Valentine's Day Inspiration

I love Valentine's Day. Are you one of those people who hates Valentine's Day and thinks it is just for marketing purposes and making single people feel bad? If I bake you a red velvet heart shaped whoopie pie will you shut up about it?

I am a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living magazine, and while the December holiday issue makes me feel anxious every year, the February Valentine's issue always gets me excited. The cards! The amazing desserts! The cheesy little presents you can make for your love! I know Caitlin Flanagan is weirdly against date night for couples in relationships, but some people who are in long-term relationships or married actually do enjoy their partner's company - imagine that! Now, I am a person who likes to stay home for New Year's Eve,  but I always, always like to go out on Valentine's Day. And by this I do not mean actually on Valentine's Day - that would be too crowded, no doubt. I mean the 13th or the 15th, when it is easy to get reservations, and no one is stressed out. There is something about the idea of it being a holiday where you get to feel pampered that cooking seems like too much work.

We aren't sure where we are going to go, but here are some ideas.
  •  The Melting Pot. Cozy, intimate spaces. Melted chocolate. Dipping your forks into the same fondue pot. It is all very reminiscent of the "Lady and the Tramp" eating off the same plate of spaghetti.
  • Cafe Capriccio. We got engaged there. They've remembered that about us many other times and send us home with extra desserts and bread. Very romantic. I am sure many couples get engaged there every year.
  • Provence. Chocolate mousse, sparkling wine, all the butter oozing off of the escargots, butter, butter, more butter. Really, enough said.
  • Nicole's on Delaware Ave. I think this place is great for Valentine's Day. It is dark and cozy. All the cheese and tasty sauces. The entrees come with a salad too, which makes a good deal.
Those are some ideas I have. If you actually want to go out on Valentine's Day perhaps you should make up your mind soon and call for a reservation. Otherwise, Martha has some ideas of appropriate desserts you can make for your sweetie.  I love the idea of making the hearts with the little messages only on cookies:

Also, I secretly hope for a box of heart shaped chocolates from Isn't It Sweet? (in our house we go for the Ralph Wiggum style of romance), but I think has some very nice Valentine's appropriate gifts for men.  For example, how adorable is this print of a couple on a tandem bike? Here are some ideas for gifts for women (how amazing is that heart shaped Le Creuset dish?). I thought this post was interesting about Valentine's fruit, but somehow it doesn't seem like a holiday without too much sugar. Happy planning!


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