A Dash of Sims

By Elizabeth Sims

Don’t get me wrong, I love Valentine’s Day as much as the next girl. Flowers, chocolates, maybe the promise of something more — Valentine’s Day is just an exciting day. However, it’s time to get rid of one of the stereotypes about what women want on this day of love. Let me be the first to say: we women don’t expect fancy restaurants and limo rides. Honestly, we don’t even want to go out. So allow me to introduce a new Valentine’s tradition for couples to start: a sexy home-cooked meal in a candlelit apartment, townhouse, etc.

Now, I’m not trying to take business away from the fine dining establishments of Tidewater, but let me give you some reasons why you just don’t want to go out on the loveliest day of the year. First, it’s going to be pricey. If you’re trying to impress that certain someone, do you really want to save your money for a couple of months just for two hours in a crowded restaurant? Doubtful. For way less money you can make your own delicious meal, throw in a candlelit table and some smooth jazz (or your own favorite music) and you’ve got yourself a sexy night in. Plus, by doing it all yourself, you’re showing your significant other that you care more than the generic Valentine’s Day hubbub indicates. penninsula

Already planning a homemade meal, but puzzled what to include? I’ve got you covered. Consider adding these things to the meal to add flair and show you really put some thought into the night.

  • Fresh pomegranate: recent research indicates that this boosts blood flow and testosterone, increasing intimacy
  • Vanilla-scented candles: this spice is known to lower stress levels and boost romantic levels
  • Raw oysters: if you’re feeling adventurous, add these as an appetizer to your meal to boost sexual arousal and serotonin (the happy feeling) levels

I suggest you surprise your significant other with a delicious homemade meal, like the one below, to really set the mood and get him/her ready for a romantic evening in.


Parmesan Crusted Chicken


For Breading

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (I use Progresso)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, chives or rosemary

For Chicken

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds), pounded 1/4″-thick*
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Set up three large, shallow bowls in an assembly line. Put the flour in the first bowl; beat the eggs in the second bowl; and mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs in the third bowl.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge the first chicken breast in the flour and shake off the excess until just a light coating remains. Next, dip the chicken in the egg mixture and turn to coat evenly, letting any excess egg drip off. Finally, dredge the chicken in the bread crumb mixture, turning a few times to coat well. Set breaded chicken on a plate and repeat until all of the chicken breasts are breaded.
  3. Heat both oils in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the first side is golden brown. Flip and continue cooking until done, 2-3 minutes longer. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.