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Have a Sexy Day -- Valentine or No by Maris Lemieux
Have a Sexy Day -- Valentine or No

Whether the Valentine in your life is new, familiar, or make believe, you can have a Valentines Day full of hot sensuality.

Adventure and exploration; the exotic and the new -- these are things that almost always get the inner lust bunny hopping. So let's start with travel. The latest global sex news suggests that the good sex fairy visits some places more than others. For example Ibiza, that sexy little Mediterranean island off the East coast of Spain; whether you're single or plural, it has one of those "island of love" reputations -- which may be why it has attracted some recent research. As it turns out, about half the singles (as in people not traveling with sex partners) who visit Ibiza have sex while they're there. Those are pretty good numbers. To arrive at these numbers, researcher Mark A. Bellis with Liverpool England's Center for Public Health asked about 1500 young singles who had just returned from the naughty island, what recreational activities they'd been up to. And if Bellis' numbers hold up, there's even better news. Guys in the 16 - 34 year-old range have about a 25% chance of seeing action with more than one partner, hell, more than half a dozen partners for 11% of these traveling stud farms. For ladies, the numbers are smaller, but still, one out of every seven young women traveling to Ibiza will have sex with more than one partner. Plus, it's a really pretty island by day with an extremely international partying crowd by night.

Now, if you'd rather skip the palm trees, the streets crowded with tourists and outdoor art, and especially if you prefer wild nature, rare fauna, Georgian architecture, and wilderness adventure by day, and a quick, lusty, no-strings release by night, you might find another sexy destination calling you. Tasmania. (And they're having summer right now.) If you hear Tasmania and you think "devil," you've now got another reason to make the connection because Tasmania is about to legalize prostitution. Explore the rugged countryside by day, stop in for some rugged bed bouncing by night. Of course, you already knew that prostitution wasn't particularly illegal on this southern Australian island in the first place -- but in the old days, the brothel owners didn't "officially" make a living at it. The new pro-brothel law comes complete with brothel free zones (nowhere near churches), upgraded brothel-owners (no ex-criminals), and a neat little section allowing the suburban prostitute mom to work out of her home (so long as the kids are away while she's working). Oh, and let's see, might this legalization start generating, uh, pay checks? So there you have it. Finally you can enjoy the oldest profession in the world and contribute to your host nation's economic well-being all at the same time.

But you don't have to go away to feel and be sexy. You can stay at home and create plenty of sexy mischief on familiar, comfortable ground.

If you're alone, be your own Valentine. It probably sounds silly, but what have you got to lose? Sometimes the best way to attract something is to act like you already have it. Make acting like you have a Valentine your Valentines Day resolution and kick off your commitment with your own private Valentine's celebration.

OK, you may be smiling -- "I'm an 'old hand' at making love to myself." And if you are, you're off to a great beginning. But don't forget the other parts of celebrating Valentine's Day with a lover: wooing, romance, passion, sensuality. If you include these special things in your celebration, you're making room for them in your life. And life has a way of filling in the blanks. So single or partnered, here you go.

If you have seen the movie Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, you have experienced a "taste" of a culinary aphrodisiac at work. It was a slow, lush movie showing plenty of sexy shots -- close-ups and action shots -- of one of the world's most well-known and glamorous aphrodisiacs: chocolate. The second main character Viane (Binoche) opens a chocolate shop in a small, rather abstemious French village and from the minute she sets to work making the chocolate, we witness languid ribbons of chocolate cascading from well-crafted pots into delicate fine china ware, and countless other sensual scenarios: wet lips smacking, tongues licking, people guiltily touching their fingertips in chocolate and licking them clean. With chocolate as its sexy centerfold, the film (besides being one big chocolate commercial) accented the connection between food and sensuality. Not fast food, not even dining out -- the quick shove-down event where you have to wrestle with the waiter to keep your plate in front of you. We're talking get into your <cuisine> and stir up some fine cuisine.

There are so many romantic elements in cooking for your mate.

-- Sensuality. In Chocolat, the food was prepared deliberately, deliciously, with care and attention, and not a little sensuality (ooh, smack, lick, aaah-h-h).

-- It was consumed in an atmosphere of sharing. Sometimes the characters shared conversation; sometimes they shared the little "guilty" pleasures with looks askance as if they were being quite naughty together. Food brings people together.

-- Caring. Most people read a partner's act of cooking for them as "caring." If your partner has a favorite meal, a favorite flavor; make the effort to produce it at home yourself. Guys cook for your ladies, ladies cook for your guys; or you can both cook for each other and have a bake-off. It doesn't even have to be elaborate.

-- A unique home-cooked dish is a powerful memory maker. You probably know this if you've passed by a bakery or restaurant and found your mind suddenly snapping back to another time in your life. If you create a meal or a dessert for an evening on which sparks fly, those food scents will be indelibly planted in your lover's mind for all time. In the future, you'll need only have that meal simmering on the stove and your partner will be getting aroused as they walk in the door.

-- Some foods have aphrodisiac properties in and of themselves. They can increase energy, get the blood flowing, heat up the body.

Historically, chocolate has one of the longest running reputations for bringing on the heart flutters of lust. (Your forefathers weren’t giving chocolates to make her happy -- they were trying to get her horny). These days, the ladies are also on board, wooing with chocolates. And there are plenty of great chocolate recipes, not too difficult to create, but which, in his taste buds or her memory, will outdo most anything you could buy in a store.

Though this may at first sound like Ladies Home Journal to male readers, don't skip by this idea lightly. This could be the secret Valentine's weapon you've always wanted. Just as the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman's secret chamber is through romance. And this out-of-the-ordinary twist to Valentines day could be your ticket to the hottest V-day imaginable.

Think delicate, exotic, caring, sharing. Think aphrodisiac.

First of all, consider an easy chocolate specialty that starts with a straightforward pie crust, tart, bread crumb crust, or mini tart. Then simply fill the chosen shell with a melted chocolate mixture that will chill up nicely into a solid. (The chocolate in most good chocolate recipes comes from melting bittersweet chocolate on the stove.) For the coup de grace, the tart is topped with a juicy, luscious fruit -- raspberries, strawberries, pears, fill in the blank with his or her favorite.

Mull over some of these flavor combinations for the chocolate mixture. Take a few seconds as you are reading to imagine the scents and tastes. What appeals to you?:
1) chocolate and ginger smoothed out with butter and whipping cream (from a Charlie Trotter recipe, see below)
2) add orange zest to the chocolate instead of the ginger (from the book "Intercourses" -- see below)
3) Kahlua, espresso powder, cream cheese, eggs, to make a custard, oo la-la (from a recipe in "Chocolatier" magazine).

This Valentines day, as you consider making your home a mini chocolaterie, any chocolate recipe will do as a base. You can find great chocolate ideas all over the place -- the above sources will get you started. And once you've found the ingredients you think will make him or her wet, then get creative; turn the recipe into your very own intimate memory-maker.

To get you started right, here are the directions to the chocolate mixture from Charlie Trotter's recipe for Ginger-Chocolate Ganache Tart with Poached Pears out of "Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home" by Ten Speed Press.

Ingredients:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup preserved ginger
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

What to do:
Mix the chocolate and the butter first. Boil the cream and the fresh ginger together, strain the liquid over the chocolate and then fold the preserved ginger in. Let this stand for a bit, then beat it smooth. And you're ready to pour it into whatever you like and refrigerate it for 3 hours. Top it with your lover's favorite fruit.

Take it from there!

If the idea of being alone in the kitchen "slaving away" makes Valentine's Day seem like more of a drudge than a good time, invite your partner to join you. Make it an experience about sensuality, scent, and sharing. Feed each other samples. Pour warm melted chocolate on each other. Get dirty together.

If you enjoy cooking, then the sensual experience of cooking and the anticipation can make you quite hot.

And if chocolate is off someone's diet, there actually quite a few food ingredients with aphrodisiac properties and you could make a healthy dish of food instead. The spices basil and rosemary have an arousing scent; portabello mushrooms, avocadoes, and oysters have suggestive, erotic textures. The recipe book called "Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook" by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge is full of "sexy" aphrodisiacal recipes using ingredients like flower petals and pine nuts. And it's crammed with informational tidbits like the fact that the black bean was once forbidden to a parish of nuns because of its tendency to enhance fertility -- the rule was "no eating, no tasting, no touching." Bad bean, bad.

Whatever it is you create, the next thing to consider is how to serve it. After all, this is Valentine's Day we're talking about. The way you serve it -- plus the fact that you're serving it -- can make your partner hot and wet.

Consider these ideas for serving:
1. A little pre-foreplay dessert? Blindfold your partner and serve it to him or her yourself. Hold it just under their nose and ask them to breath in the scent first. Make them eat slowly, make them lick and suck your fingers. Ad lib from here.

2. Serve it on your naked body or on his naked body and feed him. For powdery things (cookies, breads) or ground nut-like things, honey makes an excellent adhesive.

3. If it's more like a meal, then smear yourself with a scent from your preparations, perhaps a dusting of basil to remind him of your cooking wiles. Or brush a sprig of rosemary across her body as you undress her -- it will remind her of the meal you just prepared for her.

Create a memory that will ever after connect you and your allure to a certain scent!
Even if you're alone on Valentine's day and you want to celebrate, creating a sensual food dish for yourself is not such a bad idea. Imagine the most sensual food you can think of and try to find an easy recipe. Let's say you choose avocadoes -- a wise choice. Spend time with that sensual fruit, smelling it when you split it open. Feeling its texture as you cut into it. If you're mashing it (say you're making a guacamole), pay close attention to how it feels under the weight of your hand. Enjoy your meal, roll it around on your tongue. No matter what state your love life is in on Valentine's day, your sensual experience with food will open you up for sensual things to come your way. And if you really let yourself savor those aphrodisiac foods, they will bring you close to being in love.
If neither food nor travel is your thing, but you want to have a happy, heavy date just the same, there's always the plain old fashioned aphrodisiac. But we'll save that one for next week.

http://www.discovertasmania.com/home/index.cfm?SiteID=108

Have a Sexy Day -- Valentine or No

Whether the Valentine in your life is new, familiar, or make believe, you can have a Valentines Day full of hot sensuality.

Adventure and exploration; the exotic and the new -- these are things that almost always get the inner lust bunny hopping. So let's start with travel. The latest global sex news suggests that the good sex fairy visits some places more than others. For example Ibiza, that sexy little Mediterranean island off the East coast of Spain; whether you're single or plural, it has one of those "island of love" reputations -- which may be why it has attracted some recent research. As it turns out, about half the singles (as in people not traveling with sex partners) who visit Ibiza have sex while they're there. Those are pretty good numbers. To arrive at these numbers, researcher Mark A. Bellis with Liverpool England's Center for Public Health asked about 1500 young singles who had just returned from the naughty island, what recreational activities they'd been up to. And if Bellis' numbers hold up, there's even better news. Guys in the 16 - 34 year-old range have about a 25% chance of seeing action with more than one partner, hell, more than half a dozen partners for 11% of these traveling stud farms. For ladies, the numbers are smaller, but still, one out of every seven young women traveling to Ibiza will have sex with more than one partner. Plus, it's a really pretty island by day with an extremely international partying crowd by night.

Now, if you'd rather skip the palm trees, the streets crowded with tourists and outdoor art, and especially if you prefer wild nature, rare fauna, Georgian architecture, and wilderness adventure by day, and a quick, lusty, no-strings release by night, you might find another sexy destination calling you. Tasmania. (And they're having summer right now.) If you hear Tasmania and you think "devil," you've now got another reason to make the connection because Tasmania is about to legalize prostitution. Explore the rugged countryside by day, stop in for some rugged bed bouncing by night. Of course, you already knew that prostitution wasn't particularly illegal on this southern Australian island in the first place -- but in the old days, the brothel owners didn't "officially" make a living at it. The new pro-brothel law comes complete with brothel free zones (nowhere near churches), upgraded brothel-owners (no ex-criminals), and a neat little section allowing the suburban prostitute mom to work out of her home (so long as the kids are away while she's working). Oh, and let's see, might this legalization start generating, uh, pay checks? So there you have it. Finally you can enjoy the oldest profession in the world and contribute to your host nation's economic well-being all at the same time.

But you don't have to go away to feel and be sexy. You can stay at home and create plenty of sexy mischief on familiar, comfortable ground.

If you're alone, be your own Valentine. It probably sounds silly, but what have you got to lose? Sometimes the best way to attract something is to act like you already have it. Make acting like you have a Valentine your Valentines Day resolution and kick off your commitment with your own private Valentine's celebration.

OK, you may be smiling -- "I'm an 'old hand' at making love to myself." And if you are, you're off to a great beginning. But don't forget the other parts of celebrating Valentine's Day with a lover: wooing, romance, passion, sensuality. If you include these special things in your celebration, you're making room for them in your life. And life has a way of filling in the blanks. So single or partnered, here you go.

If you have seen the movie Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, you have experienced a "taste" of a culinary aphrodisiac at work. It was a slow, lush movie showing plenty of sexy shots -- close-ups and action shots -- of one of the world's most well-known and glamorous aphrodisiacs: chocolate. The second main character Viane (Binoche) opens a chocolate shop in a small, rather abstemious French village and from the minute she sets to work making the chocolate, we witness languid ribbons of chocolate cascading from well-crafted pots into delicate fine china ware, and countless other sensual scenarios: wet lips smacking, tongues licking, people guiltily touching their fingertips in chocolate and licking them clean. With chocolate as its sexy centerfold, the film (besides being one big chocolate commercial) accented the connection between food and sensuality. Not fast food, not even dining out -- the quick shove-down event where you have to wrestle with the waiter to keep your plate in front of you. We're talking get into your <cuisine> and stir up some fine cuisine.

There are so many romantic elements in cooking for your mate.

-- Sensuality. In Chocolat, the food was prepared deliberately, deliciously, with care and attention, and not a little sensuality (ooh, smack, lick, aaah-h-h,).

-- It was consumed in an atmosphere of sharing. Sometimes the characters shared conversation; sometimes they shared the little "guilty" pleasures with looks askance as if they were being quite naughty together. Food brings people together.

-- Caring. Most people read a partner's act of cooking for them as "caring." If your partner has a favorite meal, a favorite flavor; make the effort to produce it at home yourself. Guys cook for your ladies, ladies cook for your guys; or you can both cook for each other and have a bake-off. It doesn't even have to be elaborate.

-- A unique home-cooked dish is a powerful memory maker. You probably know this if you've passed by a bakery or restaurant and found your mind suddenly snapping back to another time in your life. If you create a meal or a dessert for an evening on which sparks fly, those food scents will be indelibly planted in your lover's mind for all time. In the future, you'll need only have that meal simmering on the stove and your partner will be getting aroused as they walk in the door.

-- Some foods have aphrodisiac properties in and of themselves. They can increase energy, get the blood flowing, heat up the body.

Historically, chocolate has one of the longest running reputations for bringing on the heart flutters of lust. (Your forefathers weren’t giving chocolates to make her happy -- they were trying to get her horny). These days, the ladies are also on board, wooing with chocolates. And there are plenty of great chocolate recipes, not too difficult to create, but which, in his taste buds or her memory, will outdo most anything you could buy in a store.

Though this may at first sound like Ladies Home Journal to male readers, don't skip by this idea lightly. This could be the secret Valentine's weapon you've always wanted. Just as the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman's secret chamber is through romance. And this out-of-the-ordinary twist to Valentines day could be your ticket to the hottest V-day imaginable.

Think delicate, exotic, caring, sharing. Think aphrodisiac.

First of all, consider an easy chocolate specialty that starts with a straightforward pie crust, tart, bread crumb crust, or mini tart. Then simply fill the chosen shell with a melted chocolate mixture that will chill up nicely into a solid. (The chocolate in most good chocolate recipes comes from melting bittersweet chocolate on the stove.) For the coup de grace, the tart is topped with a juicy, luscious fruit -- raspberries, strawberries, pears, fill in the blank with his or her favorite.

Mull over some of these flavor combinations for the chocolate mixture. Take a few seconds as you are reading to imagine the scents and tastes. What appeals to you?:
1)chocolate and ginger smoothed out with butter and whipping cream (from a Charlie Trotter recipe, see below)
2)add orange zest to the chocolate instead of the ginger (from the book "Intercourses" -- see below)
3)Kahlua, espresso powder, cream cheese, eggs, to make a custard, oo la-la (from a recipe in "Chocolatier" magazine).

This Valentines day, as you consider making your home a mini chocolaterie, any chocolate recipe will do as a base. You can find great chocolate ideas all over the place -- the above sources will get you started. And once you've found the ingredients you think will make him or her wet, then get creative; turn the recipe into your very own intimate memory-maker.

To get you started right, here are the directions to the chocolate mixture from Charlie Trotter's recipe for Ginger-Chocolate Ganache Tart with Poached Pears out of "Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home" by Ten Speed Press.

Ingredients:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup preserved ginger
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

What to do:
Mix the chocolate and the butter first. Boil the cream and the fresh ginger together, strain the liquid over the chocolate and then fold the preserved ginger in. Let this stand for a bit, then beat it smooth. And you're ready to pour it into whatever you like and refrigerate it for 3 hours. Top it with your lover's favorite fruit.

Take it from there!

If the idea of being alone in the kitchen "slaving away" makes Valentine's Day seem like more of a drudge than a good time, invite your partner to join you. Make it an experience about sensuality, scent, and sharing. Feed each other samples. Pour warm melted chocolate on each other. Get dirty together.

If you enjoy cooking, then the sensual experience of cooking and the anticipation can make you quite hot.

And if chocolate is off someone's diet, there actually quite a few food ingredients with aphrodisiacal properties and you could make a healthy dish of food instead. The spices basil and rosemary have an arousing scent; portabello mushrooms, avocadoes, and oysters have suggestive, erotic textures. The recipe book called "Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook" by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge is full of "sexy" aphrodisiacal recipes using ingredients like flower petals and pine nuts. And it's crammed with informational tidbits like the fact that the black bean was once forbidden to a parish of nuns because of its tendency to enhance fertility -- the rule was "no eating, no tasting, no touching." Bad bean, bad.

Whatever it is you create, the next thing to consider is how to serve it. After all, this is Valentine's Day we're talking about. The way you serve it -- plus the fact that you're serving it -- can make your partner sweaty and ready.

Consider these ideas for serving:
1. A little pre-foreplay dessert? Blindfold your partner and serve it to him or her yourself. Hold it just under their nose and ask them to breath in the scent first. Make them eat slowly, make them lick and suck your fingers. Ad lib from here.

2. Serve it on your naked body or on his naked body and feed him. For powdery things (cookies, breads) or ground nut-like things, honey makes an excellent adhesive.

3. If it's more like a meal, then smear yourself with a scent from your preparations, perhaps a dusting of basil to remind him of your cooking wiles. Or brush a sprig of rosemary across her body as you undress her -- it will remind her of the meal you just prepared for her.

Create a memory that will ever after connect you and your allure to a certain scent!
Even if you're alone on Valentine's day and you want to celebrate, creating a sensual food dish for yourself is not such a bad idea. Imagine the most sensual food you can think of and try to find an easy recipe. Let's say you choose avocadoes -- a wise choice. Spend time with that sensual fruit, smelling it when you split it open. Feeling its texture as you cut into it. If you're mashing it (say you're making a guacamole), pay close attention to how it feels under the weight of your hand. Enjoy your meal, roll it around on your tongue. No matter what state your love life is in on Valentine's day, your sensual experience with food will open you up for sensual things to come your way. And if you really let yourself savor those aphrodisiac foods, they will bring you close to being in love.
If neither food nor travel is your thing, but you want to have a happy, heavy date just the same, there's always the plain old fashioned aphrodisiac. But we'll save that one for next week.

http://www.discovertasmania.com/home/index.cfm?SiteID=108

Have a Sexy Day -- Valentine or No

Whether the Valentine in your life is new, familiar, or make believe, you can have a Valentines Day full of hot sensuality.

Adventure and exploration; the exotic and the new -- these are things that almost always get the inner lust bunny hopping. So let's start with travel. The latest global sex news suggests that the good sex fairy visits some places more than others. For example Ibiza, that sexy little Mediterranean island off the East coast of Spain; whether you're single or plural, it has one of those "island of love" reputations -- which may be why it has attracted some recent research. As it turns out, about half the singles (as in people not traveling with sex partners) who visit Ibiza have sex while they're there. Those are pretty good numbers. To arrive at these numbers, researcher Mark A. Bellis with Liverpool England's Center for Public Health asked about 1500 young singles who had just returned from the naughty island, what recreational activities they'd been up to. And if Bellis' numbers hold up, there's even better news. Guys in the 16 - 34 year-old range have about a 25% chance of seeing action with more than one partner, hell, more than half a dozen partners for 11% of these traveling stud farms. For ladies, the numbers are smaller, but still, one out of every seven young women traveling to Ibiza will have sex with more than one partner. Plus, it's a really pretty island by day with an extremely international partying crowd by night.

Now, if you'd rather skip the palm trees, the streets crowded with tourists and outdoor art, and especially if you prefer wild nature, rare fauna, Georgian architecture, and wilderness adventure by day, and a quick, lusty, no-strings release by night, you might find another sexy destination calling you. Tasmania. (And they're having summer right now.) If you hear Tasmania and you think "devil," you've now got another reason to make the connection because Tasmania is about to legalize prostitution. Explore the rugged countryside by day, stop in for some rugged bed bouncing by night. Of course, you already knew that prostitution wasn't particularly illegal on this southern Australian island in the first place -- but in the old days, the brothel owners didn't "officially" make a living at it. The new pro-brothel law comes complete with brothel free zones (nowhere near churches), upgraded brothel-owners (no ex-criminals), and a neat little section allowing the suburban prostitute mom to work out of her home (so long as the kids are away while she's working). Oh, and let's see, might this legalization start generating, uh, pay checks? So there you have it. Finally you can enjoy the oldest profession in the world and contribute to your host nation's economic well-being all at the same time.

But you don't have to go away to feel and be sexy. You can stay at home and create plenty of sexy mischief on familiar, comfortable ground.

If you're alone, be your own Valentine. It probably sounds silly, but what have you got to lose? Sometimes the best way to attract something is to act like you already have it. Make acting like you have a Valentine your Valentines Day resolution and kick off your commitment with your own private Valentine's celebration.

OK, you may be smiling -- "I'm an 'old hand' at making love to myself." And if you are, you're off to a great beginning. But don't forget the other parts of celebrating Valentine's Day with a lover: wooing, romance, passion, sensuality. If you include these special things in your celebration, you're making room for them in your life. And life has a way of filling in the blanks. So single or partnered, here you go.

If you have seen the movie Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, you have experienced a "taste" of a culinary aphrodisiac at work. It was a slow, lush movie showing plenty of sexy shots -- close-ups and action shots -- of one of the world's most well-known and glamorous aphrodisiacs: chocolate. The second main character Viane (Binoche) opens a chocolate shop in a small, rather abstemious French village and from the minute she sets to work making the chocolate, we witness languid ribbons of chocolate cascading from well-crafted pots into delicate fine china ware, and countless other sensual scenarios: wet lips smacking, tongues licking, people guiltily touching their fingertips in chocolate and licking them clean. With chocolate as its sexy centerfold, the film (besides being one big chocolate commercial) accented the connection between food and sensuality. Not fast food, not even dining out -- the quick shove-down event where you have to wrestle with the waiter to keep your plate in front of you. We're talking get into your <cuisine> and stir up some fine cuisine.

There are so many romantic elements in cooking for your mate.

-- Sensuality. In Chocolat, the food was prepared deliberately, deliciously, with care and attention, and not a little sensuality (ooh, smack, lick, aaah-h-h,).

-- It was consumed in an atmosphere of sharing. Sometimes the characters shared conversation; sometimes they shared the little "guilty" pleasures with looks askance as if they were being quite naughty together. Food brings people together.

-- Caring. Most people read a partner's act of cooking for them as "caring." If your partner has a favorite meal, a favorite flavor; make the effort to produce it at home yourself. Guys cook for your ladies, ladies cook for your guys; or you can both cook for each other and have a bake-off. It doesn't even have to be elaborate.

-- A unique home-cooked dish is a powerful memory maker. You probably know this if you've passed by a bakery or restaurant and found your mind suddenly snapping back to another time in your life. If you create a meal or a dessert for an evening on which sparks fly, those food scents will be indelibly planted in your lover's mind for all time. In the future, you'll need only have that meal simmering on the stove and your partner will be getting aroused as they walk in the door.

-- Some foods have aphrodisiac properties in and of themselves. They can increase energy, get the blood flowing, heat up the body.

Historically, chocolate has one of the longest running reputations for bringing on the heart flutters of lust. (Your forefathers weren’t giving chocolates to make her happy -- they were trying to get her horny). These days, the ladies are also on board, wooing with chocolates. And there are plenty of great chocolate recipes, not too difficult to create, but which, in his taste buds or her memory, will outdo most anything you could buy in a store.

Though this may at first sound like Ladies Home Journal to male readers, don't skip by this idea lightly. This could be the secret Valentine's weapon you've always wanted. Just as the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman's secret chamber is through romance. And this out-of-the-ordinary twist to Valentines day could be your ticket to the hottest V-day imaginable.

Think delicate, exotic, caring, sharing. Think aphrodisiac.

First of all, consider an easy chocolate specialty that starts with a straightforward pie crust, tart, bread crumb crust, or mini tart. Then simply fill the chosen shell with a melted chocolate mixture that will chill up nicely into a solid. (The chocolate in most good chocolate recipes comes from melting bittersweet chocolate on the stove.) For the coup de grace, the tart is topped with a juicy, luscious fruit -- raspberries, strawberries, pears, fill in the blank with his or her favorite.

Mull over some of these flavor combinations for the chocolate mixture. Take a few seconds as you are reading to imagine the scents and tastes. What appeals to you?:
1) chocolate and ginger smoothed out with butter and whipping cream (from a Charlie Trotter recipe, see below)
2) add orange zest to the chocolate instead of the ginger (from the book "Intercourses" -- see below)
3) Kahlua, espresso powder, cream cheese, eggs, to make a custard, oo la-la (from a recipe in "Chocolatier" magazine).

This Valentines day, as you consider making your home a mini chocolaterie, any chocolate recipe will do as a base. You can find great chocolate ideas all over the place -- the above sources will get you started. And once you've found the ingredients you think will make him or her wet, then get creative; turn the recipe into your very own intimate memory-maker.

To get you started right, here are the directions to the chocolate mixture from Charlie Trotter's recipe for Ginger-Chocolate Ganache Tart with Poached Pears out of "Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home" by Ten Speed Press.

Ingredients:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup preserved ginger
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

What to do:
Mix the chocolate and the butter first. Boil the cream and the fresh ginger together, strain the liquid over the chocolate and then fold the preserved ginger in. Let this stand for a bit, then beat it smooth. And you're ready to pour it into whatever you like and refrigerate it for 3 hours. Top it with your lover's favorite fruit.

Take it from there!

If the idea of being alone in the kitchen "slaving away" makes Valentine's Day seem like more of a drudge than a good time, invite your partner to join you. Make it an experience about sensuality, scent, and sharing. Feed each other samples. Pour warm melted chocolate on each other. Get dirty together.

If you enjoy cooking, then the sensual experience of cooking and the anticipation can make you quite hot.

And if chocolate is off someone's diet, there actually quite a few food ingredients with aphrodisiac properties and you could make a healthy dish of food instead. The spices basil and rosemary have an arousing scent; portabello mushrooms, avocadoes, and oysters have suggestive, erotic textures. The recipe book called "Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook" by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge is full of "sexy" aphrodisiacal recipes using ingredients like flower petals and pine nuts. And it's crammed with informational tidbits like the fact that the black bean was once forbidden to a parish of nuns because of its tendency to enhance fertility -- the rule was "no eating, no tasting, no touching." Bad bean, bad.

Whatever it is you create, the next thing to consider is how to serve it. After all, this is Valentine's Day we're talking about. The way you serve it -- plus the fact that you're serving it -- can make your partner hot and wet.

Consider these ideas for serving:

1. A little pre-foreplay dessert? Blindfold your partner and serve it to him or her yourself. Hold it just under their nose and ask them to breath in the scent first. Make them eat slowly, make them lick and suck your fingers. Ad lib from here.

2.Serve it on your naked body or on his naked body and feed him. For powdery things (cookies, breads) or ground nut-like things, honey makes an excellent adhesive.

3.If it's more like a meal, then smear yourself with a scent from your preparations, perhaps a dusting of basil to remind him of your cooking wiles. Or brush a sprig of rosemary across her body as you undress her -- it will remind her of the meal you just prepared for her.

Create a memory that will ever after connect you and your allure to a certain scent!

Even if you're alone on Valentine's day and you want to celebrate, creating a sensual food dish for yourself is not such a bad idea. Imagine the most sensual food you can think of and try to find an easy recipe. Let's say you choose avocadoes -- a wise choice. Spend time with that sensual fruit, smelling it when you split it open. Feeling its texture as you cut into it. If you're mashing it (say you're making a guacamole), pay close attention to how it feels under the weight of your hand. Enjoy your meal, roll it around on your tongue. No matter what state your love life is in on Valentine's day, your sensual experience with food will open you up for sensual things to come your way. And if you really let yourself savor those aphrodisiacal foods, they will bring you close to being in love.

If neither food nor travel is your thing, but you want to have a happy, heavy date just the same, there's always the plain old fashioned aphrodisiac.

More on that one next time.

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