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Planning The Perfect Valentine’s Day

A well-dressed African America man and woman smile and click glasses of red wine around an elegant table.

Planning the perfect Valentine’s Day may be a bit more challenging this year. We’re living in unusual times, but that’s no excuse to eschew the old traditions – quite the contrary! We need to rely on tried and true traditions more than ever when our old routines and ways of living are interrupted. Even if you can’t book a table at a fancy (and crowded) romantic restaurant or head to a movie theatre this Valentine’s Day, there are still lots of ways to celebrate with the one you love. Here are some tips for planning the perfect Valentine’s Day. 

Planning the perfect Valentine’s Day at home

Go ahead, get comfortable. You and your date can spend the perfect Valentine’s Day together without even leaving your apartment. Here are some delightful stay-at-home Valentine’s Day ideas.

A meal for two

Set out the candles and enjoy cooking and consuming a delicious meal for two. Just because you’re eating at home doesn’t mean your meal has to be anything less than lavish. Opt for a fancy dish you and your date have never made together before for a truly memorable holiday dinner.

Sweets for your sweetie

No meal is complete without dessert – especially on Valentine’s Day. Meringue Love Letters are a fun and simple option that lets you add your own personal touch by choosing what words or short phrases to make. This lighter dessert is also a great pick if you’ve already had your fair share of chocolate for the day.

Timeless takeout

Aiming for a less formal affair while planning the perfect Valentine’s Day? Takeout is always an easy and convenient option. Enjoy mouthwatering pizza from the local pizza parlour, or perhaps from one of the restaurants the two of you went to on one of your early dates.

Your own personal theatre

Enjoy a great movie with your sweetheart without the crowds. Choose one of the most romantic films of all time to ensure you pick the perfect flick for the holiday.

Get to know your sweetheart

There’s no better time to put a little effort into getting to know your significant other even better than during your Valentine’s Day at home. Enjoy asking each other questions, guessing each other’s answers and learning more about one another.

4 Homemade Valentine’s Day Dinners Worth Staying In For

Sometimes it’s nice to stay home and brush up on your cooking skills. If you feel like staying in this Valentine’s Day, Panoramic Properties has some tips for preparing a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner that’s worth staying in for.

Roasted Rainbow Trout with Broccoli and Tomato

This tasty dinner is a great idea for a romantic, home-cooked meal. Instead of spending hours preparing a dish to impress your date, this Roasted Rainbow Trout with Broccoli and Tomato recipe is quick to make and all you need is one pan! Start by setting the oven to 400F and lining a baking pan with parchment paper. Place the trout fillets in the pan and drizzle them with some olive oil, oregano and garlic herb seasoning. In a separate bowl, mix grape or cherry tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss it around to mix and place everything around the trout fillets. Add some lemon slices on top of the fish and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. When the trout is done, add fresh parsley and basil and a touch of lemon. If you feel like having a glass of wine, match the meal with a glass of a nice Riesling.

One-Pot Spicy and Creamy Pasta

Who knew such a simple pasta recipe could have so much flavour! Try this yummy dish to impress your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Begin by melting butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat, then add crushed red pepper, shallots, salt and pepper. Keep mixing everything until the shallots are soft and golden. The next step is to use a pot to bring water or chicken stock to a boil, then add your choice of short pasta, such as penne. Once the pasta is cooked and tender, after 12-15 minutes, add 2 cups of shredded chicken and ¼ cup of heavy cream. Make sure you stir everything and cook for another few minutes, then add some fresh herbs, lemon juice and lemon zest. When you’re ready to sit down and eat, sprinkle the dish with a few more herbs and red pepper. Enjoy!

Red Lentil Soup With Beet Greens

This hearty soup is a nice dinner alternative if you’re looking for something soothing — especially on a chilly day in February. To make this delicious meal, begin by boiling lentils, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, and ghee for about 30 minutes, until everything is tender. Purée the lentils in a blender until smooth and set aside. The next step is to heat 1 teaspoon of ghee in a saucepan, fry cumin seeds for 15 seconds and add ginger and garlic. Cook everything for another minute until you smell the lovely aroma. Then add chopped beet greens, cover and cook for 5 minutes longer. Finally, you’re going to add the beet greens to the soup and top with some lemon!

Beef Stir-Fry

When in doubt, a beef stir-fry is the way to go. This recipe is quick and easy, and it will take you only 30 minutes to make. The first step is to season the steak with salt and pepper. Set it aside and whisk together soy sauce, chilli pepper, sugar and lime and toss in the beef. In a large skillet, you’re going to heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the beef for 3-5 minutes. When it’s cooked through, remove it from the skillet and set aside. The next step is to allow the liquid to reduce until thickened, add the garlic and scallions and cook for another minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for another few minutes.  Then add the snow peas, baby corn, bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, or until everything is tender. Return the beef to the skillet and voila! Complete the meal with 2 glasses of Shiraz!

4 easy chocolate recipes to try this Valentine’s Day

Planning the perfect Valentine’s Day can be romantic, or stressful. When it comes down to it, all your Valentine really wants is to feel appreciated, to know that you were thinking of them. An easy and effective way to show someone that you care is to put a little time and effort in. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time and effort.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a classic Valentine’s Day treat. If you’ve decided to show someone you care by putting in a little time and making dessert yourself, you may find that fresh strawberries aren’t easy to find in February. Don’t lose heart, make these heart-shaped Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cookies instead! They are flavoured with strawberry jam, which is always easy to find, and the cookies are easy to make.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars

Use your hands to eat dessert this Valentine’s Day with these Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars. Just saying “red velvet” sounds romantic. The luxurious cheesecake filling is spread on top of a rich, chocolate crust. Best of all, this recipe only requires about 10 minutes of hands-on time and less than an hour in the oven.

Chocolate Cake Hearts

If you are not a seasoned baker, but want to show your sweetheart how much you love them, make them these Chocolate Cake Hearts. They are simply chocolate sheet cake shaped into hearts. It’s as easy as baking can be. This Valentine’s Day, follow the K.I.S.S. rule — Keep It Simple Sweetheart!

Homemade Chocolates

Instead of showing up with a store-bought box of chocolates (that you obviously picked up on the way home) why not make your own Homemade Chocolates this year? Don’t be intimidated. Making your own chocolates is surprisingly easy and after all, it’s the thought that counts. What your sweetheart will be thinking is, “these are delicious”.

Valentine’s Day Gifts You Can Make At Home

This Valentine’s Day, make someone feel extra special with a gift made by you! Panoramic Properties has 4 unique and affordable DIY gifts you can make at home for that special someone.

Valentine’s Day Mason Jar

A Valentine’s Day Mason Jar is a simple, yet thoughtful gift idea. It’s easy to put together and it’s something a child or adult would appreciate. You’ll need to purchase a mason jar and whatever you want to put inside. It could be candy, chocolate, jewellery, gift cards, lipstick…the possibilities are endless. Personalize the gift for each person and have fun with it! You can also add a sticker or label and leave a special note for your loved one.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sweet treats are the way to anyone’s heart!  These Four-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies are quick to make and taste great. All you need is 2 ripe bananas, chocolate chips, oats and peanut butter. Just preheat the oven to 350F, mix all the ingredients together (add chocolate chips in last), and drop the batter on a baking sheet in spoonfuls. After baking for 10-12 minutes, they should be ready. Once they have cooled, transfer them into cute cookie bags and they’re ready to go!

Photo Books

A photo book is a great gift — especially if you’ve shared many special moments together. Start by collecting your favourite photos, then upload them to an online book publishing service like Blurb or Chatbooks. Depending on the style and your budget, you can make small softcover books or large hardcover books and anything in between. You can also choose between different layout templates, or make something of your own. If you’re pressed for time, just print some photos at Walmart, buy a scrapbook and glue all the photos into it. No matter which way you choose to put it together, a photo book is a great trip down memory lane.

DIY Sharpie Mugs

This is a super fun craft idea! All you need is a white mug and a few Sharpie markers in different colours. You can draw anything you like, write a personal message, or add a love quote. Depending on who it’s for, fill it with chocolates, candy or even a small coffee bag.

A romantic Valentine’s Day at home

Whether you’re a homebody, can’t go out, new parent, can’t take the chaos, or just opposed to spending money on Valentine’s Day, rest assured that you can enjoy a fabulous evening at home. To help you plan the perfect night in, here are some fun and romantic ideas for enjoying a sweet Valentine’s Day in your apartment.

Make dinner

One of the most romantic things you can do is make your date dinner. It’s an opportunity to show you care and that you’re ready to put in some work for that person. It’s always a good plan to ensure that what you intend to cook is something your date likes to eat, can eat (no allergies etc.) and isn’t too much of a stretch for you to prepare properly. Don’t be shy — ask them what they might enjoy (cuisine-wise) and if they’re allergic to anything. Once you know what you want to make, look for well-reviewed recipes online. Video recipes are helpful. Buy the ingredients you’ll need and make as much as you can in advance. There’s nothing worse than a dinner date that you spend most of the night in the kitchen cooking for!

Movie night

A movie night can be totally romantic if you do it right! Set the scene — clean up your apartment and ensure cozy things like pillows and blankets are available. You can take it to new heights by ordering in food, lighting some candles and having a little picnic in your living room. 

Dance the night away

If you’re able to beat your partner home, you can transform your living room into a dancefloor for the night  Clear some space, get a romantic slow dance playlist together, light some candles, borrow your kid’s disco ball and you’ve got a romantic surprise that will knock your partner off their feet.

Lounge vibes

Transform your apartment into a cocktail lounge by dimming the lights, lighting some candles or lanterns and clearing an inviting space in your living room for you and your date to relax. Whip up some classy cocktails to share and just enjoy each other’s company. If you want to impress, pick up some pretty cocktail glasses to serve them in. Plan the night in advance by testing out some cocktail recipes to make sure you like them. Check out Delish magazine’s collection of delicious winter cocktail recipes here for inspiration.

Panoramic Properties hopes that these tips help make planning the perfect Valentine’s Day easy, fun and romantic. 

To find your next rental home with Panoramic Properties please visit our website.