Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that can easily go from exciting to stressful in the blink of an eye. Most of the time, restaurants will jack up prices and put together a fixed price menu with dishes not everyone likes, plus reservations may be hard to get. An easy way to avoid this is to just make dinner at home together, and turn it into a much more enjoyable bonding experience. Follow these tips for the perfect special date night in:
Plan a dinner menu that has a few different dishes so that you can cook together without crowding the kitchen. Aim for one dish that requires the stove, one that requires the oven, and maybe one that doesn’t require any cooking at all. This’ll allow you to be in the same area so you can prep together, but not so much so that you’ll be risking being in each other’s chili.
For the main dish, choose something you don’t always get to make at home like a decadent lamb chop, filet mignon, or nice piece of fish. Even though you’re making dinner yourselves and eating it at home, it should still feel special. Splurging on the main portion of your entrée will still be cheaper than buying the same thing at a restaurant and differentiate the meal from the usual Wednesday night meat and potatoes.
Don’t forget the apps! Cooking together is so much more fun when you’re not hangry, so put together a quick cheese plate or dish of olives to enjoy while you’re chopping and sautéing. Besides, you’ll want it to feel like a full three-course meal you could enjoy out, so having hors d’oeuvres is all part of the experience!
Or the drinks... If you’re not into alcohol, a kombucha or sparkling water with some fruit tossed in will feel like a treat. If you do want something with a little more punch, be sure to pick up some decent bottles of wine or supplies for homemade cocktails. Since it’s a holiday, why not treat yourself and splurge a little!
Set the mood. Flowers are always nice here, if you don’t feel like getting anything extra, just use the candles you have around the house. Light a few so that you have candlelight by where you’ll be eating dinner and lounging around. It’ll feel more intimate and fancy, even though you’re still at home.
For dessert, grab something pre-prepared if you think you’ll be too tired to whip something up in the moment. Cookies and cakes are delicious, but if you don’t have time to make dessert yourself, grab some nice chocolates from your local grocery store. If you’re sweet tooth people, consider making dessert the main event with a make-your-own sundae bar or some chocolate fondue!