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Fast, Romantic Valentine's dinner ideas needed!

This is my boyfriend's and my first Valentine's together but unfortunately not only is the holiday on a Tuesday night, but he gets in from out of town at 8pm! I typically refuse to observe the holiday but as our first I'd like to do something. Valentine's has to be right up there with New Year's as the worst night to get into a restaurant and since we can't make it until 9pm anyway, I thought I'd whip up something. A fireside picnic, perhaps. I am looking for fun Valentine's ideas that are either little fuss, maybe smaller bites, or even possibly storebought.

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  1. Perhaps for a fireside picnic, you could make a pot of cheese fondue, and serve with bread, apples, some charcuterie - wine of course. For dessert, just some dark chocolate and champagne?

    Easy, and you are really kind of nibbling, so doesn't have to end up heavy at all. And of course, observe the rule if anyone drops their 'bite' off the fork into the pot, you have to kiss the other person!

    Not sure if it is only seasonal (sigh), as is often the case at Trader Joe's, but they have great already made, heat & eat fondue so all you really have to do is shop, chop, and love:)

    1. I make SO's favorite meal - either meatloaf w/ mashed or grilled something - usually steak or chicken. Getting into a restaurant is indeed usually hopeless, so we don't bother. Of course, he likes little bites of something sweet (besides me!) so there's chocolate brownie bites or strawberry's dipped in chocolate.

      1. Spaghetti and a DVD of Lady and the Tramp.....

        1. spaghetti carbonara. And for dessert strawberries with chocolate sauce.

          1. Steamed Lobster Tails are the easiest thing in the world. You don't even need a fancy steamer. You can MacGyver one from things you probably already have in your kitchen. Here's what you do:

            -Get two lobster tails and thaw them if necessary. Or more if you want to really say love. My wife and I usually do two per person, but it's not required.

            -Take your largest pot and fill bottom with water. You need about two inches. Then take a cereal bowl and put it in the bottom and put a bread plate on top of the bowl. If your pot is big enough, you can use a dinner plate. You just want it to fit inside and lay flat on top of the bowl.

            -Start your burner and bring the water to a boil. Don't worry if the bowl shakes a bit. It won't break. Once it's boiling, add a little salt to the water. You should be able to slide the salt down where the plate doesn't touch the sides of the pot.

            -Season your lobster tails with a bit of salt and pepper. Or Old Bay if you have it. Put them on the plate that you inserted so that they can steam. Put a cover on the top of the pot, and let them go for 10 to 15 minutes until the shells have turned bright red and meat is cooked thru. The meat should have a shiny, almost translucent look.

            -Serve them hot with melted garlic butter and a lemon wedge. You can add a side salad, mashed potato, cheddar cheese rice, or cous cous which are all pretty quick and easy to do. Serve with a nice chilled bottle of white wine or champagne.

            Easiest thing in the world to make and nothing says love more than lobster.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Db Cooper

              nothing says love more than lobster.
              ~~~~~~~~~~
              unless the one you love has a shellfish allergy ;)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                we live in boston. if i served my b/f lobster tails, instead of the whole local bug, he'd think i have stopped loving him.

                carbonara is heavy and messy to eat.

                why not start with some pate (you can buy this), or bacon-wrapped dates. those can be in the oven and wafting yummy bacony aromas throughout the house when he gets home. deviled eggs are quick little munches too. i make fancier ones with truffle oil and my b/f just loves 'em.

                lamb chops cook super quick and marinated the night before are dreamy and too spendy for everyday.

                if you have access to excellent seafood (like i do), scallops, shrimp (maine shrimp are in season right now) or a gorgeous piece of fish all cook quickly too.

                roasted asparagus or green beans on the side. they can be par-cooked ahead and then finished under the broiler.