valentines day ideas

Wondering how you'll show your significant other just how much you love him or her this Valentine's Day? Why not take notes from movies that serve up romance with a foodie twist?

With the annual day of love just around the corner, we pulled together a list of our favorite food-related scenes in romantic movies and paired each of them with a relevant recipe from our friends at KitchenDaily. Our selections range from a classic canine rendezvous to a deliciously naughty kitchen encounter ... and a few treats in between.

So, if you're planning on staying in with your sweetheart, check out our menu of ideas for perfect Valentine's Day "dinner and a movie" dates.

'Lady and the Tramp'

valentines day ideasScene: A snooty cocker spaniel and a rebellious downtown mutt share a smooch over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. (Watch the clip here.)

Dinner: Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs

A Taste of the Ingredients:
1/2 cup hot water
4 ounces lean ground beef
4 ounces hot Italian sausage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti or linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (1 ounce)
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

Tip: A red-and-white checkered tablecloth is a must for this puppy-love tryst to go off without a hitch (purchase one at any local supermarket, home goods or hardware store). For ambience, light a candle, buy some breadsticks and share one plate. (That's one fewer dish to wash.) And of course, don't forget to play 'Bella Notte' in the background -- the version in the movie is by George Givot.

'Like Water for Chocolate'

valentines day ideasScene: A dinner party becomes overwhelmed with desire after guests eat a dish prepared by a woman consumed with sheer passion. (Watch a clip here.)

Dinner: Quail in Rose Petal Sauce

A Taste of the Ingredients:
12 red or pink roses with open blooms, petals removed
1 peeled red cactus fruit or 2 red plums, skinned
12 fresh chestnuts
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless fresh quail
Olive oil
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe on

Dessert: Rose Petal Cupcakes

A Slice of the Recipe:
Tint frosting pastel pink and pipe a swirl on top of cupcakes. Thin some corn syrup with water; lightly brush on rose petals. Toss in sugar. Arrange petals on top of frosting swirl.
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

'Annie Hall'

valentines day ideasScene: Diane Keaton and Woody Allen playfully tackle the daunting task of cooking a lobster. Their chemistry is undeniable, making this exchange between the two actors one of the film's most memorable scenes. (Watch a clip here.)

Dinner: Lobster

Boil a Lobster:
After making sure you've got a large enough pot and have filled it with enough water to cover the lobster completely, bring water to a boil, and lower the lobster into the water head first.
(Full Recipe & How-to Video Here)

De-Shell a Lobster:
You don't even need that many tools -- just a chef's knife and a strong grip. You will need a rolling pin, though.
(Full Recipe & How-to Video Here)


Lobster Bisque
A Taste of the Ingredients:
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
4 to 8 whole lobsters, cooked or uncooked, with as many other lobster shells or bodies as you can scavenge, plus coral, tomalley and any stray bits of meat you might find
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

Tip: Approach the meal prep as a team, or else you'll miss the whole point of the date.

'When Harry Met Sally'

valentines day ideasScene: Surrounded by the bustling crowd of New York's Katz's Deli (famous for its pastrami sandwiches), a determined Meg Ryan demonstrates her ability to fake an orgasm by, well, faking an orgasm. Impressed by the performance, an eager patron then tells her waiter, "I'll have what she's having," referring to Ryan. (Watch a clip here.)

Dinner: In honor of the famous Katz' Deli, Toasted Pastrami Sandwiches

A Taste of the Ingredients:
1 medium green sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
4 French-style rolls (about 4 inches long), split
8 slices fully cooked turkey pastrami (8 ounces)
2 ounces thinly sliced provolone or Swiss cheese
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
(See Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

Tip: KitchenDaily suggests completing the deli theme with chips and potato salad.

'Stranger Than Fiction'

valentines day ideasScene: Will Ferrell attempts to woo Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays a baker, by bringing her "flours." Literally, a box of packaged flour. The quirky gesture is too clever and endearing for her to ignore. (Watch a clip here.)

Treat: Milk-Chocolate-Chip Cookies

A Taste of the Ingredients:
2 1/2 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup(s) light brown sugar
1 cup(s) plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1 pound(s) milk-chocolate chips
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

Tip: Give your beloved a bouquet (box) of flours.

'9 1/2 Weeks'

valentines day ideasScene: Quite possibly the most sexualized use of food in film, this notoriously steamy kitchen encounter features Mickey Rourke feeding Kim Basinger everything from fruit to pasta. Also making cameos in this erotic taste-testing session are honey, milk and cough syrup. (Watch a NSFW clip here.)

Treat: Basically, anything tasty and bite-sized

Fruit, honey, hot peppers, champagne

Sweet Addition: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
A Taste of the Ingredients:
3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

Tips: Though titillating and fun, this date can get rather messy, so dress appropriately. Oh, and jalapenos are crucial if you plan on spicing up your evening -- try banana peppers if you're not a fan of hot foods.


valentines day ideasScene: Keri Russel and Nathan Fillion share a sweet, intimate moment while baking a pie. (Watch a clip here.)

Dessert: Homemade Pie

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie
A Taste of the Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large egg
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons flakey sea salt, plus extra for garnish
2 cups chopped toasted pecans
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(See All Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)


Chocolate-Espresso Cream Pie
A Slice of the Recipe:
Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, espresso powder, salt and yolks in a 3-quart heavy saucepan until combined well, then add milk in a stream, whisking. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking, 1 minute (filling will be thick). Remove from heat, then whisk in chocolates, butter, and vanilla. Spoon filling into crust and chill pie.
(See Ingredients & Full Recipe Here)

Tip: Write a 'Waitress'-inspired pie recipe by incorporating your own ingredients for love.
Based on 34 critics

A pregnant waitress is caught between her controlling husband and her new lover. Read More

Stranger Than Fiction
Based on 35 critics

A mentally unstable IRS auditor (Will Ferrell) hears an author's (Emma Thompson) voice in his head. Read More

9 1/2 Weeks
Based on 13 critics

A SoHo art dealer (Kim Basinger) gets kinky with a stockbroker (Mickey Rourke). Read More

Annie Hall
In Theaters on April 20th, 1977

A New York comedian (Woody Allen) recalls his kooky lost love (Diane Keaton). Read More

Like Water For Chocolate
Not Yet Rated1992
In Theaters on December 23rd, 1992

Family tradition keeps a young Mexican (Lumi Cavazos) from her true love (Marco Leonardi). Read More

November 29, 2016
Get More Showtimes
Lady and the Tramp
In Theaters on June 22nd, 1955

A pet cocker spaniel falls in love with a jaunty mutt who protects her. Read More

categories Features