Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day dinner at home

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the busiest night of the year for restaurants? Whether you're a couple or a family with kids, stay home, I say!

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the busiest night of the year for restaurants? All the more reason to stay home, I say! Wouldn’t you rather have a simple and delicious homemade meal than crowd into a busy restaurant and overpay for a cookie-cutter prix fixe?

Over the years (in various stages of singledom and coupledom), I’ve hosted a slew of V-Day dinners. A favourite is a swish dinner for girlfriends, which is really an excuse to make huge pitchers of pink sangria. A simple but decadent pasta supper soaks up the cocktails (toss penne with this easy arugula and almond pesto). And on this one night, there’s nothing better than a glorious chocolate layer cake to bring in an element of fun and celebration.

Chocolate-cake-with-mocha-frosting-0-l

If there are kids at home, forget the elusive February 14th babysitter and make Valentine’s Day a new family tradition. Prepare a hearty dinner that everyone loves (mac and cheese or tortilla lasagna would be great choices). Then bring out some cupcakes, frosting and candy decorations and ask everyone to decorate a special cupcake for someone else at the table. Just make sure you parents find another day to have a special one-on-one dinner!

Macaroni and cheese with roasted butternut squash

If it’s you and your beloved, consider cooking a meal together. We usually divide the work – I’ll grill the steaks and roast the asparagus, he will make the dessert and mash the potatoes. But this year, with a new baby just a few weeks away, I’m hoping to put my feet up while my fellow cooks for me. My request? Creamy lobster fettuccini, a big arugula salad with pink grapefruit and hazelnuts, and delectable banoffee tarts. Fingers crossed!