The day of love is coming up this weekend, which probably means some planning for you and your significant other. If you prefer not to go out on the busiest day of the year or can’t find a babysitter, staying home is always a great option. Just because you aren’t leaving the house, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a relaxing, romantic evening in. Whip up an easy dinner and have your Valentine’s Day date at home.
One of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table without spending the whole day in the kitchen is with a slow cooker meal. After throwing all the ingredients into the slow cooker, you are free to enjoy the day and night with your sweetie without having to stress about preparing dinner. A romantic and delicious recipe is Coq au Vin. In the morning or early afternoon, simply place chicken legs and thighs in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until brown. Next, transfer chicken to the slow cooker and pour red wine, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and onions. Stir this mixture once, set the slow cooker to low, and cook for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is tender. When the meal is finished cooking, all you have to do is pour it onto plates and enjoy your romantic evening together.
Nothing is less romantic during your Valentine’s date at home than having to do dishes at the end of the night. Why not minimize the mess by making a one-pot recipe? Risotto is satisfying, flavourful, and the perfect accompaniment to your Valentine’s dinner. Simply heat olive oil in a pot and cook onions until translucent, then add mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and then add Arborio rice. Pour in wine and chicken or vegetable stock in small portions while stirring. Let simmer for about 25 minutes until all liquid has absorbed and the rice is cooked. Feel free to add whichever herbs you like, as well as parmesan cheese for extra flavour.
A classic dinner for your Valentine’s date at home is a roast chicken. Not only is it super delicious, but it is actually easier than you may think. Cooking a whole chicken can seem intimidating, but you are only a few steps away from a moist, tasty chicken. Rub a whole chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place an onion, garlic and herbs of your choice in the cavity. Stick it in the oven for about an hour and voila, your moist, juicy chicken will be ready for your Valentine’s dinner. Pair this with classic roast potatoes sprinkled with salt and rosemary.
Dinner is never complete without dessert of course. Chocolate is the perfect Valentine’s treat, so whip up a batch of brownies for your dinner date. If you are feeling extra romantic and creative, use a heart cookie cutter to make heart brownies.
Just because dinner is finished it doesn’t mean you have to just watch tv all night. Let your Valentine’s date at home continue with some activities such as looking through your wedding album or watching your wedding video, giving each other a massage, or curl up together while watching a romantic movie.
If you still need last minute gift ideas, check out Groupon for coupons that can be printed out immediately if you’re in a pinch. Depending on what your partner enjoys, there are many different categories and options. If you are looking to really spoil your significant other, People’s Jewellers has plenty of beautiful pieces and designs to choose from. Chapters-Indigo is also a wonderful place to buy gifts such as mugs, chocolate, notebooks, and of course, books. Head to Ebates.ca to do your last minute shopping just in time for Valentine’s Day, while getting Cash Back with your purchases (CHA CHING)!
Lastly, whether you are partnered up or not this Valentine’s Day, you can still celebrate and share the love with your friends and family.