Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day that has spurred more silver-screen cliches than JFK’s murder, made billions to the restaurant and greeting card industry, and brought so much anxiety to little girls the world over. For years, I grew up thinking that there were not redeeming qualities to this farce. Not even the Valentine’s Day recipes.
Then, something changed; perhaps I grew older. Perhaps I found someone whom I truly love. In any case, at some point in my ’20s, I began to appreciate Valentine’s Day for what it truly should be: a chance to remind the people we love how much they mean to us. A day to remember our own feelings. An opportunity to demonstrate a bit of kindness.
If you’re anything like me, the way you show love will be in the kitchen. You will pull out pots and pans and make an elaborate breakfast, or dinner, or candle-lit lunch, or snack in bed for your loved one.The first Valentine’s Day gift I ever made were two-coloured cookies, and they were misshapen, strange lumps, but they were made with love. And that was worth something.
So to give us all a chance to surprise someone we care for with a freshly made meal, here is this week’s Valentine’s Day recipe roundup. But if you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you’ll know that my tastes can be a bit… unorthodox. So I should point out that there will be no pink sprinkles or heart-shaped pancakes among these Valentine’s Day recipes. To match our tastes, this roundup includes some pickles, pizza, and bubbly, whether in the form of malted beverages, or of the effervescent prosecco. And if you’ve spent any time reading this blog, I know you’re going to love it.
Whether you will be celebrating this year at home with these Valentine’s Day recipes, relaxing in a luxurious spa, or shelling out hundreds or on a commercial date in a tacky restaurant, I hope that you will remember Valentine’s Day for what it’s meant to be: a chance to say, “I love you.”
And that’s never a bad thing.
For a nibble, I am planning on starting these spicy kimchi pickles. Pickles are one of Greg’s favourite things in life, and I can’t think of a better way to say ‘I love you’. If you’re from a former Soviet country and enjoy a side of Dill Pickle chips with your movie.
Possibly the only heart shape you will see in this Valentines Day recipes roundup. I love that these bagels are vegan and coloured with beets, and I believe they would make a fantastic breakfast with a schmear of cream cheese and lox. Or as I’m planning, vegan cashew cream cheese and vegan lox.
But because I think a good breakfast is a necessary part of any love-in, and eggs are a necessary part of any breakfast, I also have my eyes set on these eggy portobello mushrooms. What could be more romantic than eating a big, gooey, runny egg in a mushroom straight in bed? Eating one with scrambled eggs on top, as I would (I am not a fan of runny eggs).
If it’s a romantic dinner you’re after, I have nothing but good things to say about these 4-squash ravioli (disclaimer: I shot those photos, and therefore I know firsthand how delicious the resulting dish is). We have quite a few of these frozen in our fridge, and I sense a big batch coming for dinner on Valentine’s Day. It’s a bit more work than I would do for a weeknight, but it’s just right for a special occasion.
For a sipper, I’ve got some fresh lemongrass in the fridge, and high hopes of making this prosecco cocktail. I can just imagine its herbaceous, refreshing taste.
Have a delicious, romantic Valentine’s Day!