Date Night Recipes: Stay-In Recipes for Date Night or Valentine’s Day

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Here it is! A guide to date night recipes you can make when you decide to stay in. Or recipes you can make this Valentine’s Day. Because, that’s this week. Cool.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?! I’m hanging out with my neighbors! We’re going to eat good food. We’re probably for sure going to play Catan.

Even if Jeremy were here, we’d probably be with people or at least making a nice dinner-in together.

Listen, let’s talk about my expectations. They are literally out of control. Holidays exasperate this.

Exhibit A: Jeremy comes home on a regular Monday with my favorite wine.


Exhibit B: Jeremy comes home on Valentine’s Day or my birthday or Easter (just go with it) with my favorite wine, a purse I’ve wanted for a while, and fresh steaks.

My reaction: what about the unicorn I mentioned 8 months ago at 3:00am when you were half asleep?

It’s a thing we laugh about now. But it’s still a thing. So whatever we can to do to manage that mess (like stay in or spend time with friends).

Anyway, whether you’re super into Valentine’s Day or not, you deserve a delicious home-cooked meal. One that maybe you would never make unless it was a special occasion. Bonus: the price tag is much better than going out.

Date Night Recipes Guide

Beef Bourguignon

I use Ina’s recipe. It is decadent and savory and so filling. It is one of my all-time favorite meals.

Here I am cooking it several years ago, right after I lit that goodness on fire (the recipe calls for that!).

Lighting your food on fire is so much fun!

Make this if:

  • You have a little extra time on your hands.
  • You want to light something on fire.
  • You want your date night to have a cooking experience that includes your person cooking with you.
  • You like firemen (just kidding!).

Perfect Pairing:

Lighter red wine with good tannins (to balance the richness of the meat) such as Pinot Noir.

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is the perfect side to go with the Beef Bourguignon. Well, actually, for any meal you make. You need this side dish in your life. It is buttery, savory and has a touch of sweetness.

Make this if:

  • You need a substantial side dish to go with your meal.
  • You love food.

Foolproof Steakhouse Steaks

I made these for our community as a pre-Christmas meal. They cook quickly and are no-fuss but impress everyone. They will also ruin steakhouses for you for the rest of your life. Sorry, not sorry.

Make this if:

  • You want a meal that cooks quickly.
  • You only want to deal with a few ingredients.
  • You have a cast iron skillet.

Perfect Pairing:

A dry, red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot

Lamb Chops

This is the meal I almost always making us for Valentine’s Day. I use Ina’s recipe. Listen, I did not like lamb until I made this recipe. The marinade and the mint sauce will change your life.

Make this if:

  • You want to try something new and different.
  • You want to use your grill (GRILL HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).
  • You can marinate the lamb chops overnight.

Perfect Pairing:

A fruit-driven red such as a Petite Syrah, a Zinfandel, or even a Rosé

Wedge Salad

This salad is so bright and refreshing. It is perfect as an appetizer or to start the meal.

Make this if:

  • The main dish is a little heavier and you want something light and refreshing.
  • You want to kick the meal off with a first course.
  • You like lettuce. But, truly.

Perfect Pairing:

If you are starting with this salad, it pairs perfectly with a sweeter white wine like a Moscato d’Asti or a Riesling (these wines are on the sweeter side. If you do not like sweeter whites, try a Pinto Gris!).

Grain Free Risotto with Mushrooms and Shallots

This is a perfect side dish if you make any kind of fish or seafood (lobsters for example). It is lighter than true risotto because it is made with cauliflower (trust).

Make this if:

  • You are grain free or would like a grain free option.
  • You want a veggie dish that has lots of flavors.

Baked Fontina Cheese

We’ve made this as just a meal before! It comes together so fast. Think of the experience as one like fondue. You can buy all your favorite veggies, fruits and breads for the dipping. It will fill you up!

Make this if:

  • You want an experience while you eat.
  • You want something that comes together quickly.
  • You love cheese.

Perfect Pairing:

Champagne or sparkling wine.

There are some ideas for you, friends! Whether you are single or married or somewhere in-between, we all deserve to have a good meal and to share it with people we love (friends, family, neighbors, lovers.). I hope this helps!

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