California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BE STILL MY HEART...a Romantic Little Primer for Valentines' Everywhere























Being a Libra (and a designing one at that) I naturally love doing romantic things to show my mate how much I care. From heart shaped scones, to cheese cake, to Champagne, to chocolate here are some romantic ideas to help you plan ahead. Valentine's Day will be here in a few short weeks.

Serve him his tea or coffee in bed on a breakfast tray. Remember men like to be pampered too. If he feel silly at first, trust me he will learn to appreciate special treatment like this and may become more thoughtful with you in the process.



















Make her Joy of Nesting's Red Bell Pepper Soup. It isn't as hard as it sounds. Wash and cut in half ten to twelve red bell peppers and scoop out seeds and excess membrane. Char round side up under the broiler till quite burnt all over. Don't leave in too long because you'll lose a lot of the flesh if you do.

Place in two plastic bags, twist the top so the steam doesn't escape and let cool about thirty minutes. Slip the skins off. Allow ten to fifteen minutes for the skins. It is the only messy, time consuming part. Place in a blender and puree till smooth.

Pour pepper puree into a large soup pot. Add vegetable or chicken broth till desired consistency (about 1/3 cup), add four tablespoons butter, and cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer about ten minutes.

Serve with grated sharp Cheddar cheese, finely chopped white onion, and a little sour cream or
Greek plain yogurt. You won't believe how delicious this is. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
























Espresso with steamed milk is ever so festive out of pretty white and red cups. I love Illy espresso. Just breaking out the espresso machine and going to the extra effort will make you both feel special.



















Heart shaped scones are so delicious when served with Chantilly or clotted cream and strawberry jam. I like the buttermilk scone recipe from the old Sunset Cookbook of Favorite Recipes II. Scones and cream are a British favorite. I first had them years ago with my family in Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birth place) and have never forgotten it.























Brownies, need I say more. I make mine with high quality chocolate and lots of coarsely chopped walnuts. I want to try them some day with finely diced dried cherries.

























http://www.marthastewart.com/340256/strawberries-and-cream-cheesecake













Try this great strawberry cheesecake from Martha Stewart. The strawberries are baked and this intensifies the flavors. Click on the link next to it for the recipe.
 























Decorating for Valentine's Day is easy if you have a few red accessories. In small quantities, red actually works very well with a number of different color schemes. It's especially beautiful with green, blue, black, and gray. Above, it looks smashing against my mercury lamp, mercury jar and pink, red, and white roses.























Perfect gift ideas for her: a red Cross pen, red velvet jewelry box, and a Waterford perfume bottle.























Pink Champagne to add a little effervescence to your evening. Stay tuned for more of my Valentine's Day post to come.

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