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Make This Valentine’s Day the Most Special Yet — With a Dinner Date at Home

Valentine’s Day is an occasion to celebrate love; it’s a day filled with chocolates, and flowers, and fine jewelry, and prix fixe dinner menus at fancy northern Virginia restaurants.

Valentine’s Day is… expensive.

Surely, the love you feel for your significant other is reason enough to splurge a little, but splurging doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget. Opt for a bag of her favorite Reese’s peanut butter hearts; choose a bouquet of daisies from the grocery store display; and plan to prepare her favorite meal at home — there you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for a special Valentine’s Day date at home, on any budget. Many relationship counselors believe that you must invest time into your relationship.

Make making dinner the date.

Cooking together is as much fun as it is practical, as it is romantic. Crack open a bottle of wine, and get to the chopping, and the sautéing.

Set the mood.

You’ve already got the wine, and the fixings for a great meal; all that’s left to be had is the mood. Set the dining room table with your finest china. Adorn the room with candles and a vase for the flower you know she’ll love. Create a custom Spotify playlist for the occasion, and voila: the most romantic of settings all your own.

Start with appetizers.

Make an event out of Valentine’s Day dinner at home by serving up several courses for the night. Get things started with an assortment of easy to prepare, delicious appetizers: Tomato and basil bruschetta, stuffed cheese puffs, potato nests and hummus with pita chips are a few of our favorite options. (Tip: Check out Pinterest or your favorite cookbook for more options to complement your main course.)

Keep the wine flowing; just add pasta.

What’s more romantic than pasta and red wine? The truth is, nothing. Get creative; go out on a limb and try a pasta dish you’ve always wanted to try. Or stay within the old comfort zone with the Italian favorite, spaghetti and meatballs. Grab that second bottle of red wine, and settle in for a great meal with the best company.

Don’t forget dessert.

Okay, maybe there is something more romantic than pasta — and that’s dessert.

Keep things simple with homemade chocolate-covered strawberries or an assortment of gourmet chocolates from a specialty chocolatier. Even a small tray of truffles can be enough to satisfy the sweet tooth while giving you an excuse to indulge for the night. Do a chocolate sampling together or enjoy some sweet treats with even a bit more red wine for a truly gourmet treat.

Make Valentine’s Day special on a budget.

Show your sweetie how deep your love for her goes, without breaking the bank. (And not just on Valentine’s Day; every Tuesday, Friday, or Sunday is the perfect opportunity to let her know just how much you care — with a home cooked meal, a specially crafted playlist, or even just a five-dollar daisy bouquet.) Just because you are having dinner at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t arrange for an executive car service to pick up your sweetheart.

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