My husband and I are not big Valentine’s celebrators. Our 8 year old daughter, of course, loves the holiday. It could be due to the fact that her preschool referred to it as “Love Day”, but she’s yet to grasp onto the romantic aspect of it and thinks of it more as a day to celebrate all the people you love, which I think is a much better way to do it. Every year I do like to make a more special dinner than what we’d have on a normal weeknight but not something that takes me all day to prepare. It is a school night after all. Here’s a couple of menu options (and links to recipes) for those of you celebrating with kids this year. Or for couples who just have to, you know, work Wednesday morning.

Pasta Dinner:

Linguine with Crab, Lemon, Chile, Mint (omit chiles or use preserved lemons and Italian parsley to mix it up)

Haricot Vert with Garlic – a simple quick sautee of haricot vert or green beans with sliced garlic, salt and pepper

Wine Pairing: Scharffenberger Brut Rose

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries – buy them if you don’t have time to dip your own

 Steakhouse Dinner

Can-Can Martini (makes two)

4 oz. Gin (I like Hendricks or Plymouth)

1 oz. St. Germain Liquer

1/2 oz. dry Vermouth (Dolin is nice here, dry white wine can substitute)

Wedge Salad

Flat Iron Steak with Herb Butter

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

Just toss them in olive oil with some pepper and salt and whole cloves of garlic. Roast at 400 degrees till done or cheat and buy a bag of the Alexia roasted reds

Wine Pairing: Chateau St. Georges St Emillion or Nelm’s Road Cabernet Sauvignon (for a more budget friendly and local option)

Chocolate Fallen Souffle Cake – this can be made a day ahead, or bake while you eat

French Vegetarian Dinner 

Frisee and Apple Salad with Dried Cherries & Walnuts

Classic Cheese Souffle – it’s not hard, I promise!

Wine Pairing: Grower Champagne such as A. Margaine Brut

Artisanal Chocolates for dessert. My favorites come from Alma in Portland.

Happy Valentine’s Day!