Valentine’s Day is speeding towards us at 90 miles per hour with expectations of squeezing every last penny from our pockets. Valentines and candy for the kid’s class mates, flowers, boxes of chocolates, dinner at a nice restaurant, babysitters. It all adds up so quickly. Didn’t we just spend an arm and a leg on Christmas? There has got to be a way to have a budget friendly Valentine’s Day without killing the romance.
A few years ago I started dreading the “day of love” and every expense that came along with it, so I did something about it! Did you know you can have an equally romantic evening at home? I kid you not! Spending $100 on dinner in an overcrowded restaurant does not have to make or break the romance on this special day. Not to mention you get to avoid the uncomfortable situation of being seated next to the couple that takes their public displays of affection way too far. I began creating romantic dinner menus for Jon and I to enjoy at home. I’d begin cooking right before the kids went to bed and we’d enjoy a quiet and relaxing dinner together. It was so fun that we started having romantic dinners quite frequently, like almost once a week.
With a little bit of preparation and a few good recipes you can create an absolutely fabulous dinner date night right in your own home for under $30. That $30 will also provide leftovers you can enjoy for lunch the next day. The secret to a successful dinner date night is not getting yourself stuck in the kitchen cooking for an hour while your partner sits in the next room drinking up all the wine. You want recipes that can be almost fully completed in advance allowing you to spend more time gazing into your lovers eyes, and less time fretting over cooking the perfect steak.
My menu this Valentine’s Day is bursting with exotic flavors. It is light enough to keep us from feeling like beached whales (not very sexy) and nearly the whole thing can be made way ahead of time. Kefta is a traditional Middle Eastern meat dish full of fresh herbs and warm spices that will set off fireworks in your mouth, kind of how Jon sets off fireworks in my heart. I’m using Litehouse’s Instantly Fresh Ginger and Garlic to save time in the kitchen. I’ll be paring the warm spiced meat with a light and tangy cucumber yogurt sauce for dipping, traditionally called Tzatziki, and a simple Shepard’s Salad dressed with Litehouse Greek Vinaigrette Dressing. Get ready to be amazed as you watch chunks of Feta cheese come pouring out of the bottle, it’s good stuff.
This year save your money and try showing your significant other how much you adore them by creating a meal for lover’s right in your own home. As a bonus these dishes are full of fresh parsley and mint, natural breath fresheners. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.