- Most specialist food shops sell heart-shaped metal cutters, so keep it simple and serve heart-shaped toast. Or keep the toast as it comes, and serve it with a heart-shaped fried egg on the top instead.
- Smoked salmon is always a treat at breakfast – serve slivers of your favourite brand with toasted muffins and a little crème fraiche.
- Eggs Benedict – poached eggs served with a hollandaise sauce and toast or muffins.
- Full English Breakfast – eggs (scrambled, poached or fried), bacon, sausage, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes.
- Mushrooms on Toast – lightly fry some sliced mushrooms with a little salt and pepper for a few minutes. Add a small amount of cold water to the pan to make a light sauce, although you could also add in a spoon of crème fraiche just before you wish to serve. Toasted ciabatta goes well with these.
- Pancakes – either with fresh fruit if you’re feeling virtuous, or grilled bacon and maple syrup if you’re not. If using the fruit option, then berries such as blueberries or raspberries work well – simply warm them through in a pan with a small amount of water and a little sugar if you feel they need it.
- If you’re working later, all the above should be served with tea, coffee (real, not instant) or fruit juice. If you’re not, then obviously champagne!
For Dinner – Steak and Chips
- Remember this is a special occasion, so buy the best steak you can afford – ideally it should have been hung for at least 21 days to enhance the flavour, and don’t be afraid to buy steak that is lightly marbled with white fat as this will melt during cooking and make the steak more tender. Obviously cooking times will depend on how thick your steaks are, and whether you want them rare, medium or well-done – follow the pack instructions for this. Make sure your pan is very hot before you put your steaks in.
- Homemade Chips – these taste great and are much better for you than fried chips. To serve two, take three large potatoes and cut them in half lengthways. Then cut each half lengthways and so on until you have the size of chip you want (usually each potato should make about eight or twelve chips. If you have a microwave, you can reduce the cooking time by microwaving the pieces on full power for three minutes; if you don’t, go straight to the next step but allow longer in the over. Place the chips on a baking tray and spray thoroughly with oil so that each piece is coated. You could also add seasoning here: Cajun seasoning works well. Place into the oven at 200 degrees centrigrade until crisp and brown – this should take around thirty minutes if you’ve part cooked then in the microwave.
- Serve with green salad and sauce of your choice – béarnaise would work well. Melt 2 oz butter in a small pan, and while this is melting mix two egg yolks, two chopped shallots and a handful of fresh tarragon in a mini food processor. Slowly pour in the melted butter and mix until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Cheat and buy the pudding – remember, the less time you spend in the kitchen, the more time you can spend with your loved one!