I know that Valentine’s Day is typically seen as a romantic holiday designed for lovers, steeped in long-stem roses and chocolates. Those things are fine, but I like Valentine’s Day for the potential it holds beyond romantic relationships. Valentine’s Day has always struck a chord with me as an opportunity to celebrate the the people in my life who I love.
My idea of a happy Valentine’s Day is to gather around a beautiful table, share a delicious meal, and intentionally communicate my love to each of them. There is something special about going to a bit of trouble, lighting some candles, arranging some flowers, putting out candies and cards. It’s hard not to feel the love through all the details.
When it comes to the table, I like to keep it simple, using what I have, but making it special with the addition of small touches. Real napkins, the good dishes, glowing votives, fresh flowers, bowls of fun candy, and a handwritten card at each place create interesting layers without a lot of fuss.
As for the meal, small details go a long way.
First, put together a heart-themed cheese board. I used a cookie cutter on sliced Swiss cheese to create the hearts, then added a petit Brie, a delicious spread, a few crackers (beet crackers are naturally red!), and some fresh raspberries and strawberries.
For dinner, I like to keep it simple and delicious. A big pot of Beef Bourguignon, a cheesy Baked Ziti, or delight your children and serve Macaroni and Cheese as the main course! The point is for dinner to be stress free and celebratory.
Finally, for dessert, delight everyone with miniature brownie sundaes. Simple layers of chocolate and cream are the perfect ending to a special meal. Plus, who can resist sprinkles and whipped cream?
My goal in each of these steps is to communicate my love for my family and to create space for connection, but also to keep the evening enjoyable and easy to execute. Going to this kind of trouble delights the senses and provides opportunities for rich memories.
I put together a short video sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my Valentine’s Day table and menu. I hope this will inspire you to create your own sweet Valentine’s Day tradition with your family and celebrate with the people you love.
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