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The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

Planning to skip the Valentine’s Day hustle and bustle and prepare a romantic meal for their valentine at home? Anxious about what to cook?  Remember, one does not need to be a chef to impress in the kitchen.  Inherently, being cooked for is very romantic, especially if is not part of your romantic partner’s usual repertoire.  If being prepared a romantic meal is the gift your loved one is not expecting, it may be just the gift to give.  Here are some simple tips to follow to ensure your home cooked romantic meal leads to a successful holiday.

  • Keep it simple.  This is one of the most important tips to follow.  The best food is often the simplest to prepare.  Focus on the quality of ingredients and keep the preparation simple.  Recipes with lots of ingredients or complicated processes are for another day.  Also, avoid slurpy and messy dishes like pasta and soup.  The Australian meal model of “meat and two veg” is a great place to start.
  • Aphrodisiacs. Foods, drinks, or drugs that stimulate a sexual desire.  While choosing your simple recipe, it may behoove you to keep in mind that some ingredients have been touted to work as natural aphrodisiacs.  Choosing a recipe that includes chili peppers, figs, oysters, asparagus, strawberries, chocolate, and other ingredients believed to have natural aphrodisiac characteristics is a delicious and sexy strategy.
  • Know your crowd.  Pick your menu based on both your valentine’s tastes as well as your own. Everyone involved will need to enjoy their food.  Take special care to include any favorite dishes as this level of thought and care in planning will really translate to resulting meal.
  • Prepare as much as possible in advance. Let’s face it, the meal is just the start of the celebration and you want to be fresh and energetic, ready to celebrate the evening with your valentine.  Get as much done in advance as you can and plan on food that can be made the day before and served cold or easily warmed with little effort.  Anything that is left for the evening should be super simple and should take less than a few minutes of your attention away from your guest. 
  • Presentation is key. We eat with our eyes as much as our mouths.  Be sure to garnish your plate with contrasting colors, but make sure everything can be eaten.  Berries, herbs, or edible flowers work great as ready-made garnishes, and offer a quick and easy way to beautify a meal.
  • Keep it light. A romantic meal should satisfy, while still leave one feeling energized and ready for a fun evening.  Choose a menu of lighter fare and make sure the portions are sized appropriately.  Avoid any meals that could leave you or your valentine feeling bogged-down, tired, or bloated.
  • Don’t forget dessert. Chocolate contains the chemicals phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are probably natural aphrodisiac characteristics. A mild stimulant eating chocolate naturally makes one feel good, sometimes even a bit euphoric. Whether the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate are from the sensual pleasure of it melting in your mouth or nutrient based, it is a great place to start when planning your dessert.

Preparing a romantic meal is a great way to show your love on Valentine’s Day.  Before you get too anxious about your meal turning out well, remember it’s the thought that counts, and any meal made with thoughtful care and love is bound to be delicious.

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