Home Is Where The Heart Is: Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Home

Home Is Where The Heart Is: Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Home

By Kathryn M. D’Imperio

Do all your previous Valentine’s Day dates start to run together in your head? If you are looking for something new and different to try this year with your sweetheart, you may not have to look very far. Consider having your own sweet and romantic Valentine’s Day celebration in the comforts of your own home. You can go all out or keep things relaxed and low key – it’s up to you to decide what kind of date suits you and your love as a couple.

No matter what your budget, you can craft a memorable Valentine’s evening at home with as much or as little fuss as you like. You can plan ahead or call out of work and just play hooky watching movies snuggled up by the fire, or wait until after work to spend the entire romantic weekend together with some of your favorite foods, drinks, and treats. Here are some suggestions for a few fun date ideas at home.

Hunker Down and Relax

Not every Valentine’s Day needs to break the bank or involve extravagant gifts and meals you can barely pronounce. Sometimes your favorite takeout place and the top movies on your list can make the experience just perfect. Or, for a more upscale version, order takeout from your favorite eat-in restaurant and enjoy your favorite foods at home on the good china.

Low Key Valentine’s Day Agenda:

Appetizer

Shrimp Cocktail or Fried Calamari, to go

Entrees

Steak, potatoes, and green beans, all grilled to perfection and still steaming once you get them home

Dessert

A romantic surprise from your favorite local bakery or a decadent slice of chocolate cake for two (bonus points if you decide to bake it the night before)

Drinks

Pop open a bottle of champagne and toast to your innovative take on the holiday.

Activities

Look through some old photo albums, watch your wedding video (again), and curl up to some of your favorite romance comedies.

Alternative Menu:

Your favorite Chinese food entrees sized big enough to share, of course, plus soup, eggrolls and fortune cookies to read out loud. Swap out traditional dessert for a box of tantalizing chocolates, or add onto your own dessert ideas.

Light the fire, dim the lights, and wrap yourselves in each others’ arms for a relaxing evening at home without the traffic or the trouble.

Find the Happy Medium

Perhaps takeout feels too much like cheating to you, but then again, you still don’t want to go out for another cliché dinner and a movie. That’s okay, you can find dozens of delicious and romantic things to cook together at home for Valentine’s Day. Cooking together can be a fun experience, especially when you both enjoy the food of choice. Here’s an idea for a middle-of-the-road Valentine’s Day date at home.

Happy Medium Valentine’s Day Agenda:

Appetizer

Tossed salad with a homemade dressing and a plate of bacon wrapped scallops to share

Entrees

Butterflied, hand-breaded chicken parmesan with bowtie pasta and homemade spaghetti sauce (or, at least doctored jar sauce), and homemade garlic knots tossed to perfection

Dessert

Homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies dusted with confectioner’s sugar (bonus points for baking in a pan results in all brownies having edges)

Drinks

A nice pinot noir or your personal favorite vintage to enjoy as you’re preparing the meal, and again when you sit down to eat

Activities

Try your own romantic version of your favorite board games with a twist on the rules. If board games aren’t your thing, consider trying your own version of The Newlywed Game, where you can ask each other a list of interesting questions that pertain to yourselves and your relationship. Skipping games altogether, you can also have some fun snapping photos photo-booth style, just as if you were dating ages ago. Down the road, you’ll be thrilled to have some more cute couple shots in your archives.

Alternative Menu Suggestion:

Any Italian food is romantic, meat or not. Make a wonderful pasta dish with your favorite accompaniments – seafood, vegetables, garlic, mushrooms, whatever you like.

Have fun making a mess together in the kitchen and finish up the night in a playful mood. Leave the dishes for the weekend and focus on each other’s company.

Live It Up

If the sky is the limit, opt for a no holds barred approach to Valentine’s Day this year. Look into hiring a private or personal chef to prepare your meal (guaranteeing some delicious leftovers), along with some of your significant other’s favorite things. Create the perfect romantic setting under your own roof, complete with candles, music and flowers to add the finishing touches.

Sky’s the Limit Valentine’s Day Agenda:

Appetizer

Puff pastry appetizer selections along with a nice salad or cream-based soup like Lobster or Crab Bisque

Entrees

Chicken Piccata in a white wine sauce or Maryland style crab cakes, twice-baked potatoes, and your favorite sautéed or
grilled vegetables

Dessert
[Might as well go all-out here with] Crème Brulee, Baked Alaska, or another exciting treat involving a blowtorch

Drinks

A private mixologist or bartender can offer the perfect selections based on your meal, or you can turn to your all-time favorite cocktails. A refreshing gin and tonic, mojito, or even a fancy champagne cocktail could be a great fit.

Activities

Hit the hot tub with a cocktail or exchange personal massages. Another romantic option would be to recreate a music playlist with some of the songs you danced to at your wedding or other songs that mean something to you and play them for a few moments of slow dancing at home. If money is truly no object, consider hiring a live musician to dazzle you with their melodies in your own home.

Alternative Menu Suggestion:

Work with the chef to customize your own menu from scratch. Avoid ingredients you both despise and work to include some of your favorite flavors and accompaniments.

Whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day this year, customize it with your sweetheart and yourself in mind. Prepare a wonderful evening of your favorite things and the rest of the pieces are sure to fall into place.

 

 

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