Valentine’s Day, as much as many of us turn our nose up at it, is the perfect time to rekindle the romance in your relationship or ignite the flame in a new one. Skip the public outing this year and slip into something more comfortable and bewitching for a steamy night spent indoors with the one you love.
Start by Setting the Scene for Romance
Abandon the dining room chairs, pull up a few soft pillows, turn the lights off, and light a few candles to create an indoor picnic that will give you plenty of room to indulge in a night focused on the one you love. If space allows, hang a canopy over your seating area to ensure an intimate setting and lay out a buffet on the floor, perhaps around the coffee table. Leave the plates and utensils in the kitchen because whatever you serve on Valentine's Day is best enjoyed with your hands. Put on some music, but don't let it overpower the conversation. Here are some romantic tunes to get you started. Then keep the cocktails simple, light, and within arm's reach.
Opt for a Menu with Meaning
Save recreating that meal you shared on your first date for your anniversary. Valentine's Day is the one day out of the year where Cupid makes the calls — and he's all for aphrodisiac delights. When planning the night's menu, indulge in finger foods for lovers that will generate a spark.
• Start with some grilled sardines, mussels, or oysters on the half shell. These fruits of the sea are full of dopamine and zinc, both proven romance boosters.
• Add some slices of avocado to a salad, or serve it with smoked salmon as an appetizer — this hanging fruit of the Aztec gods often grows in pairs, and, full of vitamin E, it's good for your body, too.
• Peaches hold the power of sexuality for the Chinese because of their moist pink flesh. Use them in a simple compote to serve with buckwheat crepes.
• On Valentine's Day, chocolate is a must and for good reason. It contains a stimulant called phenylethylamine, which gives you a sense of well-being and excitement similar to the natural high that endorphins give us. Dip into that box of truffles or make your own. (Photo courtesy of Veer/Steve Cukrow)
Set a Playful Mood
If dining somewhere other than the dining table isn't enough, get adventurous with these ideas fit for lovers.
• Dine blind. Nothing unexpected here, but if you are feasting on finger foods, why not heighten the experience with a blindfold?
• Truth or dare. Recreate this childhood game by adding a grown-up twist by each placing five truths and five dares into a bowl. Then, take turns exploring a whole new side of your relationship. Or, there is always strip poker…