I’ve never been a person to go all out on Valentine’s Day but I do enjoy going out to dinner and treating the holiday as a special day. And while my town is opening up a bit, most restaurants are running at limited capacity while others are only doing take-out.

So instead of dealing with the craziness of it all, I’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year. It also falls on a Sunday which is my day to unwind a bit before a busy week… a great excuse to settle in for the night instead of going out!

What does your little celebration look like this year? Even if it looks a little more laid back than usual, you don’t have to sacrifice a good time or a good meal. That’s why I put together a few Valentine’s Day recipes you can make for a special dinner at home.

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Appetizers To Make For Valentine’s Day

Warm Asiago Cheese and Artichoke Dip

Find the recipe HERE.

My cheese and artichoke dip comes in handy for a variety of occasions and Valentine’s Day is no different. If you normally go out for fondue, this may hit the spot! It’s made with cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese and parmesan. Did you catch that? Four cheeses!

Enjoy it with chips, veggies or toasted bread slices and learn to make it HERE.

Valentine’s Day Charcuterie Board

Photo credit: Domesticated Life

I love a good charcuterie board because you really can’t mess it up. In the past, I’ve made a traditional one covered in meats and cheeses. And though I’ve never made one specifically for Valentine’s Day, I found one online that looks festive and tasty!

This one from Domesticated Life is filled with everything from chocolate covered pretzels to salami. Here are a few more things she added to make this Valentine’s-inspired tray quite the sight. Remember, you can click on the blue link in the text if you need help finding one of the ingredients!

Prosciutto, Brie and Apricot Crostini

Photo credit: The Food Network

Give me a sweet-and-salty flavor combination and I’m bound to like it. That’s why this Prosciutto, Brie and Apricot Crostini appetizer from The Food Network caught my attention.

Topped with melted Brie and thin slices of prosciutto, these baguette slices are sure to pack a punch. They’re also finished with apricot jam and chives for quite the rollercoaster of flavors. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

  • 8 oz. Brie
  • 1 baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 oz. thinly-sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Start by preheating your oven broiler. Next, put the baguette slices on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cut your Brie into 1/2-inch-thick slices and put a slice on each piece of bread. Broil it until the cheese melts (about 1-2 minutes).

When you take the tray out of the oven, to the slices with prosciutto, a dollop of apricot jam and a small sprinkle of chives.

Caprese Skewers

Photo credit: Rasa Malaysia

Trying to stay on the lighter side to make room for all of those desserts? These Caprese skewers from Rasa Malaysia will help you do just that. When you’re at the store, make sure to pick up these ingredients:

  • Cherry tomatoes (12)
  • Grape tomatoes (12)
  • Mini mozzarella balls (12)
  • Fresh Italian basil leaves (12)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Thread 1 cherry tomato, 2 mozzarella balls, 2 basil leaves and 1 grape tomato on a wodden skewer. Repeat will all skewers.

When finished, set them all on a platter and drizzle them with olive oil followed by balsamic vinegar. Complete the recipe by seasoning them with salt and pepper to taste.

Festive Drinks To Help You Unwind

Raspberry Piña Colada Cocktail

Photo credit: Worthy Life

This Worthy Life created the cutest drink for Valentine’s Day and I couldn’t help but to give it a share. It’s a Raspberry Piña Colada Cocktail and it’s sure to bring some cheer to your evening!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it at home:

  • 1 1/2 oz. white rum
  • 1 oz. gourmet raspberry syrup
  • 50 ml. RumChata
  • 3 fresh raspberries
  • 3 oz. piña colada cocktail mix

Mash your raspberries in a cocktail tin with a muddler. Pour in the white rum, the raspberry syrup, the RumChata and the piña colada cocktail mix. Toss in about 4 ice cubes, secure the top and shake for 30 seconds. Then, strain the mixture through a sieve and garnish it with a marshmallow heart!

Strawberry Martini

Photo credit: Sidewalks Shoes

More of a martini person? Check out this drink from Sidewalks Shoes. It’s made with a gin base and has a refreshing taste of strawberry throughout. Plus, it really fits with the Valentine’s Day theme.

These are the ingredients you’ll need on hand:

  • 1/4 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 3 oz. gin

Start by chilling the martini glass (optional but recommended!). Next, place the strawberries, thyme and lemon wedge into a cocktail shaker and muddle thoroughly. When finished, fill the entire shaker with ice, add gin and shake for about 15 seconds. Done! Just pour it into a glass and enjoy.

The Best Main Courses To Prepare On The 14th

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

Find the recipe HERE.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be comforting and filled with love. Right? And what better way to warm everyone’s spirits than with a homemade pasta dish.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend cooking up my famous baked ziti. It features three cheeses and Italian sausage (just to name a couple of things). It will also last you a couple of nights — and leftovers are always a win in my book! Find the recipe HERE.

Steakhouse Steaks

Photo credit: The Food Network

I can always count on Ina Garten for delightful meal ideas like these steakhouse steaks. The recipe is made for two but you can always buy more steaks and bake them to perfection for the entire family. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • 2 (10-ounce) filet mignon
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely-cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400-degrees F and while doing so, heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat for about 5-7 minutes. In the meantime, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush them with vegetable oil (light). Combine the fleur de sel and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture — making sure to press lightly to evenly coat the sides.

When your skillet is hot, add the steaks to sear them evenly on all sides (about 2 minutes per side) for a total of 10 minutes. Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter and place the skillet in the oven until the steaks reach 120-degrees F for rare, or 125-degrees F for medium-rare.

Remove the steaks and cover them tightly with aluminum foil, letting them rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Heart-Shaped Pizza

Photo credit: The Food Network

If the whole family is involved in your Valentine’s Day celebration, you can make these adorable heart-shaped pizzas. Courtesy of the Food Network, they’re simple to make and kid-approved.

Take a trip to the store to get these ingredients:

  • 1 pound store-bought pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (and more for brushing)
  • 16 slices of pepperoni
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 1/2 cup prepared pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella

Put your pizza dough in a medium bowl and coat it with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. While the dough sits, put a large inverted baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat it to 500-degrees F.

Gather your pepperoni slices and a pair of kitchen shears. Folding the pepperoni in half, trim the edges into the shape of a heart (unfolding it will reveal a heart). Do this to all the slices.

After the hour is up, divide the dough into 2 balls and on a lightly floured surface, stretch 1 ball of dough into a 10-inch round. Transfer it to a piece of parchment paper, then slide the parchment and dough onto a second inverted baking sheet. Using kitchen shears or a pairing knife, cut the pizza dough into the shape of a large heart — discarding the scraps.

Now, spread half of the sauce on the dough and scatter half of the cheeze over top. Add half of the pepperoni slices and finish by brushing the exposed edges of the dough with olive oil. Carefully slide the parchemnt onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

Let it cool for 1-2 minutes and repeat with the second pizza. Can you say “yummmm”?

Did Someone Say Desserts?

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

Find the recipe HERE.

When I think of Valentine’s Day, one of the first things I think of is red! And that’s why I recommend trying my cherry cheesecake dessert. It’s filled with flavor and it’s fairly easy to make. The best part is that it’s a no-bake option, meaning you can make it a day ahead of time so you don’t have to stress on the 14th.

Want to give it a taste. Find it HERE!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Find the cupcakes HERE.

I lied… when I think of Valentine’s Day I think of red AND pink! Agree? Something about the two together makes me cheerful which is why I’m going to try to make my strawberry cupcakes for a post-dinner treat.

These are light and airy but don’t let that fool you. The flavor is incredible and you can’t stick to just one. You can bake them at home by following the recipe HERE.

German Chocolate Caramel Cake

Find the recipe HERE.

One thing I know for sure is that you can’t celebrate the holiday without chocolate. You best bet I’ll pick up a few chocolate candies from the store, but I also plan on baking a chocolate-based treat in the oven!

If you’re on the same page as me, I’m sure my German chocolate caramel cake won’t disappoint. From the fudgy center to the drizzled caramel and chopped pecans… I might make a couple of batches! Find the recipe HERE.

A Few Other Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day At Home

To really top off the evening, you can add some of these ideas to your Valentine’s Day At Home celebration.

Do A Wine and Chocolate Tasting At Home

So you can’t go out this year… that’s quite alright. Make the most of it at home with your own little tasting session. I recommend getting about 3-4 wine varieties and a few chocolates. Here are some pairings you’ll want to try:

  • White chocolate and Rosé or Moscato d’Atsi
  • Mild chocolate and Pinot Gris or Sherry
  • Dark chocolate and Port or Maury

Feel free to change it up and experiment with your own! And if you need some chocolate recommendations, you can find some of my favorites by clicking on the pictures below.

Cook Dinner Together

Are you usually the one to prepare dinner at home? This Valentine’s Day, make it a family affair! A couple of days before the 14th, go online and find a recipe everyone will enjoy. Then, take a trip to the grocery store together to get all of your ingredients (and maybe get some Valentine’s candy at the same time!).

Decide who is going to take on each step of the cooking process and make sure to get everyone’s hands in the kitchen. When it’s complete, you’ll know each family member worked hard to prepare the meal — which I think makes it more delicious!

Play Games In The Comfort Of Your Home

Plan a relaxing night indoors with a few family games. Sometimes, a simple game of cards is all you need to feel closer to your family members. But if your crew is a little more competitive, you can challenge them to games like Catan or Monopoly. Check out some of my board game ideas below.

While this year’s Valentine’s Day might look different, I hope you’re able to celebrate it happily at home.

From my home to yours,

Jill