Great Cookbooks to Try: Dinner for 2 on Valentine’s Day

Abigail Beal Abigail Beal cooking

Valentine’s Day will soon be here. There is an old-fashioned saying “the way to your sweetie’s heart is through their stomach” meaning to cook them delicious meals and to buy them yummy treats such as heart shaped boxes of candy.
Some couples go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. You’ll often find that restaurants offer special menus, just for Valentine’s Day, which is very nice, but you usually have to stick with that specific menu whether you like it or not, so you can’t have the shrimp scampi no matter how much you want it. You’ve really got to have the lobster risotto because that is what is on their Valentine’s Day menu. Not everyone finds it romantic to be handed such a cookie cutter approach to what is supposed to be a romantic day. That’s why we offer you this solution: you cook for your sweetie instead!

You’ll find lots of cookbooks available today, just about one for any type of cuisine you might like to try. There are even books especially for those new to cooking too.

Here are the elements you’ll need for the “perfect” Valentine’s Day dinner:

  • Snacks or hors oeuvres to start your meal
  • A good bottle of wine
  • Romantic music 
  • No checking your cellphone, tablet or any other electronic media for the night. Put your cellphone on Airplane Mode. 
  • A salad or vegetable
  • Entre (typically this is a protein, whether this is meat or a protein that vegans or vegetarians prefer)
  • Starch
  • Dessert

These are not hard and fast rules. So if you both hate salad – then don’t make it! If you don’t like to drink wine and would rather have your favorite craft beer instead, then be sure to get that for your sweetie. Cooking a romantic meal is more about being thoughtful and remembering what someone likes and also what they do not like. This shows how much you care about them.
Also remember that Valentine’s Day is not the time to talk about why the dog is digging a hole in the backyard and you can’t stop them from doing it. Or how the latest tablet you want is on sale. Or that project at work that is driving you batty – and it still is driving you just as batty. Now is the time to focus on each other, to leave the outside world where it is for a couple of hours. Don’t worry! It will be right there, where you’ve left it when you finish dinner.

So instead of making a reservation at your local restaurant that’s going to be incredibly pricey (and crowded!), why not choose one of these and find a new favorite recipe to make? Best of all, your sweetie will think you are super thoughtful and romantic, after all, that is what Valentine’s Day is all about!

The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes from the Natural Foods Restaurant That Revolutionized Eating in America

By The Moosewood Collective

Now the first cookbook they came out with has become a natural foods & vegetarian recipe classic, called The Moosewood Cookbook. In this new cookbook you'll find 250 new recipes to try that we've all never seen before.

One of the things the Moosewood Collective is especially known for is recipes that are simple to follow. They use 100% natural ingredients. Best of all, the food is delicious and a lovely variety to their recipes from hearty meals and lite bites.

Danielle Walker's Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-free, Dairy-free and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime

By Danielle Walker

Many people today are following either a gluten-free, dairy-free or paleo lifestyle. Yes, you can make a romantic dinner for 2 and you'll find some wonderful, healthy yet still tempting meals in this cookbook. Best of all, the recipes are not complicated! So if you have not been in the kitchen in awhile or are coming home from a long day at work, there is no need to stress - it all will come out perfectly.

Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars

By Jenny Keller

Keller has baked scrumptious desserts for many stars. What could be more fun than eating the same cheesecake or cupcakes that one of your favorite celebs likes? Most of us like a sweet and tempting dessert especially on Valentine's Day. Here you will find more than 100 to choose from. The hardest thing may be simply to pick 1 of them!

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

By Ina Garten

What could be sweeter than reading a cookbook by a chef who creates recipes especially for her husband? Most of us when we cook a meal for our sweetie want to delight them. Now learn from an expert cook how she creates recipes for romance.

Whether you are brand new to dating someone or you’ve been together for a year or so – be sure to ask them their food likes and dislikes. We also recommend you ask them directly if they have any food allergies. You’ll have a much more fun & romantic evening if you let your sweetie know you are cooking for them and avoid making something they really can’t stand….or something that gives them hives.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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