No matter who you're with this Valentine's evening, you probably want a meal that is simple yet a treat — something easy to pull together after work, a meal to make you sink into the enjoyment of a quiet evening at home. Here are some suggestions for you: Foolproof instructions for cooking a perfect steak, and a dish of creamy pasta with lemon and hazelnuts. There are some quick, no-cook appetizers, a boozy cup of mocha, and a fizzy pink cocktail. And dessert, of course — the best brownies we know how to make, and a chocolate mousse to dream over. Oh, and real crème brûlée. If that doesn't get you in a Valentine's mood we don't know what will!
• 1 How To Cook a Steak in the Oven - A foolproof way to cook an absolutely delicious steak in the oven. (Also see this recipe for steak with mushrooms and blue cheese!)
• 2 Spaghetti with Mascarpone, Meyer Lemon, Spinach, and Hazelnuts - A creamy, indulgent recipe for vegetarian pasta — tangy and bright.
• 3 Braised Lamb Shanks & Root Vegetable Puree - A hearty plate of tender lamb and root puree — wonderful for making your house smell great, too.
• 4 Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions - An easy oven risotto that just happens to be vegan. It's impressive and easy — the best combination.
STARTERS & SIDE DISHES
• 5 Prosciutto-Wrapped Arugula - Deliciously simple finger food.
• 6 Stuffed Sweet Piquante Peppers - Simple, piquant, and so quick to whip up after work.
• 7 Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs and Red Onion - A hearty yet refreshing winter grain salad that would complement a steak beautifully.
• 8 Fennel, Orange, and Shallot Salad - My favorite winter salad, so refreshing. And indulgent too, if you add a big lump of crabmeat in the center!
GOOD THINGS TO DRINK
• 9 VS Mocha Café - A boozy mocha for starting off the day, or closing dinner.
• 10 Pink Lady - Gin, grenadine, a foamy egg white — a romantic pink drink for one or two.
• 11 Elderflower and Lemon Sparkling Sipper - A light and easy quick wine cocktail.
• 12 How To Make Crème Brûlée at Home: Without a Torch! - A classic pleaser of a dessert, no torch required.
• 13 Spicy Boozy Mousse - A quick blender mousse that turns out so luxurious!
• 14 Katharine Hepburn's Brownies - Keeping it simple — these are just the easiest brownies ever, and probably my favorite brownies ever too.
• 15 Rhubarb Fool - Perhaps the simplest dessert you can make, and so pink and pretty. Also try with pureed raspberries or strawberries.
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)