A Guy's Guide to Cooking Valentine's Day Dinner

When it comes to Valentine's Day, there ends up being a lot of pressure on men to make the day special and memorable for both themselves and their significant others. But, you don't have to stress yourself out if you're not the creative type. I've put together three simple yet delicious dishes that are easy for even the most amateur cook to put together, along with three tips for creating the right ambiance. Most importantly, make sure to have a couple bottles of your favorite bubbly or wine (I recommend a crisp, light white, like Sancerre or Pinot Grigio, with the dishes below) on hand, relax, and have fun.

4 Simple Tips:

1. Make her a delicious dinner at home: Forget going out. While your significant other is out of the house, make these easy yet delicious dishes below for a romantic dinner that neither of you will ever forget.
2. Flowers: They don't have to be roses! Buy her favorite flowers, and, if you don't know, do a little reconnaissance with friends and family. Just make sure they are real, and that they are not from a gas station or 7-Eleven. I have yet to meet a woman who has ever received flowers and thought "eh flowers?" And, if this does occur, you are in for a long ride and you may need to re-consider…
3. Set a nice table: She understands that your house or apartment is not the Ritz-Carlton. You don't need 12-piece place settings, fine silver, and 15 different types of glasses. Put out the nicest plates and napkins you have, turn down the lights (maybe even add some music on low), and light a couple of candles. Remember, we all look better in candlelight.
4. Have a back-up plan: If all hell breaks loose, and things are burned beyond repair, order in her favorite pizza and just keep drinking. This is, after all, about making a night that the two of you will not soon forget.

The Menu:

To Start:

Salad of Mâche, Blood Orange, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Main Course:

Pan-Seared Scallops with a Simple Beurre Blanc and Sautéed Brussels Sprout Leaves

For Dessert:

Aztec Drinking Chocolate

-- Dean Sheremet, The Daily Meal

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