Picnic at Home–Romantic Idea Friday

Why not wear your favorite dress (or lingerie) to the sheet you spread in the center of your living room?

Check out Trader Joe’s prices on prepared foods.  My favorite simple meal is Trader Joe’s Meatballs (found in the frozen section), with the TJ’s arrabiata sauce and fresh spaghetti or linguini.

Prefer to cook a bit more?  Start with a cheese plate, serve a simple salad of butter lettuce with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and check out the following surf and turf recipes.  Bake lobster tail at 350 degree for 15 minutes, grill steak with butter, preferably in a stove top grill pan if not a grill, (2-4 minutes on each side for skirt steak), add the salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence in the last minute, and check out Jamie Oliver’s seared scallops and asparagus recipe.

Never stress if your local grocery store does not have a particular item.  Run an online search to look for recipe substitutions.  For example, if your local store is out of leeks, chives are an excellent subsitute.  If you don’t have Herbs de Provence, skip it and stick with butter, salt and pepper to taste for the steak!

Interested in pairing your meal with your wine?  Do you love champagne but your guy does not?  Spring for a 40-50 bottole of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, its effervescence is not as sweet, which is the number one reason non-champagne drinkers prefer it.  Looking to spend less?  Barefoot Bubbly Rose Cuvee is new on the market, cost effective and delicious.  The Rose Cuvee is sweet yet has a crisp tang, too!

While wine white is often paired with seafood, I prefer a trusty Malbec for steak and lobster.  My favorite Malbec of the year is El Collectivo, but since supplies are running out, check out Gascon Malbec, a rich, full-bodied red that is smooth and active on the palate, a great choice for the taste variations in surf and turf.  Gascon will also pair nicely with the TJ’s meatballs and arrabiata sauce.

Happy Friday!

Message in a Cork

Message in a Cork

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