Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner!!!! I grew up in Tampa Florida which has a really strong Latino demographic. I had fantastic Cuban neighbors who taught me how to salsa dance, and would roast an actual pig on a spit! The longer the night went and the more drunk people got they’d dress up the head which they kept on a pike. My parents begrudgingly stayed since they weren’t really the partying types, but I LOVED IT! I was able to step into a world where the family ties were strong, and people knew how to really have a lot of fun. I still listen to Reggaeton Music when I’m feeling nostalgic. So while I don’t have any Latino heritage, I like to remember the role that those people played in some of the best memories of my childhood!
So for me, I like to celebrate Cinco De Mayo as a way to have fun like I did at that party.
My husband and I got a book called “The Gourmet Cookbook” by Ruth Reichl. We got it mostly for the really interesting (and expensive) recipes, because, well it’s fun to read about how to cook escargot.
In the pasta section, there was an affordable gem that Amin and I now make regularly. It’s called Penne Alla Vodka and I swear you’ll never go back to eating jarred pasta again once to see how crazy easy it is to make and how absolutely pro chef it tastes. Below, not only will I walk you through it, but I’ll give you a video to watch to see how it’s done first hand!
I love oysters. Growing up my dad was paranoid about eating anything remotely not burnt to a crisp. He demonized everything from medium-rare steaks to sushi. So I wasn’t exposed to a lot of unique foods until I was on my own. After moving out I’ve tried several unique raw foods including sea urchin, and octopus, and one of my absolute favorites is Oysters.
The reason I’m featuring Oysters is that they’re also an aphrodisiac which makes them perfect for a romantic month like February. Now, to be honest, there is nothing available that can increase sexual desire in people and frankly from what I’ve seen on Travel Channel and Food Network, the more disgusting the food, the more it’s marketed as some sort of sexual enhancement so take this with a grain of salt.
February may be a cold month (at least for this ex-southerner) but it’s got a heartwarming holiday to look forward to! While a box of chocolates and a rose are great classic ideas, I’ve sifted through the internet to find some really special meals that are a little more out of the box. Hopefully, this inspires you to try something a little different for that special someone! If you do something cool that isn’t listed and you’d like me to check it out, please tell me about it in the comments!
There is nothing wrong with taking your sweetie out for something sweet to eat, but there’s something special about having your S/O cook for you. I usually cook at home, but when Amin cooks for me, especially if it’s something he knew I would like (seafood or pasta instead of chicken) it’s an easy way to make me swoon. I get to chill out and relax or just talk to him and watch him run around the kitchen (extra points if he cleans up the kitchen after). P.S. It doesn’t have to be valentines for this to happen…just sayn’ but if you’re low on ideas, here are some valentines themed recipes that look as good as they taste!
My husband and I got married at the age of 22. I know it was young, but honestly, we had been dating for five years at that time and we REALLY just wanted to be married. After the honeymoon when Amin and I were opening our wedding gifts, one of the people I had invited had got me the Betty Crocker “Bridal Edition” Cookbook.
I can honestly say that besides the silverware that someone else got me, it’s been one of the most used gifts. 11 years later, I still pull it out. It taught me everything from how to devein shrimp to how to make chicken broth for chicken soup when Amin had a cold. The recipes were also fairly cheap to make which was a plus since after we returned home from our honeymoon we endured some serious poverty.
While I’ve moved on to some more challenging recipes lately, I usually pull out this book Every November when I’m doing batch freezer meals for the winter. One of our absolute favorite meals is a chili which I throw over pasta and add cheese and sour cream too. It freezes amazingly well and I often cook it in bulk. I can’t tell you how comforting it is after a day of shoveling snow to be able to pull this out and warm it up and dinner is made. It’s also cheap so you have more cash for your holiday shopping!