Valentine oh Valentine
Valentine oh Valentine……It's always fun to plan a romantic dinner for your loved ones, notice that is plural. Anyone who has multiple girls knows that daughters are always in the thick of it!
Hopefully I can give you some fun decorating and dining ideas for the special man or women in your life, as well as your children. Perhaps even your favorite nieces and nephews.
As they say, sometimes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. My 15 year old daughter loves getting ready for the dance, but actually deplores the dance itself. Where I am going with this is, if you have read my last couple of blogs you are already on to the fact that I love more the preparation for the event versus the actual event itself.
The week leading up to Valentine's Day I will put out placemats and dishware reminiscent of the holiday. Strategically place pillows adorned with hearts throughout the house, adds to the atmosphere of the holiday.
Breakfast will consist mainly of heart shaped pancakes and strawberry flavored milk. I will add apples, blueberries and bananas to the pancake mix just to change it up throughout the week. A side of sausage and a half of grapefruit and everyone is in heaven.
Sugar cookies are a must. Valentine's Day is the perfect holiday to make sugar cookies. You don't have the pressure of Christmas with all of the other baking to do. You can take your time and enjoy decorating them. Using a variety of red, pink and shimmery whites, golds and silvers along with royal icing will make the cookies look professionally made. Heart shapes are no longer your only option; there is a vast variety of cookie cutters available. My girls love owls, butterflies, ladybugs, princess crowns etc…whatever shapes or themes you love can work perfectly.
Our family tradition for Valentine's Day are candy apples. Not just any candy apple, but the big monster apple that is over flowing with chewy caramel, white, dark and milk chocolate, nuts and more.
A few simple but fun crafts are paper strip heart garland. Hanging hearts mobile and heart garland made from felt. You can find directions on Pinterest. I will provide a link at the end of this blog and you will be able to view all of my “Valentine” ideas that we have discussed.
Here are a few inexpensive ideas to romance your significant other. Start by designating the smallest, coziest room in the house as the space that you are going to have dinner together. You could set up a small table in front of your fireplace. You could cozy up in the study or even in your foyer. In my case it will be an observatory that I have on the third floor, as far away from the main house as you can get. If the kids are home it won't matter. We can still be alone, talk and enjoy one another without interruption. Start by dressing the table with a white cloth. If you have a red or pink runner, throw it on over the white table cloth. Next let's stuff a short glass vase with red or pink tulips. Let them overflow. I like to use several small glass votive tea candles. Use as many tea lights as you can still allowing space to put your plate and wine glass down. Keep the other lighting in the space low or turned off. Use your best china and crystal and silver. Linen napkins are a must!
Dinner is next. Keeping it simple is the secret, so that you can enjoy your time also. A field greens salad with nuts, blue cheese with pear or apple. If you are feeling especially romantic and want to eat with your fingers and feed each other, a Panzanella salad is a fun addition to the menu. Originated in Italy this salad is made from stale crusty bread cut in chunks with a variety of other vegetables and cheeses. If you are cooking for a man a filet mignon is typically a good choice. Accompany it with au gratin potatoes and a loaf of warm artisan crusty bread. Serve a red wine of your choice and finish the meal with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne.
Don't forget the outside of your house. String white and red twinkle lights on the bushes on both sides of the front door? Hang a wreath on the front door….and light your outdoor lantern.
Until we talk turquoise again……
XOXO to all my valentines!
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