I initially thought of this menu for Valentine’s Day because I found the idea of sharing a cheese fondue rather romantic. Plus, cheese is one of Eric’s favorite food groups (that, and chocolate!). He’s not alone on that either. So the main and dessert courses were easy to conceive. I decided a 1st course would be unnecessary because I didn’t want to make the meal too heavy (and OK, I also know that we *love* cheese and would prefer to have our calories there!!). To kick off the meal in a celebratory manner, a more copious “apéro” would “très agréable”. My three suggestions: (1) shrimp and chorizo skewers because I find them festive and delicious, and I like serving at least one hot finger food in winter, (2) spiced nuts because with a dusting of cumin, fleur de sel, piment d’Espelette and herbes de Provence they provide nice crunch and flavor. Of course pecans or almonds are also good, but hazelnuts are my “go to” nut because they are locally grown and the 2020 harvest can’t be beat in terms of freshness and vibrancy, and (3) puff pastry straws because I love the texture and who doesn’t love anything involving puff pastry?! Knowing cheese fondue can be rich, I like to follow the main course with a simple green organic salad tossed with any kind of house made vinaigrette. (As a side note, we have a delicious apple cider that came about from one of Eric’s Calvados experiments last November, and it is out-of-this-world delicious! We’ve become one of those people that take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily thanks to this accidental creation – and happy to do so!). Et voilà, now you know how this menu was born!