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Recipe for romance
Canoodling in the kitchen perfect Valentine's Day treat
By Rita DeMontis, Toronto Sun
CANOE - Lifewise Updated: addthis

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, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET


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Date-stuffed chicken breast. (Supplied)


    This Valentine's Day, don't just make dinner reservations.

    Make dinner.

    Quite frankly, there's nothing sexier than a guy in an apron, his hands deep in dough. Envision the male baker, rippled muscles working with methodical rhythm over mounds of lush, fresh buns. Imagine those same hands working on your ... neck?

    And don't get me started on guys who primp pizzas. Even spreading whipped cream on a cake can make some women weak in the knees.

    What is it about men and meal-making?


    "Lots of guys are taking a cue from young, hip culinary heartthrobs to realize that women love a man who can cook," says Lavalife.com singles and dating expert Kim Hughes. "There's nothing sexier than a man in the kitchen -- the way he uses his hands to prepare the meal and even (his) meal planning is an instant turn on for women."

    Psychotherapist and relationship expert Nicole McCance says, "It's not about the meal but about the message. When taking the time to invest in cooking for your partner, she gets the message that she is important and that she matters."

    "It doesn't matter if you're an expert chef, or barely know how to boil water -- being in the kitchen is foreplay," adds Hughes. "You're in a confined, hot space, feeding one another sweet tastes and spicy bites, from a spoon or even a finger.

    "What could be sexier than that?"

    How about a man doing the dishes afterward?

    DATE AND NUT STUFFED CHICKEN

    Make a date with -- dates. Delightful, delicious and so good for you. Serve with favourite vegetables and side salad.

    Recipe courtesy of Natural Delights Medjool Dates.

    Ingredients:

    1 Tbsp. (15ml) butter

    1/4 medium onion, finely sliced

    1/2 cup (125ml) dates, pitted and chopped (about 5 dates)

    1 cup (250ml) fresh breadcrumbs

    1/4 cup (50ml) pistachios, chopped

    1 Tbsp. (15ml) finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary)

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    1 tsp. (10ml) olive oil

    1/4 cup (50ml) dry white wine

    Salt/pepper

    Directions:

    Heat oven to 400F (20C). Lightly grease a shallow baking dish.

    In a medium saute pan, set over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until soft, about five minutes. Stir in dates, breadcrumbs, nuts and herbs. Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut a pocket into thickest part of each chicken breast -- being careful not to cut all way through. Fill pockets with date mixture. Season with salt and pepper and brush both sides of chicken breast with olive oil. Place in baking dish and add wine.

    Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown and chicken is no longer pink inside. Place on two different dishes, drizzle with pan juices and serve immediately.

    Serves 2.

    STRAWBERRY FIELDS POCKET PIES

    Your guaranteed to fall in love with these sweetheart pies. Recipe courtesy of Tenderflake.

    Ingredients:

    2 frozen deep dish pie shells

    3/4 cup (175 ml) strawberries stems removed, hulled, and chopped

    2 Tbsp. (30 ml) sugar

    1/8 tsp. (0.5 ml) vanilla

    1 Tbsp. (15 ml) all-purpose flour

    1 Tbsp. (15 ml) milk

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Remove pie shells from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature..

    Combine strawberries, sugar, vanilla and flour in a medium bowl. Set aside. Remove pie shells from foil onto a clean, flat, lightly floured work surface. Cut out six egg shapes from each pie shell using a (2-3/4-inch x 4-inch/ 7 cm x 10 cm) oval cookie cutter. Set any leftover dough aside. Divide filling mixture evenly between 6 cut outs, mounding in centre and leaving a 1/4-inch (5 mm) border. Top with remaining cut outs. Gently press edges together, and crimp with a fork. Brush tops lightly with milk and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until pastry is golden.

    Makes six pies.

    TIPS: Use any leftover dough to cut out shapes to decorate top. Brush back with milk to affix to pie and bake as directed.

    Cut out small shapes from pie tops using miniature cookie cutters before placing tops over filling.

    WHISKY TRUFFLE

    Set a romantic mood with this delightful drink. Recipe courtesy Grant's.

    Cocoa

    1 oz (30 ml) Crème de Cacao

    2 oz (60 ml) Gibson's Finest 12 year old Whisky (or favourite whisky)

    1 small chocolate heart

    Rim a martini glass with cocoa powder

    In a cocktail shaker place crème de cacao and whisky, shake and strain into glass.

    Drop the chocolate heart into cocktail.

    Makes one serving.

    This story was posted on Wed, February 8, 2012

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