Valentine’s or Palentine’s Day Meal Ideas

It is the season of love (isn’t every season the season of love? but I digress).  Heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate delights are flying off shelves, and folks search endlessly for the perfect card or gift for their sweetie.  Red is the color for the day and roses are the flowers.

Valentine’s Day (now expanded to include palentines and galentines) is also a great day for dining out.  I have a little story about my (now) husband and my first Valentine’s Day together.  We had a reservation for a fine dining steakhouse in Dallas.  I got dressed up in an appropriate outfit and donned my highest spike heels.  After our two-hour drive, we were at the restaurant fifteen minutes before our reservation.  Two hours after our reservation, we were seated.  My numb feet were thankful once the meal was over, and we were back in the car headed home.  They finally were released from their bondage and had adequate blood supply.  We decided right then…never again!

Nowadays we eat locally on Valentine’s or stay at home.

I really don’t mind cooking because I do feel that cooking is an expression of love.  Even though Cupid’s arrows are going to be flying on a Monday this year, there is no reason that a simple, weeknight meal can’t also be a special meal.

How to make a Monday Valentine’s (or Palentine’s) Day meal special:

  1.  Choose foods that your sweetie (friend) likes.  Assuming he/she likes several dishes, choose one that is simple so that it doesn’t take all day.  A steak on the grill or something that starts with a rotisserie chicken are good ideas.
  2. Add a few extra courses that you don’t normally serve.  A small appetizer of cheese and crackers or open a can of Progresso tomato basil soup and serve small cups of soup as a starter.  And of course, there must be a dessert.  Even a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate truffle accentuating the top (chocolate must make an appearance Valentine’s Day) would be a lovely ending to the meal.
  3. Set a pretty table.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just special.  Serve your drinks in stemmed glasses, or use cloth napkins.  Add a tablecloth and candles (yes, even if it is a non-romantic friend), and it will be beautiful!  Sprinkle hearts cut from construction paper around the center of the table.  If you received flowers and they are tall, you can put them on one end of the dining table or on a side table in the room.
  4. To further elevate the atmosphere, turn on some nice background music. Michael Bublé or the soundtrack from Sabrina are both perfect for the night.
  5. Instead of a store-bought card, consider writing a sweet message or poem to leave at your sweetie’s (or friend’s) place setting.

There are so many simple things you can do to show a person that you love them.  How you celebrate doesn’t have to be over-the-top or expensive.  It just needs to be thoughtful and planned.

I believe we should celebrate our sweeties every day of the year.  Sweet, loving gestures shouldn’t be saved for one day of the year.  Let February 14 serve as a start to a year of sweet notes, hot baths, little treats, and love!

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