Valentines Day

The Perfect Weapons of Mass Seduction for Valentine’s Day

Think back to around January 5th. It’s only five days into the New Year and you head to your local supermarket to pick up a few essentials. However, when you begin roaming the isles you notice there is a reoccurring color theme taking over the store – pink and red. “What happened to New Years?” is probably what you’re thinking. Well, for your convenience, all of the New Year’s paraphernalia is already located in the clearance aisle and the holiday has only just come and gone.

That’s right. The stores are in full Valentine’s Day mode. There are chocolate boxes scattered here and there, chocolate roses in full bloom, and a teddy bear holding a big sign that says “I Love You.” At this point, you might be thinking “No, Valentine’s Day. I hate you.” But whether you’re single or in a relationship, the occasion can actually be enjoyable without falling into the easy “chocolate box gift trap.”

Many foodies agree that nothing says “I love you” more than preparing a home cooked meal or at least enjoying a meal together. “Cooking together and making a meal from scratch is beautiful,” said Elena Cirillo, University alumni. “And maybe even messing up terribly and having to order pizza afterwards is okay too.”

If you have even the slightest culinary skill, are able to follow directions, and can add a little pizzazz to your presentation, you already have the recipe for success. offers six different Valentine’s Day dinners for two, with options ranging from pasta to lamb to salmon. The recipes are supposed to be complimentary of each other, but who says you can’t mix and match according to your own taste preference? More information on these menus can be found at

Aside from a pre-fixed menu for two, one of my favorite Valentine’s Day dinners (with huge past success) is filet mignon. describes filet mignon as “the king of steaks because of its tender, melt in the mouth texture.” Aside from the taste, filet mignon can be very expensive to eat out, but more affordable when cooked at home. You can serve the meat with a starch (I recommend whipped potatoes) and a mixture of carrots and green beans, or what the French refer to as “haricot vert.” Add a special glaze or sauce to accompany the meat, such as béarnaise (a butter-herb sauce), or one of my personal favorites Cabernet peppercorn demi-glaze. Provided is a highly rated and recommended recipe for filet mignon with Cabernet peppercorn demi-glaze which is easy enough to follow, yet timeless in its sophistication and alluring flavors.

Though everyone might have a different main course preference, one commonality of Valentine’s Day is the importance of dessert. Theresa Lowy, Associate Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute and passionate cook, agrees that without the proper dessert, a Valentine’s Day meal wouldn’t be the same. “I like to keep my Valentine’s Day meal not too heavy so there’s room to indulge in the final course,” said Lowy. “You can never go wrong with homemade chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate mousse.”

For those poor souls whose taste buds reject the silky smooth sweetness of chocolate, rest assured. There are plenty of other desserts to satiate your sweet tooth.

Chris Spirito, senior, said if the dessert of choice doesn’t involve chocolate, red velvet cake would more than suffice as the perfect sweet ending. Red velvet cake is traditionally a bright red colored cake with a rich cream cheese icing that coordinates perfectly with traditional Valentine’s Day décor.

However, baking can take time, so if you plan on starting from scratch save yourself from a last minute crisis rush by preparing the day before. agrees that “chocolate mousse is a great dessert for entertaining because it looks pretty, everyone gets their own serving, and you can make it a day ahead of time.” As a personal, touch I like to add some fresh raspberries and whipped cream on top, and serve the mousse in individual red wine glasses.

However, food is not the only critical element to preparing a lovely Valentine’s Day meal. Setting and mood are just as important, if not more so than the food itself. Without the right ambiance, your valentine will get the impression that this is just another ordinary dinner date. Let’s start with a few basic essentials.

Matt Titus, expert mood setter featured on, says that there simply can be no mood set without the proper lighting. Titus suggests purchasing soft light bulbs, lowering the shades, and creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere with candles. In addition to lighting, flowers, music, and the right table setting are all individual pieces of the puzzle that will collectively bring the evening together perfectly. offers an entire collection of music based on your current “mood.” Some great playlists for Valentine’s Day are “In love,” “Dinner Party,” and “Candlelit Dinner.” The music plays commercial free at no cost to listeners and showcases an interesting mix of unconventional songs to keep the atmosphere interesting.

So instead of running to the store, picking up a heart shaped box of chocolates for $12.99 and a plush teddy bear that would have been cute to receive when you were in grade school, consider cooking a homemade meal for your valentine. Light the candles, turn the music on low, set the table, and smell that tender piece of filet mignon simmer ing on the grill.

Don’t forget to end on a sweet note, and you’ll surely be the master of seduction this Valentine’s Day.