On Valentine’s Day this year, I went to a yoga class taught by Les at Yoga Tree, one of my favorite yoga teachers in the city. Although I can’t really afford to go to Yoga Tree all the time, especially given the availability of cheap and decent yoga at my school’s gym, I still try to take classes at the studio about once a month. Les’ Vinyasa classes are always on top of my list because even though they’re pretty sweaty and hardcore, they’re also surprisingly calming and meditative. On top of that, he just seems like such a sweet guy! For example, during last Thursday’s class, he reminded us to “not let Hallmark tell you to love only one single day out of the entire year!” Aww…
While I agree that the whole idea of spending lots of money on flowers, cards, and gifts on a random day in February seems a bit silly, I do like the idea of celebrating the company of someone you love with a special dinner. (Of course, you can always count on it to me to justify the food part of any holiday!) Last year, Nathan and I decided that instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on one of the hundreds of prix fixe dinners offered in SF, we would splurge on some fancy groceries and cook at home – deliciousness and quality together-time minus the crowds and stress!
Our plan was so successful last year that we did it again this year (I feel like I can’t really call it a tradition yet, because this is only the second time we’ve done it). Since I’ve been whining about doing yoga all week, Nathan sweetly took charge of the shopping. When I got home, I was greeted by pink flowers, a glass of rosé, fancy chocolate bars, and a dozen of freshly shucked oysters with Nathan’s famous mignonette! Yum!
In between slurping down those yummy oysters, we also made an awesomely delicious and awesomely stress-free dinner: Coffee-rubbed Lamb Chops, Green Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Creamed Spinach, paired with this gorgeous bottle of Ridge Syrah I’ve been saving for a special occasion. By the way, if you’re looking to cook a semi-fancy dinner without fussing over complicated recipes, you’re going to love me by the time you finish reading this post! But just remember what Les said… don’t just love me for today! Ha!
(The coffee rub was adapted from this one by Bobby Flay. I know. Bobby Flay?? You can make fun of his overuse of chipotle all you like – I know I do – but that man really knows how to make yummy rubs for meats.)