Dean Martin may have believed that the moon hitting “your eye like a big pizza pie” was amore, but some of us have different ideas about a romantic dinner for two. To make the Valentine meal special, especially if you’re dining at home, you need to amp up the dinner plans from pizza to something a little less “crap, I forgot to make dinner, here’s this frozen Digiorno”, mmkay? Need some help getting started? Here are a few pro tips to help deliver a super delicious Valentine’s dinner, complete with decor and activity suggestions, too.
Recipes for Romance
I don’t know about you, but on the day of love, I want to eat something that’s not in my regular menu rotation. Something that says this is a special day that deserves a celebratory dish. For some, that might mean splurging on a top chop. For others, it could mean breaking out a secret family bolognese recipe, the one that takes like two hours minimum when you figure in the mirepoix prep. Whatever it is, take time to make time because Valentine’s should afford you a longer linger at the table.
You don’t have to eat animal proteins to make a meal decadent. This baked ziti for two from A Cozy Kitchen is a veg only dinner that’s easy and sophisticated.
Dessert is required on February 14 (for real. It’s like a law. Look it up.). That’s why we’re fully endorsing Averie Cooks’ Valentine Peanut Butter M&M Blondies. Chewy and perfectly on theme with holiday M&Ms, these can double as a sweet treat in your kids lunch bags the next day.
A light and refreshing bibb lettuce salad coupled with perfectly cooked steak. What could be better? This easy meal for two comes from Brooklyn Supper and can be done and on the table in 40 minutes.
Want to tell your significant other that you’re fonduely theirs? Then break out the cheese and get melting with this fondue night how-to from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. Earn bonus points (and side-eyes from your children) by feeding each other bites.
You know what’s great about having Valentine’s dinner at home? You can get messy and no one will care. Naturally, this has us thinking about ribs. Lick your fingers all you want with this decadent recipe perfect for a private meal for two from the Crepes of Wrath.
If food is your love language, than bust out the ultimate showstopper with this gorgeous red velvet pizzelle from Kitchen Confidante. It looks like a red snowflake — ideal for for a romantic February dinner.
If your idea of a terrific V-Day meal looks more like you and your honey cozy on the couch watching a great movie uninterrupted, then you need to make Valentine’s Popcorn from Gimme Some Oven. This white chocolate popcorn is topped with heart sprinkles and you can make it cuter by decorating little baggies for each of you to enjoy.
Sweet lawd. Damn Delicious blog had me and at chocolate and cheese. With her awesome guide, you can build a beautiful board full of both for a crazy delicious dinner this February 14.
Activities to Make You Feel the Love
I don’t think we need to get too specific on Valentine’s Day activities (wink, wink), but for something to do beyond giving your honey a smooch, consider these fun V-day ideas.
Start a Couples Bucket list
Come up with a list of things you want to do as a couple before you die. This could be anything from see the pyramids to compete on a gameshow together.
Recreate Your First Date
Remember those early days of your relationship, when you were over the moon for one another. Rekindle that spirit with a flashback first date.
Play Your Song
Dust off the old CD collection (or just ask Alexa) and play your song. Make this even better by slow dancing to it.
Take a Bubble Bath
This one is self explanatory.
Exchange Love Letters
The art of writing love letters need not be forgotten just because you’ve been with your partner for a long time. Break out the stationary and share your feelings. You’ll be surprised how good it will make you feel.
Go on a Walk Together
This is so simple but so therapeutic. Take in a little nature side-by-side.
Look at the Sky
Grab the old telescope and head outside, then spend some time stargazing with your love.
Have a Snowball Fight
If you live in the Northeast, it’s the perfect time to play in the snow with your better half. But remember, play nice.
Read Aloud to One Another
Few things are as intimate as reading to someone. Make it a love poem for an extra romantic touch.
Watch the Sunset
All you need to do is find out what time sundown is, then take your partner by the hand and lead them outside to watch another day close together.
Lovey Dovey Decoration Ideas
When celebrating at home, making a holiday really fun comes down to putting up the right decorations. And Valentine’s is no different. Think pink with these creative crafting ideas.
Want to make a big impact with your V-Day decor? Get some helium because this idea from A Beautiful Mess is popping.
Make any cocktail look a little bit sweeter with floral ice cubes. That’s right, you freeze the petals inside the ice for an extra cool sip. A Beautiful Mess gives easy instructions to get this cocktail garnish just right.
Have a glue gun and access to faux flowers? Then you can make a statement making flower heart. Just follow A Beautiful Mess’s instructions.
A mantle is a great place to display some romantic decor. And the easiest and most affordable way is to make a heart chain in red and pink, which is a snap if you follow A Pretty Life in the Suburbs' instructions.
Xs and Os are really what Valentine’s is all about, so put so up with this straightforward XO sign tutorial from A Little Craft in Your Day.
This concept is so simple you’ll smack your head and say “why didn’t I think of this?” Using a stencil, Wholefully explains how you can paint a mason jar to make darling heart decorated votive candle holders. Super easy and cheap, this is a great decoration that will spread the love through your house.
You could go run to the florist and buy some pre-fab bouquet, but where’s the fun in that? In Julie Blanner’s blog post, she walks flower enthusiasts through how to make a beautiful arrangement on your own.
Make it look like hearts are bursting from a lamp with this craft activity from DIY Candy. It just screams “I can’t even contain my love for you!”
Dress for the Occassion
So you have the food, the decor, the fun and games all lined up. Now you need a look, a glam outfit that makes you feel like a goddess.
And when in doubt, double down on the cheese-factor and crank up Dean Martin, look into your partners eyes and croon "When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine, that's amore!"