The worst Valentine's gifts that I have come across are –
1 A musical chicken
2 A new set of teeth - removable or otherwise, I'm not sure
3 A pack of four blank videos (admittedly this was some time ago)
4 A wheelbarrow - yes, really
5 A 'coin token' for a shopping trolley (you know the kind that you need in Asda but NEVER in Waitrose)
Thankfully I didn't receive (or give) any of these but hey, who says romance is dead?
So what treat will it be for your loved one this year? Something a little more special than these pitiful offerings it's to be hoped.
A single red rose?
A dozen red roses?
A bunch of flowers? … from the petrol station ... surely not?
Maybe a sentimental card?
Maybe a card overflowing with wit and humour?
Perhaps a diamond is on the cards ... Or several.
What about something fragrant or something sweet and calorific and chocolatey?
Possibly all (or none) of the above.
I realised some years ago that eating out on 14 February is a lottery at best and exceptionally mediocre at worst. On Valentine's Day, most restaurants are busy, under pressure and probably not a perfect setting for a romantic dinner à deux.
So for me, Valentine's food is almost always at home. We’re not talking fancy here, just home-cooked and made with love. That’s what it’s all about after all …
And if you fancy getting all romantic at home, here are 10 Special Treats for your Valentine from your very own kitchen. Now that really MUST be love.
If 14 February is not a workday for you, then perhaps a romantic, valentine's breakfast could be on the cards –
1 Muffins straight from the oven – These Nutella and Banana Muffins come together really quickly or you could even get ahead of yourself with some Overnight Date & Granola Muffins. Just add a good coffee and serve straight from the oven. Oh, that freshly baked smell ...
2 A romantic breakfast for two – Rhubarb feels a bit fancy, so Baked Rhubarb with Orange could be on the cards, served with some thick Greek yoghurt. Or maybe I'll settle on these Fruity Yoghurt and Granola Pots. Light, tasty and a nod to being healthy. Perfect.
3 A romantic breakfast on the go – If you are both tearing out of the door early on Valentine's Day, then preparing smoothies for the road could be just the romantic gesture that you need. A Mango and Lime Smoothie is a little bit zingy and a little bit zesty, but I think my vote would go for this Summer Strawberry Smoothie - it is the colour of love after all.
And what if an edible valentine's gift is more your thing –
4 Say it with hearts – Gingerbread Hearts to be more precise. Decorate them as you like – for me it HAS to be Smarties – or rope in the children to add that cute factor.
5 Say it with chocolate – But not any old chocolate, this supremely delicious and ridiculously easy Chocolate Tiffin. You need to use good chocolate but it will be way cheaper (and lovelier) than a box of fancy chocolates. Wrap it in cellophane and tie it with a bow to secure the deal.
Maybe a romantic valentine's dinner at home is on the cards -
6 A cosy TV dinner – A great movie, a couple of beers and a few of these Lamb and Mushroom Flatbreads. Napkins will be required, so not advised for a first date. Or there may not be a second.
7 A quick dinner - (so that you can spend more time ‘together’ – said in your best Brummie accent and harping back to that classic 80s Prudential advert …. You’ll remember it, I’m sure of it) – You can’t fail with this Homemade Pesto with Spaghetti … but opt for a tidier pasta variety if you may get in an appalling mess.
8 A spicy dinner (enough said) – This Thai Chicken Satay Rice Bowl could be just the job. A bit of spice, a lot of taste and enough 'wam bam impact' to get you some serious attention. In a good way.
9 A dramatic dessert – But which to choose? What about these Individual Boozy Trifles? They look seriously impressive, but really they are easy peasy and you could tweak the layers to include your true love’s favourites.
10 A decadent dessert (that’s quick and easy too) – In my mind, you can’t beat a Mud Pie Mojo. It’s all about combining rather than creating from scratch and there’s even a short video to ensure you don’t experience a monumental dessert failure.
Does that give you a few ideas? So what treats will your Valentine be enjoying? Can’t wait to hear the low down … But please - no over-sharing ...