I love Valentine's Day. I loved it as a child (especially since my birthday is 2 days before), hated it as a young adult (oh, the pressure of having a "valentine"), and now love it again since I have children. I love the colors (isn't it chic to have a holiday with one primary color and variations on that color?) and I love using the holiday as a countdown to tell my girls all the things I love about them.
Last year, Charles and I thought it would be fun to throw a casual Valentine's party with friends. We wanted to keep it easy and low-key so we decided upon a crepe bar and invited about 12 couples. I sent out invitations the end of January.
I really didn't want to stress about the party so I kept decorations to a minimum – banners made from heart doilies strung on ribbon, glass votives, bowls of pink and red peanut M&M's and small white vases filled with pink carnations (I used to find carnations tacky, now I quite like them in single bunches).
The crepe bar was the highlight of the evening. To continue my theme of low-stress, I asked each couple to bring a filling for the crepes – everything from sauteed mushrooms to guacamole. I've included the menu below (click on it to print). All the ingredients were set on trays on our big kitchen island and our friends had fun seeing what crepe combinations they could come up with.
Charles made the crepes a few days beforehand and froze them between individual pieces of wax paper. We let them thaw out about an hour before the party and they worked perfectly.
I borrowed a few skillets from various friends and everyone took turns heating up their crepes until they reached perfection. It was fun to just hang out in the kitchen and mingle as delicious crepe creations took shape.
For dessert, I made my favorite individual chocolate molten cakes. These are always a hit. I even made them a week before and froze the batter in the ramekins. Then, the night of the party, I just had to put the cakes in the oven to bake. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, these were to-die-for.
I also made platters of my now-famous heart sugar cookies.
While we sat around eating dessert, we played our version of "The Not-So-Newlywed Game." I've included our questions above. Each of the winners went home with a prize (Charles made special red and pink blown glass necklaces) and, with minimal clean-up, Charles and I went upstairs to bed. A fun-filled evening before Valentine's Day!