Tips for a Romantic Homemade Valentine’s Dinner

Hey fellas, this one is for you. I realize that not all of you make Valentine’s Day a big to-do; and that’s o.k. Sometimes a small romantic gesture can go a long way. Having said this, I know a lot of you will try preparing a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for your boo’s—which is great. I also happen to know that while often your hearts are in the right place, there are 2 major common pitfalls that many men face when attempting romantic Valentine’s Day feats: 1) lack of preparation and 2) overlooking important details. Cover these two bases and you should be able to achieve the spectacular reaction you had in mind. The Here are some tips to help:

Preparation
While procrastination gets even the best of us, when preparing a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner try to start planning at least 1 week ahead.
1.       At least five days ahead make your menu selections and research recipes if you need to. There are many great websites food recipes. Don’t get hung up on the “special Valentine’s Day” recipes that you find out there. Be smart and know your limitations—if you’re a great cook than go for it! But if sounds too advanced for you kitchen skill-set than opt for something simpler or think about her favorite foods. A little experimentation is good, but this is not the time to completely wing it.
2.       Read your recipe from start to finish before you begin and familiarize yourself with it. Are there cooking methods or ingredients that you’re not familiar with? If so do a little research, find out what they are. Most recipes tell you how long they take to prepare, if it’s your first time add about 20-30 minutes for a more realistic estimate of how long it will take you to finish. Is there prep work involved? Do you have to let something marinate for a period of time? Is there a lot of chopping or other type of ingredient preparation involved? These are all things you should at least have an idea about before you get started.
3.       Remember cleaning up is part of the process. What’s the point of wowing her with an amazing meal if she’ll be stuck cleaning up your mess afterwards. Leave time for cleanup both before and after the meal (very important).

Details

 While the food is obviously important, don’t overlook the importance of ambiance and presentation. These two things can go a long way in turning an otherwise o.k. dinner into an amazing and romantic “experience”. Heck even if you cheat a little and buy the food instead of making it yourself you can really sell it if you ace this part.
1.       Ambiance. French; spelled [am-bee-uh ns], noun, the mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc. You will need to create this by building upon many details, so take some time and think about this. Pick a theme, a color or even an idea. You need something to give your work direction.
2.       Next comes the setting. Where will you be dining (on the kitchen table, picnic in front of the fireplace, al fresco, etc…)?
3.       Décor. So much to choose from in this category. Plates, flatware, glasses, napkins, table cover, centerpieces, flowers, lighting, so on and so forth.
This may seem like a daunting task but it’s the details that say I love you and trust me, she WILL notice the extra effort. Here are some ideas to get you started:
 
A table runner can make a large table feel more intimate.

 

 
 
 

 

 

Simply learning to fold a napkin in an elegant way and placing a single rose on each place setting is a wonderful touch.

 
 
What a creative use of a scrabble game, and the two of you can play romantic word scrabble afterwards!
 
 
Lighting plays such an important part in setting the mood and nothing says romance like candle light!
  

 


 

 
 
An amazing centerpiece is sometimes really all you need to steal the show
 

 

These are all easy things you can do that don’t cost much and many of these items you can find around the house. This Valentine’s Day take some time to add that extra special touch to your romantic homemade meal.

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