Ready or not, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast — it’s this Sunday. Though your typical mode of operation might not entail much more than a dinner reservation and a trip to the florist (or, hey, even the drugstore for a last-minute box of waxy truffles), this is the year that everything is going to be different. No, we’re not charging you with the task of making a handcrafted molten chocolate lava cake, or even suggesting you make a multicourse meal. Instead, we’ve got thoughtful, unexpected and unconventional ways to show your love you care.
Skip the Sugar Rush
Stop right there! Before you reach for sugar-shock-inducing treats for the one you love, go for something less expected. We’ve got easy ideas for Non-Candy Valentine’s Day Treats that upgrade unassuming foods to giftworthy status. Plus, they work as quirky valentines for your kids as well.
Don’t Send Any Mixed Messages
They say the way to someone’s heart is through his or her stomach, and these heart-shaped foods don’t give off any mixed signals. Cook up all kinds of Heart-Shaped Foods for Valentine’s Day, from crispy bacon to “heart-y” rice cereal treats, and feed your sweetie the food of love all day long.
Plant Top-Secret Messages
Don’t Even Let Them Get Out of Bed
Valentine’s Day lands on a Sunday this year, and odds are your valentine will want to sleep in. Cater to his or her needs by serving breakfast in bed. These citrusy Meyer Lemon Scones with Raspberry Crumbs by How Sweet It Is are sprinkled with freeze-dried raspberry crumbs for that sweet, pink finish, and they go perfectly with a cup of freshly brewed coffee made just the way your sweetie likes it.
Don’t Ruin Their Diet
Hey, if your significant other is really trying to be good, don’t ruin it for the sake of this holiday. Instead, blend a Valentine’s Day-inspired Red Berry-and-Beet Smoothie that is festive enough for the holiday and nothing but nourishing.
If You’re Making Dinner, Don’t Spend the Entire Time Cooking
When it comes to wining and dining the special one in your life, choose a recipe that might one-up your go-to cooking routine but doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Go for an elegant yet foolproof dish, like Rachael Ray’s aptly named You-Won’t-Be-Single-for-Long Vodka Cream Pasta, that’s quick, easy and still impressive.