As I mentioned in my previous post, date night can mean so many things, especially when it comes to special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine's Day. But let's shake things up just a bit.
Going out to a romantic restaurant can be... romantic. But oftentimes a little over the top (cut to the scene where Carrie and Miranda are surrounded by floating pink balloons). So forget the usual date-night places and hit the local pub instead. Play a game of pool; drink pints, not martinis; order a big, juicy burger; and hit up your date for jukebox money. Big hair and red lipstick are a requirement.
Staying in can be incredibly romantic, but don't get sloppy. I'm all for a pizza and Netflix night, but I think we can do better than that. Cook together. This would be a tough one for me because I'm a little manic about having anyone in the kitchen while I cook. However, if you plan it well, and you are like me, it will be okay. Don't worry about your culinary skills, anyone can chop vegetables for a quick stir fry or salad. Make chocolate fondue and feed one another. Or forget dinner and make cookies, ice cream sundaes, or some s'mores in the fireplace. (And if you're going to watch a movie, make it a scary one so you can inch closer and closer as you figure out who done it.)
Here is the (very) ambitious Valentine's Day menu couples will cook together at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts this Sunday. If you're game, go for it! (Couples cooking classes make a great gift.)
- Oysters Rockefeller
- Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad with Figs and Spiced Pepitas
- Heart-Shaped Polenta Crostini with Wild Mushroom Ragout
- Ravioli Stuffed with Cheese and Herbs
- Individual Beef Wellington
- Asparagus Almondine
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Mousse
Game night anyone? If he's a gamer, put on your best game face and join in. If you love cards, start a tournament where you can keep a running tally going and make this a date night ritual. Maybe you're into puzzles, trivia games, hide and seek. Whatever you love to do, do it together. (Super competitive people lay down ground rules first.)
Make a day date. Hike, bike in the park (and take a picnic), go out for ice cream, catch an afternoon movie (good for cold or rainy days), get lost in a bookstore and share your favorites, shop for that evening's dinner (only fun foods allowed), hit the local arcade, go roller-blading, surf, or ski. Go bowling. Yes, bowling. Get lost in a museum while holding hands.
Did I mention you don't have to do these things with a man? Show your girlfriends some love and celebrate with them instead!
So what will I be doing this Valentine's Day? Oh, it's very romantic. David and I will be driving our two daughters back to school. Maybe I should make a thermos of hot chocolate for the ride...