Ah, Valentine’s Day. Another completely made-up holiday that we love to love. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with your partner, your entire brood, or your galentines — this day is all about showing the love. We’ve planned three ways to celebrate the perfect Valentine’s Day at home, no matter who you spend it with.
A Night In With Your Other Half
It’s February 14 and every couple in your city is vying for the same reservation as you are. Why not skip the crowded restaurant and expensive (and scantly-portioned) prix fixe menu this year and opt for a romantic night in? Not only will you save money on dinner and drinks; you’ll also get to spend the evening with the only person you actually wanted to spend it with in the first place.
Cooking a favorite meal together is one of the best ways to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. For a cozy, soul-satisfying dish you’ll both drool over, try this creamy shrimp scampi risotto. Don’t let TV food competitions scare you — risotto is not hard to make, and it will only be about 45 minutes until you’re wooing each other with this savory flavor bomb of a dish. While the risotto is simmering on the stove, crack open your favorite bottle of wine or whip up a craft cocktail and simply relax. Pro-tip: Don’t talk about work, unpaid bills, or your in-laws. This should be a stress-free night with your one and only — all that stuff will still be there waiting on February 15.
For dessert, why not make what you would have ordered out anyway? Okay, chocolate lava cake sounds intimidating, but it is so worth it. And honestly, if you and your partner can master this fancy dessert together, the world is yours. While the cakes are in the oven, it’s time to take the celebration over to the couch. That’s right: It’s time for Netflix. But forget about firing up a rom-com tonight. Instead, find one of the stand-up comedy specials that all of your friends and co-workers have been raving about and press play. Because what brings you closer than laughing together over mutually humiliating and awkward topics? Nothing.
A Family Affair
So it’s Valentine’s Day and you couldn’t nab a babysitter. Who says you can’t still celebrate together at home? Put the kids to work by cooking a dinner together that will keep everyone busy and having fun at the same time. If ever there were a night to call for homemade personal pizzas, it’s tonight. Line up work stations with pizza dough and everyone’s favorite toppings, and let the pizza-making extravaganza begin.
While everyone is busy in the kitchen, send your partner to set up the living room with Valentine’s Day balloons, flowers, and candy. After devouring your pizza creations, guide the kids over to check out the newly decorated digs where you’ll start up game night. Let the kids pick their favorite board games and spend the rest of the night playing, laughing, and eating chocolates with your favorite people.
Gather the Gals
Whether you’re single or not, celebrating Galentine’s Day with your besties is always a good idea. Typically, this femme fete is hosted on February 13, but who says you can’t hold yours on Valentine’s Day itself? Having the group over at your place? Host a potluck dinner and winetasting. Whether you plan to have a theme or not, ask each friend to make and bring their favorite dish. Be sure to mix up cuisines and types of dishes — you don’t want to be stuck with seven types of pasta. To give your gals some inspiration, try to recreate some of your favorite restaurant meals. Kale caesar salad and creamy buffalo chicken dip are always crowd pleasers. Don’t forget: They shouldn’t all be main courses!
In addition to dinner, have each friend also bring their favorite bottle of wine that pairs well with their dish. Dishes and wine pairings can be served together and everyone can grab their meal buffet-style before sitting down to eat.
The perfect way to end the night is by playing mindless adult party games, such as Cards Against Humanity or What Do You Meme? Give your girls a parting Galentine’s Day goodie bag filled with chocolate, nips, and personalized cards on their way out. It’s sure to be the perfect end to a perfect night in with the gals.