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Rx for Xs & Os an aphrodisiac-inspired Valentine's Day fete by Mandy Karls | 1 2 3 4
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naughty nibbles
Featured Ingredient: ginger
Ginger is thought to be a circulatory stimulant that produces a warming effect and may increase sensitivity to touch.

No need to make these from scratch. Miniature ginger snaps are found in most any grocer's cookie aisle. Great on their own, these spicy cookies also work well as a base for dessert canapés or as fondue dunkers.

Featured ingredient: honey
The stimulating properties of this fragrant "nectar of the gods" are noted in the ancient Kama Sutra. The sugary syrup provides a quick burst of energy.

These flaky filo pastries are readily available at Middle-Eastern delis and markets.

Roasted almonds
Featured ingredient: almonds
A cocktail containing this ancient symbol of fertility can be found in 15th century Arabic literature. The recipe, which called for 20 almonds and 100 grains of pulverized pine tree to be mixed in a glass of honey, was prescribed for increased sexual prowess.

Purchase pre-roasted nuts or bake raw ones for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Salt and serve. Take care not to burn your almonds -- they're done as soon as their aroma begins to permeate the kitchen.

Flameless chocolate fondue with strawberries
Featured ingredient: chocolate
This Native American treat contains phenylethylamine and serotonin. These chemicals occur naturally in the brain and are associated with feelings of happiness, love and passion.
Featured ingredient: strawberries
According to legend, giving a double strawberry, split in half, to the object of one's affection will engender mutually amorous feeling. The Romans, French and Victorian English are among the many cultures that have cherished this heart-shaped berry as an aphrodisiac.

Not everyone has a fondue pot, and those who do may find it a chore to keep the flame going without scorching the contents. This recipe maintains the viscosity of melted chocolate without the fuss.

Combine equal parts of thick caramel and chocolate ice cream topping and stir until smooth.* Serve at room temperature with strawberries (you can also use pears, bananas or other dippers).

*This recipe will not work with chocolate and caramel syrups -- they are too thin. Instead use jarred toppings like Smuckers, Dove or even Nutella spread.

Chocolate-covered coffee beans
Featured ingredient: coffee
This magic bean contains caffeine, a stimulant that can perk-up the mind and body.

You'll find chocolate-covered coffee beans in the candy aisle or at your local coffee shop.

Rum-soaked cherries
Featured ingredient: cherries
The color of bright red lips, cherries have been revered for both their beauty from as long ago as 300 B.C.

Make these by soaking stem-on maraschinos in dark rum overnight.

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