I am also a major fan of red velvet cupcakes (which I would just like to register a moment of complaint about here that at Rachel’s wedding celebration in our backyard we had both red velvet cupcakes AND cheesecake cupcakes and I did not get a single one. Apparently our guests share my tastes.). Anyway given the combination of cheesecake and red velvet tastiness in this picture I saw in the February Food Network Magazine, it is no surprise I ripped this recipe out of the magazine immediately.
Ok, so before I go any further, I feel like I need to disclose the fact that we–as in John and I–do not do Valentine’s Day. Never have (except that one year that John broke the rule and got me a present and I felt horrible for not having broken the rule myself and gotten him one…) and most likely never really will. It’s just not really our style. We don’t do anniversaries, either, and I am here to say that despite our shirking of these social norms, we are still completely in love and there is plenty of romance.
But anyway…that’s really neither here nor there because today is Valentine’s Day and most likely you are here reading because of the title of the post which, most likely, means it has snuck up on you (either that or you’re just a loyal reader and we *love* you for that). Anyway, if there’s a person/people/whatever walking around today with hearts in their eyes and a bounce in their step because they just know you’re going to do something sweet for them, I–the anti-valentine–am here to help.
There’s a meal that we eat from time to time and, at least for my part, it’s not only because it’s delicious but also because it reminds me of the early days of John+Rachel, back when we went to the grocery store every day to pick out dinner, back when we lived in a studio apartment, back when there were no kids or kittens…ahhh, back in the good old days. It’s really phenomenally simple but it’s just decadent enough to feel out of the everyday, to feel a little bit special. Turn it into an impromptu picnic on the living room floor with some candles and wine (and hey, if you’ve got a little time, some homemade peanut butter cups…you can do it!) and everyone will be feeling love-ly in no time.
Here’s what you need:
1 fresh baguette
1 heirloom tomato, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
arugula (2 handfuls? I don’t know…)
very thinly sliced rare roast beef (or skip this for a vegetarian meal…it’s scrumptious either way)
salt and fresh pepper
Here’s what you do:
Slice baguette in half and then into pieces roughly 6 inches long. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Pile arugula and onion and top with tomato. Fold roast beef on top and sprinkle salt over. Crumble blue cheese before a dash of fresh pepper. Eat and watch the sparks fly.