Homemade and from the Heart

My husband happens to be a non-believer in Valentine’s Day. So, much to my dismay, I have never been the recipient of chocolates or roses on the 14th February. Secretly though, I happen to agree with him, particularly as it has all become so commercialised – simply a chance for shops to push multitudes of kitschy overseas made trinkets and restaurants to fill seats with overpriced set menus.

It is, however, refreshing to see a groundswell of good folk who are seeking to redefine Valentine’s Day as a day not just about romantic love (and expensive gifts), but also one of  friendship love and self love. And others who are simply pushing for a more traditional, homemade version of the day.

For my part in this mini revolution, i’ve decided to put together a list of inspirations for celebrating Valentine’s Day truly from the heart instead of the hip pocket! And of course, they all just happen to be food related, as in my mind, there’s no better way to say ‘I love you’ than with a beautiful, home cooked meal…

  • Breakfast is always a lovely idea, and no one does it better than Sunday Suppers. Check out their gorgeous setting of baked eggs and cream, sauteed greens and heart shaped butter pats (pictured above and below left).
  • If you have a little more time up your sleeve, and are keen for an evening soiree, try the menu suggestions from Martha – it’s all put together so you don’t have to think. If I had to choose, Spaghetti and Meatballs á la Lady & the Tramp would be my pick!
  • If you are like me, and have very limited time (especially as it’s a week day this year) you might like to look to the gorgeous new Fetepress online magazine for inspiration. After the kids are tucked up in bed, i’m very tempted to go with their suggestion of serving Sushi (adorned with pale pink hearts), a decent bottle of bubbles and a Pink Grapefruit Granita – a light, simple and stylish way to celebrate and spend some quality time with your loved one. There is also a gorgeous family Valentine Lunch worth a look.

  • It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate, and of course. my tip is to buy the best quality you can afford (preferably dark). For a change from chocolate dipped strawberries, why not try cherries while there are still a few around? (pictured above right from Martha Stewart)

  • Another charming idea designed to ‘spread the love around’ are these little jars of homemade granola (see my recipe here, for an indulgent version). Package up with a little heart tag and give as unexpected gifts to friends and anyone who may be in need of a sweet surprise! (pictured above from Rose and Crown)

  • Finally, for coffee lovers, these printable coffee cup wrappers from Amy at Eat Drink Chic would be such a cute surprise to send your valentine off on their way for the day!

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