What's more to love than a good meal? Sharing it with loved ones, of course, but let's be real. The food should ALWAYS be the star.
While the exact origins of Valentine’s Day are difficult to pinpoint, it is likely that it was, at least in part, inspired by Lupercalia, a fertility festival that was celebrated to honor Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture which was celebrated on the ides of February, the 15th. Whether based on ancient Roman celebrations or memorializing saints that served and protected their communities, Valentine’s Day is a joyous time to celebrate those we love.
And what better way to start your Valentine’s Day than by preparing some Boston Creme Crepes. Treat your loved one to breakfast in bed with these rich and buttery crepes, stuffed with custard and drizzled with Nutella (or our homemade version) and whipped cream. If Nutella isn’t your favorite, you can make this Instant Pot Dulce de Leche and drizzle it over your crepes and many more of the delectable dishes mentioned here. Brew up some Blackberry Thyme Sparkling Coffee using iced coffee, blackberry sparkling water, and thyme for a festive morning “love potion” to wash down these light and dreamy crepes.
You don’t want to weigh down your Valentine’s Day with a lot of heavy food in the middle of the day. You can mix up a fresh and crisp salad, like this Zesty Orzo Salad with delicate pasta and a tangy vinaigrette. Or start off with an mid-day appetizer that will get your taste buds popping! This Beef Tenderloin Crostini is simple to make and even better to eat. Crostini is loosely translated to “little toasts” so, like bruschetta, it’s a little sliver of toasted bread but instead of tomatoes, it’s flavored with beef tenderloin, fig, caramelized onions, and horseradish.
Dining later in the day? Your Cupid-connection will savor this Vodka Sauce Pasta. Flavored with shallots, heavy cream, butter, vodka, and basil, this dish takes just thirty minutes to make. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with the more savory flavors of pepper and basil, is a dream dish that says, “I love you” without words.
If you’re looking for something a bit more robust, you might prepare Beef Wellington: a juicy tenderloin blanketed in mushroom duxelles (a finely chopped mushroom mixture) and prosciutto then wrapped in a double layer of buttery, flaky puff pastry. Give yourself time because while this is a showstopping entree, it does take three hours to prepare. But it’s worth the wait! Once ready, slice into it with a bread knife and serve. You’ll be salivating before you cut all the way through as the delicious juices spill out and soak into the puff pastry crust.
What about a delicious beverage to enjoy along with your Valentine’s Day dinner? Try a black and blue rosemary smash mocktail, made with tonic or sparkling water, simple syrup, rosemary, and a healthy handful of blueberries and blackberries. Or you might prepare a pitcher of cucumber, lime, and mint gimlet mocktails. Mixing coconut water, cucumber slices, lime juice, and simple syrup with fresh mint leaves, your mock gimlet is a tasty and thirst quenching beverage. Or perhaps Valentine’s Day has you dreaming in pink. This pink passion mocktini is made with coconut water, passion fruit, lime juice, strawberries, lime, and hibiscus flower.
Or, of course, you could go full cocktail with this Dolly Parton-inspired Jolene-tini. Mixing two ounces of vodka with one teaspoon of grenadine and two teaspoons of lime juice, add in raspberry sorbet (optional, or swap to a berry you prefer). Add ice and shake to mix. Pour into your favorite drinkware and serve.
And a sweet day requires an even sweeter ending. Forgo the basic heart-shaped box of chocolate and consider making any one of these scrumptious desserts to show your loved one that you really mean business.
Make a batch of these Baked Cake Donuts, covered in pink glaze. With notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, our Baked Cake Donuts are a guaranteed delight! The flavorful batter bakes up light, but firm and the glaze is a simple mix that can be colored and flavored any way you like. Try adding fruit zest or different extracts to bring your own flair to this easy yet delicious recipe.
This Boozy Chocolate Strawberry Mousse takes the classic chocolate-covered strawberries and cranks them up to eleven. A fluffy chocolate mousse envelopes this tart with sweet strawberries and a hint of orange liqueur (or orange juice). Set upon a coffee-infused chocolate brownie, this decadent dessert can also be prepared in individual servings by layering each piece in a parfait or wine glass.
Whatever you prepare, the main ingredient this Valentine’s Day is love. So hit the kitchen and craft your love one a Valentine’s Day that they’ll never forget, whether it's breakfast in bed, dinner with your date, or dessert with your dreamboat, these recipes will inspire love and make you the king or queen of Valentine’s Day this year.