Valentine Breakfast in Bed

So you’ve just woken up with your sweetheart beside you and you’re feeling great. But don’t get complacent: you’ve probably got lethal morning breath and your sweetie is about to start regretting that little slumber party. You’ll want to quash any second thoughts right away. What’s the best way to do that? Bust out the a.m. culinary skills, baby! Nothing impresses a date like a wonderful touch in the kitchen. If you’ve gotten your special someone to spend the night, then we know you’ll have given some thought to the morning after – so don’t screw things up now by throwing a donut at your honey and telling him/her, “Sure, I’ll call.”

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The prospect of cooking up some goodies in the kitchen can trigger a little panic, but let us reassure you: you can keep this as simple as you like or you can bring out the big guns. It’s up to you. Adjust your efforts in relation to your need to impress. For all of the following suggestions, you’re going to need to slip out of bed first to go and round up the goodies (don’t forget to dress yourself, though!). Just tell your honey to keep sleeping and that you’ll be back in a second. Of course, to make this work most smoothly, you should get your act together in advance. Order a romantic Gift Basket in Advance That means you’re either going to have to evaluate with complete honesty your ability to bed this person, or you’re just going to have to be prepared to eat alone, albeit very well, the next morning.

In addition to stockpiling ingredients in advance, you’re going to need a certain amount of hardware to pull this off convincingly. That includes pots and pans, of course, but aside from the cookware, you’ll need a stylish vector to transport the fruit of all your labor to your love’s mouth. No matter how delectable your food may be, carrying it into the bedroom on an old pizza box just ain’t going to cut it so be sure to acquire a decent tray. Ideally, you’ll be able to find one with legs that fold down to create a little table over the diner’s lap.

On that tray, you really need only one extraneous accoutrement: a bud vase. Lost you? A bud vase is a small vase designed to hold only a single flower – we recommend a rose. Again, buy the rose in advance unless you happen to have some lying about in your kitchen, then store it in your fridge with the stem in water. The cold will prevent the rose from opening up, and the aesthetic of a tight bud is much preferred by those in the know.

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So, with the decorations arranged, you will of course still need some basic eating utensils: cutlery and plates. You’re not hosting English royalty here, so don’t obsess about this – just make sure they are clean. Remnants of your last breakfast snuggle may not impress your love. For your drinks, let’s try to find some champagne flutes. The only other thing you’ll need is a napkin, to minimize the inevitable spills that result from eating in bed. . . and from the cavorting about you may do afterwards. Try to make the napkin a cloth one; in a pinch, a piece of paper towel will have to do but wood pulp products are just inherently tacky.

You may not always be able to fool your date into snoozing for the entire time that it will take you to concoct your ambrosia, so you may need to bring him or her appeasements while you finish preparing the main course. We suggest a few delicious snacks to hold him/her over while you work on the grand prix. Of course, if your “guest” has behaved him/herself during your preparation, you can simply bring in these snacks together with the main breakfast dish when it’s ready. Each of our recommendations is fairly light, and you should avoid foisting a huge dose of anything on your amour this early in the morning. Bloated does not equal frisky.

Nutella

The Euros have really struck gold with this stuff. Nutella is a creamy chocolate spread flavored with hazelnuts. If you think it looks alarmingly like vegemite or you’ve just never heard of it, relax and trust us – the stuff is absolutely delicious and you cannot go wrong with it. Chocolate is the number one food for love, so you’ll want to introduce some into the meal as soon as possible. We recommend buying some French or Italian loaves, preferably ones that are fresh and can be torn apart. Simply tear off a small clump of bread and spread a generous dollop of Nutella on it. That’s it.

So how do you prepare this for your date? Tear off enough two-inch-squared pieces of bread to cover a regular dinner plate. Then spread a liberal dose of the Nutella over each one. If your target is hankering for some food immediately, just escort these goods into the boudoir while you’re working on the rest of the meal. Otherwise, toss this plate on to your tray and hold it all for one grand presentation. Nutella is one of those curious things that is truly amazing but hasn’t yet exploded across America. Why don’t you be the first to introduce your amour to it? You’re sure to create a fond memory.

Strawberries & Cream

How can you go wrong with these? Everybody living outside of a plastic bubble loves strawberries and cream, and you can’t find many more snacks that are so simple to prepare. Let’s start with the fruit. Like the rest of your ingredients, you should buy them the day before, then throw them in the fridge. For the purpose of feeding each other strawberries, you should keep them intact rather than slicing them up. That doesn’t mean that you do not have to prepare them, however. In fact, although this is an easy snack to whip up, preparing strawberries does involve a few minutes of work. Either the night before or immediately before serving, rinse the strawberries to remove any possible nasties from them. Now take a knife and decapitate the little tuft of green vegetation at the top of each strawberry. It’s not edible, trust us. Once the fruit is rinsed and shorn, it’s ready.

Next, the cream. You can take one of two routes: either bust out the can of Readiwhip and just squirt away or make some decent stuff. The decent stuff is known formally as chantilly cream. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

In a bowl, whip the chilled cream until it stiffens up from a liquid into little peaks. Next, add the vanilla and powdered sugar slowly while you continue beating the cream. Voila!

You can serve this mix in a simple bowl, though it looks best in glass-stemmed dishes. Just fill the bowl with strawberries and top it off with sinful amounts of the cream. The idea here is for you to transport berries to target’s mouth with your own fingers.

Pastries

Okay, this is the one for when you just don’t have any time. You’re going to need to hit a bakery to grab a few goodies, but freshness is key with baked goods, so if you take this tack, try to pull it off as soon as possible before the meal. Here’s what to ask for: pain au chocolate (known roughly in this country as chocolate croissants). Again, notice the chocolate theme. These goodies are a staple morning snack in Frenchish-speaking regions of the world – Quebec, Switzerland, France but despite that, they really are delicious. Keep it simple: buy two or three and just arrange them on a plate. If you like, you can sprinkle a little flour around your face and clothes to make it look like you slaved away at baking. Done!

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Enough stalling, let’s get to the real prize. Remember: breakfast is not dinner, so you don’t need four courses or anything like that. Aside from the aforementioned snacks, which are not critical, all you need is one decent plate of food. Hell, showing up with a banana in your hand will probably be more than your date expects. But let’s not be rude. We’re going to offer you two basic choices here – one is sweet (French toast) and the other is savory (scrambled eggs).

French Toast

This dish is a classic for anyone who likes to kick off the day with a slightly sweeter flavor. And the best thing about this one is that the finished product looks quite complex even though it is really basic to cook.

Ingredients

That’s it! Some people fancy it up with other bits and pieces, but we’ll keep it simple.

1. Slice the baguette into thin little ovals of bread, to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch. It’s important not to use slices of bread that are too thick, otherwise you won’t cook the interior which will lead to a soggy egg center – foul.

2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and mix them vigorously with a fork.

3. Into the eggs, add four tablespoons of maple syrup and keep mixing; this will sweeten the overall flavor of the dish, but not too much. When you serve it, you can, of course, add more syrup to your liking.

4. Take a small handful of corn flakes and crumble them up into small pieces and drop them into the egg-syrup mix. Weird, right? But trust us, the corn flakes give the finished product a great crispy texture that is a great solution to the problem of soggy toast.

Now that the eggs are ready and you have your bread sliced, it’s time to combine them.

5. Simply drop the pieces of bread into the egg mix, and leave them to soak up the eggs for five minutes or so. You want the egg mixture to permeate the bread entirely.

6. As the bread is soaking, melt a tablespoon of butter into a frying pan.

7. When the butter has melted, drop pieces of soaked bread into the pan.

8. Now all you need to do is heat the bread through to a dark golden brown on both sides. Be sure you leave the bread in the pan for a while, even if you darken it quickly because you want to make sure that the egg mixture on the inside of the bread is also cooked. Trust us, nothing is grosser than biting into a soggy egg mix. This is why we recommend slicing the bread a little thinner.

9. Once the slices of bread are ready, remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel to blot up any excess butter.

10. While they’re still warm, transfer them to a plate, and put a few dollops of butter on the slices.

You’re ready to serve! We like to sprinkle a little powdered sugar and some syrup on the toast, but since people feel differently about those things, we suggest you ask your dining companion first.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs involve many of the same ingredients as French toast, but the tenor of the dish is much more savory. So ditch the sugar and syrup. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

So here we go with our home-style cookin’, just like Mama used to make:

1. Begin by cracking the eggs into a bowl and beating them with a fork or a whisk.

2. Next, add a few pinches of salt and pepper and a few drops of Tabasco, mixing all the while. Now, there are different schools of thought on the milk thing. Some people like to add a few splashes of milk (half a cup) to reduce the eggy taste of the dish, but we think that milk can sometimes make the dish a little watery. We highly recommend that you experiment with this dish; do not try this out for the very first time on your plaything.

That brings us to the sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese issue. We love these ingredients and they will definitely make your dish distinctive and memorable. But some people aren’t so keen on their strong flavors. So if you’re scrapin’ up the scrambled eggs unannounced for your sweetheart, you may not want to take this risk. Perhaps you can cook conservatively the first time and save the fireworks for the next time around. If you do decide to get crazy, you should crumble half a cup of feta into the egg mix together with five diced sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Once the eggs and companion ingredients have been thoroughly whisked, you should begin heating the pan.

4. Drop a tablespoon of butter into a pan.

5. When the butter is melted, pour the egg mixture into the pan. We strongly recommend that you keep the pan on a low flame because scrambled eggs are notorious for sticking to the pan.

6. As the eggs heat through, you’ll see some fascinating exothermic reactions at work: the eggs cook in layers that you should occasionally scrape from the bottom of the pan, to allow uncooked mixture access to the heat. But be gentle and you’ll be very grateful if you use a non-stick pan. Again, this takes a bit of a deft touch, so you may want to practice in advance.

The eggs will be done when they have solidified up into nuggets of cooked clumps. Some people like their eggs a little runnier and others are into a drier version – the conservative way to go is to keep it dry. So keep cooking until there’s no liquid egg left and your nuggets are golden brown.

7. Serve the eggs on top of buttered slices of bread and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. You’re done!

With all this food about, you’re going to need something to quench your thirst. As we hinted earlier, we think that mimosas are the best romantic breakfast drinks. The fact that they are alcoholic is an added benefit that will, hopefully, work to prolong the romance of your date. Mimosas are very simple to make:

Ingredients

Pre-meal preparation: you should chill both ingredients, but remember that it’s just not good form to toss ice cubes into this mix.

Fill a champagne flute half-way with orange juice and top it off with champagne for a fifty-fifty mix.

That’s it!

So you have your snacks (Nutella, strawberries, or pastries), your main dish (French toast or scrambled eggs), and libations (the mimosas) all arranged on a lovely tray with a unique gift basket from Romance 365 or a heartwarming rose. Show up in the bedroom with this package and we guarantee you tremendous success. . . in whatever it is you’re trying to do. Just don’t take two hours to pull it off.

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