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Cooking up romance for Valentine’s Day
With recipes for romance, ‘InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook’ really helps couples turn up the heat.

This Valentine’s Day, millions of couples will feel the heat — a burning passion from cooking up something sensuous to share with their love.

Couples can find out which foods really sizzle with the new, 10th anniversary edition of a smash-hit cookbook. “InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook” (Terrace Publishing) features 145 couple-tested recipes, including 65 entirely new romantic recipes in the anniversary edition. It’ll be a hot time in the kitchen tonight when recipes meet romance, for a different kind of fire that can melt the coldest winter.

Organized by aphrodisiacs, the book covers 19 sensual foods ranging from traditional favorites such as oysters and strawberries, to lesser-known, but just as potent ones, such as pine nuts and asparagus. Intimate, yet playful, the “InterCourses” approach to cooking livens up relationships, whether just starting out or 50 years in the making. Here’s an example:

Baked Artichoke and Crab Dip
Yields 2 to 3 servings
Consider this elegant alternative to chips and queso — its creamy warmth is a sure recipe for romance.
* 1⁄2 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
* 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
* 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced scallions
* 1⁄4 cup chopped pimiento
* 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* Juice of 1 small lemon
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1⁄2 teaspoon celery salt
* 1⁄2 pound crab meat, picked over for bits of shell
* 1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375° F and grease a 6x9-inch baking dish. Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the bell pepper until tender.

Combine artichokes, jalapeño, mayonnaise, scallions, pimiento, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt and sautéed bell pepper in a large bowl. Fold in crab meat. Place mixture in baking dish and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with tricolored tortilla chips.


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