I love Valentine’s Day! Each year I throw a “fancy” dinner party, as my kids like to say, and invite four or five couples to our house. I decide on a theme for dinner, then spend weeks combing the internet and my library of cookbooks, looking for just the right recipes.
About three weeks before the party, I send out the invitations. I have put Valentine confetti into the invites, which surprises my guests when they open the card. I will then scatter the confetti on the table along with the other decorations.
Over the years I have purchased a variety of vases, place card holders, candle sticks, linens and glassware that compliment the table. I buy lots of fresh flowers a few days before the party and have fun setting the table, changing it around some each year.
You can get creative with clear glass vases. Fill them with candy hearts or M & Ms and insert a small vase filled with flowers or a candle in the center. Sometimes I will put individual vases with flowers at each person’s place setting. This year I choose to use all red flowers down the center of the table.
Another year I took an over sized champagne glass, filled it with water and floated candles and flowers. Small vases filled with multi colored flowers adorned each place setting along with hand made place cards for each guest.
This year’s theme is all things French. We will start with French Onion Soup Au Gratin, then mixed green salad with French mustard vinaigrette. The main course will consist of Chicken Cordon Bleu, green beans Provencal, and basil mashed potatoes. While in France this past September, I couldn’t help but notice everyone stopping at Le Boulangerie for fresh Baguettes, so of course we will serve with sweet butter.
For dessert, I will make heart shaped chocolate tarts, heart shaped sugar cookies and a traditional Tart Tartin, which is a caramelized upside down apple tart.
Our dinner would not be complete without a variety of French wines. I will visit the local wine shop with my menu for the perfect pairings