Friday, February 29, 2008

sounds of love

Music has a way of making you feel a certain way. Some songs pump us up, some make us mellow. Here's some suggestions for a dinner with someone you love.

Breathless - Corinne Bailey Rae
At Last - Etta James
To Be Alone with You - Sufjan Stevens
Someone to Watch Over Me - Sting
Each Day Gets Better - John Legend
And I Love Her - The Beatles
Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
It's Sweet - Liz Phair
You're Beautiful - James Blunt

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

we love our readers

and we especially love your comments. If you get a chance, check out some of our readers' blogs. Audrey has a recipe tips and hints blog; Shelly has Shak'in and Bak'in; and we know me over at never satisfied has really cool content, especially the candle color guide ;)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

cooking for 2

Sometimes pairing down recipes is more difficult than you'd think. Especially when a recipe calls for an odd number of an ingredient. The secret is to divide by volume. You end up wasting some, but it works.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The scent of love

As far as the senses go, odor is said to be our closest kin to memory. It's no wonder that some scents can evoke a powerful, romantic response. Think of these scents next time you plan a dinner for two.

Ancient Arabic books cite black pepper as lascivious
Legend has it Cleopatra used a mixture of cinnamon, cardamon and rose to woo Marc Anthony
Lemon and citrus are said to be revitalizing
Black licorice will draw women near
and Men supposedly think of love with a wiff of cinnamon and vanilla

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

love notes

Try adding your own romantically inspired fortune cookie message to give a happy ending to a Chinese meal. Here are some suggestions:

- A secret admirer will soon send you a sign of affection.
- Don't forget, you are always on my mind.
- The one you love is closer than you think.
- One who admires you greatly is hidden before your eyes.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

a cookie-cutter menu


If you have children or even a spouse pack their next lunch with the help of some fun shaped cookie cutters. Peanut butter and jelly in a heart shape can bring a smile that lasts throughout the day. Beware that adolescent boys or husbands who eat with friends might not appreciate your effort due to teasing.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

romance and love cookbooks

A cookbook can provide great inspiration, especially one with a focus. Two of our favorites are A Taste For Love and The Food and Love Cookbook.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

kissing games

add some spice to your party with these kissing games:

spin the bottle - whomever the bottle points to the spinner has to kiss
apple biting - The first person takes a bite into the apple and while it's still in their mouth pass it to the next person who takes the apple by biting into it as well. You can also play this using your chins and neck to pass the apple, if you drop it you have to kiss.
suck and blow - pass a card by first inhaling to receive the card and then exhaling to pass it.
lifesaver sharing - pass a lifesave from one another by each person using their own toothpicks to give and receiving

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Friday, February 15, 2008

how to find a romantic restaurant

entertaining can be done out of the home as well. here are some key traits to look for when selecting a romantic restaurant:
- private booths let you feel as if you've escaped to your own little world.
- candlelight sets the mood
- few tables make for a more intimate setting
- soft music to help you relax
- good acoustics so that you can hear one another

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

truffles make the perfect gift

1/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup cocoa

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and butter stirring until chocolate is completely melted and well blended. Pour chocolate mixture in a shallow container and refrigerate until firm. Line a container with waxed paper. Dip a melon baller in warm water and scrape it across the surface of the cold truffle mixture to form a 1/2-inch ball. Drop the ball into the cocoa and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Roll the chocolate balls around the cocoa until well coated.

truffle recipes

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

24 Aphrodisiacs

Aniseed
Aniseed was first used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans. They believed sucking on the seeds increases your desire.

Asparagus
Considered an aphrodisiac for its shape, it's suggested to eat asparagus for three days for the most powerful effect.

Almond
The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female.

Arugula
Arugula has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D.

Asafetida
Any Indian dried, powedere herb used as a sexual stimulant in Ayurvedic medicine.

Avocado
An accompaniment to asparagus, once again for its shape. Serve in twos.

Bananas
Serve with asparagus for a shaped theme.

Basil
Is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility.

Broccoli Rabe
The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility. In the case of broccoli rabe its more likely a myth created to get people to eat this bitter vegetable.

Chocolate
The secret for passion is to combine with red wine.

Carrots
Believed to be a stimulant to the male, once again b/c of its shape. Notice a theme here? The carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction.

Coriander
The 1,000 year old book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years but was cured by a concoction that included coriander.

Fennel
In the 1930's fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. Use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as libido enhancement.

Figs
An open fig is thought to emulate the female sex organs and thus thought of as sexual stimulant. A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover is a powerful erotic act. Serve fresh Black Mission figs in a cool bowl of water as it is done in Italy and eat with your fingers

Garlic
The heat in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together in moderation.

Honey
Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to sweeten the marriage.

Liquorice
The essence of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) plant, glycrrhizin, is 50 time sweeter than sugar. Chewing on bits of licorice root is said to enhance love and lust. It is particularly stimulating to woman.

Mustard
Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire.

Nutmeg
Highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. In quantity nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect.

Oysters
Oysters were documented as a aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating giant oysters.

Pine Nuts
Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency and pine nuts are rich in zinc. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as Medieval times.

Pineapple
Used in the homeopathic treatment for impotence.

Truffles
The Greeks and the Romans considered the rare truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.

Vanilla
The scent and flavor of vanilla is believed to increase lust. Old Totonac lore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

I love chocolate or How to host a chocolatier

A lot of people love chocolate, so why not share this love with a few or a lot of your friends.
Step one: The chocolate invitation. It doesn't have to be edible, try using a chocolate fragrance to make your invitations delicious.
Step two: Make sure to include on the invitation that this is a giving party. Have everyone make their favorite chocolate recipe to share.
Step three: When your guests arrive have a chocolate inspired activity for them. One simple idea is to have a chocolate pretzel bar, have different types of chocolate to dip them in and different toppings for coating.
Step four: Make sure everyone gets some chocolate to take home. If all of the chocolate is eaten you can order custom chocolate party favors, such as m&ms or hershey's kisses with a short saying about what a sweet time it was.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

the ultimate anti-valentine's day bash


This is a great way to bond with friends as well as cleanse yourself from the creeps of your past. Here are the rules:

Attire: You're forbidden from wearing red or pink. Black being the optimal color.
Activities: Write the name of any creep from your past onto a slip of paper to be burned in a mini bonfire. You can also make mini voodoo dolls of said creep and stick pins wherever appropriate. Tell mocking stories of the creeps' bad, annoying habits.
Guest List: This is a single sex party.
Menu: Cheap take out and plenty of libations.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

5 questions to ignite your conversation

To keep your valentine in a romantic mood try asking these love inspired questions:

What's the most romanic movie you've ever seen?
If you could have a secret camera in any room, which room would you choose?
Is there anywhere you've considered having a body piercing/tattoo?
Have you ever read someone else's diary?
What scent reminds you of love?

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Friday, February 8, 2008

set the mood with this candle color guide

To ensure you set the right mood make sure to use the right candle color:

white: peace
red: passion
light blue: happiness
green: fertility
yellow: attraction
pink: love, friendship
orange: stimulation
purple: meditation

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

a night under the stars

To create an indoor picnic under the stars you'll need:

- A lot of small artificial or real trees, to surround your "picnic" area.
- A dark blanket in the middle of the trees and lots of white Christmas lights to create a star filled sky, on the ceiling.
- A CD that had nature sounds such as crickets, or ocean waves.

Place a picnic basket on the blanket with your favorite finger foods, fruit, wine, cheese, and desserts.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

a cake named desire


This Sri Lankan Love Cake is sure to set their heart afire.

6 large eggs
2 cups sugar
5 oz butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rose water
zest of a lime
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
8 oz cashews
8 oz semolina
4 oz crystallised winter melon

Line a 10 x 12 cake tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and light. Add softened butter and honey, rose water, lime zest, nutmeg and cardamom. Beat well. Chop cashews coarsely and stir with the semolina and fruit. Turn into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

cast a spell with these love potions


To make someone fall in love with you brew this tea on a Friday during a waxing moon (from empty to full). Place all ingredients in a copper kettle.

1 pinch of rosemary
2 teaspoons of black tea
3 pinches thyme
3 pinches nutmeg
3 fresh mint leaves
6 fresh rose petals
6 lemon leaves
3 cups pure spring water

Before drinking, recite this: By light of moon waxing I brew this tea, to make (lover's name) desire me.

Then drink some of tea and say: Goddess of love hear now my plea, let (lover's name) desire me. So mote it be.

On the following Friday, brew another pot and give some to the person you want to love you. They'll soon begin to fall in love with you.

If you already are in love to ensure it will last crush a handful of coriander seeds and stirred into a glass of white wine and say: warm seed, love run strong; warm heart, let us never part." Then drink the wine together, and your love will last forever.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

everyone's favorite aphrodisiac: honey


The word honeymoon derives from our favorite aphrodisiac honey. In ancient english tradition newleyweds would eat only honey and sip only mead - a beer like brew made with hoeny and spices - for an entire month. This was their first moon together.

Basic mead recipes with homage to the honeymoon available at: hbd.org/brewery/library/beeslees.htm

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

cupid's kitchen


Turn cooking into a fun way to spend time with your partner. Not only will it bring you closer together, you'll save money by eating in. Here are tips to help you get started:

- get inspired by watching cooking shows or bring up old memories of favorites your grandma used to make.
- start simple. find recipes with few ingredients and easy steps.
- keep it fun. set the table with candles and wine or pack things up to go for an out or indoor picnic.
- make a date of it. from the meal selection, the grocery shopping, the cooking itself, the eating and the cleaning up.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

For the love of the game


Planning a super bowl party this year? Here are some snacking suggestions to keep your party going:

- It's still near the beginning of the year and some resolutioners may still be holding on. Have simple, healthy substitutions in your recipes if possible. You're guests will really appreciate it.
- Messy finger food can be part of the fun. But just in case some don't agree have wetnaps nearby.
- Keep the computer on so guests can access stats, vote in polls, and replay some of those multimillion dollar commercials.
- Take lots of photos and videos to send out post-party.
- Dress plastic containers up with team stickers and let guests take any extra food home.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

February Focus

For some reason February is all about Valentine's day, so this month we'll cover valentine inspired ideas as well as some not so valentine inspired ones.

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