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Any plans for Valentine’s Day? This year you may want to skip the crowds and reservations and tables of tense couples. Nothing is more romantic than a quiet homemade meal with just the two of you — maybe even something you cook together. Here are a few easy recipes that you can make together leisurely while enjoying a glass of wine or bubbles.

The first is risotto, a creamy rice dish — simple, delicious, and one of the classics that tops the list of most romantic meals. Our Shiitake Mushroom Risotto is flavorful with mushrooms, Parmesan, and onion. Serve risotto as a stand-alone dish paired with a salad, or use as a side to chicken or shrimp.  Our Apricot-Glazed Stuffed Chicken is a nice headliner because it can be prepared ahead of time and popped into the oven once you start making the risotto.

Mushroom Risotto Recipe Cooking with Trader Joe's
Nutmeg Gnocchi Cooking with Trader Joe's

Another favorite dish that is simple but elegant is (the quite highly rated and popular) Gnutmeg Gnocchi. It’s easy to prepare, made especially low-fuss with Trader Joe’s ready-to-use dried gnocchi (potato dumplings).  All you have to do is boil gnocchi like you would boil pasta.  When they’re done, they float to the surface so you don’t even have to watch the clock. Just watch the gnocchi (if you can bear to look away from your sweetheart for just a moment or two).

How about an over-the-top yummy chocolate dessert to finish the meal? Warm and oozing Chocolate Lava Cake is love on a plate. This recipe is easy and takes well under 20 minutes including cooking time. If you want to skip the recipe but still enjoy this dessert, Trader Joe’s has a ready-made frozen version.  (Although we’ll tell you straight up that the homemade version doesn’t take much longer and will score you way more points). For something equally romantic that you can make ahead of time, check out these Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. Yum!

chocolate covered strawberries recipe Cooking with Trader Joe's

Happy Valentine’s! Enjoy each other every day.