This is how my mind works: Holiday? What are we going to eat? Menu planning may be my favorite hobby. Nerd, for sure.
I’ve been pinning and brainstorming Valentine’s Day food ideas and wanted to share. We will most likely have an at-home date this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat and drink well! There’s an idea for anyone – whether you’re celebrating at home with your kids, your better half, or having a girls’ night!
Another idea: pink donuts. Obviously.
Wine and Cheese Night: Something like this gorgeous Antipasti platter would be perfect. And basically just takes a trip to the grocery store and a few minutes of assembly. Here are some more tips on how to build the perfect cheese tray from Julia Ryan (Pawley’s Island Posh). I listed a couple of our recent wine favorites at the bottom of the post.
Braised Short Ribs. This is an option if you want to spend some time in the kitchen and put real love into the food. I’ve made these for Valentine’s before, and for other special occasion. This recipe from Smitten Kitchen has thorough instructions and is delicious! I tweaked it some, but you can make it just like this. Another option is this recipe from Chef Anne Burrell – haven’t tried it, but it has 5 star reviews. We love them with either creamy polenta, mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes, and something green like asparagus.
Sushi: I’ve got my fingers crossed that Todd and I will pick up Cowfish for Valentine’s dinner. It is our favorite go-to in Charlotte. The best roll in my opinion is the Firecracker Roll. So good. Sushi is something that I just don’t make at home. I’ve made it before, but it takes too many tools, and honestly, I’m intimidated by the rice.
Pasta: To make something semi-homemade, I recommend picking up some nice pre-made pasta and a great sauce. You could cook some chicken or shrimp to add to it. Pasta and Provisions in Charlotte has delicious, made from scratch pasta, sauces, and Italian desserts! Paired with wine, this would be a special, but simple dinner.
Fruit and Chocolate: Fondue, chocolate covered strawberries, fruit tray + chocolate tastings… You could stop by a bakery and pick up something fancy. Trader Joe’s has some great options for chocolates. Or you could just buy some strawberries, a jar of Nutella, and you’re set!
Cheesecake: one of our favorite desserts for special occasions. It’s dangerous for me to have around! Remember that episode of Friends where Rachel finds the cheesecake, and she and Joey can’t stop eating it, then they eat it off the floor? I laughed, but I’d probably do the same thing! It takes some prep and classically needs to be made a day ahead of time. If you can’t make that work, stop by The Cheesecake Factory and pick up a couple slices for you and your date!! If you want to make it homemade, here is their copycat recipe. Tested and approved!
Festive Cocktail: This Raspberry Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail will happen at our house on Friday. I may leave out the extra pomegranate juice to reduce the sweetness, but Oh My! this looks great! Pink and bubbly and raspberry sorbet and so fitting for this holiday.
Decoy Red Wine 2011. Todd’s boss and his wife gave us a bottle over Christmas and we loved it.
Whatever your plans may be, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with loved ones! Cheers and good eats!