Ideas for Valentine's Day! Spaghetti with Shrimp Marinara

Spaghetti with shrimp marinara is a pasta dish served with a delicate sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, basil and fresh peeled shrimp. Whether you're looking for a more intimate setting for your special Valentine's Day meal or just trying to avoid the crowds in busy restaurants, preparing a romantic dinner for two at home might be easier than you think.

Here are some easy tips on: How to Make a Romantic Valentine's Dinner at home!

1.  First, plan a menu that is simple and sincere. You want to be relaxed and engaged with your loved one rather than feeling anxious or stressed over preparing a fancy dinner.

2.  Use really good quality ingredients when cooking traditional dishes.  It makes the meal so much more special.  Also, use fresh herbs to garnish some of the dishes; fresh basil and fresh parsley always makes a pretty presentation.

3.  Set a simple table and light some candles to help create a romantic ambiance.

4.  Play some soft romantic music in the background.  We happen to love the music from the movie sound-track to "Sabrina"  and on that soundtrack is even a ballad sung by Sting.  So Romantic!  ...Take my word for it, it's a fabulous CD!

5.  Start with a simple green salad, and dress up the salad with a few dried cranberries, crushed walnuts or almonds, and crumbled goat cheese on top.  Place some warm bread on the table.

6.  Serve red wine at the table.  Red wine is romantic, and it's best served at room temperature; so no need to worry about chilling it before hand.

7.  Cook a simple dish like spaghetti with marinara sauce, or spaghetti with shrimp marinara.  You can even add a little heavy cream (about 1/4 cup) to the sauce to make it a "pink" sauce, and garnish it some fresh basil on top.   If desired, serve with some pecorino or parmigiano cheese at the table.

8.  And finally, don't forget the dessert.  It should be chocolate!  Easy dark chocolate covered strawberries will do!  Or try some vanilla ice cream, dress it up with fresh raspberries on top, a fresh mint leaf, and some chocolate sauce on the side.
Keep it simple and elegant!

Make it a great one!  Have a sweet Valentine's Day this weekend! Cheers!

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I am presently visiting my grandchildren in NY this week.  It's been so cold and snowing often- it's brutal.  But I am enjoying the kids so much, I really don't mind.
In the meantime, I just had to share this precious photo of my grandson, who just turned 6 months old this past week. 

Thanks for stopping by!
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