Happy almost Valentine's Day.
First, thanks to all of my fans for buying TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE this past week. I've had the best sales ever in the series! Charlotte and the gang thank you, too. Whee.
Now...we've had lots of posts for chocolate this week, and I won't disappoint. I will post some of my all-time favorite chocolate recipes that I've shared before.
But first, you need a meal, right? A romantic meal with candlelight and perhaps some protein in the mix?
There's nothing I like more than romance. Not even chocolate. I love candlelight.
An intimate conversation.
Holding hands, possibly just glancing fingertips.
A sip of wine.
A stolen kiss. I know, I sound like I'm writing for a romance novel, but I like including a little romance in all of my books.
In TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, my latest Cheese Shop Mystery, there's an upcoming wedding. In addition, Charlotte has an intimate meal with Jordan, the brush of his fingertips on her cheek. A picnic in the park while watching a production of Hamlet, open-aire.
All very romantic. All to set the mood because someone who wasn't romantic, who wasn't a good man, comes to town and dies. The contrast is vital.
Do you like a romantic meal? Do you like a little romance in your mystery? When is a mystery "too romantic"?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, here's a lovely dinner salad to start your evening.
Serve with champagne or a crisp pinot grigio.
POACHED PEARS AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD
For the Poached Pears:
2 firm Bosc pears, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Zinfandel wine (or a hearty dry red wine)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Bosc pears can keep their peels. So slice each pear into 8 slices.
In a saucepan over high heat, bring the sugar, water, wine, lemon juice and spices to a boil.
Add the pears and simmer 5-10 minutes until tender, turning the pears often.
Remove from heat. Cool pears in their syrup.
For the salad:
Bleu cheese slices (I used one slice each of Point Reyes blue and Roaring 40's blue)
Poached pears (recipe above)
Lay 2-3 pieces of bib lettuce on a salad or dinner plate. Arrange cooled pears, 3-5 per plate. Arrange 2 slices of bleu cheese on either side of the pears. Decorate with raspberries. Drizzle with the cooled "pear" syrup.
*Remember to take a bite of the cheese with the pears and raspberries. The salt (from the cheese) and sugar combo is supreme!
And now...for all you chocolate lovers. Enjoy the next portion!! The links are right below the pictures.
A chocolate truffle cake, ala Ruth's Chris Steak House (tweaked to double-ensure wheat free).
Shared a few weeks ago: A chocolate ganache cake. Super decadent.
A Valentine's Chocolate and Cheese Platter: I used a variety of cheddars
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Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego,
DARYL WOOD GERBER...and her new series
A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series
debuts July 2013