It’s T-10 until our chubby friend Cupid make his grand entrance. You ready?
If the answer is, “Aw, hell-to-the-NO!” you sound like my kind of girl. The day of flowers, chocolates, nonsensical, lovey-dovey fluff is just not my cup of (herbal mint and verbena) tea. Why encourage blatant consumerism to express our affections?! Shouldn’t we be doing that on a daily basis anyway? Isn’t it more special and meaningful when Hallmark isn’t the one telling our loved ones how much we adore them?
I’m not anti-Valentines day, per se… just not exactly into it. What I am into is a celebration. Especially, when it’s a heartfelt celebration of something beautiful. So, without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to my definitive guide to a non-cheesy Valentine’s Day!
WHAT TO DO: Send the love!
This is the perfect time of year to share the love with military troops overseas who could definitely use a pick me up. Create personalized cards for troops that show that how much you care and appreciate their service. Keep it simple or get fancy, but whatever you decide to do know that there is a recipient far away from home who will truly be grateful for your kind words and efforts.
Contact your local USO or RED CROSS to get involved in local efforts, or use a site like ANYSOLDIER which will connect you to a military member and provide service branch and location information for letters, notes and care packages.
Not in a creative mood? The USO has created a special VALENTINE’S DAY WISHBOOK where you can purchase a soldier anything from their FAVORITE SNACK FOOD, to the opportunity to read BEDTIME STORIES to their children and send personalized DVDs back home through the United Through Reading’s Military Program. I can’t emphasize enough how special of a contribution this is.
WHAT TO WEAR: Feel the love!
I don’t think Valentine’s Day should be about wearing the sexiest, most revealing outfit but more about wearing clothes that are YOU and that feel great on your body. Soft knits, cozy sweaters and broken in jeans are definitely more my speed.
WHAT TO EAT: Taste the love!
There is nothing more special than a food/dish that is meant to be shared… especially if it involves cheese! Create a custom charcuterie and cheese plate for you and your love(s). A few assorted cheeses, some sliced imported meats and of course, sweet and spicy condiments to bring it all together.
Here is my shopping list for the perfect meat and cheese plate:
- 3 Cheeses– 1 hard, 1 medium and 1 soft. Select all three for a taste of a specific region, or create a culinary tour around the globe with your cheeses. It’s up to you!
- 2 Meats– 1 hard sausage (ex. salami, capicola, pepperoni, sopressata, etc.), 1 soft cured meat (ex. prosciutto, serrano ham, paté, etc.)
- Sweet accompaniments– Try fig jam, dried cherries, honey and/or fresh fruit!
- Spicy accompaniments– Pickles, olives, mustards, chutneys and spiced nuts are ideal pairings.
- Bread– I usually serve a basket of fresh sliced french baguette, in addition to a hard cracker option.
P.S. Don’t forget the wine!