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Valentine’s Day Romantic Night In

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

This month for our #YearOfFeasting, where we’re hosting 12 feasts in 12 months in an effort to up the fun factor around here, and be a little more intentional about making great connections with great people over great food, we kept things a little more intimate.  Since connecting with each other should always be at the top of our list our Valentine’s Day feast was a romantic dinner for two in front of the fire at home.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

I thought it would nice and cozy in these winter months to set up dinner in front of the fire.  Keeping with the Scandi feel I’ve been loving these days, we kept things pretty neutral with just enough soft pink.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

In front of the fire I set up a cozy little table for two.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

To create a sweet Valentine feel, I filled some pretty lanterns with some heart fairy lights.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

Above the table, and my favourite addition for the party, was a pretty hanging flower chandelier, tutorial coming this week.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

On the table, a simple linen runner, white plates, and pretty cement heart placard holders -tutorial coming later this week too.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

We started out with one of my favourite special drinks, kir royal.  It’s made of sparkling wine with a little cassis, black currant liqueur in it.  It’s sweet and fizzy and perfect for Valentine’s Day, especially with the perfect arrow stir sticks.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

For our starter we tried a new recipe, which is always a lot of fun.  We made Delicious.net’s Bang Bang Shrimp.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

Our’’s was a little on the mild side, so we added a little extra hot sauce for the bang bang. 😉

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

These were a perfect start to the evening and we really enjoyed them.

Romantic valentine s day dinner for two menu

For our main course, we made a real comfort food –Steak, Guinness, and Mushroom Pie.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

To make it a little more romantic, we made them in individual heart shape dishes.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

And for a yummy side a caprese inspired salad of lettuce, mini bocconcini mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, pesto, and balsamic reduction.  Simple and delicious.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

This main was perfect for a cold and wintry night by the fire.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

And then it was time for something sweet.  A cup of tea and heart shape pavlova.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

This was a lovely ending to the dinner -since it’s nice and light.  I love pavlova with mixed berries.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

For my sweetie though – real chocolate lover, chocolate pavlova.

Valentine's Day Romantic Night In: Fireside romantic three-course dinner, perfect for an intimate night in.

We had such a nice afternoon of cooking.  While our stew cooked away we watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s -a classic.  I was surprised to find out my sweetie had never watched it.  I’ll be singing “Moon River” for days.  It really was  a perfectly romantic night.  It was fun to do something special for one another.  We had fun talking and planning our menu together, and spending time with each other in the kitchen.

I highly recommend a Valentine’s Day Night In.  Remember to share your own #YearOfFeasting photos with us on Facebook or Instagram, we’d love to see any of your parties.

With a cozy romantic dinner at home together with your Valentine, life really is a party!

Book Page Heart Garland

Book Page Heart Garland: How to make a pretty watercolour book page heart garland with an old book and a sewing machine.

This sweet book page heart garland is a quick and easy project to make, and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

I love how simple and neutral it is, with just a touch of watercolour pink.

To get started, you need to cut out some hearts from and old thrift store book.  I used a craft punch, which was super fast, but you could just cut them out by hand too.

Book Page Heart Garland: How to make a pretty watercolour book page heart garland with an old book and a sewing machine.

Once my hearts were all cut out, I added some watercolour to just a few.  I like pink for Valentine’s Day, but you could do red…or any colour to fit your decor, or wedding, or nursery colour.  Won’t these be sweet over a change table in a baby’s room.

Once one side is dry, be sure to flip the heart over and do the other side.  That while help keep them from curing up, and also make the garland pretty from both sides.

Book Page Heart Garland: How to make a pretty watercolour book page heart garland with an old book and a sewing machine.

Next, it’s time to stitch the hearts into a garland.  Just feed them through your sewing machine, with spaces in between to create the gap in the garland.  It’s super easy.

Book Page Heart Garland: How to make a pretty watercolour book page heart garland with an old book and a sewing machine.

 

In case you’ve never sewn paper with your sewing machine, I thought a video might help, so watch below to see how really easy it is.

 

Book Page Heart Garland: How to make a pretty watercolour book page heart garland with an old book and a sewing machine.

The perfect pretty, inexpensive decoration for heart day.

With book page heart garland, life really is a party!

Valentine’s Day Inspiration -A Cozy Night In

Challenge A Year of Feasting

For the next party in our Year of Feasting, where we decided to host 12 parties in 12 months in an effort to up the fun factor around here, I’m thinking cozy party for 2.

Part of our purpose in setting out this little Year of Feasting challenge, was to be more intentional about creating occasions were we could build authentic connections with the people we love.  As I thought about that and ideas for Valentine’s Day I was struck by how perfect it seemed to use one of these 12 feasts as a chance to do something lovely, and intentional, and special for my most favourite love of all, my husband.  We realized this past summer how easy it is at this stage of life -with school aged children, to get stuck in the rut of the business of family life.  Our routines -work, cleaning the house, groceries, laundry, movie night, they work great for us.  They help us get everything done that needs to get done.  They help keep us all on track and happy.  We’re pretty good at the business of being the parents.  But, sometimes we forget to do more than get from A to B and the old cliché that someday these little people we’ve spent our lives on will be grown and have their own lives and we will be left with each other, well it’s true. And it makes me want to be a little more intentional about loving my husband, and enjoying the journey.  So, what could be more appropriate in this Year of Feasting, than to prepare one special feast just for two.

I’ve been inspired by the Scandinavian notion of “Koselig” -it’s hard to translate into english, it’s something like cozy, but more.  It’s the idea that winter isn’t something to be endured, but celebrated.  It’s a time to light candles, enjoy sheepskin rugs, and wool socks, and wine, and hot tea, and sitting fireside.  For Norwegians it’s also a time to get outside, to dress warmly and enjoy the snow and beauty of winter.  I like that.  I’ve never been one to love winter…in fact I’ve fallen more on the enduring side, but I’m feeling more inspired to try and love it, to get cozy and enjoy.

So our Valentine’s Feast for two will be cozy, I’m picturing a picnic or table in front of the fireplace, and an afternoon spent cooking something warm and hearty together, while we sip wine and listen to good music.  My husband’s been thinking about the menu, and I’ve been thinking about the decor.  He’s thinking something like steak and garlic mashed potatoes, or duck, or chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.  Yum to any of them.  I’m thinking fur pillows, and lots and lots of candles, neutrals with a touch of pretty pink.

Valentine's Day Night In: Inspiration for a Romantic Valentine's Day at home.

1.  I’d like to decorate in mainly neutrals, with a touch of soft pink this year.  I loved the scandi feel this Christmas, it’s inspired me for Valentine’s day too.  I’m planning to make a little heart garland with some old book pages, similar to this pretty one.

2.  Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought some fresh flowers would be nice.  I love these pretty hanging flowers, and I think I’ll try and do something similar over the table.

3. The Mason Jar Oil Lamps that I made a few weeks ago should add a touch of romance.

4. To create the cozy feel, I’m inspired by this picture of pretty fur and candles, so I’ll try and add lots of warm fur and candles to our space for the night.

5.  What could be more romantic than cozy fireside dining and perfect for a cold February night.

6.  A  romantic spot by the fireplace will need lots of soft pillows, and I love Craftberry Bush’s  pretty Arrow Cushion -so perfect for Valentine’s Day.

7.  And to add some softness, I’ve already picked up some of these pretty and inexpensive Ikea Pink Velvet Cushions.

8. We’re planning a fun afternoon of cooking together, and while we cook we’ll enjoy a  Kir Royal  -a real favourite of mine, and perfectly sparkling and pink for Valentine’s Day.

9.  While we’re cooking, how about the perfect Adele 25 Album  playing in the background.

10.  What to wear for a cozy night in, how about a warm and pretty  Cable Knit Sweater  in the perfect shade of soft pink.

11.  We haven’t decided on our menu yet, but  Barefoot Countessa’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic is a real favourite, and perfect comfort food.

12.  So many options for dessert… since I’m not really a chocolate girl, I’m thinking maybe Dessert Crepes.  They’re so, so yummy and I love that you can mix and match toppings.  All things French are romantic, right?

13.  At the end of the night how about curling up with a hot cup of tea to finish the night in the prettiest Valentine’s Day teacups?

14.  And perhaps, a classic old movie while snuggled up on the sofa.  How about “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” before heading up to bed…?

With restaurants crowded this time of year, a cozy night at home together sounds like the perfect Valentine to me.

Don’t forget you can play along too in any way that works for you.  Perhaps 12 feasts in 12 months like us, or maybe 6?  Potluck parties, take-out, or cooking together, what ever works for you and yours.  Our hope is to inspire you to enjoy entertaining again.  We’d love to see your feasts, post a pic on our Facebook page, or play along on Instagram with #ayearoffeasting hashtag.

With a romantic night in for two, life really is a party!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff -easy, perfect for a busy weeknight, made with all fresh ingredients (no canned soups), and delicious. Highly recommend.

I love a good slow cooker recipe, especially on gymnastics night when we’re all in a rush around here, getting home from after school gymnastic practise right at dinner time.  This slow cooker Beef Stroganoff is a real favourite.  My kids love it, and I do too.  It’s delicious and super easy.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff -easy, perfect for a busy weeknight, made with all fresh ingredients (no canned soups), and delicious. Highly recommend.

This Beef Stroganoff cooks all day in the slow cooker.  When we get home we make some yummy egg noodles to go with it and a veggie -green beans are a favourite of ours.  Just before serving we stir in some delicious and oh so creamy Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Cream (nut-free and certified Kosher).

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff -easy, perfect for a busy weeknight, made with all fresh ingredients (no canned soups), and delicious. Highly recommend.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 1 lb top round beef steak (cut into bite size strips)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 8oz package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tsp grainy dijion mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 of a 425 ml container of Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Cream
  • Fresh chopped parsley for serving (optional)
  • Egg Noodles

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the flour and beef broth slowly, and combine with a whisk to remove any lumps.
  2. Add the flour and beef broth to the slow cooker, along with the beef, onions, mushrooms, dried parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic and stir to combine.
  3. Cook on high for the first hour, then switch to low for 7 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  4. When it's finished, turn off the slow cooker, let stand 10 min, and then stir in the Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Cream, and the fresh parsley.
  5. Serve over noodles.
http://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2016/slow-cooker-beef-stroganoff/

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff -easy, perfect for a busy weeknight, made with all fresh ingredients (no canned soups), and delicious. Highly recommend.

You will definitely want to add this easy slower cooker recipe to your repertoire.  It’s made with all fresh ingredients (no canned soups in this one), it’s quick to put together for a busy weeknight, and perfect comfort food for cold winter nights.

With Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, life really is a party!

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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