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Interested in preparing a Valentine’s lunch or dinner for your Carmel Valley Sweetheart that requires no cooking? Want to impress that special someone in Carmel Valley for Valentine’s Day? Here’s the perfect solution for a girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, dad or whomever is dear to you. What could be more thoughtful than preparing a special lunch or supper for your loved ones? And the best part….it’s very inexpensive, convenient, there’s no restaurant reservations or costly checks to deal with, and you need to know absolutely nothing about cooking. But most importantly, its a gesture that comes from your heart. Oh and on a side note, age makes no difference. It works whether you’re seven or seventy.
So how does all this happen? It’s very simple! Anybody can go to a grocery store like Vons, Ralphs or Albertsons, which are all conveniently located in the Carmel Valley San Diego community. And anybody can go to the Costco in Carmel Mountain Ranch. If you can’t drive, simply ask somebody to be your taxi driver.
At the grocery store, buy a container of salad greens (about $4), an avocado (about $1), and a small loaf of French bread (about $1.99). If you’re over twenty one, pick out a bottle of white wine. Any white wine will do but if you’re not sure, ask the resident “wine guy.” The cost should be as little a as $5. On a side note, iced tea is a good option for those under twenty one. Finally, grab a bottle of salad dressing (about $3) you personally like or know the other person would enjoy.
Now that you’ve invested about $14, take a trip to Costco and buy a container of shrimp salad or chicken salad (about $10) which can be found in the meat department. Your total investment is now at about $24. This may seem like a large sum of money for lunch or supper, but remember, the groceries will probably be enough for four so there’s more for you to enjoy after Valentine’s Day.
Now the plan goes into action. You’ve already invited the special person for lunch or supper on February 14th, and about an hour before they arrive, you begin to prepare the meal. REMEMBER, NO COOKING REQUIRED. All you’re going to do is assemble everything.
Get two plates (size doesn’t matter), and put enough greens for one helping on each plate. Drizzle a little salad dressing over the greens on each plate …just like you would if somebody gave you a dish of salad at dinner. Cut the avocado in half (the long way), twist the halves to separate them, and remove the pit from one half. Use a spoon to carefully remove the avocado flesh from the peel and place it on the greens. Just make sure half of the avocado gets in the center of the greens on each plate, but remember that it doesn’t matter what it looks like.
Finally, put a large spoonful of the chicken or shrimp salad on top of the avocado and you’re done. You have a beautiful stuffed avocado salad. To finish it off, cut the bread into slices and put it on a small plate. Pour the drinks, and FINITO! Simply serve the salads when you’re ready.
If you want to spend an additional $5, buy a rose in a vase at the floral department at the grocery store and put it on the table. This can leave a lasting impressive on your guest.
There is very little chance that anybody has ever done something like this for your special someone, and they probably will remember your kind and thoughtful actions forever.
Please give it a try.
One more thing, when you lift the glasses and are reading to give a toast, here’s one that works for just about everybody: “Here’s to you who halves my sorrows and doubles my joys”.
Dave Clegg is a self-taught amateur chef and recipe creator who has always been inspired by his mom’s great cooking. He has been cooking for over 40 years and has lived in Carmel Valley with his family since 1985. He created “Carmel Valley Kitchen” as a way to share his passion.
Dave was recently selected as a semifinalist in the “Next Great! News Instructor Cooking Challenge” and his basic cheese cake took third place at the 2011 San Diego County Fair. Dave has a comprehensive knowledge of ingredients, equipment and cooking techniques that he is always happy to share.