It’s a known fact that Valentine’s Day is a holiday for women. Turn on the TV and there are a million commercials of men buying women flowers, chocolates and diamonds. Even single women celebrate the day with a girl’s night out or purchasing gifts for their close single lady friends. Most men feel indifferent about the holiday and brush it off as just another day on the calendar. Although I must admit this is a sweet deal for us ladies, it’s not actually the right way for going about Valentine’s Day.
I wanted to get a good perspective of what Valentine’s Day is really like for men so I went straight to my most reliable source, my husband. Most of what he reflected on, I could have guessed. For men, the days leading up to February 14th turn into stressful days of planning. There is also a monetary value that’s placed on the holiday. There is an unanimous agreement in American culture that the more money that’s spent on Valentine’s Day, the better the day will be. However, when I took a step back and analyzed what my husband had experienced with past years, there was a sense of obligation around the holiday. Along with that sense of obligation, stress and disrespect followed.
I started to understand that most men felt a lot of pressure around Valentine’s Day that women didn’t quite experience at the same level. With that understanding, a plan was hatched to take that said pressure off of my husband and plan a Valentine’s breakfast in bed. He was not allowed to lift a finger: it does help when your husband sleeps like a bear that’s three months into a six month hibernation.
But in all seriousness, why not start the day off right by putting your husband first? Press pause on the pressure and spend some quality time with him. Make it about him and not the obligations of being a husband. It will help take some of the stress of the day away and also show him that you respect him, which is a really big deal for men. Cook his favorite breakfast, make him some coffee and buy him a single rose to put on the breakfast tray – the rose will really give him a surprise as most men don’t expect that gesture for women. Slip on your cutest lingerie and bring him breakfast in bed. I promise you, he will be the happiest husband in the world on Valentine’s Day.
To help you plan the perfect morning for your valentine, here is a delicious eggs benedict recipe that will be sure to make him happy.
The Perfect Eggs Benedict and Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
- 4 eggs (two for you and two for him)
- 8 slices of bacon
- 2 english muffins or four slices of artisan bread (we used Seven Stars Bakery bread)
- ¼ cup of white wine vinegar
- Salt and crushed peppercorns
- A bowl of ice water
- 4 sticks of butter
- 2 small shallots, diced
- 6 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of crushed peppercorns
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ a lemon
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- Ice as needed
In a large, wide pot, bring water to a boil and add in the vinegar. Gently crack and drop in the eggs close to the surface and cook for four minutes. While the eggs are cooking prepare a bath of ice water in a bowl. Once the four minutes are up, remove the eggs with a poaching spoon (a wide metal spoon with holes for the water to drain) and gently put them into the bowl of cold water. These will stay here preserved until the sauce and meat is ready. Also, keep the poaching water as we’ll be heating the eggs up again once it’s time to serve. Finally fry your bacon and set aside.
Before you prep the mixture, begin to boil water in a large pot. Reduce the shallots, peppercorns and white wine vinegar in a small saute pan. Once the vinegar has been reduced, drop a couple of ice cubes into the pan to cool the mix. Strain the reduction liquid into a metal mixing bowl. Then separate the eggs and add the yolks into the same mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs until they become frothy. Melt the butter in a separate pan and remove the white cream from the top to make it clarified. Once the butter is clarified, pour it into a measuring cup for easy pouring when you add the butter into the mix.
Make sure you have your extra ice cubes by your side for this next part. Place the metal mixing bowl on top of the large pot of boiling water. You want to make sure that the water is not touching your mixing bowl. Now you have a double boiler! Slowly and gently (those being the keywords) pour the butter into the egg mix one drop at a time to create an emulsion. You don’t want to rush this part. As you add the butter, make sure you are mixing the eggs the whole time to keep them moving. If you see any clumping of the eggs, add in an ice cube, remove the bowl from the heat, and continue to mix. We’re not making scrambled eggs after all!
Once your sauce starts to look really smooth, you can add in the melted butter a little faster. Remove the bowl from the heat once all of your butter has been combined. Stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon and salt to taste.
Finally, bring water to a boil in a large, wide pot and add the vinegar (or you can use your saved water from when you previously poached the eggs – don’t add more vinegar) and bring to a boil. Gently add the previously poached eggs back into the water and cook for one minute. Be careful to not overcook to avoid a hard yoke. Once the minute is up, remove the eggs with a poaching spoon and place them in paper towels or a tea towel.
Now you’re ready to serve! Take your toasted choice of bread or english muffin and layer on the egg, meat and sauce and go make your husband a very happy man.