Valentine's day is special for me. That wasn't always the case, but it is now.
Eleven years ago, my husband and I, young and poor though we were, hopped on a flight to Amsterdam, and eloped. I was never much for romanticism, but somehow in the mix of falling in love, and falling deeper in love every day that I can wake up next to him, that's changed. And, each day, I wake up and think that I couldn't possibly love him more than I do today, and then my heart swells, and I love him all the more.
And then we had a baby, and I fell in love with my child and fell even more deeply in love with my husband. Now, ten years later, I find myself stunned and awed and so, so grateful to learn that we're expecting another child later this year. I get to fall in love all over again.
For me, cooking is an expression of love. It's a way to say, "I love you. I want you to be healthy. I want you to feel satisfied. I want you to enjoy yourself." And every year for Valentine's Day, I dream up something special - sweet and lovely - to share with him.
One year I made Mayan Chocolate Truffles because they reminded me of eloping, another it was Chocolate Custard. This year I wanted something special: rich and comforting but bright and tart and vividly colored.
Coconut and Blood Orange Mousse
I settled on a rich coconut and blood orange mousse: vibrant and vivid colors with the deep, dark purple of the orange contrasting with the angelic white of the coconut mousse. The perfumed tartness of blood orange balances nicely with the sweet, smooth coconut cream, and a good dollop of gelatin helps to set it all together.
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