For many parents taking the night of Valentine’s day off can be more of a challenge than relaxing. That is why so many of us parents are happy with receiving some flowers and a box of chocolates and calling it good. Well, this year why not do something special the whole family will enjoy. Have a Family Valentines Date In. After all, it is the season of love and who loves you more than your family.
(Original post date January 23, 2020 / Links and post updated November 9, 2020)
I don’t know about you but when I became a mom the thought of date nights just made me cringe. Not because I don’t like spending quality time with my husband, but because it just adds more to do’s to my plate.
I have always envied people that lived so close to their families. It must be nice to just drop the kids off with the grandparents for the night and go. But, for many, including myself, family members are hours away and the luxury of date night is not a cheap one or a smooth one.
First off you have to make sure the house is ready. Make sure everything is in place for the sitter, meals, toys, phone numbers and the list goes on and on. Babysitter sheets come in handy and take some of the work out of the prep, but still it has more to do.
Second, you need to prep the kids. Make sure homework is done, make sure jammies are out and ready and they have a pile of things to entertain them. Make sure they listen to the sitter and know the schedule.
The third thing you need to do especially on holidays like Valentine’s day is make reservations and plan your night. You are paying your sitter by the hour, every hour planned it more money saved.
By the time you get out the door, you are relieved and exhausted. Honestly, the last date night my husband was all ready to go, because he didn’t plan anything, and here I was asleep in the movie theater. So, why not this year avoid all that hassle and have a Family Valentines Date Night In.
Get all our Valentines Favorite Dishes
Dinner for 2 or dinner for the family is the perfect recipes.
How to plan a Family Valentines Date Night In
First off include the meal you will make in your weekly meal prep. It is a special meal, however, it will feel more like a meal you cook every day. This will reduce stress and pressure to get this special meal on the table.
The second thing you want to consider is to make it filling, make it simple, and keep it quick. Most people think of these dishes as not “fancy.” However, there are some ways you make it seem like you spent all day slaving away on a fancy meal when you really did not.
When I think romance my mind goes to pasta. The best thing about pasta is it is simple and filling. Plus, what kid doesn’t love to slurp those noodles!
My two favorite go-to family date night pasta dishes are:
Now to add some “Fancy.” There are a few ways you can do this.
- Fresh herbs chopped and sprinkled on top of the dish will not only boost and brighten up the flavors. It will also make the appearance of the dish more vibrant.
- Grate, shave, or just sprinkle some fresh cheese on top of the dish right before serving. This will not only look great but it will give the first few bites a bit of extra flavor.
- Go the extra mile and plate up each plate and serve it like they would in a restaurant.
Now to add a little something extra
When you go out on a date you typically don’t just get one dish. There are usually sides involved. There is nothing better with pasta than a simple salad.
It can be prepped in advance making it a dump, toss, and serve easy peasy dish. Second, you can customize a salad any way you like.
If you want to make it a little more special. Prep and make ahead some homemade salad dressings, but store-bought is just as good.
There is one thing we are missing! When you go to an Italian restaurant there is always one thing every table has in common. Bread!! There is just nothing better to soak up all that extra sauce!
Again turning basic recipe and turning it into something “fancy” for this date night. Basic garlic knots in the shape of hearts!! These can be prepped and precooked on prep day then warmed through in just minutes the day of the special dinner.
To finish off this special meal you just gotta have dessert!! Whether it be chocolate-covered strawberries or a cake. Whether you make it or buy it every date night family or not should always end in some sweet treat!
When it comes to Valentine’s day, if you feel it is more of a hassle to leave to the house and go out, don’t feel all hope is losest. Make it a family thing, keep it simple, and have fun because love should be fun. I hope you enjoyed this how to plan the best family Valentine’s day night in.