Designing Your Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day
By Sylvia Luneau

Happy Valentine’s Day (Week)!

We want to set the stage for fun and relaxation so that we can continue to ease into 2021. And who said Valentine’s Day had to be all about romance? All things considered, celebrating life, love, and connections in general seems like a great focus for Valentine’s Day 2021.

And this year’s Valentine’s Day weekend just so happens to kick off with Chinese New Year on Friday, February 12th. Welcome the Year of the Ox and celebrate Valentine’s Day all in one. As red is the universal color of LOVE and, conveniently, a staple of Chinese New Year’s celebrations as well, spend some time sorting through your wardrobe today to find your red for the weekend and join in on the fun!

Here are a few ideas to help you unplug from your workweek and celebrate the moment at home.

1. Elevate Your Breakfast!

Not in the mood to make a big, fancy breakfast? Elevate your daily oatmeal or add something to your peanut butter toast with these caramelized bananas! This sweet treat is perfect for any morning! Bonus, if you have any extra, can be enjoyed over vanilla ice cream for dessert, as well. There are tons of versions online. Here’s my version:

Slice a firm banana or two into big coins and toss them in a bowl with about 5 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar, mixing well to coat. If your bananas are a touch too ripe, you will still be able to make caramelized bananas, they will just be more mushy and not circular. Melt about two tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan and place the banana coins in a single layer (without crowding onto the pan). Make sure to add all the sugar from the bowl makes its way to the pan (it’s Valentine’s Day, treat yourself!). Over medium low heat, cook the bananas until the sugar starts to caramelize and the edges get a bit brown. Flip a few times to evenly brown, move the brown sugar around to make a heavenly sauce, and don’t be afraid add more butter if needed. Once you have reached the browned level you like (5ish minutes) spoon over your oatmeal or carefully place a few on a piece of peanut butter toast and enjoy!

2. Have a Haiku Challenge!

A haiku is a type of short poetry originally from Japan. A super basic haiku is a poem consisting of three lines in a 5 syllable – 7 syllable – 5 syllable pattern. If you have a valentine, a haiku is a fun gift that will not have you running to the store. If you do not have a valentine right now, haikus are a fun, low-stress exercise you can do for any reason or no reason at all. Perhaps you can make a haiku to your dog, or write one to yourself from your dog’s perspective! Love coffee? Hate Instacart? The haiku is within you. Haikus are great because they do not take a ton of time to write, can be completely serious or totally silly, and can be done on your own, with a friend, or as a family exercise.

3. Make Tortillas!

Why tortillas? Well, because tacos. Homemade tortillas totally elevate the taco experience and the smell of a fresh tortilla is frankly divine. Tortillas are such a fun couple, family, group, or solo project because they are a hands-on, slightly time-consuming endeavor. This link from the web has GREAT tips and does not use lard, which may not be classic, but my suspicion is that you are more likely to have these ingredients already on hand. No tortilla press needed!

4. Not a flour person or on Keto? Make Keto Cornbread!

I have made this recipe on three separate occasions and it does not disappoint! Only six ingredients required! Almond flour and confectioner’s swerve are the most complex. Spend this Valentine’s weekend baking and being amazed at how closely it resembles true corn bread.

5. Have a Beer tasting challenge with your housemates.

If you are already into beer this may not be as interesting (or may be more interesting!). Personally, I am more of a wine drinker, however, beer is ‘in’. When I am out at a beer garden, I tend to only order Hefeweizen (mainly because it’s all I really know). For fun, consider buying maybe 4 interesting beers you’ve never tried and truly take the time to taste each of them. If you know your beers, maybe try hiding the labels and turn it into a guessing game. If you’re the reverse of me (a beer drinker who is new to wine), perhaps get a few new varieties of wine and hold a wine tasting instead.

6. Play Scrabble online or another game with a remote friend.

There are many online versions of Scrabble out there and you can sign up to play a random opponent or a true friend for an hour of fun. There are many sites to go to: Pogo, The Internet Scrabble Club, and Scrabble are just a few!

Wishing you a wonderful week and a wonderful February!

Here’s to experiencing more fun and joy!

The PsiNapse Team


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