We’ve all been there - Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and you’re not in the mood to go out and pay for an overpriced pre-fixe dinner BUT you do want to do something fun at home. Here’s my staying-in round up (+ some last minute going out suggestions at the bottom!).
All opinions are my own / not sponsored.
Amping up a charcuterie board.
There is nothing that excites me more than a slate charcuterie board, wide selection of meats and cheeses, and an Eataly french baguette. Most charcuterie spreads look intimidating, but in reality it takes minimal effort and always impresses a crowd.
My go-tos are Murray’s Cheese in Greenwich Village, Eataly (Flatiron or Soho), and Trader Joe’s. Murray’s and Eataly are both gourmet shops and more expensive, but worth it if you’re willing to spend more and have time (plus you can sample). If serving a bigger crowd or trying to conserve money, I would recommend Trader Joe’s - I still LOVE their cheese, especially the unexpected cheddar and they have a great jam selection.
MYO charcuterie board:
Meats - If just for two people, I choose two, usually prosciutto and spicy sopressata (salami) just based on preference
Aged/hard - I like cheddar
Firm - I like manchego
Soft/semi soft - I like brie
Breads/crackers - I always choose a french baguette and literally ANY cracker…pick your favorite
Spreads - pesto, bacon jam, hot pepper jelly, honey, chutneys, mustard, etc…I love the hot & sweet pepper jelly from TJs, pesto, and Mike’s Hot Honey but get whatever you want - if you’re scrapped on time just pick up one jam and call it a day
Extras - marcona almonds (my fav), grapes, dried apricots, raisins, pepitas, the list goes on…if you have the time, resources, and interest…the sky is the limit
Shake, shake, shake it up.
You want to impress your now six-month bf/gf, long-time s/o, or bestie by making cocktails before you order takeout and binge-watch TV for the rest of the night but aren’t interested in investing in 5+ ingredients that break the bank.
Most people think cocktails and imagine a 29-year old guy with a pony tail standing behind a bar holding a boston shaker talking to you about liquors you’ve never even heard of. Simplify this by using minimal ingredients that makes you feel as snazzy as the $17 cocktail you consistently buy. Let’s do this.
Tequila drinkers. My faaaavorite spicy marg recipe is so easy but everyone RAVES about it. You need jalapeño infused tequila (can be thrown together in 10 minutes), Grand Marnier, lime juice, and simple syrup. Find the recipe here.
Whiskey drinkers. Personally, I’m into whiskey sours vs. manhattans, old-fashioneds, and other whiskey forward drinks - check here for a no-frills recipe.
Spritzzzz! I’ve tried to like aperol spritzes. I really want to, I just can’t get into them. If you love them, this is a great recipe and requires minimal ingredients (plus you can finish off the bottle of prosecco after). If not, this tequila rosé spritz is calling your name. Who said rosé was only in the summer?
Make the investment in a big ice cube tray.
Where you should be getting your wine.
That feeling when you walk into a wine store and have no idea where to start. You usually order sauvignon blanc….but you like red too. What was the bottle you had last weekend?
I love delivery from Parcelle - they are truly one of the best wine shops in the city + gives you the hospitality of a restaurant by helping you to pick the perfect wine for each and every occasion. You could also go to the store if you’re in the Hudson Yards area.
Because what’s a night without dessert?
Jars by Dani - one of this month’s specials is chocolate covered strawberry…fudge brownie, strawberry cheesecake, sprinkles, and whipped cream…yeppppp. You can order online or pickup at Blank Slate Coffee.
You want ice cream but in the comfort of your own home. Pick up a pint of Van Leeuwen (vegan options available) or Ample Hills (my personal favorite and available at Whole Foods) earlier in the week and pair with a piece of cake from Magnolia Bakery or with Milk Bar’s mini birthday cakes!!!!!!!
Welp, you’re going out after all.
Go to L’Artusi at 5:30pm when it opens so you can sit at the bar. You have the rest of the night to do anything your heart desires.