Oh Baby, You Make Me Hot!


Oh Baby, You Make Me Hot!

This meal was inspired by the recent lover’s holiday.  We decided to come up with a simple meal in which was both useful for everyday cooking, and still had a bit of special Valentine’s flare.  Several of the ingredients are known to be aphrodisiacs.*

Hors d’oeuvres


Handfull of olives
Gorgonzola crackers with
Cream cheese
Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) sweet pepper jelly


On a decorative plate, place some olives, and lay out enough crackers to cover the plate.  On top of each cracker, place a small amount of cream cheese.  Then top each cracker with the sweet pepper jelly.

Rachel’s Sneaky Lux Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
¼ teaspoon unsweetened baking cocoa
2 teaspoons salt
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 cup beer (lager or pilsner type – a lighter one)
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapenos (or more to taste)*
2 cans diced tomatoes (don’t drain)


In a Dutch oven or other large deep pan, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil on low heat until soft. Add the beef and pork and cook over medium heat until it is no longer pink; drain. Add the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.

Cooling Salad


1½ cups sliced iceberg lettuce
2 lower halves of celery stalks
1 apple
1 blood orange
½ cup plain, nonfat yogurt
1tbs TJ’s raspberry-walnut vinaigrette
Handful pomegranate seeds*
Pine nuts*


Slice iceberg lettuce as though you were making coleslaw.  Julienne the lower halves of celery stalks.  Peel and dice the apple.  Put everything into a bowl and toss with the juice of a blood orange, ½ cup of plain nonfat yogurt, raspberry-walnut vinaigrette, and a handful of pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Cornbread the Easy Way


Trader Joe’s cornbread mix
1 can of corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ jalapeño pepper* (finely diced)
¼ stick of butter
Pinch of cinnamon
2 tsp. honey*


Mix up the cornbread according to the instructions on the package.  Drain and add one can of corn, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and ½ of a finely diced jalapeño pepper.  Stir the mix well, and then bake according to the instructions on the package.  While it’s baking, you can mix up your own honey butter.  Soften ¼ of a stick of butter, and whip in 2 tsp. of honey, and add a pinch of cinnamon.

Dessert:  Simple Chocolate & Strawberry Treat


Hot fudge*
Vanilla ice cream
4 graham crackers


Separate the graham crackers into 8 squares (4 each).  Spread a liberal amount of the cold or room-temperature (Sanders or Hershey’s) hot fudge (not chocolate syrup!) onto the graham crackers.  Scoop a large, thin scoop of (slightly softened) vanilla ice cream onto each graham cracker.  Slice a handful of fresh, organic strawberries and place them on top of the ice cream.  Garnish with remaining strawberries.  Serve and enjoy your personal ice cream treat.