Valentine's Day dinner menus

Nearly every Sunday night, as we drive home from small group, Mark looks at me across the front seat and asks, “What are we going to do for dinner?”

And nearly every Sunday night, as we drive home from small group, I look at him across the front seat, grit my teeth, glare at him and say, “I. Don’t. Know.”

As if feeding my family and myself weren’t a difficult enough feat under normal circumstances, accomplishing this superhuman task at past bedtime o’clock on a Sunday night when I should have gotten dinner ready BEFORE small group feels absolutely impossible.

[Also? I really like to consider small group snacks an actual meal. Is that so wrong? Chips and dip, or a fruit tray and cookie plate – these things represent at least a couple of the food groups, right? Or one food group? Can we make snacks a food group? And yes, this may be why our old small group turned into a supper club…]

Which is why the bar and grill up the road that makes the good nachos recognizes our car in the pick-up spot. And why it’s possible I can tell you exactly which pizza place is running the best special on any given week.

For some reason, though I can [usually] manage meal planning during the week, Saturdays and Sundays escape me. Every weekend is different and no weekend ever goes according to plan. And, I don’t know, I guess by the time we limp into the weekend, I’m just TIRED. Tired of thinking and deciding and preparing and cleaning up and fixing and ALL OF IT.

Of course, as it turns out, Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend this year. Granted, it’s a Friday night, but since Mark works nights (including Fridays), any romantic celebration we attempt will have to wait until Saturday. But since we also have a newborn (and six-year-old), it’s unlikely our evening will be spent anywhere other than at home.

And that’s okay. But it might be nice if instead of a last-minute fast-food run or late-night take-out debate, so I actually MADE A PLAN for our Valentine’s dinner. Who knows? It might even be the beginning of a regular thing. Just imagine! Meal planning for the weekends! What a novel idea! (I’m kidding, of course. This is neither novel nor likely to happen. But a girl can dream, can’t she?)

valentine's day food

Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with for potential dinner menus:

The All-American:
Bacon Burgers
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
S’mores Rice Krispy Treats

The Fancy:
(Yes, I came up with these titles myself. How did you know?!)
Steak or Grilled Chicken
Butter Parmesan Potatoes
Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans
Banana Bread or Pound Cake (or both, if you’re feeling carb-alicious!)

The Olive Garden:
Garlic Chicken Pasta (or Stuffed Shells if you have extra time)
Parmesan Knots
Apple Cake

The Spicy One:
Tortilla Chicken with Salsa Verde
Chips and Homemade Salsa (or Sweet Chile Cornbread – yum!)
Mini Fruit Pizzas

We’ll probably go Mexican, like we usually do. Or Italian. I don’t know. [See?! Planning is HARD!] What about you? Have you thought about it yet?

What’s for YOUR Valentine’s dinner? (And tell me I’m not alone in the weekend menu planning slacking department. Anyone else? Anyone…?)

{Photo by Raymond Bryson}

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