I’ve never loved going to restaurants for Valentine’s day.  They are generally over crowded, over priced, and the food quality seems to take a drive that day.  Fortunately, I also found that with a bit of care and attention, making a homemade meal, can go a long way toward impressing your wife or girlfriend.    Below are five of my favorite Valentine’s day recipes.  From a simple salad to a great filet, I’ve got your bases covered.  I’ve even thrown in the slightly sappy “heart shaped scallops”, that helped (if in a small way) win over my wife!  Hope you enjoy them…

Zucchini Carpaccio

A great starter salad for just about any meal, this zucchini carpaccio requires no cooking, and is really simple to make.  The key is to slice the zucchini super thin, and then make sure it’s seasoned well, but not over dressed.  You can do all the prep work ahead of time, and put everything together right at the last minute giving you more time with your date, and less time in the kitchen.  Get the recipe here 

Fettucini Alfredo

For the pasta lovers out there, Fettucini Alfredo is really easy to make and it’s one of my favorites. Of course, pasta covered in rich, creamy cheese sauce has got to be good.  Like the carpaccio, it won’t take you long to make this recipe, so you won’t have to spend that much time in the kitchen.  And with just a bit of fresh parsley and parmesan cheese garnish, it looks very impressive.  Get the recipe here

Sesame Crusted Halibut 

If seafood is your (or more importantly, your girl’s) thing, give this pan seared, sesame crusted halibut a try.  I use black sesame seeds to coat one side of the fish.  Once cooked, they provide a great texture and flavor, in addition to a very cool look.  I’ll also show you how to make a bright and vibrant mango salsa, that adds color, as well as different texture and flavor to the meal.  Get the recipe here.

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon is the king of steaks, and it’s a perfect choice for Valentine’s day, or any other special occasion.    While you can grill it, given it’s pretty cold in February most parts of the country, in this recipe I show you how to pan sear the filet.  Once you get a beautiful crust on both sides, I put on a tarragon butter, reminiscent of a béarnaise sauce, that is very easy to make.  Get the recipe here.

Heart Shaped  Scallops

To go the ultimate mile for Valentines day, try these heart shaped scallops.  A bit of knife work before cooking can shape the scallops into a heart.  Then perfectly seasoned, and then seared off, they make a great appetizer, or even a main course.  The sauce is a simple combination of tomato, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette, that you can also make ahead of time.  Get the recipe here.