Valentine's Dinner

It’s February 14th and you haven’t made your Valentine’s Day plans yet. Guys, you know that you’re going to be in the dog house. Ladies, you know he probably is ok with whatever. There’s still time to salvage this situation.

Before you get online and check out flowers on (and really you should check out the awesome local florists near campus anyways) and pay more for flowers this one day than you would to surprise her throughout the year, we’ve got an easy solution that you can pull off without a hitch!

Fellas, treating your lady to a romantic dinner doesn’t have to cost you every penny in your account. While some people feel like cooking a dinner at home is taking the easy way out, we all know that not everyone is Bobby Flay in the kitchen. Sure, if you just whip her up some Hamburger Helper, she probably won’t be super impressed…so trust me when I say that you can do this.

There are a few guidelines we have to go over before we get started:

She can be there when you’re cooking, but she’s not allowed to help. Period.

Make sure she has something to drink and light to eat while you’re cooking

Warming Up

If she’s a wine drinker, grab a nice bottle from the store, but wait to serve it until dinner. While you’re cooking, mix up a nice cocktail (no, not Jack and Coke). You’re bringing the restaurant home, so make it feel that way. The internet is a glorious thing when you’re trying to learn a new skill and you can mix up a killer drink for her no problem! Make sure you’ve got the right glass, don’t use a red solo cup or a plastic cup from your favorite pizza joint in town. To keep her appetite at bay while you finish up in the kitchen, snag a baguette from the grocery store and a wedge of cheese. I personally like to do apples and brie.

The Menu

Keep it simple, Stupid. Now is not the time to try out the crazy stuff you saw once on Food Network, or even those ridiculous meals she’s been posting on Pinterest. No sir. This meal should be 3 things: Simple. Easy. Delicious. Assuming she eats red meat (substitute with chicken if she doesn’t):

  1. Pan-seared rib-eye steak
  2. Baked potato
  3. Broccoli (or green beans) with butter

Although silence is usually a sign of good food, don’t drop the conversation ball. Avoid basic small talk about her day, and take the opportunity to get to know her. Learn about her childhood, her likes and dislikes (seriously, take note).


Save the dishes for tomorrow. Don’t waste time cleaning up (although I would advise to clean your cooking tools as you go) and definitely don’t let her chip in. Head over to the couch with some fresh drinks and turn on a movie. For dessert, break out her favorite candy (I stay away from those mystery boxes of chocolate where I don’t even like half of what’s in there). Relax knowing that you knocked it out of the park!

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Jacob Ross is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin with a bachelors degree in Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration. He currently works as the Director of New Media at AroundCampus, spending most of his time surfing the internet and playing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Jacob is a professional foodie, bow tie connoisseur, and amateur photographer. He can out quote you when it comes to any Will Ferrel movie like it's an Olympic sport. He spends the majority of his weekends watching Netflix with his dog, Jolene.