Planning A Stress-Free Valentine's Day At Home

Planning a Valentine's Day dinner can be overwhelming. Coordinating your meal, trying to snag a reservation the one night of the year everyone is dining out, and choosing the right words to express how you feel. We can't help you with that last one, but with these quick tips, we can turn your stress into a world class meal at the touch of a button. (Literally.)

So, skip the fancy restaurant this year, and cozy up with your special someone for an intimate evening at home.

Keep it simple.

Hallmark told us that this day is a really big deal, so many people go overboard trying to organize an extravagant evening, replete with multiple courses and decadent, three-tiered desserts. But that can cause unnecessary anxiety that's sure to be a mood killer, so go with something simple that both of you enjoy to be the star of your show. Maybe you had a steak dinner you loved on your anniversary or a favorite cocktail on vacation. Pick a dish and a drink you love that reminds each of you of something you shared and that closeness will come through in your cooking and give you lots of memories to reminisce over. Need some recipe inspiration? Check out our Table for Two Collection with a variety of carefully crafted dishes, perfect for pairs. Think Balsamic-Glazed Chicken, Coq au Vin, and Oysters Rockefeller. We mean, oysters are practically a requirement on Valentine's Day, right?

Stay in your comfort zone.

A romantic dinner is not the time to start experimenting with exotic dishes or flavors, so stick with things you're comfortable making. Do you make a juicy roast chicken or tasty ribbons of pasta? Stick with that. You can feel free to elevate them by adding salmon to your fettuccine or preparing a new sauce to complement your poultry, but don't try to reproduce overly complex fare from your last trip to Greece. Not only will you feel more confident in your meal so you can relax and enjoy your night, you'll also ensure there's no last-minute hiccups or issues. A kitchen fire or flopped soufflé is definitely not conducive for celebrating, so focus on what you're good at and make sharing delicious food together the main course. Our suggestions? How about heating things up with our spicy Arrabbiata Sauce, perfect over spaghetti, chicken or shrimp.  Or why not add a silky drizzle of Béarnaise to your filet with our simple recipe with savory hints of shallots and tarragon (made even simpler if you have a Thermomix® -- see what we did there?).

Keep everything in its right place.

The French have a term called 'Mise en place,' which translates to 'everything in its place' that chefs around the world employ to ensure the best results every time. Basically, it means that you should lay out all of your ingredients you'll need before you start cooking so you can grab them easily when the time comes and don't have to worry about missing a step or overcooking your food. This is made even simpler with Thermomix®'s state-of-the-art guided cooking, which walks you through the entire process to give you restaurant-quality results, even for a novice cook. (Sorry, we did it again!) So, make a complete list of ingredients and spread them all out on your workstation to prep and cook your meal. (This also makes for easy clean up.)

Whatever you decide to whip up, relax and have fun. The right dress, dish, or drink won’t outshine the smile on your face and spending quality time together. And we know it may sound a little sentimental, but food that’s made with love always tastes the best. We may have the world’s most revolutionary countertop sous chef, but that’s the secret ingredient.

Need more recipe inspiration? Activate your free Cookidoo® membership here!