocolate is one of life's true culinary pleasures. I would have to agree, although I put it right next to ice-cream. Hell, some say its better than sex! Long accepted as a Valentine's Day tradition, chocolate goes hand-in-hand as a choice gift with long stem roses or any flowers for that matter. Shower your lover with this powerful aphrodisiac to find out if it truly increases one's sexual libido.
5. Honey Deliciously tempting, there is a reason honey is always listed as a top food for love. In medieval times, people drank a fermented drink made from honey which they believed promoted sexual desire. This drink, called mead, was shared between newlyweds in hopes of igniting flames of passion during their "honey month" or honeymoon. Luxuriously smooth, sticky and sweet - you can get very creative with your use of honey. Here is a tempting way to end your Valentine's Day meal: a special dessert of Pears in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel with Artisanal Cheese.
Some things are "Simply Irresistible" and this Valentine's Day,
award-winning Chuao Chocolatier is offering you the opportunity to win a
trip for two to San Diego where you will spend two nights at the
glamorous La Jollaa Shores Hotel, enjoy dinner at the beachfront THE
SHORES restaurant, and attend a private wine and chocolate pairing event
with Master Chef Michael Antonorsi of Chuao Chocolatier.
And, you will have a chance to win one of 14 Limited Edition Sweetheart
Boxes filled with 22 signature Chuao Chocolatier bonbons featuring
delectable, aphrodisiac ingredients.
So don't delay, you have between now and February 14th to enter to win.
And as if that wasn't enough to incentive you, Seduction Meals is pleased to offer a 20% Off Coupon!
Use the code "BLOGGER" and receive 20% off their entire purchase at www.chuaochocolatier.com from Jan. 20 until Feb. 14, 2012.
Think magical love potion with side effects of uncontrollable passion and sensual bliss. Let's face it, people do crazy things for their chocolate fix and for some reason not to be challenged, gifts of chocolate morsels are expected on Valentine's Day. It's so easy to go online and order some of the best artisanal chocolates...so don't wait until the last minute, order now! Here's some of our favorites: Vosages - Red Fire Milagro Heart of Love: $4.00 Spice it up a notch! Bestow the gift of a love miracle, and give a milagro heart to someone special. The milagro (meaning miracle in Spanish) symbolizes gratitude and love, and embodies the power of the heart to heal all wounds. Classic Red Fire parfum of Ancho y Chipotle chillies + Ceylon cinnamon + dark chocolate. John & Kira: The Ultimate Wine + Fig Gift Box: $79.95 John & Kira: "This pairing is one of the best things we have ever tasted. Inside the beautiful brown gift box lies a 12 piece box of chocolate covered whiskey ganache figs accompanied by a bottle of Lacrima Dolce merlot based dessert wine (375 ml) from the ultra premium Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford, PA. The pairing makes the ultimate dessert after a long meal and the perfect gift for a wine and chocolate connoisseur."
"To make the figs, we import tender, organic dried Calabacita figs from a small family farm in Spain then fill them ourselves with a silky smooth, whiskey infused Valrhona dark chocolate ganache. They are then hand-dipped in 62% dark chocolate and carefully placed in their own gift box . . . finished with a letter-pressed card." Romanicos: Love Stamp Mezzo - $75 True chocoholics understand that one type of chocolate, one flavor, one tiny box, is never enough. We have taken our inspiration from these chocolate lovers and created this giant gift box of decadent chocolates containing our three lines of chocolate (Truffles, Chocolate Art, and our Truffle Bites). Oh, sweet temptations! Vosages - Grande Heart Exotic Truffle Collection: $95 Love is a battlefield, here is your purple heart! This alluring purple heart shaped box contains an assortment of 32 truffles from the Italiana, Groove, Aztec and Exotic Collections. Savor each truffle for a taste of history and culture from all around the world. Magnify your tasting experience with the provided pairing menu. Maribelle NY - 36 pieces of Artistic Sweets for your Loved One: $97 When it comes to elegant surprises, nothing compares to the classic 36 piece MarieBelle box. Packed up in a fashionable and artistic Red box are 36 delicious seasonal themed morsels, ready to satisfy your senses.
Richart Valentine Day's Gift Boxes: $15 - $75 What is the flavor of your love? This year, Michel RICHART was inspired by the ever changing sides of love: mysterious, loyal, passionate, sincere, secret...Discover how he translated all these feelings and memories into unique textures, savors, and flavors. And celebrate love.
Christopher Elbow - Valentine Collection: $38 Whats not to love? Twenty chocolates from our fall/winter seasonal collection wrapped up in a beautiful heart shaped box. This item is available to order now, but will not be available for shipping until January 30th.
Some things are "Simply Irresistible" and this Valentine's Day, award-winning Chuao Chocolatier is offering you the opportunity to win a trip for two to San Diego! You will get round-trip airfare for two, you will spend two nights at the glamorous La Jolla Shores Hotel, enjoy dinner at the beachfront THE SHORES restaurant, and last but not least, you will attend a private wine and chocolate pairing event with Master Chef Michael Antonorsi of Chuao Chocolatier.
And, you will have a chance to win one of 14 Limited Edition Sweetheart
Boxes filled with 22 signature Chuao Chocolatier bonbons featuring
delectable, aphrodisiac ingredients.
So don't delay, you have between now and February 14th to enter to win.
And as if that wasn't enough to incentive you, Seduction Meals is pleased to offer a 20% Off Coupon!
Use the code "BLOGGER" and receive 20% off their entire purchase at www.chuaochocolatier.com from Jan. 20 until Feb. 14, 2012.
Enjoy a late afternoon sweet soiree, as you toast to each other with a Chambord French Sparkle that will tickle your tongue with bubbles of delight. Follow this with a luscious bite of chocolate layered cake beautifully decorated with fresh berries.
I recently attended an event with party planner and style expert, Cathy Riva presented by Driscoll's Berries, where I was introduced to these recipes.
Go ahead, indulge! It's a sweet temptation well worth it.
French Sparkle Recipe courtesy of Chambord
1 1/2 oz Chambord flavored vodka
1 oz champagne
2 oz mango nectar
Finish with a fresh blackberry or raspberry
Shake vodka and mango nectar with ice and stain into a chilled champagne glass. Top with champagne.
Mixed Berry Be Mine Chocolate Cake Recipe Courtesy of Cathy Riva
Valentine's Day is soon upon us; a day of love and romance celebrated and shared by two. Here are 10 tips to help create a memorable Seduction Meal at home. Be creative, have fun and share the love!
10 tips for Perfecting your Valentine's Day Romantic Dinner:
Ambiance. Create a warm, cozy ambiance. Dim the lights, add candle light (unscented of course), start up a roaring fire, play sexy music, and set up a beautifully, seductive dining table.
A Gift of Appreciation: Start the evening by presenting a gift, a small token of appreciation. Something very personal, a bouquet of flowers, or a wonderful box of chocolates--all Valentine's Day traditions.
The Beauty of Flowers: Beautiful flowers add elegance to the ambiance - drop a trail of rose petals from the door to a bucket of chilled champagne or a pitcher of martini's, or if you are in a long term relationship (or just bold) the trail can lead to the bedroom, although I suggest you do this visually after dinner as you both walk the trail together
Sexy Music is important and will set the tone of the night. Check out the Music Lounge on SeductionMeals.com for an array of sexy tunes to create the ultimate music play list. Or you can use Pandora or Stereomood for a romantic play list.
The Seduction Meal: Select a meal that is special, something new or a favorite of your date. Don't be timid, if appropriate, have some sexy fun and place delicate
morsels of food in your lover's mouth to heighten and tease the senses. Don't spend too much time in the kitchen - keep it simple or prepare some foods the day before.
The Presentation: Perfectly Plate a dish to be as visually enticing as possible - look at magazines, TV shows and cookbooks for inspiration.
Portions: Keep the portions small so you can enjoy a 2, 3 or 4 course meal and not get weighted down by too much food.
Timing: Pace the meal - appetizer, main dish and then dessert with perfect timing. Enjoy each session and use the seduction of the presentation for each course, presenting each dish as if it is a gift.
Dance: Have fun in-between courses. If the music moves you, toast each other with a glace of champagne, embrace, and dance; a natural seduction and romantic moment.
Savor the Meal and Each Other - slow down and embrace the magic of each other. Savor the food: the aroma, flavor, texture; perfectly paired with wine. Share and enjoy the moment together and remember, Valentine's Day is for lovers.
Seduction Meals reached out to our readers and friends to ask "What is your all time favorite romantic restaurant--the one that you
would go to on Valentine's Day or for any special romantic meal for two?"
Below are some of the responses. Check out the previous post that lists more like One if By Land Two if by Sea (NYC), Le Bernadin, Georffrey's of Malibou, and Convivio.
Please Email us or Comment Below if you have a favorite we missed.
What is your all time favorite romantic restaurant--the one that you
would go to on Valentine's Day or for any special romantic meal for two?
Email us or Comment Below....
A few of our readers have weighed in....
person said: "It would have to be a quite, smaller out of the way
kinda place, probably French, and would be willing to prep the table for
you ahead of time with Roses, present etc."
One if by Land Two if by Sea, New York City This
West Village restaurant came up often as one of the BEST choices for
Valentine's Day. Once Aaron Burr's carriage house, One if by Land Two if
by Sea is renown for its old-world charm and ambiance, think fireplace,
high-ceilings and chandeliers, amazing service and elegant dishes. And
for the die-hard romantic, this restaurant is known as THE place to pop-the-question.
Le Bernadin, NYC. Another
favorite of many is Le Bernadin. Noted for impeccable service,
beautifully presented dishes, and of course the executive chef Eric
Ripert. And let's not forget Le Bernadin boasts a three-star Michelin
rating. One of our responses: "Hands down....Le Bernadin. The BEST in
the city for a truly romantic experience with outstanding food every
time--they never let you down."
Geoffrey's, Malibu California If
you love sun, sand and sea, this place is for you, with incredible
views of the Pacific ocean, you can enjoy a romantic brunch or a cozy
candlelit dinners with surrounding fire pits, one response: "Geoffrey's
of Malibou...pretty spectacular".
Convivio, New York City If
Italian Food is your favorite fare, Convivio was a top contender for
consideration on Valentine's Day. Convivio is best known for
outstanding pasta dishes and authentic Southern Italian fare. Here are
two reviews by two of my favorite magazines: Gourmet.com and Food &
"Sheer Genius." -- DANA COWIN / FOOD & WINE
"Nobody else in New York is cooking these authentic Southern Italian dishes." -- RUTH REICHL / GOURMET.COM
Discover true romance in New York's Hudson Valley where you will be surrounded by breath-taking views including cliffs, valleys, the Hudson River, majestic mountains and waterfalls. This is the land of the Culinary Institute and a locavore, or local, food movement that boasts artisanal purveyors and exceptional farm-to-table dining experiences--making this a wonderful choice for your romantic get-away for two.
There are many choices for lodgings from boutique Inns to spas and extraordinary Castles. In-between your daily activities and evening slumber, you can experience local restaurants that are sure to satisfy every culinary desire. Here is a list to get you started: a
295 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY 12498
Blue Hill Farms 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, New York 10591 914 366 9600 630 Bedford Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591 http://www.bluehillfarm.com/
Cucina 109 Mill Hill Road Woodstock, NY 12498 845.679.9800 http://www.cucinawoodstock.com
This year Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday allowing you to leisurely lounge around together all day long. What better way to start your day of romance than with a special breakfast for two in bed? Fill the room with slow, sexy music, pour two glasses of champagne Mimosas. Follow this with a breakfast tray with beautifully cut flowers and culinary delights. I have selected a luscious recipe
created by Zen Chef of ZenCanCook.com and an alluring sweet treat
you will love. I hope everyone enjoys a romantic, remarkable
Valentine's Day! Until next year...
Valentine's Day Menu Breakfast in Bed Champagne Mimosa Potato Latke with Smoked Salmon, Soft-Boiled Quail Egg & Watercress Cream Mini German Chocolate Cakes Cafe Au Laite
This recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers/blogs, Zen Can Cook. Not only is he an exceptional cook, he is also very funny and quite charming. Check out his blog for many seductive recipes and a good dash of fun Click on the title above to get the recipe.
It's that time of year again: the annual Seduction Meals chocolate gift review for Valentine's Day, but remember to bookmark this page--chocolate gifts should be shared and indulged year-round, not just on this wonderful day that celebrates romance & love. True chocoholics understand that one truffle, one flavor, one tiny box,
is never enough. . Here are some of my
favorites--all gracious gifts for your loved one on Valentine's Day.
Drunken Chocolate Figs Tower - $49.50 We love this combination! Noted for their extremely thin skins and sweet, almost candy-like taste, our Spanish figs are filled by hand with a silky dark 64% Valrhona ganache flavored with Whiskey and enrobed in a thin layer of dark 54% chocolate. The Calabacita variety of fig is grown by a family owned company in "Los Llanillos" in the village of Almoharin located in the Extremadura region of Spain. The chocolate figs are paired with a 15-pc Every Flavor box of our Signature chocolates.
Valentines Bee My Lovebug - $29 Our exquisite salted caramel is touched with fragrant basswood honey from the family owned Draper's Apiary to create irresistibly cute Honey Caramel Bees. Valrhona 64% chocolate is melded with fresh cream and a touch of sugar to perfect the ganache that fills our Valentine Lovebugs. Both creations are painted by hand and each one is a unique expression of love
Chocolat Moderne Mysteries of Love - $60 "Mysteries of Love" Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point. ... The heart has its own reasons which reason can not know. ...(Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662; mathematician AND mystic!).
Let the Mysteries of Love lead you and yours to a leap of faith this Valentine's Day! Our exquisitely hand-painted hearts each have a delicious mystery to reveal -- a dark, dark ganache or a luscious, silky caramel. Beautiful, red bursts of passion stir the emotions before the intense flavors and creamy textures within create a blissfully dizzying ride!
The Chocolate Seduction Club Uncover chocolate treasures all your long. As a member of The Chocolate Seduction Club you will be surprised and seduced as you sample fresh chocolate treats from various regions, produced by celebrated chocolate artisans.
Rose Petal Truffles - $36 We'd like to say these will last longer than flowers, but we're not so sure. Exquisite handmade dark chocolate truffles are filled with dark chocolate rose water ganache, topped with real rose petals and tucked into a beautiful, red, handmade gift
Knipschildt Chocolatier Rose Truffle Box - $32 These
beautiful red handmade paper boxes are filled with rich dark chocolate
truffles with a rose water infused dark chocolate ganachce center tpped
with an edible rose petal.
Romanico's Truffles- $72.00 True
chocoholics understand that one truffle, one flavor, one tiny box, is
never enough. We have taken our inspiration from these chocolate lovers
and created this giant gift box of decadent truffles. 24 truffles Jacques Torres Bon Bons- $50 What
is Jacques famous for? Fresh, high-quality chocolates attractively
packaged in his signature box and affordably priced. 50 bon bons.
Knipschildt Chocolatier Heart Box - $45 Full
of Love! These hand made artisan chocolates are especially designed for
that "someone special" in your life. Packaged in a beautiful heart
shaped handmade paper box, these decadent flavor pairings are matches
made in heaven.
Hotel Chocolat - Secrets & Desires - $75 Inhibitions
melt away as you slip the blindfold over your lover's eyes. And with
heightened senses, let the tantalizing journey in chocolate seduction
begin. You'll experience the gentle creaminess of white chocolate and
fruit of The Beginner, the deep sensual notes of The Curious and then
the racy tingle of The Spicy... all with the melt-in-the-mouth seduction
of luscious champagne truffles. Where will it end? That's for you to
Christopher Elbow Chocolate Collection- $40 Our
flagship assortment that includes all 21 flavors that we are currently
producing. Flavors rotate throughout the seasons so there will always
be something new and exciting. 21-Piece Collection
Once again, I set up this Valentine's Day Menu by featuring the dessert first. Chocolate of any kind is an excellent choice for your romantic meal for two, and this is definitely a sweet treat that will provoke desire...Guinness Dark Chocolate Mini Cakes, created by Jenna of Shortcakenyc.com. This dessert will be part of my Valentine's Day weekend of culinary delights. Pair ths with a luscious Carameltini and you will both be sighing with delight. I love that Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday, allowing everyone to spend quality time with loved ones, focusing on food & romance all weekend.
We start this menu with a champagne caviar celebration: Belon Oysters with Champagne with Chervil Mignonette and Beluga Caviar (recipe by Emeril), Potato Blini with Caviar (Recipe by Sandra Lee), paired with champagne. The main course, Glazed Cornish Hens with vegetables is a savory meal to proceed the chocolate finale. Champagne can carry you through the starter and main course. Happy Valentine's Day!
When preparing your Valentine's Day romantic meal for two, be sure to spend the time needed to get all the details just right. Select a menu you will both enjoy. Pair your dishes with luscious drinks, champagne, or wine to perfectly complement each course . Next pay attention to the ambiance: the lighting, the music you select, the presentation per course, and the table setting--it all adds up to create the perfect magic you strive for on this special occasion.
ROMANTIC VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER
Love in the Afternoon Champagne Cocktail Jumbo Shrimp with spicy Cocktail Sauce Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce
Garlic Mashed potatoes
Steamed Asparagus spears
Dessert: Petit Fours or Chocolate Hearts served with Port
We begin this romantic meal for two with a sparkling champagne cocktail called Love in the Afternoon, created by Champagne expert and author Marcia Hunt. Select the perfect appetizer to complement this course, but save plenty of room for the main course, a delicious recipe from Dean & DeLuca: Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce.
MAIN COURSE Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce
DESSERT Petit Fours or Heart Chocolates Petit Fours These delicious treats can be ordered online at Dean & Deluca: Valerie Confections turned the finest ingredients into
elegant and modern interpretations of the classic confection. Four
delicious flavors can be found under the bittersweet chocolate that
enrobes them all:
Lemon cake layered with tart lemon ganache and topped
with candied lemon peel
Ginger cake layered with white chocolate
ganache and topped with candied ginger
Bittersweet Chocolate cake
layered with creamy milk chocolate ganache
Almond cake layered
with bittersweet chocolate ganache and topped with a roasted almond
For the Love of Chocolate Collection- $30 Say "I Love You" with our rich chocolate Valentine's collection. A collection of our red raspberry hearts, rich chocolate ganache blended with sweet red raspberries in a shimmery shell.
If you are not the kind of person satisfied with giving flowers and chocolate on Valentine's Day, here is a hot gift tip to explore. SurpriseIndustries.com crafts surprise experiences that allow you to give thoroughly unique gifts that are ideal for your loved one. And, if you prefer you can experience your "surprise" as a couple or a group. A surprise could be anything from a fire massage to a candy-making workshop, but you won't know for sure till you get there. It could be one hour, one day, or a full vacation adventure easily tailored to any budget.
Get Creative in planning your Surprise Gift. If you can imagine it--they can create it!
Here's how it works:
Set up a conversation with a Surprise Team Member by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They're experts in asking all the questions necessary to figure out the surprise of your dreams.
Receive a series of mysterious clues and, finally, an address.
Show up and dive into your adventure.
Couples have the opportunity to connect deeply by overcoming their nervousness together and encouraging one another to take positive risks. The anticipation and excitement releases dopamine, leading to the delicious "butterflies in the stomach" effect that fuels the flames of love and attraction.
Neurochemical loveliness aside, participating in a Surprise experience together can lead to an important mental shift. After trying out a Surprise, couples are often inspired to live life more fully and take more risks together (even if it's just trying a new restaurant or blurting out something they've been too shy to say). That extra little boost of courage and spontaneity can build a strong foundation for a new relationship and create the burst of sparks that an older relationship has been craving.
Some Surprise Highlights:
"Reaching New Heights"
Lauren and Adam had been dating for a little over a year, and Lauren had never been able to outdo her boyfriend's creative gift giving. Enter Surprise Industries. Surprise Expert, Becky Stella uncovered that the couple is full of energy but rarely gets to express it because they're constantly confined to their NYC apartment. She learned that they also both have a mild fear of heights that they've always wanted to conquer. Becky designed a day-long Adventure that enabled the couple to get out (and up) without having to take any time off their hectic work schedules.
Throughout the week prior to their Surprise, the couple received a series of mysterious clues and phone calls, but they had no idea what was in store. Their adventure began with a stilt-walking lesson. They took their first steps in a studio and quickly stilted out of the building to strut their stuff all over Times Square.
After lunch, the couple found themselves at an aerial arts and trapeze lesson. Their instructor, Michael, wrote: "they seemed to be so excited from the moment they walked into the tent until they left. I remember seeing their faces and there was a combination of shock, nervousness and excitement - that is hard to beat!"
Last but not least, the two adventurers took a scenic drive to what they soon discovered was a flight school. Here, Lauren and Adam got to take their final step off the ground and experience flying a Cessna 172 airplane over the Hudson river.
Total cost: $400 per person
"Surf and Turf with a Side of Love"
Kelsey and Christian felt like their relationship had slipped into a rut after six years of marriage, two kids, and constant work. They decided it was finally time for a vacation on their own even though they only had a few days to spare. They consulted Surprise Expert, Kat Dudina to figure out a way to use this away time together to rekindle their bond. Kat found out that the couple loved nature, but while Kelsey was partial to all things water-related, Christian was much more of a land mammal. They were also torn about whether they wanted their vacation to feel relaxing or exciting. Kat's solution: a three day Surf and Turf Maui getaway.
The couple received detailed instructions on what to pack and how to prepare, but they didn't find out their destination until they arrived at the airport. When they landed, their transportation and hotel accommodations were all taken care of according to their preferences.
The next morning, after enjoying a private outdoor breakfast, their Surf themed adventure began. They took a snorkeling and wild dolphin watching expedition (complete with underwater cameras), rested at lunch, and then completed their day with a surfing lesson and, finally, an exhilarating kite boarding surprise.
The next morning, their Turf adventure began with a scenic horseback ride along the beach, pineapple picking, and a zip lining experience through Hawaii's greenest valleys in the afternoon. At sunset and throughout their last evening in Maui, Kelsey and Christian joined a traditional Luau, including dinner, dancing, and fire spinning lessons. They returned home the next day feeling refreshed and deeply connected.
Total cost (all inclusive from NYC for 3 to 6 day stays): $3,000 - $6,000 per person Total cost of Surprises and Meals (excluding travel and hotel): $700 per person
OK, your turn. Get Creative. Think big or small. Either way, this is a pretty great gift to give during your Valentine's Day dinner--one that is sure to create a lasting impression.
When it's time to turn down the lights, turn up the sound system, put up your feet, and ease into the comfort of your home--there is nothing like being served a refreshing drink as you settle into the moment. Whether you serve your cocktails with simple finger foods to share together, or you both step into the kitchen to prepare the evening's Seduction Meal, here are a few ideas to tempt you.
Let's fire things up this Valentine's Day using the playful spirit of a great game to bring some fun and more passion to your
Chocolate Body Talk Tatoo SetGotta Have It!
Body Talk Chocolate Tattoo Set! Adorn your body with a tantalizing
chocolate tattoo. Comes with a jar of delicious Chocoholics Body
Frosting, paint brush, and stencils to help you craft a provocative
design. Say it with chocolate! Then eat your words!
Sexy Slang - Gotta have it! It's a hilarious mixture of naughty charades and drawings. If you are looking for adult party games that will break the ice, then Sexy Slang is perfect for you! Nothing gets the conversation started faster than watching your friends trying to draw terms like "manscaping" or act out "heavy breather"! Just wait until you see the big guy tackle the charades card "brazilian bikini wax"! Spice up your sex life with Sexy Slang.
Cosmos Naughty Notesgotta have it! Cosmo's
Naughty Notes is perfect for anyone who loves to flirt. Just peel out these racy messages and leave them on
his dashboard, her pillow, or wherever else they might find them...and
watch the temperature rise!
The 100 sexy stickies provide the
ultimate precursor to passion. Complete with clever innuendos and
exciting designs, they're perfect for any seductive scenario you might
be planning--whether it's describing a naughty night ahead, your next
midnight Seduction Meal, or revealing a racy secret. there are notes
that will make any special occasion sizzle, from a birthday to
Valentine's Day to the Fourth of July.
Truth, Dare, or Chocolate Gotta Have It! From the makers of the wildly popular Strip Chocolate, comes a new and
revealingly delicious adult dessert game, Truth, Dare or Chocolate.
Chocoholics has given the age-old game of Spin the Bottle a new
chocolate twist. If you are hungry for dessert and some very seductive
action, turn the lights on low, spread out a comforter by a cozy fire
and get ready for some embarrassing, but titillating fun. You will earn
points for telling Truths, taking Dares and tattooing your partner with
delicious Chocoholics Body Frosting.
An Enchanting Evening Game-- A game of Laughter and Romance Gotta Have It! Use the playful spirit of a great game to bring more passion to your
partnership. Designed to help you grow closer together, this game is
full of unique suggestions and delightful ideas. Roll the dice and
travel around the game board drawing cards that correspond to the space
you land on. The cards may ask you to express a thought (What is it
about your partners body that you find alluring?) or perform an
activity. To win the game, you'll make an exact roll to land on the
finish space. But of course, there are no losers in this game! For 2
Dirty Minds gotta have it! In
this naughty game, the chaster your mind, the better chance you have of
winning. Two or more adult players guess the correct clean answers to
the dirty clues provided. The winner is the first person to spell
"D-I-R-T-Y" with the cards collected for correct answers. Cleanse your
mind and begin! This holiday season the 2nd edition of the worlds
cleanest "dirty" Game is available, this one is even more outrageous
than the original classic party game. While you are guaranteed some
laughs, the dirtier a mind you have, the worse you will be at playing
dirty minds, since all of the answers are clean!
Sex Smarts Gotta Have It! Fun,
frisky facts that will make you laugh, and learn. Play SexSmarts and
open new worlds about the culture, practice and history of sex. 100
titillating, brightly illustrated question and answer cards ask: Which
sexual positions are the most popular? Where are the body's hidden
erotic spots? You'll find pleasure in every card. Play SexSmarts with
your friends, a partner, or at a party and enjoy how your conversations
develop. If you want to show off how sex smart you are, play
competitively with the score sheet enclosed in the game.
Nooki (for the more intimate/adventurous couples) gotta have it! For
adults only, this game takes a playful look at romance. Your three
categories are Mmm, Ooh and Aah, progressing from playful to much more
provocative activities. One of the most popular grown up games for
couples, the game is designed to generate sexy fun for two - there is
no board...both players explore each other! Roll the dice to see how
much time you'll spend on each one. And get ready to have fun with your
partner. Comes with a do not disturb sign to hang on the door, a
luxurious sheer purple scarf, six packs of cards (three for each
player), two dice and a timer. Editor's Note: this game is sexually
explicit. Not first date material.
One of the most alluring aspects of Asian food, beside the exotic flavors and spices, is the elegant presentation that chefs skillfully employ to seduce our senses, even before taking a first bite. The Asian theme allows you to have fun when crafting your romantic soiree. Go for bold colorful serving platters, soft lighting, and lots of color. And my all means aim for creative presentations of each dish that have that "wow" factor. Select music
that will complement the desired tone of the night; dim the lights,
bring out candles or Japanese paper lights, go for exotic flowers, and
be sure to have on hand chop sticks and saki serving vessels.
For our Asian Valentine's Day Menu we have chosen to rely on the skills of your local Japanese restaurant for the main course and an appetizer. An hour before your meal is to be served, after you have taken care of everything else: the ambiance of the room, setting the table, putting together your music play list, cooking the dishes you have selected, and selecting the cocktails you will serve; go to your favorite Japanese restaurant (or have them deliver) a serving of edamame and a selection of your favorite sushi so you can create a sushi/sashimi platter. When ordering out, be sure to get plenty of soy sauce, wasabi and extra ginger. Serve each course with your choice of Hot or Chilled Saki, Prosecco, Champagen or Asian Beer.
Valentine's Day Menu ASIAN SEDUCTION
Steamed Edamame Clam Miso Soup Tuna Tartar Premium Sushi Platter (Take-Out) Green Tea Ice-Cream Green Tea Shortbread
Just click on the Bold Titles of each dish below to be taken to the recipes.
A medley of delicious foods and flavors, this meal boasts a hearty main course with delicious bites before and after. Start your Valentine's Day mean with the sexy cocktail like an Agave Kiss. Then proceed with your starter--Baked Shrimp Toast from Gourmet.com. Shrimp toasts are traditionally fried, but Gourmet's version of this classic Asian appetizer is baked, so you won't have to worry about messy, oily fingers. We then move on to the main course--an incredibly succulent, tender Veal Chop served with Ratatouille; pair this with a bottle of bubbly. Save one glass of champagne to celebrate the finale of this menu, a beautiful strawberry cheese cake.
Valentine's Day Menu A Romantic Meal for Two
Baked Shrimp Toast Veal Chop and Ratatouille with Herb Butter Celery and Octopus Salad Strawberry Cheese Cake Click on the Titles for each dish below to access Recipes
Baked Shrimp toasts This recipe is from Gourmet.com. Shrimp toasts are traditionally fried, but our version of this classic Asian appetizer is baked, so your guests won't have to worry about messy, oily fingers.Makes32 hors d'oeuvres .
Veal Chop & Ratatouille with Herb Butter Recipe Below
Strauss Free Raised Veal is a healthy beef alternative that is lower in
fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Full of authentic flavor, the way
all-natural, pasture-raised veal should be. Strauss products can be
found in Whole Foods Market and AllenBrothers.com
Celery & Octopus Salad We end the meal with a light, palette cleansing salad. Another recipe from Gourmet.com, this dish was Inspired by a salad of grilled octopus, celery, fresh chiles, and candied lemon peel that food editor Melissa Roberts. enjoyed at The John Dory restaurant, in New York City. She set about making a more accessible version for the home cook. This lively take is full of crunchy celery, parsley leaves, olives, and lemon zest. Using canned octopus packed in oil allows the whole thing to come together in a flash. Click on the title above for the recipe.
No Bake Strawberry Cheese Cake From Women's Day, this recipe is made in no time and with little fuss, leaving you more time with your loved one and less in the kitchen. Happy Valentine's Day.
This Seafood Seduction menu for Valentine's Day will dazzle your date from start to finish. What better way to sound off this special occasion than with the "pop" of a champagne bottle being opened. Pour two glasses of sparkling deligt as you settle in to your romantic dinner for two. Sultry music softly sets the tone, the table is perfectly set with beautiful flowers and candles aglow; the setting is warm and inviting. With your second glass of champagne, bring out the first course--grilled oyster with roquefort cheese. Arriving just in time for Valentine's Day, when you purchase a bottle of Veuve Clicquot
Rosé you also get the limited edition Sakura Blossom Ice Jacket (see below) which makes for a lovely presentation and and keeps the
bottle of Rosé fresh for two hours...should your bottle ever
last that long (can't imagine that).
The main course is a classic seafood entree--Bouillabaisse made with a combination of white fish, clams, mussels, and shrimp. For a special dinner like Valentine's Day I would add lobster as well. We end this seduction meal with a 25 layer crêpe cake that combines delicate crêpes layered with a light
filling of chocolate pastry créme and finished
with a beautiful bruleed top. Just click on the title of each dish to be taken to the recipe.
VALENTINE'S DAY MENU SEAFOOD SEDUCTION Grilled Oysters with Roquefrot Cheese & Red Wine Vinaigrette Vueve Clicquot Rose Seafood Bouillabaisse 25-Layer Crepe Cake with Chocolate Ganache
DESSERT 25 layer Chocolate Crêpe Cake - $50 For something decidedly different and ready to order, try Charleston Crêpe Company's sensational chocolate cake. Bringing the tradition of crêpe making from the City of Light to the Holy City, the crafty couple behind Charleston Crêpe Company traveled the world perfecting their recipe. Their signature 25 layer crêpe cake combines delicate crêpes layered with a light filling of vanilla or artisanal chocolate pastry créme and finished with a beautiful bruleed top. Also available in vanilla.
The act of gifting can be fun, exciting and extremely satisfying especially when the person receiving the gift is blown away with delight. This Valentine's Day, celebrate the joy of knowing each other with gifts that makes him feel special and adored.
Gotham Dream Cars - starts at $499 a day Give the gift of driving around for a day (or longer) in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or other high-end super sports car. There's nothing more thrilling than the speed and power of an exotic car, and what better way to enjoy Valentine's Day as a couple than in one of the world's most sought after and exclusive vehicles? Gotham Dream Cars is the country's leading source for exotic and luxury vehicles, and has a fleet of more than 18 top-of-the-line cars to choose from, such as the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Roadster, the Ferrari F430 Spider, Aston Martin DB9 and Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren.
Golf Lesson with a PGA Pro - $150 Take your golf game to the next level with a private lesson from a PGA® Professional Instructor! After receiving this golf lesson certificate, the recipient may select a course location and lesson date most convenient for them. Private lesson customized to your skill level and will focus on areas of your game you want improve. Perfect gift for the golf lover!
Coco Luxe Nuts For You - $75.50 The perfect combination. Our 10" suitcase with a box each of our Country Fair Peanuts, Block Party Almonds and a fabulous eighteen-piece box of truffles or caramels.
Sweet for you - $45.50 Our 8" suitcase stuffed with a delicious bunch of bars paired with a nine-piece box - please select from the listed collections. Includes one each of our three chocolate bars, Monkeyin' Around, Good Fortune and Happy Trails. Christopher Elbow Drinking Chocolate - $16 These European-style drinking chocolates blend pure dark chocolate with two unique flavors for an unforgettable cup of real hot cocoa. Choose from Venezuelan Spiced Drinking Chocolate, Peppermint Drinking Chocolate, Mocha Drinking Chocolate, and Cocoa Noir Dark Drinking Chocolate.
Knipschildt White Chocolate with Butterscotch & Whiskey - $4 Why settle for ordinary coffee when you can have something extraordinary? For an instant chocolate experience, simply stir the pyramid into a small cup of hot milk or coffee. A white chocolate shell is filled with butterscotch and whiskey. This stick is a "modern version of Irish Coffee" - just stir into your coffee and add a little bit of whipped cream.
Better Together Brownies Better Together Brownies make an ideal Valentine's Day gift. These delicious brownies are made by a husband-wife team using organic ingredients and fair trade chocolate. Not only are the brownies scrumptious but you can feel good about giving these treats. Brownies can be ordered online and come packages in B.T. Baking's signature box.
Barneys New YorkFaux Crocodile Domino Set - $395.00 Handcrafted embossed crocodile leather box houses 28 white domino pieces embellished with white Swarovski Crystals. 9.5" x 5.5" x 2". Available in White. Handcrafted in Italy.
Kama Sutra Lover's Paintbox - $39.95 A chocolate lover's wildest fantasy come true, these silky, sultry body chocolates are made to brush on and lick off. The ultimate in sweet indulgence, they make a sinfully sensual midnight snack. One each of Milk, Dark and White Chocolate, plus a paintbrush to inspire creativity, all artfully presented in a clever paintbox. Treat both of you to a sweet feast for the senses! JBL Creature III - $129.95 Brand new re-design of cult-favorite sci-fi speakers. Perfectly sized for dorm room desks and small spaces with uniquely designed sub-woofer and satellite speakers. Compatible with all desktops, laptops, MP3 players, and gaming systems. Available in white or black
Pin-Up Girl Chocolate Bars - $16 per bar These delicious chocolate bars are wrapped with a selection of Classic Calendar Girl Pin-Up images. Each timeless, sexy, and fun photo complements the dark or milk chocolate bar perfectly. Unwrapping the treat reveals an embossed bar with our signature logo, and each nibble yields delightfully rich yet smooth chocolate. These bars make a wonderful gift idea for any vintage pin- up fan.
Hand-Dipped Football Berries - 1/2 Dozen: $24.99 What food could be better for a football party than gourmet dipped strawberries decorated like footballs? Each sweet strawberry is hand dipped and decorated with white stitches simulating the gridiron pigskin. Send these to your favorite football enthusiast or order them to arrive for your football halftime party. Either way they will be remembered like a famous touchdown.
Garmin 755T GPS, nuvi - Sale $399.99 http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=424081&CategoryID=49538 Stop for food. Stop for gas. But never stop for directions again. The Garmin nuvi 750 leads the way with advanced GPS technology, offering turn-by-turn voice directions, live traffic alerts and points of interest by the millions... and that's just the beginning of your journey!
When you want to truly express your gift giving flair; let your imagination soar with ideas that are anything but ordinary. Imagine giving a gift that will be remembered long after the wrapping paper has been thrown away and talked about for years to come. Whether it's watching the sun rise from a hot air balloon, learning to sail, or feeling the adrenaline rush of driving a sprint cup style stock car, the recipient of an extraordinary gift will be on cloud nine. I will never forget my first hot air balloon experience gliding of the magical moonscape of Cappadocia, Turkey.
Private DJ Lessons - $135 Show off your rhythm and hone your DJ skills in this private DJ lesson package. Whether you have never stepped in front of a turntable, or are an aspiring music enthusiast, you will learn tricks, styles and formulas from the best in the business. The school was founded by Jam Master Jay, legendary DJ of Run DMC.
Private Balloon Ride for 2 - $590 A romantic day that you'll remember for a lifetime. Experience the tranquility and romance of your very own private hot air balloon ride over the magnificent Virginia countryside. Enjoy stunning views of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, Shenandoah River and much more. Embrace the serenity as you float effortlessly 1,500 - 3,000 feet above the ground
Personal Chef for an Evening - $465 Host a lavish four course Dinner Party in your own home without lifting a finger! Your personal Chef has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Discuss with your chef food preferences, dietary concerns & menu options during an initial consultation. Relax and entertain in style with exceptional cuisine & personal attention all in the comfort of your own home. And to top of your glorious night...your chef will clean up too!
Chocolate Making 101 - Gift for Two $425 http://www.cloud9living.com/experience-gifts/new-york/chocolate-making-101-for-2 Whether chocolate is a hobby or an obsession, you will love this lesson from a 3rd generation chocolate maker on how to create this ancient indulgence. Private, 3 hour, step-by-step introduction to chocolate making with your instructor and his 33 years of experience. Learn how to buy, taste, temper, coat and decorate with chocolate. Following a demonstration, go hands-on to temper and hand dip your own chocolate creations
Stock Car Ride Along- $139
real life racing thrills by riding as a passenger with a professional
driver at top speeds of 180 MPH, in a meticulously prepared 600 horse
power Sprint Cup style stock car. Full size, Sprint Cup stock cars that
have been raced by the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl
Edwards and Dale JR.
Be a Model for a Day - $1680 A two day experience perfect for both aspiring models and those wanting to be immersed in the fashion industry. Initial consultation uncovers exactly who you are and who you want to be. Rejuvenate with an inspirational fashion road map customized to your personality and style. Visit the salon for a beautifying revamp, your closet for an overhaul, and a makeup boutique for a consultation. Finish with a photo shoot to capture the new you
Tandem Skydiving - $270 Experience the thrill of Sky Diving over the beautiful Virginia countryside. 13,000 feet, 60 seconds of free fall, 120mph! After your parachute has been deployed, enjoy the stunning views of the Virginia countryside for 4-5 minutes before returning safely to Earth
Couples Massage - $205 Experience the pleasure with the one you love in our signature couples massage! Enjoy the relaxation of a Swedish massage in your own private couples massage suite. Create sensual memories as two expert therapists pamper you and your partner. Soothing strokes are applied to increase circulation and improve skin and muscle tone. Enjoy ; )
Elegant Dinner for Two - $400 Enjoy the wonderful experience of having a professional chef prepare a gourmet 5-course dinner for you in the comfort of your own home.. Custom 5-course menu paired with wines from your cellar or chef's suggestions. The menu is inspired by classic French and regional Italian recipes. Tastefully prepared, Elegantly presented, Effortlessly enjoyed
Private Sushi Lessons for Two - $380 Featured in the LA Times, Trump Magazine and Variety, your private Sushi Lesson for Two will bring the art of sushi making to your home and create a truly memorable night. Great date night learning more than just how to make sushi, but also learning history, vocabulary and etiquette. Learn how to purchase the best fish, how to slice it, cook the rice and roll your favorite dishes.
What happens when you want to make a romantic meal for your Valentine but your clueless in the kitchen? Don't fret, be confident and try this amazing meal from the award-winning DVD, Cooking for the Clueless! As you prepare, remember these important tips:
1. Read the recipes in full 1-2 days before V-day & shop on Feb 13! 2. Mis-en-place! Set all ingredients and quantities out before you begin cooking. 3. Entice all the senses, especially sight! Set a beautiful table and don't forget the candles AND flowers!
Valentine's Day Menu Zuzy Martin Lynch, founder Cooking for the Clueless
Champagne or Prosecco Proscuitto-wrapped Pear bites Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Fennel, Orange and Watercress paired with New Zealand Sauvingnon Blanc Chocolate Ganache dipped Strawberries
This Valentine's Day find love at first sip with seductive libations from the "Classic and Vintage Artisanal Spirits Portfolio." Following are several love-themed cocktails from Averna Amaro, Armagnac Casterede, G'Vine Gin, Rhum J.M, Sombra Mezcal and Tuthilltown Spirits which are the ideal way to celebrate with your sweetheart.
2 oz Sombra
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz St. Germain
1 bar spoon of agave nectar
3 cucumber slices
Method: Add the cucumber slices, citrus and agave nectar to a mixing glass and muddle. Add spirits then ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
Happily Ever After
1 3/4oz Rhum J.M. Blanc
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Averna
2 Dash Rhubarb Bitters
1 Dash Whiskey Barrel Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients except bitters into an ice filled shaker. Shake and Strain into an crushed ice filled cocktail glass, drop bitters into glass and stir.
1.5 oz G'Vine Floraison Gin
.5 oz Chambord
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.25 oz fresh lime juice
.75 lemon juice
Method: Combine all ingredients in a glass mixing pint. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
1½ oz Sombra
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz passion fruit puree
3 muddled cucumber slices
1 bar spoon of agave nectar
1 oz House Ginger Beer
Method: Add the lime, agave nectar and cucumber slices to a mixing glass, then muddle Add the rest of the ingredients, then ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice .Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a pinch of ground chili
1 oz Rhum J.M Gold
1 oz Clement Creole Shrubb
.75 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
Method: Build in an old fashioned glass over ice old fashioned. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Be Mine Mojito
1.5 oz G'Vine Nouaison Gin
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice
3 mint sprigs
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker.Shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish: mint sprig