Here’s the deal. It’s easy to book a fancy restaurant, spend $100 on a dozen roses (seriously, $100 for flowers? Is this ok?), buy that new piece of jewelry and turn Valentine’s Day into a wallet-emptying experience. But for many of you out there, it’s just a chance to spend some quality time with that person you love and maybe you just need a fresh idea. Besides, if you waited this long to book a restaurant you’re far too late.
This week, Dara decided to come up with some “cheapskate” ideas for Valentine’s Day. This doesn’t mean any of these ideas should be any less meaningful than the diamond or suddenly rare rose flower. It just means you can have the same effect for a little less cash!
What could be more romantic than the two of you making a special dinner together? Maybe you’ve been sitting on a special recipe or you have a favorite meal. Get in the kitchen together and make it happen! There are a million ideas out there in Google-Land. But, we’ll share a favorite anyway.
We’ve all seen the “Joy of Cooking” book in kitchens everywhere. There’s a recipe in there called “Becker BBQ Shrimp”. It’s a scampi of sort, heavily spiced and the sauce ends up being the highlight, not the shrimp (the BBQ part is kind of a misnomer). You’ll want some crusty bread for dipping. A perfect Valentine dinner so give it a shot! We’d highly recommend a trip to Coastal Seafoods in south Minneapolis or Snelling and Grand in St. Paul for the shrimp.
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced (less depending on how you like garlic)
4 tablespoons butter (go with Coconut oil to cut some fat)
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chicken broth (or a dry white wine)
1/2 cup amber ale
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a spice grinder, add rosemary, oregano, red pepper, paprika, peppercorns and salt – grind until thoroughly mixed together.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in ground spice mixture and garlic – cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add shrimp – cook 3-5 minutes, turning once, until shrimp are almost cooked. Remove shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
Add chicken broth and beer to the pan juices – bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes over high heat. Remove from heat and add in shrimp, parsley and lemon juice to heat through.
Makes 2 servings. Serve with the crusty bread for dipping. Continue to be in love.
Butcher & the Boar Beer Garden
1121 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Ok, we fibbed. You can get a table somewhere and that somewhere is fabulous. The Beer Garden at Butcher and the Boar isn’t taking reservations. So you can show up with your sweetie, enjoy some great brews and some of the best foodie-food in downtown Minneapolis. We’ve talked in this space before about the amazing hot dog they serve and there’s plenty of options for two lovebirds doing Valentine’s Day in Oktoberfest style! It’s warm enough to be comfortable but you can still keep on that cute Valentine’s Day hat you wore.
Go Ice-Skating, Pack a Thermos of Hot Chocolate
Seriously, is this romantic or what? There are rinks all over the Twin Cities. We aren’t the hockey capitol of the country for because there aren’t rinks (not to mention our 10,000 plus lakes). Break out the skates, grab a thermos with some yummy hot chocolate and hold hands. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Heart Shaped Pizza From Randy’s Premiere Pizza
6030 50th St N
Oakdale, MN 55128
Randy’s in Oakdale is a classic little pizza joint Dara loves. Each year they offer up par-baked pizzas in the shape of a heart. Kitschy and fun, it’s a lovely way to feed your family that really comes from the heart! Plus the pizza at Randy’s is terrific. They sell more pizzas for Valentine’s Day then they do on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s saying something! You can also add on a giant heart-shaped cookie. Why wouldn’t you?
Dinner For Two From Yarusso’s For $22.89
637 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
Old-timey Italian on the east side of St. Paul. We mean it, this is movie-set stuff here. Candle in the wicker bottle of Chianti, buckets of classic red sauce, get a copy of “Lady and the Tramp” in the DVD player and the whole works. For $22.89 you’ll get this: Antipasta, Garlic Toast, Spaghetti and Meatballs for two plus all the love you can share with each other. Just don’t forget to Instagram a photo of the two of you sharing pasta like “Lady and the Tramp”. You know you want to!