Some people love going out to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Not me! I can’t stand the crowds – and the poor service often due to it. If your Valentine is anything like me – or if you just want to offer him or her something more special – consider instead a romantic meal at home.
The Menu: Make it Simple
Don’t choose a meal that’s so elaborate you’ll risk not being able to cook it properly. Yes, I know you want to impress your Valentine, but it’s better to cook a simple, delicious meal than an elaborate meal that doesn’t taste (or look) terrific.
It’s also better to select recipes you’re familiar with. If you really want to make something you’ve never cooked before, do yourself a huge favor and cook it at least once before the big day. Not only will this make you feel more comfortable when it’s time to cook for your Valentine, but it will reduce the risk of a cooking failure just when you want to impress him or her most.
Be sure to consider your Valentine’s tastes. For example, there’s no point in making filet mignon – no matter how perfectly prepared – if your Valentine really doesn’t care for beef. And if your Valentine has food allergies, be sure you know about them ahead of time!
You also don’t want to spend all evening slaving away in the kitchen. Ideally, this should be a time to relax and spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. So choose foods that can be made ahead of time.
Setting the Mood
Without a doubt, the setting matters as much as the food. Light some candles (or at least dim the lights), turn on soft music, and put some fresh flowers on the table.
For even more romance, consider eating outside, in a garden area or balcony – but only if it’s warm enough your Valentine won’t need a sweater or jacket to feel comfortable. (And always have a back up plan in case the weather fools you!)
Also remember that time of day matters. Although you could treat your Valentine to three romantic meals on Valentine’s Day (guys, she will be impressed!), if you only choose to make one meal, make it dinner. At the end of the day, everyone is more relaxed – plus the darkness outside makes those dim lights inside more romantic.
Finally, don’t look like you’ve been cooking all day, even if you have. Make sure you are well groomed by the time your Valentine arrives.
Then, relax. Pour some wine. And enjoy.
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