Valentine's Day is fast approaching, which means millions of men and women are desperately searching for the perfect gift to sum up their undying devotion to one another. May I suggest a nice little pot of rich, smooth chocolate? I can't think of a better way to say "I love you". Valentine's Day is tricky. No one wants to be single on Valentine's Day, sobbing into their Cup of Noodles, while everyone is out celebrating. While for those in relationships, there is a ton of pressure to find the right gift and make the day magical.
To Dine In Or To Dine Out - That Is The Question
We often joke that Valentine's Day was created by retailers, since you can easily blow your budget buying a card, candy, flowers, gift and dinner for two. Now some people are adamant that you must dine out while others say save your pennies.
The Case to Dine In
It's definitely kinder on your finances, even if grill up a juicy ribeye and enjoy a nice bottle of wine or champagne with your meal. You don't have to deal with crowds and can even choose to use the money saved for a future date night.
The Case to Dine Out
Ummm….a sink full of dirty dishes is NOT remotely romantic, and it's a bit of a buzz kill when someone has to spend hours cooking and cleaning. It also turns it into an ordinary evening, rather than a special one.
The Answer? Celebrate Valentine's Day on Your Terms
The truth is there is no absolute wrong or right answer beyond what fits your budget and life best. I will also say that unless February 14 has some significance to you as a couple beyond being Valentine's Day—do not feel forced into celebrating on that day if it's inconvenient. Be creative whenever you decide to celebrate. Dine at the restaurant you had your first date. Or rent the first movie you watched together. And I strongly encourage you to make one easy special dessert to enjoy together, like my Chocolate Pots de Creme.
Chocolate Pots de Creme
It's a fancy name, but it couldn't be simpler to make. This dessert is so rich and decadent. A little bit goes a long ways, and you'll savor every spoonful.
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream or vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings (Optional)
- Place the chocolate chips in a blender. Add eggs, salt and espresso powder. Pulse 5 to 7 times or until chocolate is chopped finely and eggs are frothy.
- In a small pan, heat heavy cream and coffee until simmering. Remove the center piece from the blender lid and turn on the blender. Slowly pour the cream mixture in a steady stream through the hole in the lid. Continue blending until it turns into a smooth, thick mixture of chocolately goodness.
- Pour mixture into small jars, ramekins, tea cups or shot glasses. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if you desire. Or a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon would also be delicious.
Makes 10-12 services. Special Notes: This is a rich dessert, and the serving sizes are small, 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Use a small dish, so it doesn't look like you're being skimpy. :) Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.