Planning a Valentines Day Menu that Pleases

Wednesday 14 February 2024


Valentines Day Menu for Two


Happy Valentines Day!  I know I am a single woman, but I can still remember the excitement of wanting to prepare a fabulous romantic dinner for my partner.  Sure it is nice to be taken out, but, and I am speaking from my own honest opinion here,  you often get a much better meal at home. 

Going out may not always be an option either. Many places fill up rather quickly on nights such as Valentines Day and getting a reservation or a seat can often be next to impossible!

What better way to show your partner how much you love them than by cooking a delicious meal just for them! It is also often much cheaper than eating out as well.  And, with proper planning, you can have almost everything pre-prepared and ready to cook at the last minute.

You can make it as simple or as complicated as you wish for it to be.


Garlic and White Cheddar Bisque

You don't need to have a starter, but I think it is a nice way to begin any meal.  The idea of a romantic dinner is to spread it out over a few hours.  Time when you can linger at the table and talk and enjoy each others company.  A bit of romantic music in the background, some wonderful conversation, it can't be beat.  Restaurants can often be noisy and are far less intimate.

Soup is always a nice option and can be made ahead of time, ready to reheat at the last minute.  This photo is of a delicious Garlic and White Cheddar Bisque.  Light enough that it won't fill you up, but full of rich flavors that most men enjoy.   Men also enjoy French Onion Soup. You can make it lighter by adding less cheese and a smaller crouton on top.

Even a chilled glass of tomato juice with a crisp stick of celery ( from the heart, leaves still attached) garnishing it is lovely.  Use a narrow tall juice sized glass, dip the rim of the glass in water and then celery salt to make it even prettier. Pop the glass onto a plate lined with a pretty paper doily to serve.

Shrimp Cocktail

Other delicious options might be a lush Shrimp Cocktail.  This one made with King Prawns is especially nice.   

Another tasty and simpler option is to serve some smoked salmon with lemon wedges, and buttered brown bread or toast. Much easier and also very delicious.  Or even a Smoked Salmon Mousse with some crackers or crisp breads. This can also be made well ahead of time and actually tastes better for having set in the fridge for a time.

Whatever you choose for the first course you want to make sure it is light and won't weigh heavy when it comes to the remainder of the meal.

Herbed Garlic Butter Steak and Mushrooms


Most men love nothing better than a nice steak when it comes to a delicious main course.  This delicious Herbed Garlic Butter Steak and Mushrooms is a real man pleaser.   Tender and juicy, and always perfectly cooked when you follow my instructions.

Steak and mushrooms are a real favorite with me as well. A baked Potato on the side and I am in steak heaven!

Cast Iron Lemon & Rosemary Chicken

Don't like steak?  Maybe Herbed Pork Chops with Garlic Butter might be more to your taste? These always come out juicy and tender.  I also highly recommend Cast Iron Lemon and Rosemary Chicken.  Delectable to say the least.

Country Fried Chicken with  brown gravy is also a real man pleaser.  What man doesn't enjoy gravy?  For that matter, I am a huge gravy fan as well!

Gremolata Baked Cod

Of course, fish is also a great option as it always cooks quickly and easily. Gremolata Baked Cod on a bed of sauteed spinach is always lovely. Quick easy and delicious!  Another favorite is Creamy Baked Haddock, which is rich and delicious and goes very well with a pile of fluffy mash and some veg on the side.


Of course you can play it really simple with the sides, depending on what you have chosen for the entree.  With a steak you just can't beat a salad and baked potato on the side.  Jacket potatoes can be thrown into the oven well ahead of time and then just reheated at the last minute.  It is the same with mash.  There are loads of make ahead mashed potato recipes out there.

Rice is also a delicious option. I like the ready cooked rice pouches that you can buy today.  Bens and Tilda put out some really nice ones.  As a side with a simple main I would opt for a plain steamed long grain or basmati, especially if you main dish has a sauce or a gravy.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Dauphinoise Potatoes go with just about anything.  Rich and creamy you can make them up well ahead of time and then, again, just pop them into the oven to reheat while you are putting the finishing touches on the main dish. 


If you really want to simplify things you could even opt for one of those potato gratin mixes.  There is nothing wrong with them in my opinion, and if you are looking for a simple side that will leave you to get on with the main dish relatively stress-free, you can't do much better than that!

My sister often roasts vegetables to go with her entree's. She will cube potatoes and sweet potatoes, perhaps some butternut squash, add chunks of carrots and quartered onions. These get tossed with a bit of oil and or butter and some seasoning and herbs.  

Spread onto a baking sheet which is lined with some baking paper so they don't stick, she pops them into a fairly hot oven (400*F/200*C) for half an hour and then she will add some tender stem broccoli, or halved brussels sprouts, or whole green beans and cook them for about 10 minutes longer.  These are always delicious and are really no fuss.

Carrots with Honey and Lime

I really love carrots myself, and these Carrots with Honey and Lime are a real favorite with me.   I also really love these Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips.

Buttery Peas and Mushrooms are also a favorite.  But then again, you can simply steam or cook some of the fabulous frozen vegetable options that are available to us today.  Always a winner!

Mexican Chocolate Lava Cakes


Of course a celebratory meal would not be complete without a delicious dessert to enjoy!   You could pick up a ready made dessert and there are some really fabulous ones out there. Even something as simple as vanilla ice cream with some chocolate sauce can be delicious.

Mexican Chocolate Lava Cakes is a dessert that you can make the batter for ahead of time.  Just refrigerate and then pop into the oven to bake while you are enjoying the last of your main meal.  Rich and gooey with a hint of cinnamon, these are fabulous topped with ice cream.

Gingered Pear and Raspberry Cobbler

I am extremely partial to this Gingered Pear and Raspberry Cobbler.  It is excellent served warm with ice cream or pouring cream or clotted cream. You can make it together in the day and then just pop it into the oven when you start your meal.   It will be ready to eat by the time you are finished! 

Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
Gingered Raspberry and Pear Cobbler

Gingered Raspberry and Pear Cobbler

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 50 MinInactive time: 10 MinTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
A delicious combination that will have them begging for seconds!


For the filling:
  • 50g granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS plus 1/2 tsp corn flour (corn starch)
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 pound fresh or frozen raspberries (1 cup)
  • 1/2 TBS cold butter, cut into small bits


For the topping:
  1. 140g of plain flour (1 cup)
  2. 2 TBS granulated sugar, divided
  3. 1/3 tsp baking powder
  4. pinch of fine sea salt
  5. 5 TBS cold butter, cut into small bits
  6. 3 TBS chopped candied ginger, chopped
  7. 80ml plus 1/2 TBS cold buttermilk, divided (1/3 cup plus 1/2 TBS)
  1. First make the topping. Whisk the flour, 1 1/2 TBS of the sugar, the baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter, and toss to evenly coat.
  2. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you get crumbs the size of peas. Stir in the candied ginger, then pour in the 80ml/1/3 cup of buttermilk, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The dough should be crumbly with visible pieces of butter. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter a 7-inch inch deep dish pie pan. Set aside.
  4. Rub the sugar, corn flour and salt (for the filling) together in a large bowl. Add the pears and lemon juice. Toss until evenly coated. Gently fold in the raspberries. Transfer to the prepared pan. Dot with the 1/2 TBS of butter.
  5. Turn the dough for the topping out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press together into a 9 inch circle. Place carefully on top of the fruit. Brush with the 1/2 TBS of buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 TBS of sugar.
  6. Bake in the bottom third of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the juices are bubbly and thick.
  7. Allow to cool for half an hour before serving. Serve with pouring cream, custard or ice cream. Delicious!
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Easy Lemon and Blackberry Dessert

This Easy Lemon and Blackberry Dessert is another tasty option. As simple as layering a few ordinary ingredients into some clear glasses. Impressive but very easy. Nobody needs to know just how easy they are to make. 

 The important thing is to have fun with it all. Not stress out about any of it and to simply just enjoy each other's company. For some that may be as simple as ordering in a pizza and enjoying a film together. Others may want to pull out all the stops! And still others will want to be treated to a fancy meal out! 

 Just enjoy your evening whatever your plans may be! Happy Valentines Day! 

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  1. Delicious all round ! Have a lovely day Marie ! 💐

    1. Thanks very much Debs! You have a lovely day also! xo


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