Spring is in the Air–So’s the Rain

It’s Friday. It’s spring. It’s the Pacific Northwest. And it’s going to rain this weekend. Apparently we need it so I guess I won’t complain. So romantic weekend dates will be where romantic dates have been all winter! Indoors.

But it can still be fun. How about trying this:

Use your iPod to play mood music. I love Andrea Bocelli because he has a great voice and Italian always sounds romantic to me. What’s your favorite?

Bring out all the candles.  Just don’t have so many it involves the fire department. That definitely puts a damper on romance.

Pour a glass of whatever you like to drink—Pinot Grigio for me. If you don’t indulge, make it a sparkling drink—pomegranate-apple is delicious.

Make a simple dinner—a stir-fry perhaps—to save time and room for…

Indulge in dessert—Chocolate fondue. Now we get to the best part—chocolate. (Yes, I have something of a one-track mind on this subject.) What I love about chocolate fondue is it’s simple and it’s decadently delicious.

Here’s what you need:

8 oz. of heavy cream

12 oz. of dark chocolate chopped

(optional) 2 tbsp. of your favorite liqueur—an orange flavored one like Grand Marnier is my favorite.

Here’s how to make the chocolate mixture:

Heat the cream until it is just about to a boil. Mix the chocolate into the cream and stir until it is completely melted and blended. Add the flavoring, if you wish.

Transfer to a fondue pot. (If you don’t have a fondue pot, scrape the chocolate mixture into a pretty bowl. You may have to microwave it gently as the mixture cools and stiffens.)

Here’s the fun part:

Using fondue forks, bamboo skewers or a table fork, dip any one of the following into the chocolate:

Dried apricots

Candied ginger

Shortbread cookies

Pretzel sticks

Pineapple chunks

Strawberries. There are some beautiful, organic strawberries from California at New Seasons right now. Not as good as the Northwest berries yet to come but still, they’re tasty, heart-shaped and sweet.

Marshmallows—If you dip them until covered in chocolate and slightly softened, squish between two graham crackers, you have a s’more. Sort of.

By the time you’re finished the fondue, you’ll have chocolate smears all over your mouth. Get your sweetie to kiss it off. That should make the romantic evening complete.


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