Today we are joining up with a group of talented bloggers to share Valentine’s and Galentine’s (as in a Valentine’s celebration with the girls!) ideas to celebrate. The “Galentine’s” tradition of gathering the special women in your life for a night of celebration is gaining in popularity. After the year (s) we’ve just had, I can’t think of a better reason to spend time with those friends you haven’t seen enough of.
Today I am sharing an easy menu that would work well if you are celebrating with friends, family or a special significant other. I love this meal because not only is it simple (especially if you take the shortcut option!) but it’s also warm and cozy, perfect for this time of year. I created a simple menu that works as well for two people as for a group, and if you add some fun Valentine’s theme decor your celebration will be complete.
In honor of the holiday I set the table with casual but festive (and pink!) decorations. I mixed low end gold chargers with my fancier china and beautiful monogrammed linen napkins that were a gift from my sister in law last year. I used fresh flowers and bowls of candy on the table because what would Valentine’s day be without candy?
I always like to set up a self serve bar, even if it is just for wine (or you could do a sparkling water) complete with bottles and glasses. We recently added this entertaining bar along the back wall of the dining area when we remodeled our kitchen, It is perfect to serve from on this type of occasion.
I am a fan of sparkling rosé all year round, but the pink color works especially well at Valentine’s day. Paired with my favorite crystal coupe glasses, it makes everything extra festive.
Before I get to the menu, I’ll skip right to dessert because in addition to chocolate and candy, some store bought cupcakes look a little more special for the holiday with some heart cupcake toppers.
My Galentine’s menu consists of one of my favorite pasta dishes–Vodka pasta–which also happens to be pink. For years we have been making a traditional pan-stirred version, one that will impress your guests as it calls for a quick flambé to burn off the alcohol. Here is the recipe, I just serve it with a quick salad and some fresh bread.
Pasta with Vodka Sauce
An impressive way to serve this traditional italian inspired pasta dish, perfect for entertaining or for Valentine's Day.
- 1/4 lb Prosciutto
- 1 bunch Scallions
- 1/2 cup Vodka
- 1 1/2 cup Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 1 lb Pasta (can use gluten-free) Cooked and hot.
- fresh Parmesan Cheese
Saute the prosciutto with the scallions in olive oil for about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the vodka to the pan.
Carefully light the sauce using a match and allow sauce to flame (again, not on a lit burner) until the alcohol burns off.
Return the sauce to heat, add in the marinara sauce and simmer for 2-5 minutes.
Add in cream and stir to combine.
Stir in butter. Add in red pepper and simmer to desired thickness.
Serve over the cooked pasta, topped with fresh parmesan cheese.
If you don’t have time to cook, or the recipe seems to be too intimidating here is a secret. This jarred sauce is seriously good and nobody will know it isn’t homemade. Just don’t skip the fresh parmesan on the top! It is available through Thrive Market, one of my favorite sources for healthy groceries. (If you haven’t tried Thrive, I find it very convenient, that is my referral link but if you use it you get $40 off your first order).
This is an easy meal to put together but one that feels special, especially when served on pretty heart shaped plates for another fun Valentine’s touch.
However you celebrate, I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s day! Here are all the other bloggers sharing ideas today, I hope you will take time to visit each one.