No, not for the Olympics, although there are plenty of people doing that, especially on NBC. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day! It’s almost here. Ready for a few more suggestions on how to be a romantic partner on February 14th (not to mention all through the year)?

Last week I talked about how romantic practical things can be. This week, how about some fun ideas?

1. Make a list of the restaurants near you featuring food from different countries. Work your way through them on date nights, starting with ones you’ve never tried. A shared adventure is very romantic. In Vancouver without looking at an on-line resource I can come up with Thai, German, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Hawaiian. And I’m sure there are more.

2. Try an activity you’ve never done before. Never bowled? There’s Big Al’s. Rock climbing? There’s an indoor rock wall in downtown Vancouver. Really color outside the lines and go to the opera or a play you know nothing about. Go to a karaoke bar or a comedy club, if you’ve never done that. It’ll give you something to talk about for days.

3. This is my personal favorite–go to a  coffee shop and sit for an hour over coffee and a sweet roll. Take paper and pen. Take turns making up stories about the people you see around you. If you really get inspired, make up a whole world that includes everyone in the place. If you can’t get the giggles doing this, you’re not doing it right.

4. Last, if you want something fun and delicious to start off the morning on Valentine’s Day–which is, after all, a work day this year–how about homemade pan au chocolat to have with your morning coffee? It’s easy. Make them the night before and heat them up in the morning.

Miniature Pan au Chocolat

yields 12

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg beaten with a tsp of water

1 package good chocolate (I like Ghirardelli bittersweet) broken into pieces 1″ by 2″

decorating sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into six pieces.

Brush edges with egg wash.

Place piece of chocolate in center of each piece of pastry and roll edges of pastry over chocolate.

Place rolls of pastry on baking sheet covered in parchment.

Brush tops with egg wash.

Sprinkle with decorating sugar.

Bake for 18 minutes.





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