SPONSORED BY HELLOFRESH
Valentines is just around the corner
whether you’re taking full advantage and getting completely loved up, or turning a blind eye and steering well clear this year, its always nice to have a few home cooked recipe ideas at the ready for a cosy night in.
Candles – check, bottle of bubbles – check, romantic music – check!!! . . .and for dinner?? How about steak or curry or a full on roast dinner? or maybe something lighter? Kedgeree or sticky prawns? Or maybe you really want to impress and make a show-stopper of a meal: lamb lollipops or homemade fresh pasta sound good?
But do we really want to stay in and cook on Valentines?
Is it all worth it?? Do you really want to stay in and cook for your loved one or indeed have them cook up something special for you? Or is the hassle and the pressure all too much? Especially when you can go out and pay a top chef to do the job for you…??
Well, a recent survey carried out by HelloFresh certainly suggests that a night of passionate cooking might be exactly what is needed or at least what most of us prefer. With 70% of surveyed respondents saying they are planning a romantic Valentines night in and 72% stating that its actually more special if their other half cooks for them, it seems that theres good reason to don that pinny and work your culinary magic.
But despite these generally positive statistics and people seemingly being all up for cooking-up a romantic storm in the kitchen, there are still some with reservations (dinner reservations perhaps?? 🙂 I digress). . . Out of those surveyed by HelloFresh, 60% said they didn’t think there was a link between affection or intimacy and cooking their partners favourite meal. Other concerns centred around burning the food, drinking too much, or even having a row. So, where does that leave us on that romantic night in? Confused I think.
So as I do obviously own a food blog and I do spend an awful lot of time in the kitchen, and mainly thats because I’m cooking for my other half, I feel I should maybe throw a few ideas out there to help tempt the unsure and get the kitchen-cautious cooking something yummy for their lovely Valentine.
Not only is this recipe super tasty and really quick to make but its also a healthier, lighter version of the classic Indian take away. So this little tasty number will satisfy but won’t overfill – and no-one wants to be stuffed to bursting on Valentines, right?
We all love a meal that can be thrown in the pot and left to cook through while we get on with more important stuff. This Texas style smoky chilli is nice and simple and basically cooks itself. Its also got enough of a kick to keep things nice and spicy 🙂
This is one of my personal favourites – I love lamb and its definitely top of my list for romantic foods and Ben loves pie – so this particular recipe ticks all the boxes for us. And even though it does require a little extra effort, I promise its 100% worth it. – so yummy!
So, if you’re not up for a full on lamb pie then a lamb rack or lamb lollipops might be the way to go. A quick fry in the pan, then a blast in the oven for 15 minutes, finished with a 20 minute rest (for both you and the meat) and you’ll have yourself a perfectly pink a juicy rack of lamb. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
You just know that steak has to be on the list! And in fact the HelloFresh survey put steak as the number one home-cooked Valentines meal, with curry as a close second. Steak and chips is obviously a great option but I love my steak with a vibrant and aromatic chimichurri sauce and baby potatoes roasted with rosemary. (To make your steak extra tasty get your pan super hot before you put the meat in and then throw in a knob of butter and crushed garlic clove towards the end of frying time – and baste plenty!
A good veggie option has to be risotto – and in particular I love this risotto for Valentines. I mean it is made with a whole bottle of Amarone red wine!! But it was also one of the courses for our wedding in Italy last year – so this particular dish will always be very special and romantic in my eyes.
Yes I think we need some dessert options and I’m definitely going to concentrate on chocolate – its Valentines we’re talking about here, so it just has to finish with lots of chocolate!
Easy and quick soft bake cookies, with a crumbly outer edge, gooey centre and dotted with melted chunks of Cadburys dairy milk chocolate – sure to melt the heart of your fave person as well! 🙂 🙂
In case your combining Valentines and pancake day!! American style pancakes three ways: caramelised banana with Nutella sauce, mascarpone vanilla cream with passion fruit, and healthy banana flourless pancakes with toffee sauce – take your pick, or have all 3!!
Nothing says love like homemade chunks of gooey chocolate hazelnut fudge, washed down with a liqueur coffee.
Light and crumbly Hazelnut & White Chocolate brownies with chocolate decoration – perfect for keeping things sweet this valentines
This is a really easy dessert with no need for any baking. There’s a bit of butter and chocolate melting involved, but its mainly about layering, setting and eating. Perfect for any peanut butter lovers out there!
Or if you want to keep it healthy but still have a bit of chocolate – have a try of my –
Deliciously chocolatey and bursting with mint and honey aromas, these healthy, flourless courgette muffins are low in calories and high in protein. Little cups of tasty goodness, which are the perfect answer to a guilt-free Valentines treat.
So no excuses!! 🙂 I hope theres something here that you find useful for your romantic night in!!
Whatever you end up doing, heres wishing you lots of love and hugs on Valentines Day x x
With thanks to HelloFresh for access to their Valentines day survey data.