The Perfect Valentine’s Day Menu: The Have Her Over for Dinner Cookbook Giveaway

by A Manly Guest Contributor on February 8, 2010 · 173 comments

in Dating, Relationships & Family

Image from Ellynkocher

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Matt Moore, author of Have Her Over for Dinner. See below for details on how to win a signed copy of Matt’s cookbook.

Amber Jones, 6th Grade, and Valentine’s Day. I can remember it like it was just yesterday. You see, up to this point in my life, Valentine’s Day was an exciting holiday that meant cards, and most importantly, candy from friends and loved ones. In grade school, our teachers required us to write notes to the entire class, ensuring that everyone was equally appreciated. The stresses of defining relationships, expressing mutual admiration, and confessing love to one another had yet to enter our innocent minds. That was, of course, until she came along.

Most of us remember our first crush. Deep blue eyes, long blonde hair, and a mutual interest in Nirvana was all it took to make me smitten with Amber. However, 6th grade just so happened to be the year where equal appreciation was not required.

The annual carnation drive was a Valentine’s Day rite of passage in junior high. The rules were simple: specify a recipient, pony up $1.50 for each carnation, and have a volunteer deliver each flower on your behalf. Make no mistake: this was not an affair for secret admirers. Recipients would be notified of the sender by a small tag denoting the admirers name on each flower. Viewing this as a great opportunity, I decided it was best to seek advice from my elders. I rattled off questions like a .38 Special revolver. How many is too many? What if I don’t like her, but I might like her? I don’t want to upset her, so how many flowers should she receive? You get the idea.

When the big day came around, I made sure I had all of my options covered. Ashley, the cute girl from the 7th grade, received one carnation. Jamie, the quasi-grunge rock chick I sat next to in chemistry, obtained one carnation. Julie, the head cheerleader, received two carnations (always shoot for the stars). I, like Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber, was putting out the vibe. Amber was a different priority. Mutual consensus had arrived at one conclusion. Twelve bright red carnations would be sent to the object of my desire and true love would commence. Remember, I was in 6th grade.

When the moment finally came, Amber received my dozen flowers, along with about 200 others. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had Dreamweaver playing in my mind when she entered the room. My good intentions were lost amongst a sea of other suitors. Looking back, I should have avoided the pomp and circumstance altogether and stated my feelings (it’s never too early to man up). It seems that simple strategy would have gotten me further than most. Lesson learned.

At this point, you should be drawing parallels from this childhood experience to the adult dating scene. Sure, we’re now sending roses instead of carnations, but our anxiety and uncertainties remain the same. We scrutinize every detail, word, and action. Scenarios are played out in our minds a thousand times until we finally seek the advice and counsel of friends and family. In essence, there’s often too much to do about nothing.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the holiday hoopla that is Valentine’s Day. Society tells us that we must court our dates off to the trendiest restaurants in town to enjoy a prix-fixe menu that has been specifically created for this special occasion. We rely on objects: cards, chocolates, flowers, etc to express our love and appreciation for one another. I know there’s a historical significance to Valentine’s Day, but it’s hard not to think that the service industry didn’t blow this thing out of proportion. I realize not all of you fall into this trap, but the majority of us must admit to some level of guilt.

As we approach this Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to get back to the basics. The cards, flowers, and chocolates may be tradition; however, they should not replace genuine feelings and action. A heartfelt statement, note, or act of appreciation goes quite a long way, especially when compared to so many material things.

Make this holiday special. Instead of taking her out, have her over for dinner. After all, the fastest way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach. She’ll be more likely to appreciate your hard work behind the stove than the pricey tab at any restaurant. For those lacking experience in the kitchen, I’ve laid out a full course meal that allows you to cater towards her preferences.

Keep it simple, genuine, and intimate: the romance will follow.

The Menu

The key to pulling off any special meal is preparation. Rather than spend your entire evening in the kitchen, it’s best to have everything prepped and ready to go in advance, thereby spending more time and attention on your date rather than the food. I’ve put together a menu that can be partially prepared several hours before she arrives. It’s best to find out in advance if she’s not particularly fond of certain food items so you can adjust accordingly. With that in mind, I’ve created a versatile entrée that allows for substitutions based on her preferences.

Be sure to clean up your place and put away any unnecessary clutter. Set the mood with background music, a white tablecloth, and a few tea light candles. You don’t need to go overboard with atmosphere, but put forth some effort to set this evening apart. If you live together, surprise her with a gift card to her favorite clothing store, and tell her to pick up something special to wear for the evening. This will give you time to prepare, and it will also heighten her anticipation for what’s to follow later.

House Salad – a versatile salad with great color and texture contrasts. Prepare the salad in advance, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Avoid adding the dressing until just before serving, as the greens will become soggy. Serve alongside a toasted baguette if desired.

2 Cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce, loosely packed
½ Cup Shredded Red Cabbage
¼ Cup Shredded Carrots
¼ Cup Diced Tomatoes
¼ Cup Blue Cheese (optional)
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper, to taste

Layer the first five ingredients, starting with the romaine lettuce and topping with the blue cheese (if using) into a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready for service, up to 2 hours in advance. When ready to serve, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the entire salad and toss to coat. Serve.

Grilled (Chicken, Salmon, or Portabella Mushroom Caps) over Pesto Linguine and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes – depending on her preferences, this dish will work quite well to satisfy any palate. Because this meal emphasizes using minimal ingredients, focus on buying fresh, quality items. Pay special attention to the substitutions and varying cooking times depending on your selection. Pair with Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or a crisp Pilsner/Lager.

Linguine Pesto

2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ Cup Pine Nuts or Walnuts
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese or Natural Yeast (Vegan)
8 oz Dry Linguine Pasta

Chicken or Portabella Mushroom Caps (Vegan)

2 6-8 oz Chicken Breasts (pounded thin) or 2 Large Portabella Mushroom Caps (stem removed, and cleaned)
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Salmon

2 6-8 oz Salmon Filets (skin removed)
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Lemon, juiced
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Roasted Tomatoes

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Method

#1. Prepare Pesto: Combine the first five ingredients into a food processor/blender and pulse a few times until ingredients begin to break down. With the processor running, slowly add the oil in a constant stream, scraping the sides with a spatula to ensure all ingredients are combined. Add cheese (or yeast) and pulse until well blended. Cover and set aside at room temperature, up to 2 hours.

#2. Marinate: Based on your selection, add the Chicken, Salmon, or Mushrooms into a sealable bag with the remaining ingredients. Season lightly with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper; place item in the refrigerator until ready for use, 1 hour.

#3. Roast Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a baking sheet, drizzle tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in the oven and roast, uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

#4. Cook Pasta: Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add linguine pasta and cook 9-11 minutes, or al dente. Drain pasta into a colander and return to the same pot. Add pesto sauce to pasta, mix thoroughly, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

#5. Grill: Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill; Chicken (5-6 minutes per side), Salmon (4-5 Minutes per side), Mushroom Caps (3-4 Minutes per side). Remove from heat and set aside to rest, 1 minute. If using mushrooms, thinly slice mushrooms every ½ inch before serving.

#6. Plate: Add a generous portion of the pesto linguine in the center of the plate, followed by the roasted tomatoes on one side. Rest the (Chicken, Salmon, or Mushroom Slices) at the opposing side. Serve.

Dessert

Roasted Berries and Cream – a simple, yet elegant dessert that’s the perfect finish to a great evening. It’s a good idea to wash and remove the stems in advance, as you can place this into the oven while eating dinner to have dessert out quickly. Many grocery stores sell prepared mixed berries by the pint for convenience. For vegans, substitute a prepared Soy Whip or Coconut Whipped Cream if necessary. Serve in martini glasses.

2 Pints Mixed Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds removed
Whipped Cream
Mint Leaves, as garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet, lay out berries into a single layer and toss with sugar and vanilla bean seeds to coat. Place in the oven and roast, uncovered 18 – 22 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. When ready, scoop a generous portion of roasted berries into the bottom of a martini glass. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream, and garnish with a few mint leaves. Serve.

Have Her Over For Dinner Cookbook Giveaway

Want more of Matt’s simple, delicious, lady-impressing recipes? Then enter to win a signed copy of his cookbook Have Her Over for Dinner.

How to Enter

Entering is easy. Just leave a comment sharing your plans for Valentine’s Day.

Deadline to enter the contest is Sunday, February 13, 2010 at 10 PM CST. We’ll randomly select a comment in order to pick our winner.

{ 173 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Joseph P February 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Going to go to the art gallery first then getting some food at a small restaurant and then we shall go to this small art cafe/club for some music.

102 Hank February 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I’m taking my lovely wife to Boston fro the evening to have dinner in the North End and then catch a show in the theatre district by one of her favorite writers (and an old colege friend of mine!)

103 Scott February 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I really need to get cranking on my plans!

104 Chris February 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Flowers are set to be delivered to her work this Thursday and I’ll be cooking her dinner Saturday night at my house.

105 Matty February 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Thinking about trying to make my own (window pane) pasta for the first time. Also I borrowed a chocolate fountain and will have alot of items to dip! With 2 little ones it is hard to get out of the house.

106 Matt February 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I’m going to give her a paper bag. There will be little post-its telling her how special she is for me and little things that I appreciate about her. I will also put small reminders from our first date, our first kiss, and such. I’ll add a little chocolate as well just for good measure.

107 DT February 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

A little dinner at Chez Moi and then off to a local concert under the stars. Valentine’s should always be about quality time and expressing your love through yourself, not your pocketbook. Another quality post, as always!

108 Patrick February 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I’ll be recovering from a Friday night screening of The Room starring Tommy Wiseau and a Saturday Night concert by Toronto punks Fucked Up.

109 Jerad February 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I think we’re going to the opening of The Wolfman which we both have wanted to see before exchanging meager gifts. I am also presenting her with a book filled with tickets from various outings we’ve been on and every movie we’ve ever been to. That’s right, I’ve saved them all.

110 Brendan February 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

II’m still in college, but ‘ve been working at the Peabody museum part-time for 3 years now. The museum is big enough that it has everything from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations, to modern wildlife. My girlfriend, (with whom I am sharing our 1 year anniversary just a couple days after Valentine’s Day,) is a big fan of the museum, especially their undersea offerings. Using my connections with the people who work there, I’m going to use the museum after it has closed to stage a picnic. All of the food I’ll prepare a bit in advance, then lead her into the museum. Pop a bottle of Perrier Jouet, and all will be well.

111 Scott February 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I’m driving all night after work from northeaster SD to Laramie, WY to take spend the day with her and take her out for dinner, then to the club, then (per her request) we’re playing a board game. Sounds very non-v-day-ish, but you gotta do what she wants to do for v-day. Then I drive 11 hours back to SD in time for class @ 8:00. Awesome.

112 JTom February 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

How many people are going to be at Chez Moi, parce que j’ai deja une table.
I plan on making salmon surprise and the best darn chocolate pudding ever! Keep up the great work posters.

113 Arjun February 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

taking my girlfriend out for dinner in philly. taking her to the art museum at night to take in the view. coming back to my place for dessert that i have prepared. drinking a nice bottle of wine.

114 Caleb February 9, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Since V-Day is Sunday and I figure most will celebrate the 12th or 13th, we’re celebrating on the 19th. The theme for the night is locally owned. Locally owned Italian restaurant, followed by locally produced play (a good friend of ours is directing), and ended with drinks at the locally owned coffee shop. Some locally picked flowers may be included in there somewhere.

115 Kevin February 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Saturday:
Archery lessons in the morning
Horseback riding in the afternoon
Massage and pedicure, relaxing, getting ready for dinner
Dinner at beautiful Japanese restaurant with a view of Los Angeles
Sunday:
V day Brunch at wine bar
Special Valentine’s Day only tour and tasting of winery
Drive through Malibu to Beach/watch sunset
Dinner at restaurant on the water in Malibu

116 Cambias February 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Because of unavoidabe travel plans, I won’t be with my wife on Valentine’s Day itself — but that means we’ll have the run of local restaurants when we observe the occasion later on. It’s too cold and snowy here for a picnic, so I’m planning a restaurant outing for the two of us.

117 Chris February 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Alas, alone and single this year. I reckon it will be an evening filled with a book and a glass of brandy…

118 Robert Black February 9, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I’m planning a picknick to the park were I was engaged and later where I was married.

119 Landis February 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm

we are going camping. in our living room. it should be fun- we are going to cook dinner on the fireplace and roast marshmellows. theres only one rule and that is no electricity.

120 Adam February 10, 2010 at 12:13 am

A drive out to the beach, a small picnic, and then off to see a local music group preform at night!

121 Stridar February 10, 2010 at 12:28 am

I’ll be watching horror movies with my valentine :)

122 Cameron A February 10, 2010 at 12:41 am

It’s my parents anniversary so I’ll be helping them get out for the night, and then my girlfriend and I will have a lovely night home with a candle lit dinner, flowers, and romance.

123 Patrick February 10, 2010 at 12:47 am

Helping some single gals move and babysitting my nephews. Making Valentines day enjoyable for everyone else.

124 Andy February 10, 2010 at 1:29 am

Babysitting our friend’s kiddo, cooking dinner, and exchanging 6 month marriage anniversary gifts a bit late (her choice, honest!)

125 Jared February 10, 2010 at 2:50 am

This year is really biting the wife and I on the butt. Down economy combined with having a kid to feed and jobs that are in danger have definitely put a clamp on the purse strings. Most likely we’ll get a take and bake pizza from Papa Murphy’s that’s in the shape of a heart and share it with our son. Then once he’s off to bed watch a movie together on the couch and sip some sparkling white wine. I know — very chic!

126 Rory February 10, 2010 at 3:42 am

This Valentine’s I’m working as a male angel, handing out goodie bags and bringing iut the “inner goddess”. Also, last Friday I told a girl that I was gonna bake cookies and that she should come over and try them, so I’m going to make a nice meal for us both, followed by milk and cookies for dessert.

127 Paul February 10, 2010 at 3:56 am

The lady I fancy at the moment is spending the weekend with her relatives (it’s the Chinese New Year), so I’ll be hanging out at home. Come on, free book!

128 Mike February 10, 2010 at 8:21 am

I’ll check, but I’m fairly certain that my wife is working that day again. (She’s an excellent wedding & boudoir photographer – http://christinetremoulet.com) Fortunately for both of us, it’s never been a big occasion for gift giving or grand gestures – as she puts it, you should really love somebody 365 days out of the year, not just make a show of it for 1. I do a lot of the cooking already – it’s my zen time at the end of the day, love working with food – but I’ll probably make it a movie night, and we’ll take some time out to just watch a movie and not worry about work or housecleaning or any of the rest of it for a while.

(And it’s likely a romantic comedy that she wants to watch that I’ll pick – I have a horrible track record over the years with picking date night movies. Pulp Fiction? Starship Troopers? Oops.)

129 Steve-O February 10, 2010 at 9:33 am

I don’t have a girlfriend this year, but the last time I did around Valentine’s Day (a couple of years back) I did something similar. My friend/roommate put on a tux and picked her and I up at her house (Such a great friend he is to chauffeur us like that), and then we arrived at my place to have the home cooked meal I had made earlier (roasted chicken with veggies, a Caesar salad, some home-made mac & cheese {her favorite food}, and some creme brule for dessert). Then, it was a movie on the couch (Forrest Gump). lol

I thought I was so suave. :)

130 Steve-O February 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

haha @ Mike, those movies are great for Valentine’s Day!

131 WEKM February 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

Having just lost my job at the beginning of the month, my wife told me she didn’t want candy of flowers or any of that standard fare. She said the best Valentines Day gift she could get was for me to get a new job.
Taking her at her work, rather than take my time and search out a job that would be a step above where I had been, I sought out an old employer, and now with more experience, was able to come close to matching my pay I had just lost. Small step backwards, but no real time lost to unemployment, which I feel is the best move in these times.
I start my new job the Monday after Valentines day, and get to spend the rest of this week basking in my family, rather than running around trying to find work.
I still plan on fixing her breakfast in bed, then dinner later that night too. And who knows, maybe there will be flowers anyway…

132 JC February 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

Get an annulment!

133 Jerry February 10, 2010 at 10:17 am

I’ll be opening a nice bottle of port and enjoying the evening by myself…ah, the life of a bachelor!

134 Ben February 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Rehearsal for school – but then a good dinner at home, followed by a good movie together.

135 Diego Ybarra February 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

My pregnant wife and I will try to catch a matinee film, then enjoy lunch at a Chinese Bistro… Later that evening we will go to Church as I will be the God Father to my niece. From there we will go to my sister’s house for dinner and family gathering.

136 Trey February 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Seeing as how Valentines falls during Mardi Gras, here in N’awlins, I plan on having some Mud Bugs! Family is coming in town, so we’ll be taking in the Bacchus Parade, with Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees presiding as Bacchus this year. Should be awsome!!!

137 Matt R February 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Well, Valentine’s day is multiple holidays! It’s also Chinese New Year this year (based on the lunar calendar). I live in Washington, DC so our V-Day will look something like this: Scavenger hunt at the National Gallery of Art (Thanks to WatsonAdventures.com), finish off a late light lunch of my favorite tapas restaurants, then treat her and her family out for dinner to their favorite Chinese restaurant in the area. “Our time” is a trip to NYC the next weekend, attending the Flushing/Chinatown parades and painting the town red in the evening!

138 Matt February 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Having 2-month old twin daughters will pretty much keep us home, but since I love to cook, it should’t be a problem. I’m whipping up my wife’s favorite dish, which we affectionately call “lemon butt chicken” (a whole chicken that is covered with olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest and salt and then roasted with the cavity stuffed with rosemary and lemons that steam it from the inside out). We may actually have time to curl up and watch a movie together, but with twins, we’ll just have to see what happens.

139 Topher February 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm

On Friday, a box of dipped strawberries will arrive. We’ll do cocktails and appetizers before dinner.
On Saturday, I’ll bring home flowers.
Both Saturday and Sunday, I’ll cook.

The following Saturday, I’ll cater a sweatheart dinner for my lodge.

140 Bill February 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Hand-made invitation to dinner is in the mail. I’ll pick her up, blindfold her and drive in circles for a bit only to end up back at my place (I live nearby so she’d figure it out otherwise). We’ll start off with a light appetizer, entree is shrimp in vodka sauce over penne, and dark chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. And wine of course! All based on her favorites, which I slyly asked about on a previous date. Oh, and we’ll be eating in front of a fireplace.

141 Spud February 10, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I’m single, so my plans are nothing romantic. Just going to spend some quality with friends I love dearly.

142 Justin February 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I will be avoiding all restaurants. Not because I don’t want to deal with the masses, but because I have friends in the restaurant business, and I’d like it to remain that way. :)

143 Diego Zacarias February 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

It’s on a Sunday, so my only plan will be to attend powerlifting practice.

144 Tom February 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

She wants us to spend more time together & she’s asked me in the past to teach her to play chess. So, I’m going to get one of those chess/chechers/backgammon(?), chinese checkers game boards. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive (cheap).

145 Zach February 10, 2010 at 10:40 pm

my girlfriend and I are celebrating on saturday because she’s leading a bible study on Sunday night. we’re going to go geocaching around our college’s campus and end up at the beach where there is a journal that people write in when they find it and its said to be great. then we’re going to go to a seafood restaurant that she loves and finally watch one or two movies from our list of favorite movies the other hasn’t seen.

146 Rafi February 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Unfortunately we won’t be together over Valentine’s Day itself, but we’ll be back together the Tuesday after, so the plan is a fun day in NYC, ending with a romantic dinner.

147 Ron February 11, 2010 at 12:04 am

My girlfriend just broke up with me in the middle of typing my comment, so I deleted it all. Anyway, we (did) enjoy cooking with each other, so a new cook book would give us some new recipes.

148 Daniel February 11, 2010 at 2:34 am

Since she’s a drama-theater kind of girl I’m going to surprise her at the end of her drama club meeting with a public, comical recital of Shakespeare’s Love Sonnet #55 with a friend of ours. By the end of the sonnet, I’ll have pulled out flowers and chocolates shaped as the two theater iconic masks. Should be a hoot!

149 Thomas February 11, 2010 at 4:47 am

Flying to Minnesota to surprise my girlfriend. Friday is her birthday and Sunday is Valentines Day. Should be a nice weekend.

150 Shaun February 11, 2010 at 4:56 am

Thanks for the dinner idea… I think the only thing missing is some nicey crusty italian rolls. I hope I win the cook book as it would be wonderful to let my wife pick out dishes that I could make for here once a week.

151 M February 11, 2010 at 9:40 am

A Legend of Zelda valentines card – same one I get her every year, it’s a tradition, and she really likes it.

A puppy

Roast Chicken Dinner

152 Andrew February 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

Dinner and a movie. I know it doesnt sound exciting but we are getting married next year and we are saving every penny we can. A meal cooked at home is cheaper, I know, but we are still using gift certificates from Christmas

153 KC February 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Buying the wife a puppy before making us dinner. Cliche, but she loves that stuff. Also, hitting up a 1800flowers distribution center for a bouquet. $20 there goes a lot further than in a normal florist. Factory-like environment, but the quality is fantastic.

154 Robert Cox February 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm

My plans for Valentines Day with my girlfriend are to use the exact recipe above. She’s a mushroom fan, so this will work especially well.

Her birthday is 2 days afterwards, and she knows I dislike the idea of a specific holiday to express my love for her anyway, so we don’t make a big deal over Valentines day. We save the big fancy dinner for her birthday, since the restaurants are not as jammed packed then.

155 Mathew February 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Well my woman has herself a man who doesn’t believe in Valentines day (a corporate hallmark concieved holiday that takes away the romance and mystery of being spontaneous, and therefore controls the man and makes him do as he is told, well ba hum bug to that), unfortunately for me she is a believer in this day. So instead of buying a dozen roses for $20 the day before (when usually they are only $10 a dozen on any other weekend) and a box of chocolates left over in a supermarket from the christmas period. I am going to be different. Saturday the 13th will be the day I give her a packet of wildflower seeds. As some of you scoof at this gesture, let me just say, she loves picking wildflowers and if I can provide for her whether it be in a window box or the garden outside her front door, a constant supply of live healthy flowers given to her spontaneously by the man who trully adores her, then I know she will remember that gesture more so as a sign of the growth of my feelings for her and the path that our relationship is taking everytime she seems them or picks them. (and maybe I might just make her breakfast in bed on the 14th of her favourite waffles with whipped cream and strawberries)

156 Gus February 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Saturday night I am meeting her parents over dinner at their house. We don’t have specific plans for Sunday (valentine’s) during the day, but I’ll be going over to her parents again to meet the rest of her family. We’ll probably go out for drinks later. Monday night, she’s meeting my parents. It will be a good weekend. We haven’t even mentioned that it’s Valentine’s Day weekend in our talking/planning of it.

157 Nick February 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Nice… I need to get my hands on this book.

I live in the city, so I am just gonna take her out to a museum during the day, a nice tapas dinner, then home for a movie.

158 Nic February 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I go to a Bible college and my girlfriend lives in a dorm that has only certain hours that men are allowed on her floor, but I got her RAs to let me on during a time that I’m generally not allowed to and I’m going to decorate her room while she’s out with a friend, then afterward I’m going to take her out for a nice dinner somewhere. Partly because I have no kitchen and partly because I don’t have a nice cookbook like this to give me hints on what I should cook!

159 alophant February 12, 2010 at 7:24 am

I’m single this year for Valentine’s Day. So I’m taking mom out who would have been celebrating her 50th Valentine’s Day with my recently deceased Dad. Per her request, we will be getting some fresh air near the ocean and finding a nice seafood restaurant. It will be bittersweet for her and an honor to accompany her through this Valentine’s Day.

160 George February 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

We will be going to worship in the morning and be leading the youth group that evening back at church. Sandwiched in between the two church events we will go to my step-daughter’s home where I will be doing some demo work with my son-in-law in preparation for a new bedroom because our first grand-child is due in a few months. Not so romantic, but our family will be together.

161 Brando February 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

This year my other half is seperated from me across the Atlantic and long way away from arms reach. So it is a makeshift yet considerate virtual Valentines Day date over Skype with games of online scrabble and simultaneously toying the same favorite bottle of red wine – doing our best to enjoy stimulating conversation in light of the absent physical interaction

162 Dan February 12, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I am actually cooking for her. Pretty good cook, but I just still need to figure out what I am going to make.

163 ethan February 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm

to the gardens… then dinner

164 John February 12, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I won’t get to see my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. She already had plans to be on a retreat most of the day, and it’s Chinese New Year, so she’s overbooked celebrating with family for the next few days.

So I sent her a letter, including a poem I’d written for her in the summer. We started dating three weeks ago.

165 Roland February 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm

My girlfriend is living overseas, so our Valentine’s Day celebration will be over Skype — because of the time difference between LA and Bulgaria, it will be breakfast for me and dinner for her. Since we are both excellent cooks, I’ve asked her to write a recipe for us to each make, and I’ll do the same. We’ll each cook our own and the other’s dish, have champagne, listen to the CD that I sent to her. Along with the CD, I sent half of a handmade dark chocolate bar, saving the other half for myself. This year, we’ll share dessert over the internet, but next year will be in person.

166 Matt Wolfgang February 12, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Hosting a party for all of us singles/college aged peoples in my church at my place!

167 Michael February 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

We decided to cook a nice dinner together actually. Simple pasta dish and baking cookies together after. Then we’ll give each other our cards and the like. It should be simple and sweet. Just the way we both like it.

168 Jesse February 13, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I had to leave town last minute for a funeral, but have managed to catch a flight back a day early without my girlfriend’s knowledge. My flight won’t be in til almost ten, but she’ll be very surprised when I show up with her favorite Chinese food and a bag of Bit-O-Honey(it’s her favorite).

169 Bryan Call February 14, 2010 at 12:58 am

My valentine’s day is that of a true man, because the woman I am dating is out of town for the weekend. My plans are to brew my own beer for the first time, I’ve had a kit for a while and figured it is something to occupy the time until I can take her out again. Also working on my thesis should be thrown in there too.

170 Korin February 14, 2010 at 1:21 am

Sunday is the 14th …

Well, this may be late, but I will enter anyway.

My girlfriend and I are going to a garden outside of an art gallery for a picnic. We have been to the gallery before together; I took her there because she had never been to an art gallery before.

As her gift, I made her a keepsake box because she likes to save little momentos from our relationship. She still has a dried carnation from our first date.

171 Chris February 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

My wife is away for the weekend on a field trip, but tonight I am picking her up from the station and surprizing her with a three course meal at home. I’ve also done quite a lot of manly work around the house which I am sure she is going to love!

172 Jerry February 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Grilled crab legs and bone in ribeyes! I love my wife and the fact that she is quite a foodie!!

173 J March 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of honey make a great salad dressing- it’s light and sweet!

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