Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For those who are last-minute planners or who are feeling uninspired this year, we have just the solution for you! We’ve got four unique ways to upgrade your Valentine’s Day celebration this year.
#1: Homemade Happiness
Restaurants are buzzing on Valentine’s Day. This year, ditch the stuffy formal wear and crowds for something more relaxing, at your own pace. Spending quality time together is one of the best ways to say “I love you”. Tonight, trade-in your fancy clothes for an apron and get comfy – it’s time to get cooking! Cooking together is fun and interactive; the best part is that you get to eat the fruits of your labour (not actual fruits, we’re cooking something more challenging this time around).
On the menu tonight? Homemade pasta. Don’t be intimidated! It may sound ambitious but with the right tools, making pasta from scratch will seem easy-peasy-fusili! There are little variations everywhere, but the most standard way to make pasta dough is to mix eggs, all-purpose flour, olive oil and salt and then knead it with a stand mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic and ready to rest.
As your dough rests, it’s time to let your creativity do the work – ravioli or linguine? The ravioli route is the best way to go when you have a filling you’re dying to try! It could be a classic ricotta spinach filling or something with an umami punch. To ensure that your filling stays in and doesn’t spill out, it’s essential to get the right shape for your pasta. Here’s where you’ll thank yourself for having a ravioli maker and rolling pin handy! Your ravioli will come out with perfectly crimped edges and the mould is deep enough to hold a good amount of filling.
Not really feeling the fillings? Don’t worry! Here is where you finally whip out that impressive pasta machine you got as a gift a year ago but kept on the counter untouched as “decoration”. Use the machine to make noodles, whichever way you prefer: tagliatelle, linguine, pappardelle, etc. As one of you is drying the pasta, the other can get started on the sauce – teamwork makes the dream work! Once you’ve served up your homemade pasta, take a moment to marvel at what you’ve made together!
What is dinner without dessert? It’s not Valentine’s Day without a bit of chocolate! Ditch the heart-shaped box of chocolates (get that on clearance the next day) and make your own little chocolate hearts instead. You just made homemade pasta, homemade chocolate is going to be a breeze!
One of the simplest and most foolproof recipes you can use for homemade chocolates is mixing melted coconut oil, raw cocoa powder, maple syrup and sea salt together. Once smooth and perfectly incorporated, pour your chocolate mix into the heart-shaped moulds you’ve been saving for Valentine’s Day and leave in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to let it set. When they’re ready, gently pop them out of their moulds and sprinkle with a bit of pink Himalayan sea salt and candied rose petals if you’re feeling extra fancy. Just like that, look at what you accomplished! Homemade pasta, made from scratch with chocolates to end on a sweet note. Sure, there might be flour everywhere, but as long as the drinks are flowing and you’re enjoying each other’s company, isn’t that what the spirit of Valentine’s Day is really about?
#2: Wine & Cheese
Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year. We can’t think of a better way to end the workweek than to unwind with someone you love over some good wine and cheese. Bring the 5-7 vibe home and make it romantic. The first thing is to ensure that wine, cheese and accoutrements are plentiful. The next step is really what brings it to life: the setup.
Here is where you absolutely forego the solo cups and upgrade your glassware. A good set of wine glasses is a staple in any home. Want to feel extra classy? Decant your wine. It makes a world of a difference and makes your Valentine’s Day wine and cheese setup look even more thoughtful. Also – pouring wine straight out of a decanter instead of the bottle really adds a Tuscan charm to your date.
While we’re confident in your wine guzzling abilities, this isn’t one of those kinds of nights. Take cheese breaks! We eat with our eyes and plating makes all the difference. We recommend going with a marble finish to ensure both durability and style but a wood tray is a timeless choice. A cheese board is naked without cheese – mix up a variety of textures and flavours when choosing cheeses, ranging from soft, firm, hard and blues if you dare. Break it up with accompaniments like semi-sweet or tart fruits for palate cleansers, and of course crackers and breads.
This Valentine’s date relies on the presentation as much as it does on the wine and cheese – make sure you’re well-equipped!
#3: Raclette Night
If you’re not spending Valentine’s Day in the Maldives (join the club), don’t stress about it. How about a private little indoor getaway? While February is mostly about being cold and wet, bring the warmth inside and pretend you’re in a cozy cabin getaway for Valentine’s Day.
Hot chocolate and mulled wines are never too far from reach at a cabin getaway – now you just need the right food to set the mood. If you live in a small space, you may not have the cupboard space to store a whole raclette and grill – but for a cozy cabin themed Valentine’s Date, we would recommend getting a mini raclette for 2. Just by the simple gesture of going out and getting one will make such a difference, your date will definitely be touched! Melt that ooey gooey raclette cheese onto delicious herby potatoes and use the grill to sizzle up some vegetables, meat and/or seafood to enjoy a hearty and warm meal together.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any cozier – it does! As you may have gathered from our other Valentines ideas, we’re huge fans of chocolate. We couldn’t let you end your night without something sweet. Staying true to our cabin themed surprise, here is when we would have you bring out your pièce de resistance: chocolate fondue!
Let’s keep it real, a chocolate fondue set can be wonderful on its own for one person, but it is infinitely better when shared. As your chocolate is melting, cut up some fruits like strawberries and bananas to dip. We also like to add wafers and bite sized waffle pieces to our fondue – but we would probably eat anything if it was dipped in chocolate.
Cozy, casual and fun – this indoor cabin getaway date is sure to warm your heart, even on the coldest days.
#4: Breakfast In Bed
This Valentine’s Surprise may be one that is the most difficult. You may be wondering what could seem more difficult than making pasta from scratch…this date requires you waking up early – very early. Everyone loves breakfast in bed, no matter what day it is.
Being able to have coffee or mimosas in bed without ever getting up once is a real luxury that anyone would appreciate. Since this is Valentine’s Day, we’re going beyond basic breakfasts and taking it up a notch. We’re making waffles! The hardest part is the batter since there are so many varying recipes these days – but once you feel like you’ve chosen the right one and you’re confident in your flour to egg ratio – it’s time to make the actual waffles. French toast has been done before and pancakes would have been too predictable, which is why we went with waffles as they seem way harder to make. The perfect honeycomb texture of a waffle may seem daunting, but nothing is impossible with the right waffle maker. Trust us, when you open up the waffle maker to reveal symmetrical, fluffy waffles – they will be sure to be the best surprise and start off Valentine’s morning on a syrupy sweet note.
These were 4 ways to do something out of the ordinary this Valentine’s Day. Let us know if you have other ideas for Valentine’s Day surprises. Enjoy!