Valentine's Day Celebration Guide

Valentine's Day Celebration Guide

On February 14th people around the world celebrate Valentine's day by giving candy, flowers, and thoughtful cards to the ones they love. Some love to give jewelry or a heartfelt gift like art or a handmade sweater. We have some ideas for Valentine's Day gifts that are sure to impress. While some find that Valentine's Day is an exploitation for marketing and commercial purposes, you can bypass the flashy gifts and still use this as an opportunity to spend quality time with your loved one. We just want to give you an excuse to cook good food at home! 

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas 

Pink-Roses-Valentine's-Day

Flowers, candy, or a heartfelt card 

The classic Valentine's Day gifts are sometimes the best if your loved one is more traditional. Gift a colorful bouquet of white, yellow, and pink roses or the classic dozen red roses, luscious chocolates, and a hand-written card for a timeless show of love. These are also a great go-to for a new relationship, allowing you to show someone you are thinking about them even if you may not have a great idea for a gift just yet. These small but romantic gestures don't have to be reserved for Valentine's Day alone. You can pick something like this up any time your husband or wife may have had a rough week and needs a little extra romance or cheering up.

Clothes 

Gifts-Wrapped-Valentine's-Day-Paper
If your significant other loves fashionable clothes or just a set of comfortable pajamas, clothes can be a great way to show how much you care. Get your loved one a pair of patterned socks to suit their personality, a fashionable coat or dress, or a cozy set of holiday-themed pajamas. Jewelry is another great option for something small and timeless. Order something handmade or personalized for a more intimate touch, or blow them away with something sparkly and expensive. Whatever you choose, always be sure there is meaning behind the gesture.

Food Gifts 

Pit-Barrel-Classic-and-Junior-With-Heart
Food is always a perfect gift. You can never go wrong by giving your loved one their favorite chocolates or a cute holiday-themed candy. Take the chance to show off your presentation skills with a cheese board to start off your romantic night in. For something more extravagant, give them a cooker or appliance for a gift that keeps on giving. Is your loved one interested in baking? Give them a stand mixer. If you know they enjoy smoothies or soups and like convenience, a blender is the perfect choice. If you are looking for something a little more impressive, a cooker, like a drum smoker or barrel grill, is a great option and allows a wide range of versatility regardless of the recipient's skill level.
Another wonderful gift could just be a special meal at home. Make your loved one's favorite dish and rent a good movie. This shows that you know them well enough to know what they like and are willing to put in the time to give them something meaningful, even when your budget may not allow something extravagant. Small gestures are all it takes to show your appreciation for one another.

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day at Home

Pit-Barrel-Knife-and-Steak-on-Plate
By this point in the year we all know that most plans for going out on a date will be more difficult than usual, if possible at all. Instead of going to dinner, cook a gourmet meal at home and give the gift of a meal made with love. Cooking together can be a great bonding experience, or surprise them with a delicious meal after a long day. Try some of our favorite gourmet recipes for a special meal. Below, we have selected a few dishes that we think will make your Valentine's meal perfect, a night you will be both be talking about for years to come.

Cocktail

Honey-Bear-Bourbon-Cocktail-In-glass
Start your celebration of love and kindness with a crisp and refreshing bourbon cocktail with a hint of honey. As a Kentucky-based company, we are slightly biased towards enjoying local bourbon at any occasion we can. If you are not a fan of bourbon we highly recommend starting out the celebration with another refreshing cocktail, like our Blueberry Margarita. You may think of margaritas as a Summer drink, but we think this will be the perfect hint of freshness to start your evening. If you want to enjoy a little snack with your drink, try these Smoked Cajun Nuts for a unique and savory experience. 

Appetizer

Shrimp-and-Cucumber-Appetizer-On-Plate
The appetizer is the first taste you and your guest get, and the best chance you have to set the tone for the rest of the night. You want it to be light and decadent, and yummy enough to leave you hungry for your later courses. Try either of these recipes for a fantastic smoky appetizer. Smoked shrimp with fresh cucumber is crisp, refreshing, and flavorful start to the night. This is a great appetizer if you want to go light before a larger entrée or just want to impress with a simple yet stunning presentation.
The smoked salmon spread is a wonderful compliment to any cracker or vegetable and is the perfect way to spark your taste buds before moving on to the main dish. Whether you generally prefer cold smoking or hot smoking, this is a guaranteed pleaser for any seafood lover. The best part is that you can take the leftover smoked salmon spread and snack on it the for the rest of the weekend. But this dish is so good we won't guarantee you will have leftovers!
Both appetizers pair well with full-bodied white wines such as oak-aged Chardonnay, White Burgundy or the classic pairing of Champagne. If your choice of drink is non-alcoholic, we recommend something light and citrusy such as sparkling juice or even lemonade.

Entrée

Lobster-Tail-Cooked-on-Barrel-Smoker-With-Butter 
Lobster tails are a classic gourmet meal. We prefer to smoke lobster tail in a drum smoker or barrel grill, like the Pit Barrel Cooker, for added flavor that makes the delicate lobster tail the best you have ever had. The design of the vertical cooker will ensure that the lobster tail takes on a light smokiness that will elevate the already buttery smooth experience of the restaurant-style dish. However, there are endless ways to prepare a quality lobster tail and you really can't go wrong with something this good. Check out our easy smoked side dishes for some fantastic options to round out your meal.
As for wine pairing, this will go wonderfully with the Chardonnay bottle from the appetizer. Already finished that off? Open up a bottle of Riesling or Rosé for some added sweetness to balance the flavors. 
If you had enough seafood during the appetizer, we highly recommend that you give the Smoked Tri-Tip with Jalapeño Chimichurri a try. This is easily one of our favorite recipes. Serve with a simple delicious harvest grains blend and roasted asparagus (instructions in recipe) and you have a beautiful meal that some may claim is better than you could pay for at a restaurant. 
Tri-Tip, like most steak, pairs really well with a fruit-forward and adventurous Merlot, Malbec, Syrah or Pinot Noir. If you are looking for non-alcoholic pairing we recommend cranberry or pomegranate juice.

Dessert 

Browned-Butter-Apple-Bourbon-Crisp-On-Plate 
Apple crisp is a classic dessert, perfect for a night at home. The browned butter and bourbon mixed with the smoky touch of the Pit Barrel® take this dish to another level, making it the perfect complement to the rest of your meal. Put this in the Pit Barrel® when you sit down to eat dinner and it will be ready just in time for dessert. Add some ice cream and this is the perfect elevated comfort food to enjoy on the couch while you start your movie. This smoked dessert is the perfect way to end a delicious meal. Looking for another sweet option? We have plenty of dessert recipes for you to choose from.

Whether you choose to give them the classic chocolates and flowers, or go all-in with a drum smoker for your favorite pit master, your loved one is sure to be pleased with any gift from you. Whether you are cooking together or just sitting down for a meal, food is something that bonds people together, but this has as much to do with the experience and conversation as it does the courses you prepare. Always remember that the most valuable gift you can give is priceless – your love and your time. Use the down time we have been given this year during the pandemic to focus more on your relationship and the blessings it provides than on the physical gifts or places you go. The Pit Barrel Family hopes you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!