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With Valentine’s Day coming this weekend, we’ve been puttin’ some thought into a special meal for our near and dear…and, of course, we busy belles love a menu that is gourmet-worthy but can be prepared in advance. This one is perfect for a romantic evening for two or can be served at a larger Valentine gathering. In fact, one of our good belle friends served this at a Valentines dinner last year, and it was both tasty and memorable.

For appetizers, a bowl of cashews or pecans would be more than enough, but if you really want to step it up a notch then you have to make this Crabmeat ravigote . We found the recipe in Best Big Easy by John Besh

Via Pinterest 

We served it with endive leaves as shown and some crackers. It was inhaled. Just sayin….
On to the main course. We love Ina Garten’s Coquilles St. Jaques. It is rich, decadent and simply divine. It’s an impressive course to serve to your significant other or a gathering of friends.  

Via Pinterest 

We found this in Ina’s book, Make It Ahead, but you can find the recipe here in its entirety .  If you find all scallops to be too rich, feel free to do half shrimp, half scallops. It works beautifully. You can also use domestic mushrooms with ease.

A fresh baguette to sop up all the sauce is most assuredly in order. 

A simple salad is all you really need to round out this menu. We had the pleasure of having a beautiful simple green salad with persimmons recently. We had never thought to have them in a salad and they were a delicious addition!  Try it…you’ll adore it!

Via Food52

Feel free to change up the greens. We had ours with butter lettuce, baby romaine, persimmons and watermelon radishes. Find the recipe here at Food52

Here in our town, there is a bakery by the name of the Brick Street Cafe. They happen to serve a chocolate cake that is addictive, travels well, and even gets better with age (although it won’t last long despite that fact). We often order it for birthdays, beach trips, weekend getaways, and just about any excuse we can create. 

Can you imagine our sheer and utter joy when we discovered the recipe for this magnificent cake. So now …behold ….

Via Through Her Looking Glass

We can thank Through Her Looking Glass for sharing the end all and be all of chocolate cakes…The Brick Street Chocolate Cake

Here is zee Recipe 

Happy heart day y’all