This past week, I put together a romantic dinner and coffee at home surprise for my husband. He is usually the one who takes me out for a date night during Valentine’s Day week, but I wanted to do something he wouldn’t expect: a steak dinner for two, completed with dessert and Starbucks coffee.
We aren’t big on the whole Valentine’s Day holiday, but there is always a few things that are certain. We have a Valentine themed dinner during the week with the kids, my husband takes me out for a date night (preferably not on Valentine’s Day), and we buy the kids a box of chocolates.
This year, I decided to do something completely unexpected for my husband: a romantic dinner at home.
To be the ultimate for my husband, it had to include three things that I knew he would love:
- Expensive Steaks: Well, more expensive than what we usually buy. He suggests buy nice steaks for just the two of us fairly often when we are grocery shopping and I generally ignore his request because it’s not in the budget.
- Our Patio: my husband loves our patio and feels we don’t spend enough time out on it.
- Dessert and Coffee: My husband *loves* to have both dessert and coffee after dinner, but we do this rarely and usually only if we are having dessert at a restaurant or if we have company over.
To get our romantic dinner started, I first did some shopping at Walmart for a few things we needed. In the bakery department, there is a Starbucks display called “Delicious Pairings”, which explained which flavors would pair well with each Starbucks Coffee.
We are big time Starbucks Coffee drinkers and it’s the coffee we drink 90% off the time, so I knew exactly why type of roast I wanted. We almost always get a dark roast, which the display said it “pairs well with roasted nut, caramelized sugar, and milk & dark chocolate flavors”.
I purchased a ground bag of Starbucks Caffè Verona, which is a variety we’ve bought before and we would consider it to be one of our top favorites when it comes to Starbucks Dark coffees. With my #DeliciousPairings knowledge, I looked around the Walmart bakery for a dessert that would compliment the Caffè Verona perfectly — I ended up deciding on the Turtle Iced Brownies. I’ve never purposely paired our coffee with a dessert, so I was really excited to try this together!
Back at home, I worked on creating a romantic table for our evening.
I typed up a short version of our love story and inserted the pages into a very mini photo album, which I found on clearance after Christmas. This Love Story book was tied closed with some white ribbon, which was then placed in the middle of the plates.
My tablecloth was fabric that I had on hand (bought on clearance at a fabric store) and the Valentine place mats and fabric napkins were bought at a thrift store. Even the Ikea silverware was also bought at a thrift store.
I thought my husband’s sweet tooth would appreciate some candy on the table…plus it looks pretty. I put the candies in my favorite Starbucks Ceramic Stacking Bowls that my daughter bought me for Christmas (when you stack them, they look just like a Starbucks hot cup).
My husband was so happy when he learned of our romantic dinner at home. He was extremely impressed with all the details, especially that it was being held on our patio. For dinner we had things that he loves: big grilled steaks (which I topped with melted blue cheese, mushrooms and onions), hasselback potatoes, and oven roasted cauliflower.
He thought dinner was all, but you should have seen the guys face light up when I told him I had dessert AND coffee too. Seriously…he was excited. He loves to have coffee in the evening, but I’m usually not up for it because I don’t want the caffeine at night, so he tends to skip it too.
I made the Starbucks Caffè Verona in our coffeemaker. Most of our coffee drinking is done at home with coffee made in our automatic drip coffee maker, but because we are such huge coffee drinkers, we also have a Keurig that sits side-by-side with our coffeemaker (we make mostly Starbucks K-Cups in it, but do try/use other brands).
I made my husband and I both a cup of coffee — we both take our coffee with cream and sweetener (usually Splenda) — my husband drank his coffee in his Starbucks Valentine’s Day coffee mug I picked up for him a couple years ago.
It was a interesting experience pairing the Caffè Verona with the Turtle Iced Brownies.
Honestly, I didn’t think we would notice anything amazing about the pairing. Since we are both Starbucks coffee drinkers, I knew we would like it (and I’ve never met a brownie I didn’t like), so I figured we’d enjoy both. But, as we ate the brownies and drank the coffee, we really paid attention to the pairing and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the flavors of each item really complimented each other. Caffè Verona has a smooth sweetness and dark cocoa notes on it’s own without the brownie, so the rich chocolate brownie increased that flavor.
Trying this pairing — and enjoying it as much as we did — really opened up my thinking to how coffee pairs with certain foods. While I’m sure I won’t pair all my coffee drinking with the perfect foods, I will definitely be doing it when I’m having company, special occasions or when we deserve an everyday treat.
It was a special evening that we both enjoyed. We enjoyed our private time on the patio (with the kids tucked inside the house), chatted about the best love story ever (ours) and, most of all, created a new memory that I know we’ll always remember.
Do you ever have romantic dinners at home? Do you pair desserts with your coffee?
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This #DeliciousPairings shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #cbias #SocialFabric