VALENTINE’S DAY IDEAS - ENIGMA

VALENTINE’S DAY IDEAS

It’s February and we all know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! It is quite easy to get lost with the range of activities that you can do with your significant other. We’ve spared you the thinking and the planning – here is your list of the five best activities for Valentine’s Day.

Dinner Date

This is the obvious option and the easiest go-to. While it may occasionally get boring for couples that have been together for a while, a romantic dinner date at a fancy restaurant can still rekindle the flame. For couples who are newly dating, this is basically a rite of passage. You get to dress up and share a nice meal with your significant other over deep conversations, in a place where you will most likely be surrounded with candles and red hearts.

Spa Day

This is a day plan that never fails. There is nothing quite as relaxing as spending the day being pampered via spa treatments. Both men and women equally enjoy this, so it’s a fair option to please both of you! It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long, stressful week, and the best part is that you get to do it together. No pressure and no excessive planning required; you could literally make one phone call to your preferred spa and book a spot for yourself and your significant other.

Cosy Movie Night

For those of you who love spending a night in with your significant other, this is the way to go. Pick a nice movie that both of you can enjoy and have a cosy movie night together at home. You can cuddle, stay warm, eat popcorn and candy, and do it all while staying comfortable in your lounge clothes. There is no rule that says you need to get dressed up for Valentine’s Day; you can have just as much fun in your sweatpants and with messy hair.

Outdoor Activities

A not-so-cliché activity for Valentine’s Day might just be what you need to keep your relationship fun! Rather than your typical dinner at home or at a restaurant, take a road trip together to remote places such as the Wadi Degla protectorate, or drive a bit further to Ain Sukhna, with snacks for the ride and some steaks to grill (you can buy small disposable grills to use for the day), and spend the day at the beach. You can even invite a group of friends along and turn it into a couples’ group activity. So, take board games with you, a laptop with movies or just food, drive up to your favourite spot and enjoy each other’s company along with the beautiful scenery. It is definitely worth the drive.

Gourmet Dinner at Home

If you’ve been together for quite a long time; then, it’s not always easy to find new places to try out. Try hosting your own gourmet dinner at home in a romantic setting.

• How to decorate

-Buy lots of small candles and scatter them around the room where           

  you’re having your dinner; the dimmer the lighting, the better.

-Put pretty place settings on your dinner table.

-Have napkins folded tidily onto each plate, just like at restaurants.

-Go the extra mile and sprinkle rose petals all over the table.

• What to cook

Here are three foolproof recipes that you can make, no professional cooking experience required, for a perfect gourmet meal.

Side note: The garlic in these recipes is OPTIONAL, but NOT recommended!

 

Steak with Creamy Balsamic Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

• 2-4 steaks (of your choice)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 20 mushrooms, quartered

• 3-4 garlic cloves, minced (optional)

• ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

• ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

• ¼ cup chicken broth

• ¼ cup heavy cream

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Instructions:

• Coat each steak evenly with kosher salt and pepper.

• Place steak on grill and cook for 5 minutes. Then, flip and cook an

   additional 5 minutes. While the steak is cooking, start on the sauce.

• Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

• In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add

   the mushrooms and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until most of the juices

   have released and the mushrooms start to brown.

• Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, allowing the garlic

   to become fragrant. Add the salt and pepper.

• Add the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar and cook 8-10 minutes

   or until liquid is reduced by half.

• Add the cream and stir well. Cook until heated through and then

   remove from heat. Add the butter and stir to combine until melted.

• Serve hot over steak.

Potato Gratin

Ingredients:

• 2 pounds potatoes, peeled

    and sliced paper-thin

• 2 cups heavy cream

• 2 garlic cloves, split (optional)

• Leaves from 4 fresh thyme

   sprigs

• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives,

    plus more for garnish

• 1 cup grated parmesan

• Sea salt and freshly ground

    black pepper

Instructions:

• Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients,

   tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

• Put the potato mixture into a casserole dish, flatten it out with a

   spatula and bake for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and

   the gratin is bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish

   with fresh chives.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Ingredients:

• 1 egg

• 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate

• 2 tbsp. flour

• 2 tsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter (and

    a little more for greasing the lava

   cake vessels)

Instructions:

• Preheat your oven to 200°C and grease the small ovenproof cups.

• Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.

• Whisk in the egg, sugar and vanilla extract.

• Fold in the flour until incorporated and pour batter into cups.

• Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10

    minutes.

• Gently invert the cups onto a plate and let stand for a minute.

• Slowly lift the cup.

• Eat plain or with ice cream.

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