Plan A Valentine’s Day Dinner

Men and women alike enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day with their significant other. However, it’s no secret that the average person tends to go a little overboard every February 14. From fancy prix fixe menus to the cultural expectation to spoil your beloved with presents, many people spend a pretty penny. When you’re a culinary academy student, though, you can save a few bucks and also treat your sweetheart to a gourmet meal made with love. Here are a few tips to planning the perfect romantic meal:

Set the mood
While food is obviously the most crucial aspect to the experience, you have to set the mood to separate this meal from other times you’ve cooked for your significant others. Light some candles, decorate with flowers, splurge a bit on a bottle of wine and turn on some romantic music in the background. This could be some classic Frank Sinatra, or just your boyfriend or girlfriend’s favorite band. Make the environment feel like something special!

Make it leisurely
Part of the reason people love going to a restaurant for a holiday is because you get to sit back and relax while everything is served to you. While a dinner at home obviously won’t be as laid back as a restaurant setting, you can do this by prepping ahead of time. Try to have the whole meal prepared before your significant other arrives and keep it in the refrigerator until it comes time to put each course in the oven. Speaking of courses …

Consider courses
Start the meal with an appetizer. This could be as simple as a cheese plate or something more intensive like this stuffed noodle soup from Martha Stewart. Since you’ll have prepped your main course ahead of time, you’ll be able to sit down and enjoy the appetizer while the scent of your entree wafts through the dining room. When it comes to your entree, though, there are plenty of different routes you can go. A classic romantic meal of chicken Parmesan is simple to make, or you can simply opt for your significant other’s favorite dish. However, a dessert is non-negotiable. Be sure to have something on hand to serve after dinner, like these cherry cordial cupcakes from Lemon Sugar along with something bubbly!

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