Cooking Up A Love Storm

In today’s post, our newest regular contributor and food expert Jozette Kauffman celebrates Valentine’s Day with some yummy food and a dash of gross humor.  In her post, she wonders if I’ll invite her back after her foray into bodily function.  How could I not?  We here at Midtown Review love some inappropriate humor mixed in with our sappy holidays.  Welcome Jozette, welcome!

If you’re like me, you approach Valentine’s day with mixed emotions. On one hand, the cynic in you realizes that it’s a meaningless faux-liday (I just made that word up) trumped up by companies who want to sell you outrageously expensive flowers or mediocre chocolate.  And on the other hand the romantic in you secretly hopes he did buy you flowers even though you told him you don’t believe in Valentine’s day and not to waste his money. Being single can make this holiday even more bittersweet. Or in some cases, just bitter. (Been there.)

I think the holiday should really just be a day for anyone, blissfully single or committed, to take a moment and celebrate love. (Duh, right?) I don’t mean romantic love, necessarily, but anything you love. Like the combination of red wine and dark chocolate. For dinner. While wearing sweatpants.

I am fortunate to have a love in my life and while I’m sure watching me drink wine in my sweatpants would be thrilling for him, I thought making us a yummy dinner might be a better way to celebrate. Which ties in nicely with the holiday as two of my favorite activities are cooking and eating. We could dine in an over-crowded restaurant charging astronomical prices for a prix fixe situation, but doing so at home in our pjs with a home cooked meal and some good, cheap wine is just more appealing. Both because of the money-savings and elastic-waisted pants wearing opportunities.

But since V-Day is a celebration of sorts, I had to think of a menu that would be a little more special than a normal weeknight dinner but could still be made and eaten sometime after work and before bedtime (*cough* 9:30pm *cough*) Perhaps something hot and spicy, but that doesn’t include beans or cabbage for obvious reasons.  Dutch ovens: Great for the kitchen, not for the bedroom.


So now that we’ve all lost our appetites (and Dana will never invite me to post here again)…

I decided that the best thing to make would be something we both love eating, that doesn’t take hours, that will be devastatingly delicious. And in looking through the library of cookbooks I’ve somehow acquired (I may have a problem), I found just the thing. A recipe Myra Goodman, author of The Earthbound Cook, calls “Crazy, Messy, Delicious Buffalo Burgers.” Drool.

I’ll use grass-fed ground bison and organic fix’ins which will make this meal both scrumptious and eco friendly, fitting right into our theme: we love each other, we love burgers, we love the Earth. And call me crazy, but I think messy, sloppy food is sexy. What with the drippy sauces and the licky fingers.

A Valentine’s Day meal (or any meal, for that matter) would not be complete without chocolate. If I had the constitution to cook both dinner and dessert on a Monday evening, I’d finish our meal off with Myra’s (I can call you Myra, right?) Hot Fudge Ice Cream Sundaes. Or perhaps her Banana Chocolate-Chip Crepes. Alas, I’m too lazy for such a full scale production so we’ll most likely break off a piece of some good dark chocolate and call it a day.

If I were still single, I don’t think I’d celebrate much differently… burgers, wine, chocolate and sweatpants is pretty much the best combination of things I can think of. So glad I found someone who feels the same way. Now THAT is true love.

— Jozette Kauffman, Regular Contributor

By | 2011-02-14T08:11:49+00:00 February 14th, 2011|Books, Life, Reviews|4 Comments


  1. DPapa February 14, 2011 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Hahaha. Dripping burgers + pajamas + cheap wine = love storm! Awesome. Let’s storm it. Valentine’s Day just got exciting again. And I’m not single so the ritual dutch ovening will be much more enjoyable…for me.

  2. James Stevens February 14, 2011 at 10:21 am - Reply

    My wife and I have never done the gift routine in our 47 years of marriage.

    Instead, we dress nicely, set a lovely table with the good dining service and crystalware, and prepare our special lobster dinner. We buy 3 lobsters at the Dekalb Farmers Market, which I steam in a steamer from our years in New England, then break apart for easy removal of the meat. She melts the butter and prepares a vegetable, like this year’s herbed yukon gold beauties. I open the Prosecco, put on some Sinatra or Tony Bennett, and we enjoy the food and the memories of past Valentine’s days. Somehow, the memory of sharing a Tastykake for dessert always surfaces. It’s not about “What did you buy me.”

  3. Jozette Kauffman February 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I love this tradition! What a lovely way to spend time together. I haven’t yet been to the DeKalb Farmer’s Market (I know, I can’t believe it either) because large crowds of people generally send me running in the opposite direction. One day I’ll work up the courage. Your dinner sounds delicious! And being from Philadelphia – I especially love the idea of sharing a Tastykake for dessert.

    • James Stevens February 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the nice words about our VDAy dinner. If you want to visit the Dekalb Farmers Market, go on a weekday morning, before 11. Weekends are almost impossible because of the crowds. Lobsters now are $9.99 a pound- a deal!

      I am from Shamokin, my wife is from Pottsville, PA a graduate of Westchester U, outside of Philly. We shared a Tastykake because that was all we could afford. Honest, it’s not aboout the money. Love and RESPECT adds up to happiness.
      James Stevens

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