The Friday Five – The Romance of Food


Romance is not really on the agenda here, but it’s coming up to that time of year when Valentine’s Day arrives before we know it. Now with the right company I am sure any food can be romantic, but if you wanted a few pointers, from hearts and flowers to something a little more saucy, then here’s a few to consider:


The Romance of Food from the Queen of romance


Romance of Food by Barbara Cartland – well, if you want hearts and flowers then surely no one could top Barbara Cartland. If you’ve read many of my posts you may know I have a thing for vintage cookbooks, and this one would definitely tick that box. The names of the dishes remind me of a particularly naff Valentine’s dinner at a Chinese in St Albans, but that’s a different story!


Seduction & Spice - a gift for a food lover looking to spice things up


Seduction and Spice: 130 Recipes for Romance – well, this one sounds hopeful, given how many spices are supposed to have qualities and effects over and above just great flavour. Who knows if they work or not, but if you can pick up one of the second hand copies at under £5 then worth trying.


Seductive tables for two - perfect gift for a food lover looking for some intimate meals with a loved one


Seductive Tables for Two: Tablescapes, Picnics and Recipes That Inspire Romance – I have no idea who the author is (well, obviously I can see her name, but you know what I mean). But it sounds like they may be nice ideas, and certainly a great alternative to an over-priced dinner out on the evening. Back to that naff Chinese in St Albans…! But who could resist a Mango Tango for Two?


Two for Tonight - recipes for romance


Two for Tonight: Pure Romance from L’Auberge Chez Francois – this looks like some serious cooking, although the titles less so. Breakfast in Bed sounds very international but Love in the Afternoon perhaps betrays the French origins of much of this. Like true love, these are not recipes to be rushed, as they are quite complex, but then isn’t love?


Valentine Martinis - Love Potion Libations for Lovers


Valentine Martinis – Love Potion Libations for Lovers – pink, fluffy and martini glasses galore. If you can’t go a bit naff on Valentine’s Day when can you? Besides which when else are you supposed to get those decorated martini glasses out?

So have fun, go crazy, cook well, but remember most of all to laugh and love lots. Or, if you’ve missed being grumpy since Christmas, then say “Bah Humbug” to the whole thing!


The Friday Five – Getting it on for Valentine’s Day


I’ve already written about my loathing of “special” Valentine’s Day menus, which generally are an affront to most food lovers. I think it makes a great excuse for a night in together, with something really special on the menu. If you think

you might go down that route, then these books are chosen for adding something a little special to your repertoire for the evening.


The New Intercourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook


1. The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook – this one is almost worth it for the stunningly beautiful photography, but there are also fabulous recipes. In addition you’ll get useful tit bits of info on each of the alleged aphrodisiacs. I can’t vouch for this 10 year anniversary version, as I have the original. Lets just say I am still cooking from it though!

2. Shaken: 250 Very Sexy Cocktails – yep, I would imagine most of these would get an evening off with a bang. Possibly best to eat food too, otherwise you’re not going to get through many of these! Sounds like a fun way to get things going.

3. Romantic Cakes – perhaps you want to create a memorable dessert to finish off the meal, and a beautiful cake would certainly tick the right boxes. Very hearts and flowers, pretty, beautiful and romantic, and also could be incredibly tasty. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love cake, and this book has some truly beautiful cakes to recreate.


Seriously Naughty Cakes


4. Seriously Naughty Cakes– if you want cake, but not the slushy hearts and flowers stuff, then this is the book for you. From Saucy Stockings to the Roly Poly Strip O’Gram, this is not your average cake decorating book! A creation from this will certainly raise at least a smile.

5. The Cookbook of Everlasting Love: Sex On A Plate or Food As Foreplay – jeez, I’ve no idea if this is any good, but can you imagine nosy people’s faces when they’re browsing through your book shelves and come across this one? Go on, it’s worth it just for that alone.

So, you could create your own naff Valentine’s menu, or create something wonderful and romantic. Either way, it should be memorable, and hopefully very tasty! Enjoy!