I spent ten years in the restaurant industry, I’m not sure you could pay me enough to make me step foot into a restaurant on Valentine’s Day (Mother’s Day or Father’s Day for that matter). I don’t enjoy crowds and I know from experience that the staff is stressed out and overworked, throw in high expectations and you have a better recipe for disappointment than romance.
We hear over and over that food should not be equated with love, but I admit to sticking my fingers in my ears and singing loudly. I don’t give ice cream when a hug will do, but I do believe that the food I serve is in part a physical expression of the love I feel. I also enjoy having an excuse to prepare a meal that goes above workday or budget stretching fare and Valentine’s Day works for me.
If you have children, consider having a fun, kid-friendly meal early in the evening and a separate one for adults. If candles are your thing, this is the night to break them out. I love our rugrats, but they are kids and they rarely appreciate the effort that goes into a meal for adult palates. In the past my husband knew I was having a rough day and brought home a frozen entree in an effort to be sweet. The children acted as though it was manna from heaven while I reconfirmed why I go to the trouble of making homemade lasagna.
Here are a few menu ideas to create your own Valentine’s dinner. I would also love to hear your suggestions and favorite recipes*.
- Pan Seared Ribeye
Roasted Green Beans
- Chicken Picante
- Spinach Alfredo with Blackened Shrimp
Wilted Spinach Salad with Pecans and Feta
- Blackened Beef Tips over Fettucine Alfredo
- Walnut Encrusted Roast
Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Wilted Spinach with Walnuts
- Wine Braised Pot Roast
On a special diet? Don’t worry. You can still have a special dinner. Here’s some books that will help: Vegan Cookbook Plus Sweet Vegan Valentine’s Day Bonus Recipes and Paleo Valentine’s Day Cookbook. You could even cook Chinese with help from this book: Valentine’s Day Home Style Chinese Food
*Remember, if you put more than one link in a comment, I’ll have to fish you out of the spam filter. I don’t like this either, but it keeps the pervy spam bots at bay.