By Natalie Reehl

Want to beat the summer heat with something even hotter? Good news: your favorite exotic and erotic food and drink choices can be spiced up with just a few ingredients that your partner will never see , but they’ll definitely thank you for! A little ginger in your cocktail, or a dash of cayenne pepper in melted chocolate that you might-oops- dribble on your sweetie’s lap? Yes, please, and THANK YOU!

On August 24th, the MTV Music Awards will recognize some of the most sensual songs of the past year. You know: the kind of songs that make us want to do all kinds of wrong? Don’t miss the opportunity to be your sweetie’s private rock star. Pairing these fire-flavored favorites with some sizzling sounds will bring a new and sexy meaning to the phrase “turning up the heat.”


Appetizer: Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ease your way in with this refreshing summer salad packed with light ingredients and nutrients. Quinoa is a super-food that tastes like rice but is much healthier and won’t fill you up too much before the main course. Mix up the quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes for a tasty, subtle salad. Then add some jalapeños and limejuice for a surprising burst of tangy flavors. It’s the perfect hot-summer-night foreplay before diving in for the main event. I can definitely see Katy Perry dining on this while cruising the Nile River, dressed up like Cleopatra in her “Dark Horse” music video – which she’s nominated for in the Best Collaboration category.

Main Course: Roasted Lobsters with Verjus and Tarragon

I know what you’re thinking: cooking lobster isn’t for the faint of heart. But imagine it’s like a scene in a movie: after playing the damsel in distress role, you throw that lobster into the water and come out the brave woman who can take on anything. Hot. Or, go to the store and buy an already cleaned up lobster to avoid the whole thing. Then simply add spices, olive oil, jalapeños and lemon wedges, generously, like you would if you were smoothing massage oil on your lover’s back.  That’s right: pour it all over. Kick things up a notch by “forgetting” to set out utensils and, instead, eat it as a finger food. Sure, you’ll be up to your elbows in lobster and butter – and I guarantee you’ll both enjoy lick that butter off…inch by inch. Have you seen Aria Grande in her “Problem” music video? She’s up for Best Pop Video, and there’s a reason why: bat your eyelashes like she does while you’re sucking up some lobster and there will be no question that you are a WINNER.

 Side Dish: Spicy Cumin Fries

Ok, ok, enough jalapeños. How about ditching the peppers for a little cumin and cayenne instead? Much less intense and instead deliciously smoky, cayenne blends beautifully with the cumin to create mouth-watering flavor to your average side of fries.  Here’s a secret straight out of my little black book: squeeze a little lime over the fries the give them a sweet & sour/naughty and nice effect. Round Two for finger food- and this is a good time to put on a little Lana Del Rey. Do you heart her song “West Coast?” Her sultry sound will go better with those fries than ketchup ever could. So go for it, girl.

Dessert & Dessert Cocktail: Chili Chocolate Strawberries and a Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler

Try a twist on the classic chocolate-dipped strawberries for your late-night date-night dessert. Before dipping the strawberries into the hot, melted chocolate, stir in a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper for a spicy surprise. They’ll taste like the same decadent, fruity dessert we’ve fantasized about sharing with a significant other on a hot summer night (clothing optional), but the added benefit will be a hot kick at that punctuates the sweetness of the strawberry center. Once the strawberries are all gone, don’t let your date think dessert is over. Keep some of the chocolate in the kitchen and tap into your inner Beyonce by re-enacting her “Drunk In Love” music video with it. She’s nominated for Video of the Year at the MTV Music Awards for it so go ahead and be inspired.

Follow up your perfect dinner and dessert with a scintillating sparkling cocktail made with ginger and grapefruit. Your taste buds will love how the grapefruit juice’s bold, bitter taste contrasts with the sugary flavor of Prosecco wine as the ginger brings balance to it all while packing a perfect punch. Can’t you just see our favorite bad girl Ke$ha downing a couple of these in her “Timber” music video which is nominated for Best Collaboration (against Katy Perry!)

Reward yourself and your sweetie by unleashing your inner Ke$ha and enjoy a night-cap to remember. Just be sure to keep your phone within reach, because you may need to call the fire department before the night is over.

Got any MTV Video Music Awards predictions or some red-hot recipes to share? Join the Conversation here or on our social media sites and let us know what hot food and music pairings really get you going!


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