Memories of Valentine’s Days past may turn to chocolates, flowers, dinner, and dancing. This year, the day of love may look different.

With continued restrictions on indoor dining across the country, many people are swapping a romantic evening out for an at-home meal or celebration. Some may use this as an opportunity to show off the new cooking skills they picked up during the pandemic.

Love is a positive emotion, with many tangible health benefits, and you can express it in many ways — including a home-cooked meal.

Cooking is an expression of love, so plan a night in with your significant other and make your meal just as special as if you had gone out.

Why not spend quality time preparing a romantic dinner together?

Creating that Valentine’s Day dinner at home can include a romantic theme with candlelight and a bottle of wine. Candles are the obvious choice to set your romantic scene, whether they are votives, tea lights, taper or pillar candles – they are all perfect.

Make Valentine’s Day feel even more special by decorating the house in festive, love-themed decor. Rose petals are the quintessential Valentine’s Day decoration. Scatter them on the dinner table, mantelpiece, or pillow. If you don’t have access to fresh roses, you can make your own from colored paper.

Then you could go for relaxing music that you both love such as jazz, soul, or lounge music — they are sure to set the perfect mood for your romantic dinner. Good food, good wine, and good company deserve to be savored, not rushed.

Dinner on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a big production. Choose a simple dinner menu. Here is an easy recipe for a romantic dinner for two at home. It looks delicious and goes together in no time for a perfect supper.