Yes, this pink, frothy cocktail is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s celebration but don’t let its good looks fool you, the Clover Club is a serious drink. And one originally imbibed exclusively by men – specifically the literary, legal, and financial men who, from 1882 until the 1920’s, met once a month in Philadelphia. The drink, named after their gentlemen’s club, was published in the New York Press in 1901. It called for gin, lemon juice, sugar, raspberry syrup, and egg white. Fast forward to modern times, and it’s also the name of a gorgeous cocktail bar in our old Brooklyn neighborhood. This new Clover Club, the bar, is where we first sampled Clover Club, the drink.
February, as a rule, is a hard month to love. January, at least, has the benefit of being a FRESH NEW START to the year; we can, if we’re lucky, coast on hopes, and dreams, and the sugar high from Christmas, all the way through to the 31st. And then, the next morning, we wake, mentally done with winter and ready to see the sun again, keeping our eyes closed for a few blissful seconds of ignorance before opening them to find … February. Ugh.
It’s no coincidence that Groundhog Day is right at the beginning of February. If summer is a season of Sundays, February is a month of Februaries. TS Eliot had it wrong: April would only be the cruelest month if it arrived at your door dressed as a spring maiden only to rip off its mask and yell “surprise! April Fool, motherfucker! It’s February again!”.
But it’s not all bad. If you can make it exactly halfway through, to the month’s hump-day, so to speak, you’ll hit Valentine’s Day. (Any sensible editor would absolutely forbid me from using the phrase “hump-day”, but fortunately, this blog doesn’t have one.). We’re not teddy bears and roses kind of people, but we do like a colorful drink with zesty flavors. So that’s what we wanted to blog this year: a good, tasty Valentine’s Day cocktail that you can share with a loved one, or just make for yourself. (Because YOU, my blog-reading friend, are a loved one. Yes you are, and don’t you ever forget it.)
Seared Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce – Romance is all about making great combinations. Scallops and risotto are two dishes that many people are nervous about making, but take the plunge. Trust us: it’s easier than you think. Look, nobody likes hearing the words “cheap” and “romantic” in close proximity. It’s just … Read more
These braised short ribs are cooked low and slow in a delectable sauce flavored with soy, honey, orange and Chinese 5-spice powder. A hearty cold-weather recipe!
As a cooking couple, we’re aware of a lot of the clichés that link food with romance. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The couple that braises together…stayses together. You know, the classics.
It is true that if you can work together and communicate well in the kitchen, if you can appreciate each other’s skills and enjoy your combined successes, and if you can laugh at and learn from your culinary failures, your relationship probably has a pretty solid footing. It helps to have a recipe like this braised short ribs dish. There are a few steps to it, but nothing is time-critical, so you can hang out in the kitchen and talk about how your day was while you do the prep and get the ribs in the oven or slow cooker.
Note: This recipe is part of our on-going series with Serious Eats. You can also find this recipe, and other great ones, on their site.
Britain is a big old seaside with a few towns in the middle, and while we were there, we often had excellent seared scallops when we ate out. This is our attempt to recreate this dish, served over pureed peas with crisped pancetta.
In the spirit of curmudgeonliness, here’s the real history of Valentine’s Day.
On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., a Roman priest named Valentine was executed.
A little background: Emperor Claudius II (not the stuttering one) had a problem. He was having trouble maintaining a strong… military (not a euphemism, for once). For some reason the men of Rome were reluctant to join an army led by a man whose nickname was ‘Claudius the Cruel’. Go figure.
Claudius presumed it was because of their strong attachment to their wives and families, so he did what any reasonable ruler would do. He banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.
Valentine, hoping his name would one day be synonymous with chalky chocolates and teddy bears holding roses, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.
That is until he was arrested and beaten to death with clubs. And then his head was cut off.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Yes, these chocolate truffles are decadent and luxurious but they’re also simple to put together and they will wow a party or an intimate dinner for two.
INT. MATT AND EMILY’S LIVING ROOM. 2PM, VALENTINE’S DAY.
Fast-paced close-up montage of: Fastening crampons. Pulling on ski mask. Adjusting gloves. Snapping on protective goggles.
EMILY: This is madness! You’re never going to make it!
MATT: I’ve got to try! Don’t you see? (Looks out window at a wall of swirling white, a brutal blizzard)
MATT (CONT’D): (Quietly) I have to at least try.
EMILY: Okay. Be careful.
MATT: Wait, what? (Looks back out window as a chicken blows past, another victim)
MATT (CONT’D): Are you insane? It’s crazy out there! Isn’t there anything we can make with just chocolate, butter and eggs?
EMILY: (Also looks out window, into the middle distance) Yes. Yes there is.
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES!