What I’m Wicked Into: A Casual Valentine’s Day

Happy Hump Day!

Have you found yourself repeating Monday’s mantra at all this week so far? Hope so!

Before I get into this week’s “What I’m Wicked Into,” I’ve just gotta know: Are you for or against celebrating Valentine’s Day?

The reason I ask is, I feel like there are those that geek out over the annual holiday and then those who are disgusted by it, haha! Curious to know your thoughts…

Anyway, Sam and I always celebrate Valentine’s in some way. I think it’s sweet to spend the day together, and just be extra romantic and cheesy. Go ahead, roll your eyes… I’m just all about celebrating love, relationships, and eating chocolate, duh!

The other night, we were thinking back on all the places we’ve been to celebrate the day and both thought, “Damn… seven together? Cool!”

Here’s where the past seven Valentine’s Days have taken us:
2011: Via (Worcester, MA)
2012: Bocado (Worcester, MA)
2013: Steak, mashed potatoes, and salad at home
2014: Moonshadows (Malibu, CA)
2015: Back Bay Bistro (Newport Beach, CA)
2016: Casa Córdoba (Montrose, CA)
2017: Home sweet home

As you can see, we tend to go out and dine. But, when we started thinking about this year and how the holiday fell on a Tuesday, we both thought it’d be extra nice (and relaxing) to just stay in. Plus, the thought of being in a packed restaurant with 50 other couples, eating at a set time, and ordering from a prix fixe menu just seemed ehhh to us for some reason.

So, we skimmed through the pages of a new book I got Sam for Christmas—Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites—and picked out some of his dishes to make! (By the way, if you’ve never seen his show Parts Unknown, you gotta. It’s beautifully shot and so eye-opening.)

Anyway, we settled on his Lasagna Bolognese and Iceberg Wedge with Stilton and Pancetta.

book

Since Anthony doesn’t believe in desserts (just cheese and port wine, haha), we were left on our own to pick that course out. We landed on chocolate lava cakes. Can’t go wrong with an ooey-gooey chocolate puddle.

We both love to cook so we were more than excited to try our hand at a few new recipes. Anthony recommends that the lasagne be made a day ahead (since it’s better on Day 2), so we prepared that on Monday, which just left the salad and lava cakes for Tuesday night.

Here are some pics of our finished creations and the wine we choose to pair everything with.

The many stages of lasagne from veggie cooking, to meat browning, to pasta layering, to baking.

lasagne

Bourdain’s lasagne was stupid good. Like write-home-to-the-fam good. It was layered in every way with rich flavors and we will undoubtedly make this again… and again.

Check out our finished wedge salad and lasagne:

food
WINE: Earthquake by Michael David

The wedge salad’s dressing was extra creamy and perfectly folded into the pockets of lettuce. Plus, the pancetta (a hybrid of bacon and prosciutto) add the extra crunch every salad needs. (Side note: we used blue cheese instead… sorry, Bourdain.)

And, of course we topped things off with heavenly chocolate lava cakes complimented by double vanilla ice cream:

20170214_215306.jpg

Because we didn’t eat enough, we ended the night with this chocolatey creation. It’s the kind of stuff dreams are made of…

All in all, I’d say our seventh Valentine’s Day together was a success—and easily one of our best! It was equal parts romantic, fun, refreshing, and relaxing.

Did you celebrate with someone dear to you? Did you go out for Galentine’s Day instead?

I hope however you spent your day—whether you celebrated or not—was extra fine.

Cheers,
Ari

Other “What I’m Wicked Into” Posts:
What I’m Wicked Into: Salt Cave Santa Barbara
What I’m Wicked Into: Sober January
What I’m Wicked Into: Casa Bianca Pizza Pie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: