Do you have plans for Valentine’s yet?
There used to be this saying…“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” (I’m not really sure if that’s true – what do you think?)
What I can definitely tell you though (after 21 years of marriage)…you can find lots of romance in the kitchen. And, in honor of Valentine’s Day, TK and I thought it would be fun to share a couple of our secrets.
When our kids were too young to stay home alone, sometimes it was hard to find a babysitter for a night out. So, we decided to create a date night at home.
Someone had given us a healthy cookbook for Christmas that year. (To be honest, we had no idea what we would do with it – we weren’t much into cooking.)
But this cookbook had great pictures in it and looked so yummy. We thought it might be fun to having a ‘cooking’ night just for something to do together.
We would try a new recipe, play some good music, open a nice bottle of wine, and fix a romantic dinner at home. Maybe we would discover some new dinner ideas.
So, on Saturday morning we picked out a recipe together from the cookbook while we drank our coffee.
That afternoon, TK would go out to the grocery store and get all of the ingredients.
(He didn’t really cook back then, so going to the store was an adventure – especially when it came to finding those ingredients he had never even heard of – things like fennel, saffron, etc.)
That night we would put the kids to bed early. We told them it was ‘date night’ and surprisingly, they were happy to oblige. They actually thought it was really cool to see mom and dad have a date night.
About a half hour before bed, we would turn off the TV and turn on some romantic jazz music. That always seemed to clear the room. 🙂 They knew it was time to get ready for bed. We’d get them tucked in, open that bottle of wine and get cooking.
We would walk through the recipe, divide up the tasks, chop, chat, cook, and just have fun. Sometimes it would take forever. We might start cooking at 7 pm and not eat until after 9 pm.
But, we always ended up at the dinner table – which TK would set with nice dishes, candlelight, cloth napkins, etc. – totally impressed with ourselves for having created such an amazing dinner – better than any restaurant we would have gone to.
We had so much fun – and enjoyed the food so much – that we started to make a regular habit of it. At least once a month, we would have ‘date night’ on a Friday or Saturday evening.
The girls would always want to try the leftovers the next day. Over time, we discovered some new recipes that we ended up making part of our regular dinner routine.
TK and I really loved this time together. It sparked our interest in cooking. We discovered some healthy recipes that we could bring back to the family. And, we had a beautiful ‘night out’ right there at home.
The cool thing is that the tradition lives on. Even now that the kids are grown, we can still enjoy a ‘date night’ at home. In fact, that’s what we’re doing this year for Valentine’s.
If you’re looking for a little romance, connection, or time alone with your spouse or significant other, give it a shot. It could be the beginning of something you couldn’t guess.
Where to start?
Here’s a link to the cookbook we started with. Mayo Clinic Williams Sonoma Cookbook
- Provencal Chicken and Fennel with Golden Mashed Potatoes & Arugula
- Pineapple-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Golden Raisin Pilaf
There are some great vegetarian options as well as desserts and salads, too. (In fact, I just thumbed through it & see a bunch of recipes we skipped over that I’d love to try now.)
If you want to go even more healthy – I’d recommend this new one: Crazy Sexy Kitchen
You can find this cookbook in just about any bookstore right now.
This is one of our newest cookbooks. It is gorgeous and looks delicious. We’re digging into this one on Valentine’s Day. We’ll share what we decide to cook on our Facebook page if you’re interested.
What a great Valentine’s gift for someone. Yummy!
If dinner seems like a little too much, how about you just start with a simple dessert. Here’s a link to one of the easiest ones on earth. All you need is a good blender, some raw cashews and some fresh fruit.
- A Sexy Treat – Check it out. You will be amazed at how delicious it is. Try it served on a small plate of berries. Or cut up persimmons & grapes. Or apples and cinnamon. You can’t go wrong. And, if you want to get fancy, sprinkle a little lemon zest on top.
You don’t have to go out for romance. Put your kids to bed and your kitchen to work this Valentine’s Day.
Spark some kitchen romance. Buy a new cookbook for your sweetheart. Make a delicious dinner. Whip up a simple dessert.
See if the stomach really is the path to the heart. If nothing else, it’s the path to a healthy heart. 🙂
What do you think? Are you inspired now to cook on Valentine’s?