Tired of crowded restaurants and expensive prix fixe menus? Celebrate Valentine's Day in style this year from the comfort of home! We called on our good friend and party maven Erica Key, of the award-winning blog Eating with Erica, to show us how to plan an amazing Valentine's Day dinner that your significant other (or BFF) will never forget!
Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays! Who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate love?
I do! It’s the one day out of the year that your significant other has to be chivalrous and is obligated to put forth an effort to be romantic. Over the years, I have preferred to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home, for a number of reasons.
1) It’s less of a headache than dealing with large crowds in restaurants.
2) It’s cost-effective.
3) It's more intimate. And last, but not least...
4) It’s a chance to blow your significant other's socks off by creating a new recipe.
When creating a menu for a special holiday, simplicity is best! I suggest creating a meal that you're comfortable preparing; that way, you don’t have to stress, especially if you aren’t the best cook. We don’t need any Pinterest fails.
This year for Valentine's Day, I was feeling fancy. I created a three-course meal for my fiancé and paired each course with delectable Belle Isle cocktails using Ruby Red Grapefruit and Cold Brew Coffee.
Tomato, basil, and goat cheese bruschetta
Cocktail pairing: Lovers' lane
Bruschetta is one of the simplest appetizers to create. And one of the most delicious, in my opinion! I added goat cheese for some pizzazz and created a tasty cocktail called Lovers' Lane: Ruby Red Grapefruit, neat, with a splash of Sprite. The flavors worked well together and was the perfect start to the meal.
*Fun Fact: Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit is a splendid shot.
Grilled shrimp and lobster claws with kale caesar salad
Cocktail pairing: Cupid's Kiss
Seriously, Bae and I are seafood people. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to show my stuff with the main entree and the Cupid's Kiss cocktail was fancy enough to be the main header. Visually, it's a really attractive drink, and it's not too sweet.
*Fun Fact: Use various berries to step up your cocktail presentatioN! I suggest strawberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries.
Chocolate toast topped with mixed berries
Cocktail Pairing: Shiny coffee
Coffee is my everything, so it's a must that I get my coffee fix after dinner. It's so relaxing and a great way to unwind. The Shiny Coffee cocktail is so smooth, and it compliments the toast. When creating the toast, you can use chocolate or mascarpone cheese for the spread. The best part of this recipe is that it can be served as a dessert or as breakfast! I mean, who wouldn't want to wake up to this decadence for a cozy breakfast in bed? This is the ideal way to say good morning or good night.
*Fun Fact: Cinnamon sticks are a delicious bonus to a cocktail.
In addition to this year's love-fest, I am hosting a light Valentine's Day soirée for my friends who are single. It's going to be a fun time with cute decor and tasty treats. I'll feature the Cupid's Kiss cocktail again, since It's a refreshing cocktail that will send your single well-wishes right into the love department. You can create a punch or make the drink individually. I created a chocolate fondue and provided multiple options for dipping. You can use fruits, graham crackers, pretzels, and/or marshmallows.
No matter what your plans are for Valentine's Day, spread lots of love, eat well, drink well, and include Belle Isle Moonshine!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 1 oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit
- ½ oz. Sprite
Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into glass.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 oz. Belle Isle Ruby Red Grapefruit
- 2 oz. Ruby red grapefruit juice
- Fresh Berries (Raspberry, Strawberries, and/or Blackberries)
Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute, and garnish with berries.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 oz. Belle Isle Cold Brew Coffee
- ½ oz. simple syrup
- 3 oz. fresh coffee
- 1 ½ oz. dairy
Build all ingredients in glass or mug to taste!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Recipes & post by Erica Key, editor-in-chief and founder of Eating with Erica.