Chocolate dipped strawberries (1)



It looks like the traditional Valentine’s Night Out is back! Some of you may want to push the boat out as a kind-of ‘We’re out-out!’ celebration.

We’ll be doing our usual ”Have a nice dinner at home, and eat out later on, when everything has calmed down a bit” Valentine’s night! It’s worked for us this far..


We’ve moved our Valentine’s night out from Feb 14th because after many years, we’d had enough of  ‘Valentine’s Special’ dinners with a limited ‘set’ menu, packed in with a bunch of similar poor critters,  and all of us wondering how the hell we’d ended up there..

cloud heart

Some ‘blue-sky’ thinking is required..

Romantic?  I think not..

Our solution, having survived many Valentine’s Days, is to have dinner at home, with some nice wine, and then go out to eat some other time when the panic is over. Valentine’s night at home should be delicious food – mostly prepared ahead – needing minimal effort on the night, and tasting fabulous – now that’s what I call quality time!





Below is my suggestion for your home-made Valentine’s Dinner – all the recipes are on the Eating for Ireland website – just either click on the links, or use the search feature to find your perfect dish..



You, plus or minus:

  • Your significant other.
  • a crowd of your like-minded pals (always a winner!)
  • Chilled Prosecco/wine/cocktails, and enough glasses for all
  • Some Valentine decorations, the tackier the better..

My Valentine-themed front door mat!


St George’s Market, all loved up :)








It might be good fun to have a bunch of friends demonstrating their signature dishes, cocktails, or desserts on line, with the rest of you making your own along with them – a link with the recipe ingredients sent a day or so before makes it all very easy – or just sit back watching admiringly as you sip your beverage of choice and reach for a packet of crisps come dinner time!


INGREDIENTS:  All these recipes, and many others, are on

  • To Begin: Something fizzy I think, or cocktails..
  • Starter: The Cambridge Salad – so easily prepared ahead, or perfect for everyone to make at home at the same time, so that you can all eat your starter together. It’s vegetarian, and always so delicious and refreshing.

Here’s the link:


Chicken liver parfait and crostini (1)

Main Course:

Lizzie’s Chicken – a creamy all-in-one Chicken dish, served with some garlicky French beans or tender stem broccoli, and either Champ, or baby boiled potatoes (whichever you prefer)



Duck Ragu – made ahead and served with pasta and (not too) garlicky bread!

A Vegetarian Main Course: Well, you’ve got a choice here:

chicken curry

  • Or how about the vegetarian version of my Crispy Tortellini pasta bake – make it ahead of time and just reheat – a crisp green salad and some garlic bread makes it a delicious feast.

Vegetarian Pasta Bake (1)


Dessert – Oh so important!

Cranachan 2019 (2)


  • The Surprise: Well it has to be Chocolate based, otherwise it’s not Valentine’s day, so I’m going to go for Mr Sat. Night’s favourite – Chocolate-dipped fresh strawberries


chocolate cake 3

Don’t forget my all-in-one Chocolate cake!

Tiramisu Cake (10)





Don’t forget that there are lots of ideas on the website – – Have a browse and see what you fancy!

How great would it be if you could send a list of ingredients (chocolate, strawberries – not exactly rocket science) to everyone and have a Chocolate-covered Strawberry Master Class on line before you all sit , have a natter, and eat the results with a well-deserved glass of something bubbly?

Chocolate dipped strawberries (1)

You can cover biscuits or raspberries as well!

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for how to make Valentine/Galentine/ Palentine’s day 2021 as cheerful as possible, while we wait hopefully for a return to our old lives. Or, you might decide, as himself and meself have, that Valentine’s Night can be just as much fun at home!

Have a great Val/Pal/Galentine’s evening, and I’ll be in touch asap about Pancake Tuesday! :)


I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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