Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays you either love or hate. For as long as I can remember, I’ve genuinely loved it, so much so that I actually look forward to the day as February approaches. Some may call this strange and others may understand when I say that I have a serious obsession with chocolate. Our lifelong, committed relationship goes way back and I am all for celebrating true love whether it’s with your sweetheart or, well, something sweet.
Other than my deep and dangerous devotion to chocolate, I credit my mom with making Valentine’s Day a favorite of mine. Every February 14th, she would prepare a 3-course “red and white” themed dinner for me and my sisters. This typically included freshly sliced tomato and mozzarella, and dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and baked ziti. For dessert, or the best part of every meal in my opinion, we had chocolate-covered strawberries and the fudgiest brownies on Earth. My mom, a visual display enthusiast, would cover the table in a red or white tablecloth, arrange a beautiful bouquet of roses in the center, and sprinkle shiny red- and silver- wrapped chocolate kisses from end to end. As if our family-friendly Valentine’s Day celebration wasn’t already cute enough, my mom would top it off with fun gifts like a pair of heart print socks, a full-scale model of a Pucci-inspired shoe that doubled as a pad and pen holder, and a gift certificate for a spa-esque pedicure.
Being surrounded by people you love, good food and lots of chocolate is my foolproof recipe for a happy Valentine’s Day. So if you’re looking for a way to bring the family together on February 14th or just a fresh spin on how to spend the holiday, a dinner dressed in red and white may be the place to start.
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