By Heather Joy Thompson, CEO of PerfectlyCuratedLife
Valentine’s Day is around the corner – do you already have a game plan, or are you waiting until after Sunday’s Big Game to get yourself together? Don’t let the Super Bowl get in the way of preparing for an epic and enjoyable Valentine’s Day celebration. Whether it’s champagne for two, dinner with your boo, or a to-do for twenty-two, your celebration of love will be fresh, fun, and easy on the wallet…if you follow these tips from @perfectlycuratelife!
Gifts: The easiest way to give a great Valentine’s Day gift is to think of a theme that suits the personality and tastes of the recipient and build the gift around it. To wit: for a Detroit lover, tickets to a Broadway show, like “Skeleton Crew” by Detroit’s own master playwright, Dominique Morisseau, and slip them in an envelope. Buy a book by a Detroit author, like Herb Boyd’s “Black Detroit” and mini sweet potato cheesecakes from Sweet Potato Sensations. Tie the envelope, book, and boxed cheesecakes together with a satin bow. For a food lover, a progressive dinner may be a perfect choice: select three new or up-and-coming restaurants and have one course at each. Cap off the night with a drink at a fancy hotel lobby and present your beloved with a personalized bottle of their favorite wine or spirits and a set of glasses or flutes.
Food: If you’re dining at home on Valentine’s Day, a charcuterie or dinner board is a fool-proof way to go. Bear in mind that foods on the board should be bite-sized and easy to eat without utensils. And think beyond the cheeses, olives, and cured meats you typically see on a charcuterie board. The board is merely the canvas, your imagination is the paint. You can make an easy Asian-themed board with mini egg rolls, edamame, tempura shrimp, sushi, and steamed dumplings. Add a few ramekins with duck sauce and soy sauce, and your board is complete. For a dinner board, roast some baby potatoes with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary. Steam, blanch, and season some carrots, and broccoli, and arrange the vegetables on the board with slices of your favorite steak or chicken. Toss in a few dinner rolls or mini baguettes, and you have an entree on a board. Lastly, for a dessert board, pick a unifying color or two and make sure all of the sweets are in the same color scheme – you can throw in a little silver or gold for pizzaz. Bite-sized brownies, chocolate-covered strawberries, macarons, chocolate truffles, and petit fours make great additions to a sweets board. There’s no time like Valentine’s Day to use your pretty cloth napkins, crystal, china, and flatware
Drinks: The time is always right for sparkling wines, whether Champagne, Cava, or Prosecco, bubbles make the occasion more festive. Consider a sparkling red, like Lambrusco or an effervescent raspberry Lambic beer, for a fresh twist. Sparkling wines are elevated with the addition of Chambord for a Kir Royale or a sugar cube, a twist of lemon, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters for a classic Champagne Cocktail.
Ambiance: Candlelight makes everyone look better! If you’re using candles or votives, freeze them for a few hours before lighting them. They’ll burn slower and last longer. If you don’t have the budget for a huge bouquet, buy a dozen roses from the grocery store, dump the greenery and baby’s breath – they scream low budget – and put them into a few small crystal or ceramic vases. Small vases don’t need many flowers to look full and lush. A series of small vases makes a visual impact and looks very luxurious.
Until next time…