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What's Cookin'?, January 12, 2008 - You Can Cook With Confidence & Style
January 12, 2008

Welcome to What's Cookin'?

From A Valentine !

Make Something Delicious Happen Today!
Try A Restaurant Recipe!

Welcome Everyone! Welcome to What's Cookin'?"

Roses are red
Violets are blue
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And I'll appreciate you! :-)
From A Valentine

In this issue...

  • Why Valentine's Day? - Briefly
  • A Valentine's Dinner Menu Idea With Recipes
  • Another Valentines Menu To Consider
  • In A Bind? Order A Gourmet Meal From GourmetStation
  • Three More People Start Their Own Websites
  • The Best Electronic Cookbook On The Market
  • Use The Site Map
  • SiteSell's Site Build It
  • Be Safe And Happy Until Next Time

    Why Valentine's Day?

    Here it comes friends ...a day of exchanging cards expressing our love for one another. It is the second busiest card-giving day of the year, surpassed only by Christmas.

    And, of course, candy, flowers and other gifts will be exchanged as well.

    I appreciate receiving a card from my husband ...also candy and flowers. But some years ago, despite the fact that our love for each other has grown each year, my husband - my love - and I decided to alter the tradition. Now we write each other a letter of love, or at least a card - our own creations. Each expression of love is always unique - and I like that. And my husband, being a history major, likes to always sign his letter or card "From Your Valentine."

    St. Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men in the hope of building a stronger military, Valentine defied the decree and continued to marry those that chose to become married. Yes, he attempted to do so in secret, but of course word "got around." He was arrested and imprisoned.

    While in jail, the story goes, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and just prior to being put to death, he wrote her a letter of his love for her and signed it guessed it - "From Your Valentine."

    So, I guess if true, he did send the first Valentine's card ever, and from that time on the tradition grew and grew and grew, until Valentine's cards became a major industry, at least in the United States.

    According to what I have read (research provided by my Valentine), the first U.S. valentines were made by Esther Howland, a college student, around 1830. She made elaborate lace-trimmed cards on fine paper with the help of her brothers and several assistants. She also wrote her own valentine's messages. She was so successful she became one of our first, if not THE FIRST, successful career woman in America. Her sales were at least $100,000 annually by 1835. Not bad at all! :-)

    In brief, that's the history of why many people are buying Valentine's cards today. But my husband and I are not ...instead ... and because ...

    We actually celebrate Valentine's Day one day earlier than February 14th. That's because the restaurant is very busy on that night. Valentine's Day (night) is the second or third busiest time of the year for full service restaurants. It's one of those "make it or break it" days.

    "Ah me! Love cannot be cured by herbs." ~Ovid

    But love can be expressed in food for it is also written that
    "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

    Valentine's Dinner Idea

    This Valentines Dinner menu is a wonderful way to celebrate a special relationship or just treat yourself and your loved ones in the middle of a cold winter. I know because this was the exact Valentine's Dinner I once prepared for my husband and me.

    Crab Cake Appetizer For Two
    Preparation time: 15-20 minutes. Makes 4 appetizer size crab cakes


  • 1/2 egg (That's right. 1/2 an egg! Use 1 large egg - which weighs about 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons - To use, beat the egg lightly in a small bowl and measure 2 tablespoons for use in making this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (this instead of English dry mustard is my variation on traditional recipes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces Dungeness crab meat (or lump crab meat from the best crab available to you)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground cracker crumbs
  • Clarified butter as needed for frying (sauteing)
  • Bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs - Panko) as needed


  • Whisk the 1/2 egg in a mixing bowl
  • Add mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasoning, pepper, cayenne and salt and whisk until smooth
  • Mix in crab and cracker crumbs
  • Form into 4 small (about 1/2 inch thick) crab cakes
  • Place on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  • Coat the crab cakes with Panko bread crumbs
  • Fry in clarified butter until golden brown on both sides
  • Serve with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce or your favorite sauce

    Come live in my heart and pay no rent. ~Samuel Lover

    Mandarin Orange - Sugared Walnut Salad Recipe
    Preparation time: 20 minutes plus time for preparing sugared walnuts. Serves 2


  • 1/4 cup sugared walnuts or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • Small pinch of black pepper
  • 2-3 cups of wild baby greens or mixed greens, rinsed, dried and torn
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup celery hearts, sliced on the bias
  • 6-8 ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained

    Having once made or acquired your sugared walnuts ...

  • Combine the oil, vinegars, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper with a wire whisk in a bowl or shake the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until serving
  • In a bowl, toss together the salad greens, green onions, celery and oranges and just enough dressing to moisten well
  • Place the salad on chilled salad plates, mounding to the center of the plates and sprinkle with the sugared walnuts

    Love cures people - both the ones who give it and
    the ones who receive it.
    -Dr. Karl Menninger

    Champagne Shrimp Pasta
    Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves 2

    Ingredients (For Cooking Pasta)

  • 4 ounces (1/4 pound) angel hair pasta (best with angel hair but you can use linguine as well)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 pound medium sized shrimp (prawns), peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup champagne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots (an important ingredient - see note below)

    Note: Shallots are not really onions and should not be confused with green onions or scallions. They have a mild taste combining the flavors of sweet onion and mild garlic.

  • 1 small tomato, skinned, seeded and diced

    To peel the tomato, place in boiling water until the skin begins to pop. Remove the tomato with a slotted spoon and let it cool. Cut the tomato into quarters and remove the seeds with a small spoon.

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

    Have all ingredients measured and vegetables prepared before beginning. I like to cook the pasta ahead of time in which case it needs to be tossed with a small amount of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
    Cook the pasta according to package directions or until al dente (still firm), adding the teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the boiling water and then drain in a colander

  • Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan or frying pan
  • Add mushrooms (if using), cooking and stirring the mushrooms until they are tender
  • Remove the mushrooms from pan and set them aside
  • In the same pan, combine the shrimp, the champagne and salt in the frying pan and cook over high heat
  • As the liquid just begins to boil, remove the shrimp from the pan using a slotted spoon
  • Add the minced shallots and chopped tomato to the champagne and boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 ( 1/4 cup )
  • Add the cream and pasta and cook until slightly thickened
  • Add the shrimp, parsley and mushrooms to the pan and cook until thoroughly heated
  • If pasta starts to get dry, add a little more cream
  • Adjust seasonings to taste
  • Pour into pasta bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    To love another person is to see the face of God. -Les Miserables

    French Chocolate Pie
    Preparation time: 25 minutes. Serves 8


  • 1/4 pound of butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces Baker's unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of whipped topping or whipped cream
  • 1 baked pie crust
  • Baker's sweetened or unsweetened chocolate for garnish


  • Whip the butter with a mixer until white and creamy
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sugar and whip again until fluffy
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add one egg and whip until fluffy (about 3 minutes), then scape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg and whip until fluffy again
  • Fold in the whipped cream topping or whipped cream
  • Fill baked pie crust, mounding toward the center
  • Grate chocolate on top of pie

    To serve: Garnish with whipped topping and more grated or shaved chocolate

    Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. ~Robert Browning

    Don't forget to check out other Valentine's Day Menu Suggestions.

    Some love lasts a lifetime. True love lasts forever. -Unknown

    No time to cook a really wonderful meal for celebrating Valentine's Day? Here is a possible answer for you.

    For you see, each day I love you more
    Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

    ~Rosemonde Gerard

    Three More Join Site Build It! (SBI)

    Since the last newsletter, three more newsletter - website readers have become owners of Site Build It (Roger, Vanessa, Guy). This means they are on their way to building their own websites - and having some great fun!

    If you or anyone you know has an interest in building a website for fun AND profit - now is your chance!

    Click on A WAY TO BUILD A WEBSITE. Consider it now.

    Think you can't do it? Nonsense. If I can do it, so can you!

    Without love, the rich and poor live in the same house.
    ~Author Unknown

    Try Shopping Online

  • Salsa Express - a very special, family-owned and operated company.
  • Seafood Online - a variety of companies to choose from but look for wild seafood.
  • Gift Baskets From Just About Every Company You Can Think Of
  • Complete Gourmet Dinners - Really wonderful 3 and 4 course meals!
  • All Your Kitchen Needs - Select items from a variety of sources all in one place.

    Candle light, moon light, star light,
    The brightest glow is from loves light.

    ~Grey Livingston

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    The e-cookbook contains over 200 restaurant recipes (all categories and meals).

    Subscribers to "What's Cookin'?" can purchase the electronic cookbook using the link Real Restaurant Recipes Volume One.

    You can cook with confidence and style.

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    Thanks to those of you who purchased the electronic cookbook this month.

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    Enjoy the food you prepare and the company of those you share it with!
    ”See” you soon! Be happy and stay safe.


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