A Romantic Valentine's Day Menu

If you are hoping for a romantic evening on February 14th, may I suggest you skip the fancy restaurant reservation and start planning a dinner at home? Your valentine will thank you. Cooking a meal for someone is surely an act of love, a marvelous way to show your affection.

You can customize the dinner to suit the desires of your particular valentine. Have you fallen for a vegetarian? Prepare him a fritto misto feast, and he'll swoon with joy. Crushing on a carnivore? Steak with red wine sauce is the answer (and the way to her heart). Or perhaps you are celebrating the love you have for your entire family — all of you under one roof. In that case, whip up an extra large batch of chocolate-dipped strawberries.

No matter whom you celebrate with on Valentine's Day, make it a night in. Here are eight recipes perfect to fill anyone's heart (and stomach).

1. Fritto Misto

In Italian, "fritto misto" means mixed fried things. That vagueness — flexibility, really — is what this dish is all about. Find the recipe here.

Fritto Misto | Maria Zizka

2. Spaghetti and Meatballs

To channel the romance of "Lady and the Tramp" on Valentine's Day, serve a single heaping plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Even if you're not angling for an accidental kiss, these meatballs are sure to warm anyone's heart. The tomato sauce, which is based on Marcella Hazan's extraordinary recipe, is made directly in the skillet that the meatballs are browned in. Find the recipe here.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Maria Zizka

3. Steak with Red Wine Sauce

Steak is a classic dish for Valentine's Day and it's no wonder why. It is satisfying, romantic, indulgent, and downright tasty. You can cook a perfect steak at home in a smoking-hot cast-iron skillet. While the steak rests, it takes only a few minutes to make a simple red wine sauce in the skillet. Find the recipe here.

Steak with Red Wine Sauce | Maria Zizka

4. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

This recipe is really as simple as "dip strawberries in melted chocolate," but I've included a few helpful notes and tips. Feel free to personalize your chocolate-covered strawberries--you can roll them in finely chopped nuts or drizzle them with melted white chocolate. Find the recipe here.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries | Maria Zizka

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5. Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet cake is, naturally, the perfect color dessert to present to your beloved on February 14. It's really just a chocolate cake with red food coloring, so it isn't too complicated (though this being a Cook's Country recipe, there are a couple unexpected ingredients), and a real cream cheese frosting is one of the most delicious dessert accoutrements in existence. Bake this cake and prepare to get smoochy! Find the recipe here.

Red Velvet Cake | Courtesy of Cook's Country

6. Negroni

Start things off right with this romantic cocktail. Find the recipe here.


7. The Embrace Cocktail

In case flowers and chocolate don't quite cut it, give that special someone a boozy Embrace. This vibrant cocktail, created by the team at InterContinental Los Angeles, is the grown-up's version of a bright red construction paper heart. Find the recipe here.

The Embrace Cocktail

8. Valentine's Day Cocktails

Want to get good and soused this Valentine's Day? These drinks are pink and veer toward the sweet, which makes them perfect for the big day. Or small day. However you feel about the made-up holiday, these are fantastic cocktails! Find the recipes here.

Jillina Cocktail


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