Carrying vestiges of both ancient Roman and Christian traditions, Valentine’s Day is a storied celebration, an opportunity to express our adoration through tokens and gestures from the heart. This year, spoiling your sweetheart might mean veering away from the traditional route of flowers and candy.
Consider treating your valentine to a gift or two from our curated list of seven unexpected treasures. (Or forwarding these suggestions to a man who needs help.)
Give the gift of an in-home spa. Treat your beloved to the intoxicating scents and gourmet ingredients of this Canyon Ranch skin treatment set.
Wrap your sweetheart in our snug and sophisticated ombre scarf. This tissue-weight voile of two-ply Mongolian cashmere is rich in color and style.
Take a cue from Charles, Duke of Orleans, the man behind the earliest known written valentine, a poem sent to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Write sweet sentiments to your loved one with this exclusive stationery ensemble crafted using old-world artistry and time-honored printing techniques.
Precious keepsakes stay safe and pristine for a lifetime in the LusterLoc™ suede-lined jewelry box. Contrasting black-and-white embossed shagreen leather covers this chic storage solution.
Complete the look with the coordinating frame, a beautiful way to showcase treasured memories.
Aerate and enhance the bouquet of a favorite wine with this stunning crystal decanter. Mouth blown and formed without the aid of a mold, this brilliant piece will have your valentine in awe.
A symbol that has survived beyond its ancient origins, the Love Knot is a common token of affection. He’ll proudly wear his heart on his sleeve with these sterling silver cufflinks.
Even though our favorite groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring, we know better. We’re still in for weeks of old man winter. So chase away the chill and get head-to-toe warm inside. Cook up a big pot of luxurious, rich Spiced Braised Beef Shanks.
One of the secrets to this stellar recipe is the aromatic spice rub. It’s a fragrant mélange of pan-toasted coriander, cumin, caraway and mustard seeds. Heating the seeds changes their character and deepens their flavor. Then, they’re ground and mixed with the earthy heat of ancho or chipotle chili powder. Now doesn’t that sound like it will thaw things out a bit?
Stew it up low and slow in our colorful Le Creuset Signature Braiser. This enameled cast iron pot distributes heat evenly to break down tough cuts of meat and cook vegetables to perfection. And oversized handles make carrying it to the serving table a beautiful thing. In the end, the beef shanks are fall-off-the-bone tender, and the gravy is silky with back notes of garlic, caramelized onion and red wine. We guarantee, even the heartiest of appetites will melt away.
Courtesy of Le Creuset
Makes 4–6 servings
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoons ancho or chipotle chili powder
6 beef shanks
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups dry red Zinfandel or syrah wine
2 bay leaves
Chicken or beef stock as needed
18–24 small carrots, with tops, scrubbed and trimmed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped parsley
Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare the spice rub by toasting whole seeds in a pan until fragrant. Using a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the toasted seeds with the chili powder.
Season beef shanks liberally with salt and pepper, then dust with the spice rub on both sides. Heat a 3 ½ quart braiser over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil once hot. Brown the meat until dark brown on both sides, about 4–6 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Lower the heat to medium. Sweat the onion, celery and garlic in the pan until the onion is translucent. Add tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened. Pour in the wine and scrape all browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until reduced by ¼, about 10 minutes.
Return the beef shanks to the pan, along with the bay leaves. Pour in enough stock to come about ⅔ of the way up the meat; the meat should not be covered by the liquid. Cover with the lid and place in the oven. Let cook for 2 ½ hours until very tender.
Add the carrots and replace the lid. Return to the oven and let cook an additional 20–30 minutes. Remove the beef and the carrots to a warm plate and cover loosely with foil. Remove the bay leaves and any other solids with a slotted spoon, and discard. Skim the fat from the surface. At this point, the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it doesn’t, reduce it a bit more.
Turn off the heat and swirl in the butter. Combine the parsley and orange zest. Serve the shanks with carrots and sauce, and garnish with the zest mixture.
Share your own braising adventures on Instagram with #BraisingAwareness.
And explore our collection of Le Creuset cookware and tools.
Are your competitive juices flowing for The Big Game yet? We know a tasty way to kick things off… While Denver and Carolina clash on the gridiron, nosh on your own culinary matchup: pulled-pork sandwiches smothered with either North Carolina barbecue sauce or authentic Colorado green chile. We asked two local-favorite restaurants to supply their signature recipes for this face-off.
In this end zone, from Adelitas Cocina y Cantina in south Denver, is a tangy, citrusy salsa verde made with poblano chiles and a hint of sweetness. At the other end, from the Skylight Inn BBQ in Ayden, North Carolina, is the kind of vinegar-based barbecue sauce the state is famous for.
And the best thing about this matchup is no one will go home defeated or hungry.
On game day, fill a serving bowl with smoky, succulent pulled pork. Stack some warm hamburger buns on the side. And flank the feast with a blue bowl of Skylight Inn’s barbecue and an orange bowl of Adelitas’ green chile sauce.
Then … let the games (and the eating) begin.
Courtesy of Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Denver
(makes 5-8 servings)
2 pounds tomatillos
2 large poblano peppers
2 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion
3 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
Soak tomatillos in warm water so as to peel and clean. Place tomatillos in a large sauce pan. Add water, garlic, onion and jalapenos, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Mixture will change to a pale green color when done.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast poblano peppers on a baking sheet until skin blisters and turns black. Remove from oven and cover with plastic or a towel until cool. Remove skin and seeds.
Blend the tomatillo mixture with poblanos. Use an handheld blender because it’s safer with hot liquids.
In a pot, heat oil and carefully add the mixture and sugar. Season with salt.
Courtesy of Skylight Inn BBQ, North Carolina
(makes 5-8 servings)
6 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
8 ounces sweet barbecue sauce
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly blended.
As the snowbanks rise and sunless days seem like they’ll stretch on forever, it’s easy to succumb to the winter doldrums. The good news? Now you can leave the winter blues behind, without ever checking a bag or taxiing on the tarmac.
Instead of jetting off to the Caribbean, why not bring the tropics home?
Balmy splashes of color. A smattering of eclectic accents, from tropical pillows to exclusive ceramics. All grounded by discerning neutral furniture. This is our take on the urban sophisticate … enlivened with pops of color and splashes of print.
Grounded by British Colonial heritage, classic pieces with a West Indies vibe are beautifully realized in rich mahogany. More than a master suite, it’s your retreat to paradise, thanks to vibrant bedding inspired by vintage tropical prints.
Born of trade winds, and infused with the vivacious spirit of the Caribbean, your personal paradise awaits. Shop our Urban Oasis collection now, and create your own tropical escape.
Want to make a splash at this weekend's pool party? Here are summer essentials guaranteed to take it to the next level. ---> bit.ly/HostAPoolPartyIdeaBook