Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas and Recipes
Having a quiet dinner at home can be even more romantic than a night on the town, if you plan it properly. At home, it is just you and your partner and there are no distractions. You can be yourself. You are free to be as affectionate as you like without prying eyes. You can play your favorite music, walk around, dance next to the table…it can be just as romantic as you want it to be. It just takes a small effort to make it something special, rather than routine. Whether you are a man or a woman, this is an ideal Valentine’s Day treat to give your significant other.
The first thing to remember is that the food should be something tactile and sensual. Something that feels as good as it tastes, in other words. Something with a sweet sauce. Maybe something a bit spicy. Something you can eat with your hands. On the face of it, that last might not sound too romantic, but think about putting each finger into your mouth to remove the sauce (which you can do because you’re at home) while your partner sits across the table, watching. Now stop thinking about it and concentrate. Where were we…Oh, yes, food.
If you don’t cook and are scared to try the recipes that follow, you can always get take-out, just as long as you keep to the rules. Tender finger food with sauce or dipping sauce. Nothing crunchy, nothing with strong onions or garlic. Ribs may be extreme, but they are perfectly acceptable, as long as she/he likes them as much as you do. A favorite wine or a really good beer will be nice additions. Recipes include take-away alternates, so keep reading for more ideas.
Aside from the food, you’ll want candles and music. Tall pillar candles are perfect, but tapers will do. If using the scented pillars, light them about 10-15 minutes before you serve dinner so the smell has a chance to permeate the air. Don’t pick a scent that will overpower the food, though. Something soft such as lilac or gardenia is good. Music is all you. Megadeth’s Greatest Hits is not recommended, but it doesn’t have to be all syrupy love songs, either. Tunes you know you both love, songs that remind you of your partner, music that makes you feel romantic and passionate. Keep the volume low for talking.
How to make it even more special: Even though you’re staying in, you should both get dressed up in your finest. Serve dessert in your sexiest. Feed each other. Dance between courses. If the gift is small enough, why not present it on a plate either just before or just after dessert? If you have a covered silver serving dish, even better.
Starter (optional): Creamed Veggie Soup (Take-out Alternates: Potato or Egg-Drop Soup)
- 2 Cups fresh or frozen Broccoli and Cauliflower
- ½ Cup Heavy cream
- ¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 T butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp parsley
Put vegetables in saucepan and add enough water to just cover. Add salt. Cook on high until boiling. Boil 5 minutes. Drain and place in blender. Add remaining ingredients. Puree. Return to saucepan and heat on high another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Main Course: BBQ Chicken Bites (Take-out Alternates: And breaded chicken with sauce dish, such as Sweet & Sour or Orange Chicken)
- 3 Chicken breasts cut into strips or chunks
- ¾ Cup Barbecue sauce, divided in half
- ¼ C water
- ¼ Cup brown sugar
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Toothpicks (optional)
In large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium for 3 minutes. Toss chicken with salt, add to pan, sauté until each piece has mostly turned from pink to white. Add half barbecue sauce and water, stirring to mix well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook another 10 minutes to allow sauce to reduce. Mix remaining sauce and brown sugar in a bowl, microwave 1 minute to create dipping sauce. Stir and divide into two small serving dishes (or add spoonful to plate with chicken). Allow chicken to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Dessert: Strawberry Mousse (Take-out Alternates: Pudding, Fruit Sherbet or Sorbet)
- 1 small package vanilla pudding mix
- 1 Cup milk
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- ½ Cup Strawberries, crushed with potato masher
- 1/8 Cup spiced rum (optional)
Blend all ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed (or with a whisk) until soft peaks form. Spoon into wine goblets or small bowls.
Now all you have to do is enjoy the night and be the most romantic couple in the world!