Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Thai Valentine Tablescape 6 After 8.5 years together, making a big deal out of Valentine's Day and getting dressed to the nine's to eat sub-par overpriced food by less than thrilled servers is just not our thing (truthfully it never was our thing).  Instead our ideal Valentine's night consists of homemade takeout food in front of one of our favorite show's House of Cards (season 2 drops of 2/14/14, no joke!).  Upon chatting with Liz from What Dress Code? and Carlene from Healthfully Ever After, we realized we had similar Valentine's night ambitions (or lack there of?) and in true blogger fashion organized a joint photo shoot.

For this shoot, we each created an easy to make Thai style dish plus cocktails and dessert! This DIY Thai takeout meal for two is relatively easy to whip up, hits all of the right taste buds, and is perfect to eat in front of the fire while watching your favorite movie or show with your sweetie (or bff).  See below for the menu and two of the recipes.
Thai Valentine Larb Lettuce Wraps 3 Menu: 
- Coconut Thai Basil Gin and Tonic - right below!
- Fresh Vegetarian Spring Rolls- What Dress Code ?
- Larb Gai - right below!
- Shrimp Pad Thai - Healthfully Ever After
- Dark Chocolate Mango Mousse- What Dress Code ?
Thai Valentine Tablescape 4 For those of you who are used to only eating Thai food out at restaurants, via takeout, or at the hands of some talented friends, I urge you to try a few of these recipes.  I myself, although being well versed in eating Thai food and in eating the Thai food my father will whip up on occasion do not frequently cook it.  I promise you this version Larb Gai is not only easy to make, but delicious.  In my version, instead of toasting or heating the Keffir lime leaves along with making brown rice powder, I added the Keffir leaves and lemongrass in with the larb mixture.  I also add carrots and purple cabbage for added color and crunch.
Thai Valentine Larb Lettuce Wraps 5
Larb Gai
(serves 2)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc nam)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thai chile sauce or Sriracha
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced
  • 1 Thai chile, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc nam)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/3 cup purple cabbage, grated or shredded
  • 1/4 cup carrot, grated or shredded
  • butter lettuce leaves to serve
Thai Valentine Pad Thai 3
Mix the first four ingredients (fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and Thai chile sauce) and set aside in a bowl.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, pork, shallot, garlic, lime leaves, lemongrass, Thai chile, and fish sauce, breaking up the ground meat as you mix.  Heat the sesame and peanut oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add the chicken and pork mixture and saute on medium heat until meat starts to turn golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes.  As you saute, break up the meat with a wooden spoon so meat crumbles into small pieces. Remove from heat.

Add the cilantro, purple cabbage, carrot and reserved sauce to the mixture and stir until combined.  To serve, place a large spoonful into a lettuce cup, wrap, and enjoy or just nibble on with your chop sticks.Thai Valentine Coconut Gin and Tonic 2 Coconut Basil Gin & Tonic
(serves 1)
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 1/2 oz coconut milk
  • 1/2 oz Thai chile simple syrup (follow these instructions, but substitute 3 Thai chiles for rosemary)
  • lime wedges, muddled, extra lime slice for garnish
  • Thai basil leaves, muddled (note I had to use Taiwanese basil as my local mart didn't have Thai basil)
  • tonic water
Thai Valentine Tablescape 9 In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle several lime wedges and 3-5 Thai basil leaves. Add ice, gin, coconut milk, Thai chile simple syrup and shake well.  Pour into a cocktail glass.  Top with tonic water and garnish with a lime slice and a Thai basil sprig.
All photos by the talented Liz McAvoy from What Dress Code?


  1. I still can't get over how good that cocktail was. Loved working on this with you and Liz!

  2. 1. That meal looks awesome. 2. Are they dropping the entire second season all at once?? I can't freaking wait! Guess that means the hubs and I will be spending this weekend rewatching season 1 to prepare :)

  3. I love that you mentioned House of Cards Season 2 - that plus takeout is totally my game plan for Valentine's Day!


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