Create lasting memories this Valentines Day at home with traditions new and old. One local stylist, Amani Skalacki, shares a few easy and inexpensive ways to make the day special.
Sweet Treat Table
If you have kids at home, create a sweet treat table. Keep it simple with a few favorite snacks and candies, or for a more extravagant display, use fresh flowers and create a handmade centerpiece.
“I wanted the flower arrangement to be quick, easy and maintenance free, so I purchased hearty, filler greenery from Trader Joes," explains Shalacki.
"I started by placing the largest greenery on the bottom layer in a circle around the table. I layered varying types of greenery on top of the first layer in shorter widths to achieve the final look."
We used Valentines Day mini cupcakes, chocolate dipped Oreos, and Valentine's Day cookies from Smallcakes for our sweet treat table, and ordered their DIY cupcake making kits for the kids to enjoy.
To create this easy and eye-catching centerpiece, collect fallen branches and paint them white. We used a thrifted, repurposed white ceramic jar to assemble the branches in for the base. Use a floral foam to stabilize the branches, and place moss at the top of the jar. You can use this homemade tree for any occasion as it’s sturdy, and just about anything can be hung on it.
Valentine’s Day Ornaments
Create heart ornaments to hang on your Valentines Tree Centerpiece. These ornaments can be used as clue cards for a kids Valentines Day scavenger hunt. Instruct children to find their picture on the tree and hunt for the hidden treasure in the house. “I used recycled shipping boxes to create my heart base and painted them red,” Skalacki explains. “I then used a hole punch to create a lace-like edge and complete the look."
Romantic Dinner for 2: The adult table
For this look, we decided to set the table in a non-traditional formal setting—the coffee table in the living room. Layer pillows and cozy blankets on the ground for comfortable seating. We used two layers of fabric for the runner, and added a handmade floral arrangement as the centerpiece. To achieve this look, use a two-layer serving tray and layer flowers and stems to adorn the tray. We added grapes to give a fuller and textured look. To add to the ambiance, add candle sticks, a bottle of wine and Billie Holiday playing in the background.
For a no-hassle dinner, order out and serve your favorite gourmet food in the comfort of your own home. Or if you like to cook together, Chef Jasper provided a go-to pasta recipe (see below) perfect for a Valentines Day in. Add a hint of decadent chocolate from Panache. Their Valentine's collection, Unforgettable, is inspired by chef-created classic desserts that evoke memories of era's past: Strawberries Romanoff Truffle, Italian Cherry Truffle, Bananas Foster Truffle, and Dark Chocolate Mousse Truffle.
“Every day, we handcraft extraordinary chocolates for people to enjoy and gift. Our award-winning luxury creations are made with real ingredients, top Kansas City wine and spirits brands, and creative flavors, all exquisitely presented.”
—Julie House, Panache Chocolatier
“Capelli d’Angelo alla Nanni is a recipe my father, Jasper Sr., created and today is Jasper’s most-requested pasta dish. In the late 1960s, he ate this pasta in a restaurant in Italy and became intrigued with it, returning to the trattoria three nights in a row, trying to decipher the ingredients. While on the surface the recipe appears simple, believe me, it took many hours for my father to perfect this dish. When he returned home, he and my mother experimented with Jasper’s chefs until he said it was perfect. Customers requested the recipe for over 50 years, but my father would never give it out. It wasn’t until several years ago that we decided to share this delicious pasta with our guests, in my father’s honor.” — Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr., chef-owner, Jasper’s Restaurant
Capelli d’Angelo alla Nanni
8 oz. Barilla Capellini
2 tsp. salted butter
4 oz. prosciutto ham
4 mushrooms, sliced thin
12 oz. Jasper's Marinara Sauce
4 oz. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 oz. Romano cheese
Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
Melt 2 tsp. butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add prosciutto and let it crisp, then add sliced mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes.
Stir in marinara sauce and cream, red pepper flakes, peas and Romano cheese. Bring to a light boil. Add cooked pasta and toss. Serve immediately.
Jasper’s notes: Be careful to cook the pasta al dente as it can become soggy very quickly and soak up all of the sauce. My father loved canned peas and said they had more flavor than regular peas. It’s up to you when cooking this dish as to whether or not you want to add peas. Also, I add a little more red pepper because I like this dish to have a bit of spice.
Sweet treats: Smallcakes
Flowers: Trader Joes
Chocolate: Panache Chocolatier
Food: Jaspers Restaurant JaspersKC.com