Don’t Break Her Heart!

Think outside the box (of chocolates) this Valentine’s Day

Valentine's DayThis article was originally published in Kansas Living, January 29th, 2016. A publication of the Kansas Farm Bureau

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Hi guys,

Chef Alli here, thinking up some fun ways to help you be a Valentine’s Day hero.  Every woman in the land wants to swoon and be doted on by her man, so don’t you dare think otherwise, not even for a second. I am confident that with a little planning and prep, you can pull off something really special that she will always cherish and remember. Here are a few ideas I came up with:

Date night – have ya had one recently?

Nope, going to the sale barn with her in tow each Tuesday evening doesn’t count.  I’m talking about just the two of you, somewhere fun, that she will enjoy….and it doesn’t have to be over-the-top expensive, either. Your honey will be super excited if you take the initiative to plan an evening out together.  Don’t forget to arrange for a sitter and make a reservation – Valentine’s Day or not, date night is a big deal!

Don’t let time be a tattletale

Don’t wait untilthe last minute. Nobody wants to be an afterthought, especially when we all know that Valentine’s Day comes every, single Feb. 14. Making her wonder if you’re going to remember  won’t score you any points. Use Feb. 1 as your marker to let her know she’s a priority and you’ve got something planned for Valentine’s Day.

Date nightMake it official – ring her up

Relax! We’re not talking diamonds here, we’re talking a phone call. Unless you think she may drop dead or be afraid you have a brain tumor, call her up and sweetly ASK your woman out on a Valentine’s Day date. Phoning her specifically to arrange this with her (ahead of time, no less) will make her feel special.  Do it!

Breakfast by a champion

Instead of dinner by candlelight, what about breakfast?  Send the kids off on that big cheese wagon (yes, the school bus) or Grandma’s house and tell your boss you’re coming in late. Then, set the table, light some candles, and get your sweetheart a cup of coffee – she’ll enjoy watching you do all the work, whether it’s flapjacks or Poptarts.  If you’re afraid your cooking may lead to burning down the house, I hear you can do breakfast by candlelight at Waffle House on Valentine’s Day.

Be her king of the mountain

Yes, a Hallmark card can make her heart swell with emotion on Valentine’s Day.  However,  you could play it a little differently this year. How about a handwritten sticky note placed on the dashboard of her car every morning– one for each day that leads up to Valentine’s Day? Easy, fun things like “Thanks for marrying me,” or “I’m proud of you. Did you know that?” might just really trip her trigger.

OrzoPastaSaladwithGrilledFlatIronSteakSteak:  The universal language of love

If you’re on a limited budget or don’t have access to a sitter at this point, no worries – use the kitchen to get your groove on for Valentine’s Day. Get those kiddos to bed, throw on your comfy clothes, pour her a glass of wine, put on some good music, then pull out the cast iron skillet. Grill up a big juicy ribeye, bake a potato, throw in a salad.  Now the finale: sit down, listen and eat dinner together. She’s gonna be impressed!

Back-roads boogie

Take your bride on a drive! She doesn’t have to know where you’re going, either. Make it fun and have few surprise stops along the way.  You could even plan a progressive dinner by town – start with snacks and sodas from the convenience store, appetizers in Topeka, salad in Manhattan, dinner in Cottonwood Falls…you get the idea.  Here’s an easy dessert for when you arrive back at home:  Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl using your microwave in 30 second increments until the chocolate is smooth when you stir it.  Dip some whole strawberries into the melted chocolate and place onto a piece of wax paper. The rest is up to you.

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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