Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food Column with Carol Taylor – Staying in for Valentine’s Day?

Welcome to the Food Column with our resident expert on all things Thai and making everyday ingredients taste fantastic, Carol Taylor.

This week Carol shares a Valentine’s Dinner that you can prepare for your loved one… providing just the right romantic vibe and privacy in the comfort of your own home.

Staying in for Valentine’s Day by Carol Taylor

Who still gets taken out on Valentine’s Day?? I never have my husband has always said you are not my Valentine you are my wife… When the kids got older they used to nag him until he bought me something…

So for everyone who is staying in either because of the weather or just because a few suggestions and recipes…

For starters, if it is chilly where you live or because you love soup then a lovely bowl of tomato soup with heart-shaped croutons is just the thing.

Or do a lovely heart shaped swirl with some soured cream which would look very pretty.

If you are seafood lovers then a lovely seafood platter is easy to do and looks quite spectacular.

Some smoked salmon, a few plump mussels, lovely grilled prawns, soft squid there is so much lovely seafood to choose from just a little of each arranged on a platter with maybe a nice drizzle of seafood sauce or a chilli sauce.

This quick little soy sauce is a nice to drizzle …just finely cut a clove of garlic and a small piece of fresh ginger, fry in a small pan , stirring to release the flavours add scant tbsp soy sauce and half to one tbsp honey stirring and cook for 2 mins, sometimes I add a squeeze of lime..just taste and play with the flavours. Then drizzle as pictured…

Main course:

This chicken dish is one we make often and it is quick and easy and served with rice or potatoes and some lightly steamed vegetables it is very nice.

Lemon Chicken with caper sauce.


• 4 Chicken Breasts (skinless)
• 2/4 cloves garlic.
• 1 tbsp capers ( rinsed)
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
• Half lemon sliced.
• 1/4 cup lemon juice.
• 1/2 pint chicken stock.
• 5 tbsp Olive Oil.
• 2 tbsp Butter.
• Parsley for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess flour.
  • In a large skillet over a medium high heat add 3 tbsp olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
  • When the chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate, set to one side.
  • Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic.
  • Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour.
  • Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley.
  • Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of breasts. Remove chicken to a platter.
  • Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.
  • Serve with boiled rice or potatoes of your choice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Valentines Dessert

This is where I am normally too full for anything else but if you fancy a dessert…Then chocolate covered strawberries are very nice…

Simple but effective and easy to do either pre do them and keep them in the fridge or if you have a fondue set then go for it and do it at the table…

Or a lovely strawberry mimosa…Just blend 2 cups of strawberries with half a cup of water and then strain through a sieve. Chill.

Pop a strawberry in the bottom of a champagne flute, half fill with the strained strawberries and carefully top up with your favourite champers…Garnish with a fresh strawberry and there you have it… Strawberry Mimosa…

Or using the same strawberry puree then a lovely Daiquiri… will go down very nicely…

Happy Valentine’s Day… What will you be making or does your other half cook???

Until next week…Thank you for reading this post …Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot!

©Carol Taylor 2018

You can find my previous columns in the directory:

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

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If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here:

My thanks to Carol for making sure that we do not have any excuse not to celebrate Valentine’s Day.. and please let us know your favourite romantic dish you prepare.