Valentine’s Day is just days away. Are you ready to wow your sweetheart?

We have dinner in restaurants often. That’s nice, but we do it often enough that it doesn’t have the impact that Merri Ann deserves for Valentine’s Day.

When we were first married, those first few years before we were inundated with crying babies and a thousand other things, I made dinner on special occasions—I mean white linens and roses and the best steaks I could buy. (Merri Ann loves a good steak).

It’s not a lot of work, it just takes planning. I don’t even know where the white linens are anymore. I’ll go to the butcher, not the grocery store, for the steaks. A tossed salad is easy, and so are baked potatoes.

Merri Ann is gluten free, so I’ll make her a flourless chocolate cake.

That’s a pretty simple dinner–quicker and less of a hassle than driving into town and fighting the crowds at a fine restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

The Food

Keep it simple: A tossed salad, steaks, maybe a steamed vegetable, and dessert. For the tossed salad, get bagged greens and the best tomatoes you can find. For the veggies, look for fresh asparagus—it’s usually available this time of year. buy the best steaks you can find.  If you’re not comfortable telling when the steaks are done, pick up a meat thermometer.

For the dessert, you should know what your sweetheart loves.  Unless you’re a pretty good baker, stop by the bakery.  You may need to call first to make sure they have her favorite dessert.

The Set-Up

This works best if it’s a surprise. 

You’re going to have to do a bit of shopping.  Start with a list. Create a grocery list.  Figure out where the best tablecloth is.  Add the following:

A rose or a bouquet

Mmm… a giant juicy prawn with a giant hunk of juicy steak. Shallow dof

A card for your sweetheart.  You can probably get both the card and flowers from the grocery store.

Cloth napkins. 

Consider place mats.  That will keep your good tablecloth from getting soiled.

If you don’t have candles at home, be sure to buy some and maybe some candlestick

The Final Touches

As a last touch for your at-home, Valentine’s Day dinner, turn on some soft, appropriate music.

This is going to be a lot better than heading to the restaurant. You’re going to express your undying love and devotion. That’s easy. You’re going to have to insist on doing the dishes.  That’s appropriate.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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