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Love Food

We love food.  We love food a lot!  Everyone here at NESTmodern enjoys any excuse to talk about, dream about, and anything else about food.  So it’s only natural that in our month devoted to love we have to include food.  In our mind whether you are single, paired up, or otherwise engaged Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to eat some decadent and fabulous food.  Skip the overpriced prix fixe menus and take to the kitchen for your Valentine meal this year.  Here are some menu ideas for whatever this day of love brings you.

*If not linked please see bottom for recipe


Romantic Menu

baked camembert with pears

mussels on the half shell with curried crumbs 

asparagus, artichoke & shiitake risotto

veg. alternative sub brussels sprouts for mussels

chocolate pots de creme


From top right: haricot verts, sweet potato gnocchi, dinner setting, roasted grapes and brie, assorted truffles

Dinner Party

frisee and green apple salad w/goat cheese toast 

roasted grapes w/ brie and basil

sweet potato mash w/pork chop and haricot vert

veg. sweet potato gnocchi w/sage brown butter sauce

assorted chocolate truffles


Party Menu

Bacon Candy

shredded caesar salad on toast 

white bean flatbread with prosciutto and cheese

veg option: blue cheese and red potato tart

chocolate dipped shortbread hearts

chocolate peanut butter cups

Don’t forget to set your table just right for your special night.  Use this as an excuse to showcase what you created.  Beautiful flowers in an organic vase, an aromatic wine decanted and candles in simple, oversized votives can bring understated elegance to that romantic meal.  Stylish serving trays, unique glassware, and pitchers full of a signature cocktail will bring the wow factor to any gathering.  And remember, you are with those you love, whether friend or lover.  So relax and enjoy the company.


Brussel Sprouts

1 lb. brussels sprouts

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Wash brussels sprouts and remove outer small leaves.  Cut each brussels sprout in half.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour olive oil into pan and heat until shimmering.  Add brussels sprout, cut side down, into pan.  Once each side is charred, about five minutes, add balsamic vinegar.  Cook for about one minute and remove from pan.  Serve immediately.


Roasted Grapes with brie and basil

1 large bunch of red, seedless grapes

1/4 c. of basil, chiffonaded

wedge of brie

toasted baguette

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Toss grapes with olive oil.  Place on cookie sheet, covered with foil.  Place in oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.  Take out and stir in chiffonade basil.

Place brie on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it oozes but is not melted.  Place grape mixture over brie.  Serve with toasted baguette.

*Optional – leave basil off and drizzle with honey


Sweet potato mash with pork chops

2 large sweet potatoes

1 lb pork chops (3 to 4 separate chops)

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp mustard

1 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. milk

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat pan on medium high heat.

Boil sweet potato until soft.

While sweet potatoes are boiling mix soy sauce, brown sugar, rosemary, paprika and mustard.

Season pork chops.  Sear each chop on each side, and 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove pork chops.  Deglaze pan with chicken stock and white wine.  Add sauce mixture from above.  Let it thicken for a couple of minutes.  Put the pork chops back in and place in oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.

While pork chops are cooking, mash sweet potatoes.  Mix in milk, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Season to taste.  (Add more milk if mixture is too thick.)

Remove from oven and baste with sauce.  Serve pork chops on top of sweet potatoes.


Haricot Vert

1 lb. haricot vert

1 small onion

3 garlic cloves

salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and add haricot vert.  Cook for about 4 minutes and then blanche.

In the same pot add oil and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, but not browned.  Add the haricot vert and reheat.  Season to taste.

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