Love is in the air

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Friday, February 9, 2018

We are days away from Valentine’s Day now and there are lots of ways to celebrate – big & small.  Many of your favourite restaurants have created special menus for the occasion and it’s a decadent way to spend the night with your partner.  For those of us who maybe want to stay at home, cooking up something special can also be an occasion. I suggest pulling out The Okanagan Table cookbook by local chef Rod Butters, and trying the Slow Grilled Chicken with tangy Raspberry sauce (page 171).  This recipe is done on the BBQ with a side of grilled veggies so the mess in your kitchen is minimal and the finished dish is incredible.  The key is to cook the chicken low and slow but the entire cooking time is only 45 minutes so you don’t need to make a huge commitment to this romantic dinner.

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Of course we need to pair the grilled chicken with some wine.  Keeping with our romantic theme, French is the language of love, so it inspired me to pair it with the Pinot Noir from Roche Wines.  Roche is located on the Naramata Bench and winemaker Penelope comes from a long line of French winemakers.  She and her husband Dylan operate the winery and along with their children it’s a true family business.  In our household we enjoy their Pinot Noir and of course with my obsession with rosé, their Zweigelt  and Schonberger blend make this a standout rosé in a my lineup of pinot noir rosé.   As I told Gord this morning, my husband and I were taking photos of this family in preparation for their website revamp and were trying desperately to incorporate Bacchus, their adorable dog into the shots.  Despite our calling Bacchus and asking him to sit, and come here and stay still, he was the Naomi Campbell of the dog modelling world.   What we discovered is that once you speak French to the dog, suddenly he is the most well-behaved and obedient dog I’ve ever met.

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate?  My go-to chocolate shops are Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate and Karat.  At Sandrine’s shop the chocolates and truffles are all handmade and you can pick and choose your selection to be packaged in a pretty little box.  My favourite is the Caramel and Pecan topped with Fleur de Sel.  I can just take an entire box of those home!  At Karat, chocolatier Julian Helman has put together a Valentine’s collection of 12 handcrafted chocolates in assorted flavours like strawberry & tonka bean, raspberry and rose and chocolate lava.  His chocolates are incredibly colourful and delicious.

Something cute I spotted at Whisk Cake Company is a twist on macarons – they’ve topped them with ‘sayings’ in icing.  You have your typical, ‘Be Mine’ and “Love’ and then you have the anti-Valentine’s Day versions with ‘Lose my Number’, ‘Friend Zone’ and ‘Go Away’.  So fun!

And although a number of wineries have been closed since the holiday season, they are opening up the doors for tours this weekend as well.  The Lakeshore Wine Route which includes Tantalus, CedarCreek, Summerhill Pyramid Winery and St. Hubertus are hosting Love The Wine Your With and pairing their wine pour with chocolate.  The wineries are open Saturday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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