Simply Celebrate Life!
Why not plan a Valentine’s In and a Progressive Dinner at Home?
A Valentine’s Progressive Dinner for Two
I have to admit that my husband spoils me every year on Valentine’s Day. He has always been the sole planner in making Valentine’s Day special, and I enjoy every minute of it. Even though I still plan a Valentine’s dinner for the family like my Puppy Love party, I wanted to surprise my hubby with a special dinner for just him, and this picture started it all.
The photographer, Kim Anderson, has this special photo technique that makes me want to recreate its feeling, and use it right at my dinner table. But how? Well, I began searching online for a simple tutorial to edit my own photographs and this was my first attempt.
I just love that splash of color!
After playing around with some pictures, I started figuring out ways to bring this technique to my table. I knew I wanted a dreamy, whimsical feel, so I used sheer white material, and bunched and gathered it to give it a soft and relaxing mood. Black, white and just a splash of color became my theme. A silver charger topped with a black plate, and white bowl made the perfect base for my ‘Pops’ of color all night.
These red strawberries on a stick look so good!
Progressive Dinner For Two
Having a Valentine’s dinner at home makes for more comfort and relaxation. Who wants to fight the crowd and long wait to sit and eat dinner anyways! I decided to have a fun progressive dinner for just the two of us right at home where we could spend some quality crowd free cuddle time.
Appetizers, Salad, and a Movie
We started our meal in the family room, with a favorite movie, and appetizers.
(Notice the picture in the background, another attempt at that cool photo technique!)
I placed personal pictures and love quotes each time we ‘progressed’ with our dinner, to let him know just how much I love him.
Half way through the movie we had our fresh Green Salad with a yummy Strawberry Vinaigrette
Sensational Soup at the Dinner Table
Soup was served at our specially set dinner table. I wanted a dreamy feel and by incorporating that black, white, and splash of color and I think I pulled it off.
A savory French Onion Soup was on the menu, and topped with a heart shaped cheesy french bread of course!
My husband asked, “Why only soup and salad? Are you putting me on a diet?” Well, I warned him that we needed to leave enough room for desserts! Here are a few of the treats we indulged in.
Dessert and Bubble Bath Fun
Sparkling Cider and twice dipped chocolate covered strawberries, YUM! I thought these double dipped strawberries fit perfectly with my black and white theme.
I’m so glad I attempted to make Churros for the first time, and I especially love the heart shape design.
Orange Kissed Churros
1 large navel orange
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
3 large eggs
Canola oil for frying
Large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 in. star tip
Line 2 – 3 baking sheets with wax paper; dust liberally with flour
Grate zest from orange and reserve. Juice the orange and pour into measuring cup. Add water so juice measures 1 cup. Bring orange juice mixture, zest, butter, and salt to a rolling boil over high heat in a 2 qt. sauce pan. Stir in flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over low heat until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating until a smooth paste forms. Spoon mixture into pastry bag and pipe twenty eight 3 inch hearts onto baking sheets. Let air dry for 30 minutes. Carefully loosen each Churro with a floured finger to make sure the bottoms are not sticking to the paper.
Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
“Hot” Chocolate Dipping Sauce
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoon each water and sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Place chocolate, water, and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring until melted and smooth about 3 minutes. Stir in butter, vanilla, and cayenne if desired. Keep warm.
I made my hubby some special homemade Chocolate Truffles and placed them in a cute white box with a poem I wrote especially for him.
So instead of rushing out to buy a box of chocolates for your sweetheart, why not make your own? Maybe fudge, or brownies if they are the favorite. How about those mini Hershey bars or even Rice Krispy Treats! Just unwrap and decorate with a few special touches like drizzled white chocolate or candy hearts and place in a box.
Make a batch of whatever they like best and wrap it up.
Final Destination with a Late Night Chocolate Treat
There’s always room for chocolate cake! A simple Betty Crocker cake topped with a few homemade chocolate hearts made a perfect ending to our progressive dinner for two.
Fourteen years ago, we received this heart as a wedding gift and we still use it today! This simple wooden heart has reminded us more than anything how much we love each other. We take turns hiding this special heart in random places like under a pillow, in a lunch box, or by a toothbrush.
Wherever we decide, the joy of finding it always makes for a wonderful day!