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The Frivolist: Get-in-the-Mood Food

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Soul-Soothing Dishes You Two Can Make Together

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day at home or hunkering down during a blizzard, these aphrodisiac-inspired recipes will help you turn up the heat in and out of the kitchen.

BREAKFAST

Aphrodisiac: Chocolate, Strawberries & Bananas

Recipe: Chocolate Griddle Cakes w/ Berries and Bananas at Epicurious.com

Start your day the indulgent way with Chocolate Griddle Cakes with Berries and Bananas. With a base that includes cocoa powder, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla, this dish could hardly get more decadent. Until, of course, you pour liquid sin in the form of a hot, homemade chocolate sauce on top. Garnish with bananas and berries – you’ve got to put something healthy in the mix – to complete this rise-and-shine surprise that’s sure to go down in history as one of your all-time favorites.

LUNCH

Aphrodisiac: Artichokes

Recipe: Cream of Artichoke Soup at Saveur.com

Use the leftover heavy cream from breakfast to prepare this soul-soothing soup that starts with a couple cups of chicken broth, pureed artichoke hearts (prepackaged frozen is just fine), butter and herbs. Simmer for an hour to bring out the full flavor of the ingredients, and squeeze a lemon wedge over a bowl before serving. Sourdough bread for dipping perfectly complements this nourishing early-afternoon heart warmer.

Wine Pairing: 2012 Russian River Selection Chardonnay

Aphrodisiac: Arugula, Pine Nuts & Figs

Recipe: Arugula Salad with Figs, Pine Nuts and Radicchio at MarthaStewart.com

If you prefer healthier fare for a lighter lunch, toss together a fiber-rich arugula salad packed with vitamins A and C. The peppery legume is balanced by sweet-and-chewy figs and slightly bitter radicchio in this quick-to-assemble midday meal. Add pine nuts – loaded with vitamin K – for a bit of crunch and energy-providing protein. You’ll need the latter for the nooner you’ve been anticipating.

APPETIZERS

Aphrodisiac: Oysters

Recipe: Panko Fried Oysters for Two at Food.com

Oysters are one of the most well known aphrodisiacs, and you’ll get a generous portion in this crispy snack that’s lightly fried and served with a from-scratch hot sauce. You can find the popular delicacy in-shell at your local supermarket (check YouTube for tips on how to properly shuck oysters so you don’t hurt yourself), or buy your 8 oz. quantity already shucked if your grocer has done the legwork for you.

Wine Pairing: 2013 Argyros Assyrtiko

DINNER

Aphrodisiac: Chili Peppers

Recipe: Chili Peppers: Orecchiette with Sausage, Corn and Chilis at MarthaStewart.com

Traditional stick-to-your-ribs pasta gets a lighter makeover in this Italian and American Southwest marriage of tender orecchiette, sweet corn, savory sausage and, to get your blood pumping, a touch of heat from spicy jalapenos or Fresno chilis. Finish the dish with a dollop of cool sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro to take the edge off.

Wine Pairing: 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel

Aphrodisiac: Honey & Pomegranate

Recipe: Honey-Pomegranate Roasted Chicken Thighs at CookingLight.com

If a two-alarm fire for your taste buds isn’t your idea of a decent meal, go the sweet-and-savory route with roasted chicken thighs marinated in an eclectic mixture of ingredients – including pomegranate molasses that you can find in the Middle Eastern section of a specialty market – for at least two hours. Bake for 30 minutes while basting with the reserved, heated marinade for a bone-in, finger-lickin’ feast.

DESSERT

Aphrodisiac: Vanilla

Recipe: Panna Cotta with Red Fruit Sauce at Oprah.com

Save room for dessert with this couldn’t-be-easier version of vanilla panna cotta, an after-dinner Italian staple. There are only five ingredients in this restaurant-quality recipe made even more mouthwatering when served alongside a tangy blackberry or cherry sauce.

Wine Pairing: Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port

DIGESTIF

Aphrodisiac: Coffee

Recipe: Shoeless Joe at BonAppetit.com

Don’t let dessert weigh you down and ruin your intended evening romp. Perk things up with this coffee-based cocktail that mixes a black cherry simple syrup with the bubbly fizz of club soda and cola; garnish with a wedge of lime. This recipe is non-alcoholic, but you can make your own adult adjustments with vodka, bourbon or rum.

 

LATE-NIGHT SNACK

Aphrodisiac: Avocado & Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe: Sunny Pumpkin Seed Guacamole at HealthyHappyLife.com

You’ve eaten like royalty if you’ve made this aphrodisiac-inspired menu all day, but if you have a craving for a late-night snack after you’ve burned off a few calories in the bedroom, try this good-for-you guac recipe with pumpkin seeds and avocado as you settle in for a romantic movie on the couch. Cuddle up with a bag of corn chips and scoop your way to healthy happiness in the arms of your beau – before heading back upstairs for a naughty, naked nightcap.

 

Mikey Rox

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He currently lives in his van, saving money and traveling the country. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels.

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