A fancy dinner has it’s place.
In fact, we love celebrating anniversaries, promotions, and birthdays at an upscale eatery. But Valentine’s Day? Nope. We’d rather be at home cuddling on the couch with a glass of wine than pay three times the price I paid the day before.
Life is hard, there’s no getting around it. You deserve a relaxing evening at home. The kids are running around like little crazy people, dishes and laundry need to get done, and that conference call from earlier is still haunting your thoughts. Why not ship the kids to grandma’s and celebrate Valentine’s Day in your (quiet) home by cooking a stellar meal with your partner?
It’s the day that you celebrate love, each other, and the life you have built together. If you’re a new couple, you’ll be looking ahead to all the hopes and dreams you have laid out for yourselves. Celebrate the way you want to, but don’t think the only way to have a romantic dinner is to go out. Your home can be just as special.
We’re giving you some ways to make your Valentine’s dinner just as special but in the comfort of your home.
- Plan ahead. Make sure grandma is available to have the kids over for a sleepover. If not, plan for a babysitter to take the kids to dinner and a movie to get them out of the house.
- Find a recipe that isn’t too complicated. Don’t spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal that’s supposed to be relaxing. Choose something that you have experience cooking, you both really like, and that’s simple to put together.
TIP: This is a great excuse to splurge on a top notch cut of meat at your local butcher! He or she will be able to help you choose the perfect cut of meat for your recipe, timeframe, and experience level. But if you’re still a little unsure, get an extra piece so you can do a practice run with the meat a few days before.
- Find the perfect bottle of wine to compliment your meal. Don’t know much about wine? No worries… Here’s a great article on how to pair a red wine with steak, and this one focuses on pairing wine with seafood. But if you want a few personal recommendations, we asked Catharine Newman which wines her and Will like. She “loves reds from Willamette Valley and we have a sentimental attachment to anything Francis Ford Coppola produces because we stayed in his place in the rainforest in Belize on our honeymoon.” They tend to drink more red in the fall and winter, and move to whites in the spring and summer.
- Have meaningful conversation. Try not to talk about the kids, jobs, or drama in your life. Make the conversation about each other by having a few “ice breaker” type questions ready. Sure, it may feel silly at first, but you never know what fun things you’ll learn about each other.
- If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
- What are your ten favorite foods? (make it interesting and see if you can guess your partner’s ten favorite foods!)
- If you could pick up and move anywhere, where would you choose to live?
- What was the best day of your life and why?
- What would you say is my greatest talent or strength?
- What words would you most like to hear from me that would help you feel motivated and successful in your day to day life?
- Take technology out of dinner. Put your phones down, and turn off Netflix. Focus on each other for just a little while.
Another option: If you’re not a great cook, never fear! We know of a barbecue joint that has amazing food, and takes to-go orders. Hint…hint…it’s Edley’s. We even have the best banana pudding to end your dinner on a sweet note.
But if you REALLY WANT to go out, top your night off with a nightcap at one of the many new rooftop bars in Nashville if it’s not too cold! There are so many great ones to choose from like L27, Acme Feed and Seed, Virago, Watermark, or Up.
Whatever you decide, remember that it’s a day to celebrate each other whether that means cooking at home or going out. And if you end up trying the ice breaker questions, let us know how they turn out!