"Cooking with Love- Just in Time for Valentine's Day"

“Cooking with Love in the Kitchen - Just in Time for Valentines Day"

by Marybeth Gregg
Remember when you made a homemade card for your first
girlfriend or boy friend and they were so happy they
couldn’t stop smiling? You couldn’t figure out what you did
that was so great but as you got older you began to realize
that giving is best when we give not just ‘things’, but when
we give of ourselves. Valentine’s Day is a perfect
holiday to give to others by doing something special.

Even though you may not spend much time cooking in the
kitchen, wouldn’t you like to treat your love to an easy,
delectable and romantic dinner? A special meal is not just
about food- it is about the effort and meaning that goes
into it. These ideas will make it easy for you to
create a memorable meal for Valentine’s Day, or any other
time when you want to show someone your love.

Make it Easy on Yourself

o What kind of meal you want- brunch or dinner?
Write down your menu and all ingredients from your recipes
you’ll need in an organized way. List the stores you need to
shop at.

o What do you want to serve?
Keep it simple – have 3 or 4 items, and not everything has
to be homemade. Cook an easy recipe. Get a great dessert -go
out and buy the most decadent chocolate cake you can find,
or find fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate from your
local candy store.

o Choose food that your partner likes, not just what you
like. This shows that you have put a lot of thought in to
this and care, which is the point, right?

o Be sure to start several days in advance. If you save
everything for the day of the celebration, you’ll be
frazzled and in not much of a mood to enjoy this time

Remember that this is about Love, not Technique.

o As with other activities associated with love, cooking
does not have to be totally perfect. If something does not
come out in time, or if it doesn’t look exactly like the
picture in the cookbook, relax. Stay in the mood you set out
to create- being grumpy or upset defeats the purpose. Laugh
and have fun!

It’s the Total Feeling – Ambiance Counts

o Setting your table is important in creating the mood you
want to set, which is romance. Use your nicest dishes,
silverware and the best, sparkling glasses or crystal you
can get.

o Choose a color scheme. You may want to use a white
tablecloth and add color with the napkins and candles, or
two beautiful place mats with matching or contrasting
colors. For example, red or soft pink on a white background,
with a small container of white flowers and lots of red
votive candles looks beautiful.

o Turn off the cell phone! Keep music soft and tender, but
not so slow that it makes you want to fall asleep.

Just Show That You Care

o Show your genuine love in what you say and do. That is
what will come across as caring. The fact that you took the
time to make this event happen, that you cooked a few
things, mostly from scratch, will help this to be a
beautiful memory for both of you!


This holiday is really geared to couples – and I want to
suggest that you also included others- reach out for someone
who may be alone. An elderly neighbor, or someone who has
been recently widowed or divorced, someone who is ill and
can surely use a lift. It is amazing how a call, a
card, a little plant such as a yellow primrose , a pink or
red cyclamen, or forced-bulb lavender hyacinth or tulip,
will make everyone feel a little better! Most of these
treats are under $5.00, but think of the joy that someone
will get by this unexpected gesture of love.


Not just with candy but also with a hand-written card, a
lunch out together, making a Valentine’s craft such as
construction paper and doily hearts to put in the windows,
making cupcakes and decorating with all those yummy red
candies and icing. Make some time to do this now because
they are out on their own all too quickly.


If you want to impress someone with your culinary delights,
I have some easy and enticing recipes -

An easy-to-make appetizer called “It’s a Date”

A delectable “Oh, Baby, Here’s my Heart (of Palm) Salad”

And a scrumptious and simple seafood or chicken entrée in parchment
called “A Package of Love-I’m all Wrapped Up for You.”

You won’t believe how easy and delicious these recipes

Write to me at and I will
you these recipes at no cost!
Valentine's Day is just one holiday in February, which we
think of as such a slow and dreary time of year…

In my next article, I will share some thoughts with you for
Chinese New Year, which begins on February 9th.

This article will have lots of great ideas and recipes for
this wonderful celebration, and some discussion about a very
important issue, which is American Heart Month as it
especially relates to women’s heart health and nutrition.

Contact me with any thoughts or questions at:

About the Author

Marybeth Gregg has been cooking, entertaining and giving cooking advice for almost 20 years. She is well-known for her wonderful cuisine, great parties and started her successful cooking school several years ago. She has been featured in several newspapers, and is currently working on publishing a cookbook and a series of video tapes and dvd's of cooking lessons.

Marybeth Gregg