Whereas some years name for a giant Valentine’s dinner out the place you dress up and hit the town, this isn’t a type of years. Not solely are we within the midst of a worldwide pandemic; we’ve had such a busy few weeks that what’s actually calling my identify is a chill Valentine’s date night time at residence, simply the 2 of us after we put Phoebe and Henry to mattress.
For me, probably the most romantic nights with Adam are after we’re cozied up in entrance of the hearth with blankets and a glass of wine, with good music that lets us get completely misplaced within the simple vibes and dialog.
And isn’t there one thing type of refreshing about Valentine’s plans that don’t require reserving a babysitter or breaking the bank? For me at this second, that simply feels so proper.
However simply because it’s simple doesn’t imply it ought to really feel like each different regular night time at residence.
What I like about Valentine’s Day is that it’s a vacation solely devoted to creating the individuals we love really feel particular — discovering little methods to say “you matter a lot to me,” and I occur to be married to a man who hears that message loudest by his abdomen.
I assumed I’d use this publish as the right excuse to provide our Valentine’s date night time menu a take a look at run, and hopefully offer you guys some inspiration and concepts to your personal romantic dinners.
Step 1: Get Impressed
There’s a restaurant on the town known as The Peacock, situated contained in the Austin Correct Resort. It’s one of many first “cool” (ie not hole-in-the-wall) actually Mediterranean spots we’ve had open up on the town, with a menu full of colourful, wholesome dishes impressed by North Africa, Greece, Israel & Lebanon – all meant for sharing. Because it was one in every of mine and Adam’s fave date night time spots pre-pandemic, that Mediterranean vibe felt like the right theme to tie collectively my desk and menu. Plus, I’ve been dying to check out a selfmade falafel recipe.
Step 2: Set the Scene
There’s one thing a few low, lounge-y desk surrounded by flooring cushions that simply feels attractive. You’ve bought to kick off your sneakers and sit shut, and also you may even recline whereas your accomplice slowly feeds you… however I digress. For this straightforward setup, I moved our outside espresso desk proper in entrance of the hearth, pulled out some cushions and sheepskins from indoors, and used a few of our potted succulents as a straightforward centerpiece that doesn’t really feel fussy. Apart from, I didn’t wish to purchase flowers for the desk since Adam may come residence from work with an armful of peonies (not that I’m shamelessly dropping hints, or something.) These pretty plates gave an earthy backdrop to my colourful menu, and the matte black flatware offered a contact of cool distinction.
Step 3: Combine Up a Festive Drink
A fun cocktail is a straightforward solution to take issues up on a notch for a Valentine’s date night time at residence. I’ve been loving shrub cocktails currently — they’re principally drinks made with infused vinegar, which sounds bizarre, however the vinegr truly gives a scrumptious acidity and a bit fizziness. That stated, I needed to do one thing with strawberry taste for V-day, and since I couldn’t discover any strawberry-infused vinegar, I freestyled and grabbed some strawberry kombucha. I blended my cocktail with 1 half kombucha, 1 half prosecco, and garnished with a cucumber spear and a sprig of mint.
NEW FAVORITE y’all, it was severely so good. And now I’m obsessive about making cocktails utilizing totally different kombuchas (this previous weekend I added a splash of tequila to my lime-ginger kombucha and it was additionally amaze.)
Step 4: Plan a Horny Menu
Right here’s what’s on the menu for our Valentine’s Date Night time:
The cauliflower tabbouleh in all its glory. My model is admittedly a really unfastened riff of on a conventional tabbouleh, but it surely features a bunch of my favourite issues and — gosh it’s so good. For the grains, as a substitute of bulgur, I used a combo of three components cauliflower rice (so wholesome, extra veg) with 1 half cooked farro (chewy and satisfies carb cravings.) Then I topped it with shaved fennel, pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios, and alllll the herbs — mint, parsley, and dill. A maple-lemon French dressing and large pinch of sea salt took it excessive.
Step 5: Spark Enjoyable Dialog
I dug up just a few previous polaroids of us collectively from the previous few years and used them as tabletop decor. For us, going by pictures from enjoyable occasions we’ve had collectively is without doubt one of the finest methods to get in a romantic headspace and keep in mind a few of our favourite journeys we’ve shared.
My “Love Hummus,” as I’ve dubbed it, is nearly shockingly simple, a lot in order that it doesn’t deserve it’s personal recipe card — it’s bought these semi-homemade vibes, but it surely’s DELISH. Right here’s what I did:
- Roast 4 small beets by wrapping them in foil and popping in a 450 diploma oven till you possibly can pierce them simply with a fork, about an hour.
- Let cool, then peel by rubbing pores and skin with a paper towel.
- In a blender, mix a container of excellent store-bought hummus with 2 beets and a bit olive oil and mix till clean. Add one other beet or 2 to get desired colour.
- Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then serve with heat pita and crunchy veg for dipping.
And eventually — my first foray into at-home falafel! To be sincere, I’m kinda late to the falafel sport altogether, however now that now we have a very nice Mediterranean spot on the town, I’m obsessed. And making it at residence was means simpler than I anticipated! No shock that I loaded mine up with a loopy quantity of herbs, and baked them as a substitute of frying. So good and so easy, these will probably be in our rotation for on a regular basis weeknight dinners, too.
Get the recipe for my herby green chickpea falafel right here!
What are y’all cooking up for Valentine’s Day this yr? Go away a remark and let me know what you’ve bought deliberate… and what’s on the menu!
This publish was initially revealed on February 5, 2020, and has since been up to date.