Valentine’s Day Candlelight Menu

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valentines day menu

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Today we’re including a menu for a romantic candlelight dinner for two (or if you can’t find a babysitter, for 4, 5, or 6).

On Valentine’s Day our thoughts always turn to love, of course. Here is a verse I have always liked:

Proverbs 15:16-17. “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” (For those of you who might be a little confused today, that isn’t saying that the only way to find true love is to become a vegetarian!)

We live in a society where we put too much importance on having wealth, even if it comes at the cost of our relationships at home. Sadly, this is true in Christian homes too. Just this weekend my granddaughter asked me, “Why do those people talk so mean to each other if they go to church?” Out of the mouths of babes. It’s something to think about.

You may not be able to serve the most expensive meal or go to an expensive restaurant but, even so, you can make any meal special. Fill the room with yummy smells coming from the kitchen. Add some candles, a nice tablecloth and your best dishes (for some of us, that is anything other than paper plates HA! HA!) and you’re all set.

We often get so focused on the things “to buy” to make ourselves happy that we forget the little things we can do that cost nothing. One of those things is looking our very best for our spouse.

We dress to the nines for others, whether we’re going to church, work or a party but half the time we look like “something the cat dragged in” at home. Keep the romance alive every day — not just on Valentine’s Day. Get up, comb your hair, put on your makeup and get out of your sweats. You thought nothing of getting dressed every day when you went to work or school, so surely you can do it for your spouse, too.

I know it’s work, but marriage doesn’t just happen. A good marriage takes as much effort as you would put into any other job and even more because this is one job that you don’t want to lose.

Even though you’ll hopefully be looking good enough to eat, here is a mouthwatering menu to start off a lovely, special evening.


Mushroom Chicken
Baked Potato
Tossed Salad
Herbed Tomatoes
Crusty French Bread
French Cherry Pie



Mushroom Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup green onions, sliced

Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Coat chicken with flour by placing both chicken and flour in a plastic bag and shaking. In a skillet, brown chicken on both sides in 2 Tbsp. of the butter. Place in a greased baking dish (about 11 x 7 x 2 inches). In the same skillet, add remaining butter and saute the mushrooms. When tender, add broth, salt and pepper. Boil for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour over chicken and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheeses and onions and bake 5 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear.


Herbed Tomatoes

3 large firm tomatoes, halved
sugar, salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sweet basil

About an hour before serving, sprinkle tomatoes with sugar, salt, pepper and basil.

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
3 Tbsp. bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed

Crush garlic into butter and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle bread crumbs over tomatoes. Add 1 tsp. of melted garlic butter on top of those. Broil until tops are brown, watching carefully.


French Cherry Pie

1 cup cold milk
1 (3 3/4 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked and cooled (You could use a graham cracker crust.)
1 can cherry pie filling

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl and beat about 1 minute. Pour into pie shell and chill for 2 hours. Serve, spooning pie filling over each serving.


Photo By: Karen Newman


  1. Anonymous says

    I have another suggestion for a special dessert. I made one of those inexpensive Jiffy cakes from a $0.48 mix. You only need to add 1 egg and 1/2 c water.

    I chose the lemon flavored mix and boosted the flavor by beating in a tbl of lemon juice. I baked it in a pie plate, but you could use whatever you have on hand.

    When it was cool, I glazed it with confectioner’s sugar(1/2 c), mixed with a teaspoon each of margarine and lemon juice. Heating the glaze for 20 seconds in the microwave made a little bit go further.

    Lastly, I quartered several maraschino cherries and dropped them on top of the finished, cooled cake. The cherries go well with the lemon flavor and added a festive look for Valentine’s Day.


  2. Denise says

    You could make the French Cherry Pie low sugar by using sugar free pudding and low sugar cherry pie filling. I have used both products before and they are very good. The sugar from the graham cracker crust when divided would not be that much.

  3. Ruthie says

    I have celiacs, an allergy to Wheat, gluten etc. Do you have any recipes for this? It is wreaking havoc with my budgeting.

    • says

      We are wheat free and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Rice is very cheap. We eat it with most meals for our starch. For desert we eat ice cream or something like tapicoca (sp). Yes, if you do all the fancy stuff it can be expensive and I did try that but now I just stick with the basics like chili, chicken and rice, Mexican food and such and my bill hasn’t gone up much if any.

  4. Bea says

    I just love the new look of your website! I love the pictures on the top. They are SO feminine and lovely. Thanks for these wonderful recipes.

    • says

      Oh Bea I am so glad you like it. We haven’t heard from any of our regulars yet this morning and was wondering if something was maybe wrong with it. Thanks for letting us know.

  5. Bea says

    You’re welcome Jill. I think it’s SO pretty. Those pictures are what I would have chosen if I were you. It all looks great. You have great taste and style.

  6. Evelyn says

    I second that sentiment, Bea! Tawra, thank you for the great Valentine’s Day menu. I will definitely be using it. Also, thank you for your great website and all of your hard work. It has been a blessing for me. (Including your sharing your experiences and your battle with FM and CFS.) Your words of encouragement are priceless and I take them to heart as I also have FM and have suffered from depression. In addition, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer last spring and underwent an extensive surgery for that from which I am now well recovered (Yay!!), but now dealing with medical expenses as I was not eligible for medical coverage after my FM diagnoses. Since discovering the DOD website I have made great progress in managing my budget, living frugally and maintaining my household and even my health. As I have my hands full with two teenage daughters and also separated for a long time, this has been huge for all of us. We will be enjoying this menu on Valentine’s Day. Thanks to you and your family for all that you do. I am recommending your website to all of my friends and family! (…and good luck in selling your house!:) Keep up the good work!!

  7. Sylvia says

    When my children were little, I would shape a large meatloaf into a heart and bake. Then I would write “I Love You” in ketchup on the heart when it was done. My children still comment on how special it was to them. Today, you can find heart shaped cake pans to use.

  8. Trish says

    We have been tightly budgeted for several years and even more so now. I just wanted to share something I did last year for valentines for my husband that is inexpensive and will last a lifetime. I went to the dollar store and bought some pretty stationary. I wrote a quick thought or a long letter to my hubby every day for the month of February. I put it in a gift box I had around the house (You could decorate it up). I added some inexpensive chocolates and rose petals (again from the dollar store) and a few other sentiments. It costs me less than $5 but my husband just couldn’t believe that I would take the time to think of him. Now he can go back and read how I truly feel even though I tell him things all the time. If anyone has any ideas like this one please have them share.
    Thanks for all you do to help everyone!

    • says

      Trish, we have 3-4 more articles with a bunch of ideas like this including a cool treasure hunt with cute notes and lists of all sorts of ideas and tips which we will be posting the next week or so keep watching. I can’t write it all out here because there are so many of them. Specifically watch on monday, tues, wed and thurs of next week.

  9. Ann B says

    The mushroom chicken sounds great. I’m going to try to make it sometime this week, but hopefully I can find a babysitter for the big day itself. My regular sitter is busy though. Anybody have any tips for finding a last minute sitter in the Chicago area?

    • says

      Can’t help on a babysitter Ann but we will have some suggestions on what to do if you have to have the kids on Valentines day next week. I know not quite the same but if you get desperate.

  10. Bea says

    Sylvia, I love that heart-shaped meatloaf with ketchup idea. So creative. It’s it nice how we share the creativity of God when we love Him?

  11. says

    Ok tawra it is growing on me.

    I once read something about the most romantic meals you can serve.
    You might not believe this but
    corn on the cob and hot dogs were rated high on the list.
    you pick it up in your fingers and make goo goo eyes over them.
    Me I would prefer corn on the cob and fried chicken I think.
    Just thought I would pass on that bit of trivia.
    any type of finger foods work about the same way.

    • says

      Yes Joyce in Dining on a Dime – pg. 401 for those of you who have it. We have a large chapter on all kinds of homemade cleaners. If you are making homemade products to save money you need to check your prices carefully because sometimes the ingredients can be expensive. I find you can get a much bigger savings on cleaning products by using much less of them. We usually use way to much of all types of things.
      This is especially true of dishwasher detergent. My dishwasher recently broke and the repair man said one of the main things to case a dishwasher not to drain properly is most people use too much detergent in them.
      I buy the inexpensive kind at Dollar General and use only a small amount. It works just as well as the expensive. I also find the gel or liquid works better then powder.

      Dishwasher Soap (From Dining on a Dime)
      1 Tbsp. baking soda
      1 Tbsp. Borax

      You can mix large batches to keep on hand and in very hard water areas you may need to use equal parts baking soda, Borax and dishwasher detergent.

  12. Sharnice says

    Everything sounds good and I would love to try and make it but I dont like mushrooms at all. Is there anything else that could replace the mushrooms?

    • says

      Sharnice, you don’t need to replace them with anything. Just leave them out. It won’t really make a difference in the dish. Usually mushrooms add texture but in a chicken dish like this you have plenty of that. It is like making a salad some people put mushrooms in their tossed salad but others don’t and it makes no difference.

  13. says

    Jill and Sharnice you would only have to change one thing if you leave out the mushrooms.

    you would have to call it mushroomless chicken or maybe no mushroom chicken.

    sorry it is early and I am in a strange mood this morning.

  14. cindy says

    chicken sounds good but the high in fat Im worryed about I have high colesteroal and chicken is low fat when cooked right this sounds good anyway to have all the goodies but to make it less fatty.

  15. Terrie says

    Jill & Ann, I remember my parents’ 12th wedding anniversary (I had just turned 10). My mom made a special meal and my sister and I got to eat our share of it in my sister’s bedroom. We were not supposed to come out while Mama & Daddy had their meal. At some point the dozen roses Daddy had bought got too close to the candles and was a near disaster, but at least it was the adults who caused it. Mama even used the rest of the vanilla ice cream from my birthday to make hot fudge cakes for all of us! It’s nice to have some time without the kids, but if it’s not possible, involve them in the planning and let them help. If the evening goes well and they give you a quiet evening “alone” then perhaps you could do something special with or for them another day soon.

  16. rose says

    the website looks wonderful . and i esp love the pics that decorate it too …
    thanks so much for the valentine e-book .. that was sooo sweet of you to give this to all of us .. 😀 …
    i told my daughter i would make her a pink and white marble cake for valentines day .. (i have done this many times b4 since she was little.. i take the white cake mix and save some of the cake mix .. add a few drops of the red food coloring to get the right shade of pink and then add that to the rest of the white cake mix and blend) .. its very pretty too … my son in law asked if maybe i could frost it with coconut frosting but i told him and my daughter i am going to try something i have never done b4 .. add a bit of the food coloring to the coconut .. i think this would be so festive ..
    i will let u know how it turns out .. 😀 …
    i hope everyone is fine and warm and safe … it is rather cold and damp tonite here in central fl ..

    • says

      The coconut ideas should work really good Rose. One thing nice about the coconut is you can make it different colors with the food coloring so you could do green for st. patty’s day, orange for fall holidays etc.

  17. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    Trade baby sitting with a friend. You sit on February 14th which seems romantic, but the restauranst will be full.

  18. Christina says

    I’m not sure how I started getting the email that brought me to this website. I’m sure that I signed up somewhere and so glad that I did. I didn’t know what I was going to do for Valentine’s Day for my Sweetheart.
    Thank you in helping me with that because I wanted it to be romantic but not a fortune.
    Thank you very much,

  19. Maggie says

    My son and I used food coloring at Christmas to color granulated sugar. We ran out of yellow sprinkles so just put some yellow food coloring in the sugar in a small dish and stirred it until we got the color that we wanted. I have also done this with coconut with much success. For a friend’s wedding, she wanted an orangy red color for the icing on her cake. We dyed coconut and experimented with many batches before we got it exactly right but we ate all the “incorrect batches” by putting them on cookies and in a dish of ambrosia. Color doesn’t matter if it is not for a specific use. It tasted just the same.
    I can’t wait to make this pie. I know my husband will love it. He loves anything with cherries.

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