Let's be real. Going out to dinner on Valentine's day used to be romantic, but now that it's a full on hallmark holiday it's kind of hectic. Restaurants are crowded and fully booked you can be lucky if you get a 10PM reservation and they usually have a special prix fixe menu that is a set price per person and makes it more expensive. I have gone out for Valentine's day many times until we both came to the realization that we enjoy each other's company in the peace and quiet of our own home and can make it much more romantic and better food for less. Every year my man and I alternate who cooks dinner which is a really fun balance and it doesn't put all of the pressure on one person every time.
Some easy, romantic dinner ideas and inspirations:
- For the romantic who loves cheese: A cozy little pot of classic fondue, easy romantic and fun. Bowls of apples, pears, carrots, celery and crusty baguette to dip, done. On that same note you could simply make a killer cheese board and cozy up with a couple of glasses of wine and all the accoutrements.
- You could go all out like I did one year for the Beer lover and make:
- Garlic Beer Pita Bread
- Roasted Corn Coconut Curry Chowder-a meal in itself
- Drunken Shrimp Diabolo-could have just simply served with rice
- and for dessert a chocolate stout pudding with beer whipped cream
- and in case that wasn't enough a chocolate stout caramel tart
- With a beer soaked chocolate covered cherry on top!
Ok that is a ton of food. I was cooking for my whole family that year and had just graduated college and clearly didn't know what I was doing with my life so I just cooked a zillion courses of beer infused foods. But Hey it was delicious and I would cook these all again (one at a time).
That was impressive, it was beyond impressive and thoughtful, but that wasn't all. Nope. A man who had never baked in his life had made the perfect, chocolate cupcakes that will make any person who likes chocolate swoon. Scroll down for recipe.
A couple of quick and simple desserts that you can mix up before dinner and will be perfectly chilled and ready to devour for dessert.
For the health nut this raw chocolate pudding from Oh She Glows
If you're not a weirdo and are obsessed with chocolate, If you want a high probability of someone proposing to you upon impact of cupcake:to:face, these fffing cupcakes could do the trick. When you eat them you're immediately feeling "I need you forever" to whoever made them because you need this cupcakes in your life always. But here's the recipe below YOU can have forever (all my independent ladies). Honestly they are INSANE and also:
- gluten free
You will need:
- 2.5 cups GF baking flour
- 2 cups sugar (we do 50% pure cane 50% coconut palm sugar)
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 flax egg ( 1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 Tablespoons water-mix and let set for 5 mins)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup non dairy milk (I like to use oat milk)
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(If you're not vegan these work fine with regular dairy products)
Preheat oven to 350F. Make the flax egg first and let rest. In a medium bowl add all wet ingredients, oil, vanilla, ACV, and flax egg. In a separate larger bowl combine all remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and evenly combine. Fill lined cupcake tins 1/2-2/3 full (Usually a 1/3 measuring cup is the perfect size and scoop). Bake at 350F for 25-30 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you're cupcakes are smaller check at 15-20 mins. While they are baking mix up your frosting. Remove cupcakes from tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack before topping with icing. Then sit back and wait for that promise of forever. LOL
Personally I like to just whip up a full fat coconut milk frosting. Take 1-2 cans of coconut cream that has been chilled in the fridge or they sell coconut cream by itself now. In a cold bowl whip it with a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla bean powder and a drizzle of 1-2 Tablespoons of maple syrup.
Vanilla Coconut Milk Frosting
Chocolate buttercream frosting
- 1 cup vegan butter at room temp (My favorite)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (or 1 cup Maple syrup)
- pinch of sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 cup cocoa powder
Cream all ingredients together with a hand mixer.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!