One of the best ways you can show some you care about them, especially on Valentine’s Day, is to make them something special. There’s nothing more special than food - it’s been said that it is the way to man or a woman’s heart - so without further ado, there are 5 tantalizing gift ideas to spoil that special someone. 

Dinner table for two

Set the scene for a delectable four-course meal

This will take some time to plan so start setting things up a week early. Start by picking out what kind of dishes you’ll want to serve. A four-course meal might seem like a daunting task but if you keep it simple, you’ll do just fine. Once you know what you’ll make, head to your local market and pick up what you will need. Next, pick up some flowers and create a one of a kind centerpiece for the table. A dressed table doesn’t have to be complicated but the full range of stemware, dinner plates and fine cutlery wrapped with a rose in a napkin will look very romantic. Whether you want to keep your table simple, or go all out, there’s no end to how creative you can be. A small gift found sitting at the table setting will also make them smile.

Top tip:

Grocery stores and markets now make a lot of great pre-prepared foods that take no time to cook or reheat at home. If preparing a whole meal from scratch isn’t possible, have a look at the ready-to-go food counters. They provide great help and great food ideas. You can also prepare delicious yet simple appetizers with crudités, mini pizzas, dips, hummus, fried polenta and more. 

Homemade marshmallow recipe

Prepare some homemade marshmallows for your main squeeze

It’s pretty safe to say that no one ever expects homemade marshmallows on Valentines but they are easy to make and can be flavored however you like. The recipe is quite simple:

  1. Line a baking pan with some plastic wrap and spray it with oil. In an electric mixer bowl, blend .75 ounces of gelatin with two cups of cold water. Let that sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Next, combine 2 cups of sugar with ⅔ of a cup of light corn syrup and ¼ cup of water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring this a boil and once it’s boiling, let it continue for at least a full minute without stirring.
  3. Carefully pour the boiled mixture into the bowl containing the gelatin and start slowly mixing but bring up the speed as you go. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt beat for about 12 minutes. This is where the marshmallows start to get fluffy. Add a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  4. Grease up your hands and carefully add the mixture to the lined pan, pressing it down. Cover with another piece of greased plastic wrap and let cool in the fridge overnight.
  5. Once the marshmallows have firmed up, sprinkle a cutting surface with confectioner’s sugar and place the marshmallows on the sugar. Dust the entire surface of the marshmallows with the sugar and cut into cubes. Store in an airtight container or put them out on the counter with edible heart decorations for the special occasion. 

Top tip:

If homemade marshmallows aren’t your thing, why not try your hand at baking cakes or cookies? Cut cleaning time and ensure that your baked goods come out perfect by lining your pans with parchment paper. It’s quick and easy to clean up afterwards. Spend more time canoodling and less time with your hands in the sink.

Kana Classic Dutch Oven Gift

Buy them something special but add a homemade touch

While cooking up a storm at home is a great way to get the ball rolling on Valentine’s Day, why don’t you go a step further and gift your special someone with the beautiful pot you used to cook that delicious stew in? Adding a little homemade recipe book to the mix that’s full of their favorite dishes will up the wow factor. 

Top tip:

Check out Kana’s range of cast iron Dutch ovens and skillets. They’re colorful, versatile and beautiful. Your loved one will truly cherish their cast iron for years to come.

Cooking at home

Recreate their favorite restaurant meal at home

We all have our favorite restaurant. Many of us return to that same restaurant time and again to enjoy that one specific meal. Instead of eating out this year, why not stay in and try to recreate the magic of your favorite food establishment from the comfort of your own kitchen. The fun comes from trying to get the recipe as close to the real thing as possible. It creates a wonderful memory that will only add to the experience. 

Spice blend mix

Blend your own spice mixes

Spice blends are a wonderful and thoughtful gift to give a food lover on Valentine’s Day. Taking the time to research your spices and blend them into one-of-a-kind flavors is not only thoughtful, but it will get those taste buds tingling. Take it a step further and try taking a class together on spice blending if the gift is a hit. 

Top tip:

Blending simple spices like rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil with chili flakes and maybe even a little cumin is a great way to add unique flavors to sauces, fish, chicken and meats. 

Cooking a delicious meal is not im-pot-ssible when you use the right cookware.

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Blair Dohey

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