Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, friends! We’re hoping to see you on Saturday, February 13th at Safe Conversations—this free event, which focuses on strengthening relationships through the power of conversation, is the perfect way to kick off a love-filled weekend. If you’re still scrambling to come up with a perfect plan for the following day, have no fear! We just so happen to know a team of professional event planners with fabulous taste, and they’ve pulled on their years of experience to design a perfect Valentine’s celebration just for you. Read on for outfit recommendations, gift suggestions, and a recipe for the sweetest finale to your dinner menu from our event planning team. Happy celebrating!
THE OUTFIT + ACCESSORIES
photo: DFW Events
Dining out in Dallas: Headed somewhere special like the Mansion or Fearing’s for a romantic dinner? With the Dallas “see and be seen culture,” you want to look your best while still feeling effortless. You can’t go wrong with your favorite LBD and a metallic heel that just says, “We’re celebrating!” Be bold and sport one with a cutout to make your date’s head turn!
Or maybe you’re feeling a classic…
Dinner and a movie: You don’t need to paint the town (or your outfit) red on Valentine’s Day to spend a great night with your honey! Throw on your favorite boyfriend jeans and a leather jacket, then pair with your favorite ankle boots and tousled hair for a relaxed and low-maintenance look.
Or perhaps you’re going out with the girls for a…
Galentine’s celebration: Who says you need a date to enjoy Valentine’s Day? Head out with your favorite girlfriends for drinks and dancing wearing a rockin’ jumpsuit! Up the “girly” factor with a pair of heels accented by bows.
photo: Perez Weddings
THE GIFT EXCHANGE
Gifts for Her:
For girls who appreciate a little extra pampering: Pick up a gift card to her favorite mani/pedi place. More of a hair girl? A gift card for a blowout with a deep conditioning treatment add-on will do the trick.
For girls inspired to decorate: Purchase a vase or jar from her favorite pottery line that she can use long-term at home. On Valentine’s Day, have your local florist arrange pink and red flowers in the vase or jar that you selected. Or better yet, run to Central Market, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s for peonies, roses, or hydrangeas to place on your own.
Gifts for Him:
For handyman husbands that love projects: Snag a pocket-sized measuring tape he can take on trips to Home Depot, Lowes, and other design stores. We particularly love this leather version by Mark and Graham. Bonus: It can be monogrammed.
For guys who can’t wait for summer vacation: Sunglasses are a great way to go. Ray Ban Aviators are a classic your handsome guy is sure to love! You might also consider gifting him with a mini “staycation” filled with fun experiences, like a tour of a local brewery (with a tasting included of course)!
photo: DFW Events
Whether you have a dinner reservation or are planning a romantic evening in, remember a few things…
1. Keep it simple: If you’re so stressed about things going perfectly that you’re no longer acting like yourself, the whole point of sharing a meal with the person you love is in danger of being missed!
2. Be thoughtful: Does your honey love breakfast? How about fixing breakfast for dinner, then? You could also think about re-creating a dish at home that you had on your first date!
3. Plan ahead: As a professional planner, this is a given! But keep in mind that even the best laid plans don’t always turn out perfectly. The good news? Changed plans often make for the best memories.
DINNER IS SERVED!
Salad: Strawberry Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese
Tip: Prep your strawberries and spinach beforehand. On Valentine’s Day, create your vinaigrette purely because your home will smell like bacon!
Entree: Brown Sugar Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Tip: Marinate the pork in advance to ensure the best possible flavor! Use a digital thermometer to quickly check if pork is cooked without having to cut into it.
Sides: Chipotle Sweet Potato Grits and Sauteed Sweet Snow Peas with Garlic
Tip: Roast an extra sweet potato the day before and simply stir into your favorite grits with some pureed chipotle chiles. Voila! Showstopper side dish!
Dessert: Bourbon and Spice Molten Chocolate Cakes
Note: These cakes can easily be prepped in advance, and the fact that the recipe serves four means you’ll have the chance to enjoy leftovers…lucky you!
BOURBON AND SPICE MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKES
Makes 4 servings
photo: DFW Events
4 oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Bourbon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
6 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour four individual ovenproof dishes, or four wells of a muffin tin.
2. Finely chop chocolate and set aside. Microwave butter until melted and bubbling hot. Pour hot butter over chocolate in medium mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 min. Stir chocolate and butter until chocolate is melted. Mix bourbon, vanilla and powdered sugar into chocolate until blended. Add in egg and egg yolks and stir to combine. Whisk together flour with cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt. Combine flour mixture into chocolate mixture and fold together with a spatula.
3. Pour batter into prepared dishes or muffin tin.
Note: At this point you can put these in the fridge until you’re ready for dessert! Once ready, place dishes or muffin tins into pre-heated oven for 13-15 minutes until sides of cakes are slightly puffed and firm, but centers are still soft and fudgey looking. Let stand for one minute before loosening edges with a thin knife and inverting onto serving plate.
Serve simply dusted with powdered sugar or garnish as you please! Vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream are fabulous additions as well as a dollop of bourbon and vanilla spiked whipped cream.