Holidays are always a chore it seems for me to figure out what matters. Society puts so many expectations out there that I forget to follow my heart. This year I wanted to take the pressure off my husband and make it a special day for us both. I told him I was preparing a romantic dinner and to plan to relax and enjoy time together.

During the day while my husband was away I made this lovely cake called Schiacciate Alla Fiorentina. It is a rustic orange flavored cake that uses the zest of a whole orange and takes minutes to prepare and then bake. The simplicity of this cake is art. You can find the recipe here on the cooking channel’s Extra Virgin show (my favorite cooking show ever). 

Results of my effort!

The menu for the evening came mostly from Bon Appetite. I made Fennel-Crusted Pork Chops with Potatoes and Shallots. Recipe here.  It turned out fabulous and was also very easy to make using bone in pork loin chops marinated in toasted fennel seed, garlic, smoked paprika and a little olive oil. I browned it on both sides and then finished it in the oven on a bed of golden potatoes and shallots. I prepared roasted asparagus with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper for a green side.

I dressed for the evening wearing a red satin Calvin Klein dress that is probably five years old but never goes out of style , black shoes with tiny bit of sparkle and a dainty diamond and white gold heart shaped necklace given to me by my husband on a Valentine's Day years ago. I took a picture of it today sans me. My plan was to take lots of pictures but when my husband arrived home with a dozen red roses I lost track of my plan and just enjoyed the evening being in love. 

First, we sat down with a glass of wine that was the exact same wine we shared on our first date. A 2001 Chateau Souverain. It is an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. We shared our cards rosesand talked about the thoughts they brought to mind. Inside the card I gave him I had written the story of how we met. It was so nice to recall that special time. On a previous Valentine’s Day my husband had gotten me Paul McCartney “Kisses on the Bottom” CD and we had that playing in the background all evening. We even danced slowly for a while. After dinner we did our favorite thing. We curled up together and watched the first episode of the new season of House of Cards. It was a great episode.

It was wonderful evening and very memorable. Putting thought into something I could do for my husband instead of wondering what he was going to do for me was the perfect way to show how much I appreciate what he does for me all year long. We have decided this will be a tradition for us.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace.