Tips and tricks to make your Valentine's a passionate one.


Make this Valentine's Day a passionate one

You drop the kids off at grandma's house, the candles are set and dinner is in the oven. Your husband walks in with the usual -- chocolate, flowers and some sexy lingerie. Sound like the same old Valentine's Day routine? Spice things up this year, with aphrodisiac ideas from Dr. Rallie McAllister.

In her upcoming book, The Busy Couples Guide to Great Sex, McAllister outlines some delicious love-provoking meals, and lists a number of natural aphrodisiacs that will make this holiday one to remember.

Aphrodisiac Ideas

"You can never go wrong with chocolate," McAllister says. And there are other aphrodisiacs found over-the-counter that she suggests will promote feelings of well-being and relaxation and increase sexual desire.

Capsicom, the heat source in peppers, has been proven to increase blood flow to the genitals, McAllister says. She recommends cooking pepper in your food to utilize this aphrodisiac.

Oysters also produce feelings of desire, but only because they contain zinc, McAllister says . For men who are zinc depleted, eating oysters can boost testosterone levels creating feelings of sexual desire. "The same is true for women, but the affect is not as strong because women have only 20 percent the testosterone as men," she says.

Purple grape juice and red wine are another easily obtainable aphrodisiac. These drinks contain nitric oxide, which facilitates erections in men and sexual response in women. McAllister points out that because of the alcoholic content drinking more than one glass of wine can inhibit desire and performance.

And for what not to do, McAllister says avoid eating a meal full of carbohydrates and simple sugars, because they increase serotonin in the brain and make you sleepy.

Herbs and Libido

Herbs like ginseng and ginko biloba, increase blood flow to the genitals and increase energy. "Remember these supplements are not under the jurisdiction of the FDA," McAllister warns. "Always follow the label and listen to the manufacturer's recommendation."

Yohimbine, from the bark of a tree in West Africa, increases erections in men. It is similar to Viagra, and can elevate blood pressure and interact with other medications. McAllister says to talk to a doctor about trying this herb.

The amount of herb to take depends on many conditions.

"Most people are under the impression that if a little bit will help me, a whole lot will cure me," McAllister says. This is not the case, she says, and advises the best thing to do is to talk to a doctor.

Non-Food Solutions

"Loving touch has been proven to alter the state of the brain," she says. This promotes the release of oxytocin, which is responsible for the bond between mother and child, but also is important for forming permanent relationships over time.

Showering before sex can wash off natural odors. Pheromones, the natural scents given off by the body, have been proven to attract men and women. "Let your natural smell shine through," McAllister says.

Visit more information and to contact Dr. McAllister.

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Seduction Dinner Recipes

Enjoy these Seduction Dinner recipes from Dr. McAllister's upcoming book.

Seduction Dinner 1

Oysters - Swordfish - Garlic Risotto - Sweet Chocolate truffles

Oysters:To make the oysters, open 12 fresh oysters, and serve on a bed of crushed ice. Garnish with lemon slices.

Seasoned Swordfish:Fresh swordfish filets (about 6 to 8 ounces each, roughly 1 1/2-inch thick)

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat skillet over high heat. Coat with olive oil. Season swordfish filets with salt and pepper. Add fish to skillet and saute until lightly golden, about 8 minutes per side.

Garlic Risotto:1/2 pound of orzo pasta

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups chicken broth

Cook orzo and garlic in olive oil until golden. Add chicken broth and cover. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.

Sweet Chocolate Truffles:10 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon brandy

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted

2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, sifted

Place the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Bring to a boil and pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in brandy. Refrigerate until firm, but not hard, for one hour.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using a melon baler, shape the chocolate into 3/4 inch balls on the baking sheet. Roll half the balls in cocoa and the other half in confectioner's sugar until completely covered. Store truffles in a sealed plastic container and refrigerate. Remove about one hour before serving.

Seduction Dinner 3

Filet Mignon with Truffled Portobello Mushrooms - Fresh greens with Champagne vinaigrette - Chocolate Mousse

Filet Mignon with Truffled Portobello Mushrooms


1 garlic clove, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces Portobello mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1/3 cup dry red wine

3 tablespoons whipping cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Filet Mignon: 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

2 1-inch thick filet mignons

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon truffle oil

Saute garlic in butter and olive oil for 330 seconds. Add mushrooms, mix until coated. Cover and cook until mushrooms have released their juices. Add broth, wine and whipping cream and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until mushrooms are tender and coated with sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Coat hot skillet with olive oil. Season steaks to taste with salt and pepper. Cook to desired doneness. Place steaks on serving plates. Spoon warm mushroom mixture over steaks and drizzle 1/4 teaspoon truffle oil on each.

Fresh Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1/8 teaspoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk together vinegar, onion, mustard powder, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until dressing thickens.

Choose a variety of greens (red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce and Boston lettuce and toss with desired amount of dressing.

Chocolate Mousse1 cup chocolate chips

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

whipped cream

Blend chocolate chips, egg and vanilla in blender. Heat heavy cream until it bubbles at the edges. With blender running, pour in heavy cream. Blend until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Chill in individual serving dishes and serve with whipped cream.

Seduction Dinner 6

Roasted Garlic Salmon - Roasted Vegetables - Peach Melba with Blueberry Sauce

Roasted Garlic SalmonGarlic Puree:

1 head of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons usalted butter

1 teaspoon ground ginger

salt and pepper, to taste

Salmon:2 salmon filets (6 ounces each)

2 teasspoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Slice garlic head in half. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Cook in preheated 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Scoop or squeeze out softened garlic and puree with oil, butter and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place salmon on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle each filet with lemon juice, then spread 1 tablespoon garlic puree over each.

Bake salmon uncovered until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Roasted Vegetables2 small zucchini

1 eggplant

2 plum tomatoes

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste

Olive oil

Slice zucchini, eggplant and plum tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place on baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil and bake 30 minutes. Toss once during cooking.

Peach Melba with Blueberry Sauce

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 peaches, halved and pitted

Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

Puree fresh blueberries in blender. Stir in confectioner's sugar and fresh lemon juice. Drizzle sauce over serving plate. Arrange halved and pitted peaches on top of sauce. Fill peaches with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Seduction Dinner 9

Fettuccine and Clam Sauce - Garlic Green Beans - Espresso Granita

Fettuccine and Clam SauceOlive oil

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup chopped tomato

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 cans (6 1/2 ounce) minced clams (drain and reserve liquid in bowl.)

2 cups hot, cooked fettuccine

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add garlic and stir. Add tomato, parsley and pepper. Add wine. Add clam liquid and fettuccine. Toss to coat and cook until liquid evaporates. Stir in clams.

Garlic Green Beans

2 cups string beans

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Steam string beans until tender. Chill in ice water, drain and set aside. Saute garlic in olive oil.

Saute minced garlic in olive oil. Add seasoned rice vinegar, soy sauce and green beans. Continue cooking and stirring until hot.

Espresso Granita

3 cups strong coffee

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup light cream

1 tablespoon coffee liquer, such as Kahlua

Heat coffee and sugar. Stir frequently until sugar melts. Remove from heat. Pour in light cream and coffee liquer. Stir until blended. Let cool. Freeze mixture until hard, about 4 hours. Break into chunks and blend until slushy. Serve in tall glasses.

Seduction Dinner 10

Gazpacho - Bruschetta with Fava Beans

Gazpacho3 cups peeled and chopped ripe tomatoes or canned plum tomatoes

1/2 chopped onion

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

2/3 chopped cucumber

1 cup tomato juice

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

pepper, to taste

In a blender; puree tomatoes, onions, half of the chopped yellow bell peppers and cucumbers. Add tomato juice, chicken stock, cumin, chopped garlic and pepper. Whisk until belnded. Add the rest of the chopped yellow bell pepper. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Bruschetta with Fava Beans

1 cup shelled fresh fava beans, cooked and peeled

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons black olive paste

8 ounces ricotta cheese

4 thick slices Italian bread, toasted

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Combine the fava beans, garlic, olive paste and cheese. Top each bread with bean mixture and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.

*Information courtesy of the upcoming book, The Busy Couples Guide to Great Sex by Rallie McAllister, M.D., MPH, MSEH (© 2004 Eric Hastie.

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