For the Love of Food
As much as I hate the winter, I really like February. That’s mostly for one reason only: Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is my second favorite holiday following Halloween. Whenever I tell people that I get the same reaction. They all say, “Would you still really like Valentine’s Day if you weren’t in a relationship?” Heck, yeah I would! I was single last year for Valentine’s Day, so I celebrated with my friends and family instead. My friends and I even threw a Galentine’s Day party complete with Never Have I Ever and a few bottles of wine.
Whether I have a significant other in my life or not, I will always love Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday I’ve loved and celebrated since I was a kid. The whole atmosphere of Valentine’s Day puts me in a comforting, loving mood. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about loving a significant other. It can be about loving a friend, a parent, a sibling, a pet, etc. It could even be about loving yourself if you really want it to be.
One thing I’ve always loved about this holiday is all of the themed foods that are a part of it. Chocolate is, of course, the most obvious Valentine’s food, but there are so many others. Whether you’re celebrating this Valentine’s Day with friends, family, or that special someone (may he be human or woman’s best friend), here are a few romantic foods to put you in a lovey-dovey, happy mood.
You gotta start your Valentine’s night with a huge glass of something. Red wine seems to be the most fitting option for wines on a night like tonight. Would you believe that red wine is actually good for you? Moderately drinking red wine provides you with tons of antioxidants that lower the risk of things like cardiovascular disease, mortality, and type-2 diabetes (more reasons why red wine rocks here). Plus, it can get you feeling a little more romantic for your sweetheart.
My favorite red wine is Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet. It’s a red blend with hints of chocolate, mocha, and red fruits. I’ve converted non-red wine drinkers with this wine. It’s THAT good.
If you’re not really a red wine person but more of the cocktail-type, I got a good one for you. When you think Valentine’s cocktails the first one that probably comes to mind is a Cosmo. It’s red after all. I’ve got a drink that’s a twist on the typical Cosmo. It’s called The Frenchy. It’s a sweet drink that’s perfect for a Galentine’s Day party. Here’s how to make one serving:
1.5 oz Pear Vodka
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Cranberry Juice
Fill a glass with ice and add pear vodka and pineapple juice. Stir. Top with a splash of cranberry juice.
(Note: add a splash of pomegranate vodka for some extra flavor. Or, make it a mocktail by subbing pear vodka with pear juice.)
There’s just something about a pink cream sauce that makes me think of Valentine’s Day. Penne vodka is delicious on any given day, but sharing it with your love makes it that much better. Pasta is a very romantic dish, in general (Lady and the Tramp, anyone?). While spaghetti and (veggie) meatballs are classic, penne vodka is more of a grown-up pasta dish. Penne vodka is fairly easy to make and even easier to dress up. Make your favorite vodka sauce recipe or heat up your favorite jar of it and do something different with your penne vodka this V-Day.
- Change up your pasta shape – use ravioli, heart-shaped pasta, or one of these fun pasta shapes.
- Add more red – throw in some sun-dried tomatoes or red kidney beans.
- Make it look fancy – add fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese or plate it in a fancy bowl.
Make Pizza Together
Going out for Valentine’s Day is expensive. You and your sweetheart don’t have to break the bank to have a great night. Adam and I both love to cook. Naturally, he invited me over to make pizza for one of our first few dates. Making pizza is fun! It’s an entire date night in itself. It takes the pressure off of one person to make the perfect dinner for another. You can both get creative and throw toppings on your pies to completely customize them. The best part is that you don’t have to agree with the end result. You can make your own personal pie and reserve a slice to share. If you want to make your pizza even more holiday-themed, you can try to make your pizza heart-shaped!
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to make your own pizza.
I’m a red velvet fiend. I will pretty much eat anything red velvet. Valentine’s Day is practically also red velvet appreciation day. You could make the typical red velvet cake or red velvet cupcakes. Or, you could be a little unconventional and make red velvet crinkle cookies or red velvet cheesecake. My personal unconventional red velvet favorite is red velvet brownies with cream cheese frosting. I love this recipe in particular because the brownies come out very rich and moist. The cream cheese frosting is also a great added touch.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Like red wine, chocolate in moderation provides many health benefits. Dark chocolate, in particular, provides antioxidants, may lower blood pressure, and may help improve brain function (read more dark chocolate benefits here). Annnnnd, chocolate is just one of those treats that is oh so romantic. If you really love chocolate, you have to try this Flourless Chocolate Cake from Godiva. It’s so rich and it just melts in your mouth. Your sweetheart, gal pals, or parents (don’t feed this to your dogs, please) will praise you for making it for them.
If you’re lucky enough to wake up next to your sweetheart on the morning of Valentine’s Day, you gotta eat breakfast together. And, your breakfast has to be themed. Heart-shaped pancakes are so simple to make. All you need is a heart-shaped pancake mold, your favorite pancake recipe, and a few drops of red food coloring. Simply whip up the pancake recipe and add a few drops of red food coloring into the mix until it’s the shade of pink or red you desire. Follow these directions on how to use the mold. Top with some fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Enjoy with your love!
Even if you don’t have a significant other, you should definitely eat one or more of these foods this Valentine’s Day. Get yourself, your partner, your friend, anyone in the V-Day mood with these eats and treats. If you’re feeling really fancy, carefully plate your food with hearts or other Valentine’s accents surrounding it and take some Instagrammable pictures. Who needs real love when you’ve got a love for food?
Happy eating, my Dolls!
Don’t feel pressured to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day. For advice, read “Real Talk: Saying ‘I Love You.'”