When the Brain hurt himself, (he's hanging in there and appreciates all the good wishes), I went to the grocery store and stocked up on chips and Chef Boyardee and the various "boy" foods that he likes. I also stocked up on 2 bars of Ghirardelli chocolate, a bar of Hershey Cacao Reserve dark chocolate with nibs, and a Dagoba Xocolatl bar. I knew that at some point in the 3-6 weeks it will take for him to be more comfortable and 8-12 weeks for the pain to go away that I will need some chocolate.
Chocolate has also long been considered an aphrodisiac. The Aztecs thought it invigorated men and made women less inhibited. Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine and Seratonin which both make you feel happy. They cause rapid mood change, a rise in blood pressure, increased heart rate and an energy boost. Wheeee. Perfect for some hanky panky.
Chris at Mele Cotte is hosting a blog event about aphrodisiacs used in appetizers, side items or dinner dish to celebrate Valentine's Day. And I'm coming in right under the wire with only 2 hours left until the deadline. I've heavily borrowed from a couple recipes in The Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg (which is an unbelievably cool book that explains all about chocolate making and the cacao plant and has some gorgeous photos), to come up with a Cacao Nib Vinaigrette. Then because I figured salad dressing isn't really a side item, appetizer, or dinner dish, I made a yellow bell pepper salad. A really easy yellow bell pepper salad. And although this salad and vinaigrette won't necessarily make you rip your clothes off, it's pretty tasty.
And where did I get Cacao Nibs? Why I got them on a trip up to Ann Arbor at Morgan and York, one of my favorite places to shop while I'm there. I've heard they are also available at gourmet shops from Scharffen Berger. But we don't have any gourmet shops in this county.
Cacao Nib Vinaigrette
adapted from The Essence of Chocolate
5 scallions sliced thin
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cacao nibs, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
Mix the scallions and balsamic vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes. Stir in cacao nibs and then slowly whisk in olive oil. Makes 3/4 cup.
Yellow Bell Pepper Salad
1 yellow bell pepper
2 Tbsp Cacao Nib Vinaigrette
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Slice the yellow bell pepper into thin stips. Toss with vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I told you it was easy.