Those of you who have spent much time at Cooking for Two may have gathered that I'm a hopeless romantic. Not only do I think cooking for "just two" is worthwhile, but it's an opportunity for each member of a couple to express their love in a very personal way by cooking for the other but also to share the experience of cooking and to see what that leads to.
Chef Eric S. Lee, the author of Sweeping Her off her Feet with Food, gets that. In fact, he writes: "Scoop up some of the delectable frosting and smear it lightly across her lips then kiss it off. Place another little smidgen across the side of her neck followed by a light lick to clear it away. The next dollop goes just down her blouse…" This is a man who thinks like I do. But unlike me, he had the idea of writing a book geared toward men without great cooking skills, encouraging them to cook for their ladies. And speaking from personal experience, cooking for a woman will indeed sweep her off her feet.
Lee provides four romantic menus, from starter to dessert, that are within the grasp of anyone who can follow directions. He features items like Baked Brie en Croute (piece of cake), Grilled Salmon with Mango Chutney (dead easy), Field Greens with Hummus (you can keep one eye closed), and Lemon Tart with Raspberry Coulis (short-cuts provided). That said, the author doesn't hold your hand and if you're new to cooking I would advise reading each recipe and menu several times before beginning. You shouldn't have serious problems, but you do want to know what you're getting into first.
In addition to the menus, Lee provides additional recipes so you can expand your repertoire - and keep the romance rolling. The beginning of the book contains ideas for romancing her such as a trail of rose petals or surprise notes. This is followed by instructions for setting the table and mood. The back of the book includes a list of needed equipment (in case you really are a novice) as well as a glossary. As an added bonus, the photography is full color and stunning.
Although Lee wrote the book with men as his audience, there's no reason a woman can't or shouldn't use his ideas and recipes. And even if you're not a novice cook, the recipes all look great. I'll be trying a few out over the next few days, but I wanted to get this posted before Valentine's Day.
Sweeping Her off her Feet with Food
By Eric S Lee
Dreamworld Press, Longmont, CO
Available from www.SweepingHer.com
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.