Monday, February 20, 2012

Romancing Our Loved Ones

Valentine's Day Picnic

Valentine's Day... and I wanted to create something special for the loved ones in my life. I had hoped to surprise my husband with an afternoon, outdoor picnic with panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge. But my busy work schedule made me unavailable. By evening temperatures were too brisk. As a result, I got my creative cap on thought to myself, how can I keep the spice in our romance? I got very excited when I thought, I can move the picnic indoors!

Romancing our loved ones doesn't have to be all that complicated, nor does it need to break the bank.  Ambiance can be created by the use of props you probably already have at home. Plus, the picnic spread can be a combination of one or two simple recipes plus beautifully plated, store bought additions that beckon the appetite through the eyes. For my picnic, I used a woven mat to act as our blanket. It set the scene for our romantic picnic. Next a plethora  of throw pillows, in all shapes and sizes, were placed along the back perimeter of my "blanket." Then, ambience was given to the room by the glow of candles and battery powered votives set all around the space. I also lit a log in the fireplace for an extra glow and warmth. Now the room had a warm, inviting glow. Lastly, I appealed to our sense of hearing with serenades of spanish guitar; complements of Pandora. 

As for the menu, I wanted to keep it a light affair. I chose to make a delectable raspberry meringue dessert with swirls of white chocolate and a red curry pumpkin soup. Each of these recipes will be featured in upcoming blogs. The rest of the picnic required little effort; purchasing ready to be plated cheeses, deli cuts and fruit. Attention was placed in how the items were plated to make them most appealing.

Platters of fruit, deli cuts, and cheeses with sourdough bread

If you don't have time to even whip up two recipes, check out your local deli for additional tantalizing bites and dessert. 

My seven year old got a real thrill with the indoor picnic. The novelty of the indoor picnic made him very enthusiastic to nibble on all the treats, and I'm sure it's a memory he will carry forever. My son and husband felt loved and nurtured by the special feast that laid before them. And we all really enjoyed the cozy warm fire, candlelight, and each-others company. For myself, it is a blessing to just share a special moment together.

I love to prepare great tasting food for others, and I also know in our full and rushed days, it's not always possible to make our meals from scratch. However, we nourish our souls by how we interact with our food and to me, this includes the setting in which it is served and the loved ones we invite into our circle to share it with. 

Take some time to set a date on your calendar for an indoor picnic with a loved one in your life, and let me know how it went! Keep the romance alive!

Buen Provecho,


  1. Wonderful idea Elsa, I'll try it soon!!

  2. Hi Victorious Warrior, do enjoy that precious family of yours. Let me know how it went!