This year don’t rack your brain trying to figure out where to reserve your Valentine’s Day dinner. Forget the hottest new restaurants, the two-year waiting lists and the plates of food so small you’ll go home starving. Why go through so much trouble when you can host the perfect party chez vous?
Whether your guest list is your significant other or your best friends, I’m here to tell you that hosting a V-Day party your way is the best way. Need some inspiration? No problem.
Spice it up.
For your menu, choose something with some spice yet won’t leave you begging for a tub of Tums. Here’s the easiest and most romantic answer: Spanish paella. It literally couldn’t be easier.
- Olive oil
- Bottle of dry white wine
- Spanish chorizio sausage
- Frozen peas
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 white onion
- Saffron spice
- Cilantro or parsley
- Arborio rice
- Shrimp if you like seafood, chicken if you don’t!
- In a large skillet sauté the rice, garlic and onion in olive oil on medium heat.
- Slowly add white wine (your discretion) and stir until onions are beginning to caramelize
- Add chorizio and seafood/chicken
- Continue to sauté on medium heat
- Stir and add white wine until rice is soft and fluffy and shrimp/chicken is thoroughly cooked
- Add saffron until rice becomes a golden color
- Add parsley/cilantro and fresh lemon or lime juice
- Serve in a large bowl with wedges of lime on the side and a dusting of paprika on the bowl
Whatever wine you use for your Spanish paella can also be served as your apéritif and dinner drink. For the aperitif, just add Crème de Cassis liquor and boom-bam! You’ve got the French favorite, a kir, for your starter drink. It’s pink, it’s festive, it’s delicious. Garnish with berries or lemon rind. With dinner, serve the white wine.
Set the mood.
Just because your apartment isn’t the hottest new lounge in town doesn’t mean it can’t feel that way. Here are some ideas:
- Swap a couple of light bulbs with red lights or throw a pink/red scarf over lamps to get an instant rosy glow in your abode.
- String twinkly lights around the apartment for an added romantic vibe.
- Play the perfect soundtrack, try any of the Buddha Bar compilations for the right amount of romance.
- If you want to keep the mood light, play Mad Libs! There are plenty of versions for partners or girlfriend-nights. Or try Pictionary and make all of the subjects relate to Valentine’s Day.
This is a guest post from Courtney Lochner. Courtney writes for Glamour Magazine, Société Perrier, Europe From a Backpack Travel Guides, The Budget Fashionista and much more. Based out of Chicago she is is also frequently found in Paris, Krakow or Rio and almost always, with a glass of wine in hand. Follow her @courtneylochner.