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Cooking with Beaver's Valentine's Day Cuisine: Bruschetta

BY BEN VERHILLE | FEBRUARY 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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It's Valentine's Day again … Did you remember?

This is your golden opportunity to make huge a romantic gesture, looking like a modern Romeo… Unless you screw it up and leave yourself spending another lovers' day with Jilly and Lilly video searching the internet.

Whether you're friend-zoned, single, or pulled off a last-minute date, here's a plan for this year's Valentine's Day.

Date-Night Cuisine

Bruschetta: This one plate will almost guarantee the climatic end to your evening. Valentine's Day is romantic enough, but sometimes we just don't feel the lust. Our diets might bring vitamins and nutrients into our system, but there are certain aromas or tastes that arouse our palates. Basil has the reputation for romanticism in Italy because of its sensual fragrance. So today, we steal it.

The second-most important component of this dish is the hint of garlic. Use with caution, too little and the effect is wasted, but too much, and you could clear a restaurant (and your bed) with your breath. Garlic releases allicin, which helps increase blood flow and is more potent if finely chopped or cloven.

Sealing the deal: Go the extra mile, and include the most romantic dessert in the U.S. - Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Almond bark and strawberries, you can probably handle that.

Make sure you choose a red wine to get the full effect of this special night. I would recommend a Chianti or Merlot to go with the bruschetta. Both wines play nice, with a wide variety of flavors.

Light candles to complete the scene, garnish with fake rose petals if you're really serious, and play some romantic music.

Singles' Awareness Day

Sometimes, it's better to keep calm and [insert verb] on, rather than get stuck in a commitment.
Spend Cupid's Birthday with your friend group and spice it up a little without the romantic gestures. As far as food goes, the seductive dishes and aphrodisiacs probably aren't the best idea.

Spinach Artichoke Dip: Who cares about your breath, its singles' night. Just make sure you have enough to share. Buy it frozen to save you time and money.

Homemade Pizza: A group activity, way more fun after a few rounds of slap the bag. Pepperoni, pineapple, sauerkraut, anchovies — whatever, just make sure it's not as boring as plain cheese pizza.

The last thing you need is a box of some delicious wine, because hey, why waste money if you aren't getting anything from it? My favorite flavor is the Sunset Blend and slap the bag is a great time to talk about past V-Day dates making you eager to finish that five-liter bag.

Good luck this Valentine's Day, stay safe, and don't shoot your arrows drunk.

Bruschetta Recipe
2 lb. fresh tomatoes
½ fresh onion
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 bunch fresh basil (the more the better)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Italian bread or baguette
½ cup mozzarella cheese (controversial and optional)

1. Chop, clove, and mix all the ingredients except the bread into a mixing bowl, and store in a covered container in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 350.
3. Cut the bread into slices about ¾-inch thick to lay flat on an oven tray.
4. Toast the bread, two to three minutes per side is prime. When you flip the bread, now is the time to add the cheese.
5. Remove from the oven, and scoop mixture onto bread slices.
6. Enjoy.


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