Valentine’s Day is one of the perks of being married. Never
again will you have to wonder if you’ll have a date that night. Or get a gift.

But, newlyweds still have high expectations for the holiday
and often go for the safe dinner out and a dozen red roses just because they
can’t think of anything else.

Early in marriage is the best time to come up with a
Valentine’s Day tradition that means something to the two of you and that you
can do each year. (Or some variation of it each year.)

For instance you could each cut out red and pink hearts,
write messages on them and hide them around the house the day before. That way
all day, as your spouse pulls out the coffee pot in the morning, and sees a
heart in the carafe, or gets in the shower and sees a heart taped to the door,
or pulls out a pair of socks and sees a heart tucked in the drawer, he smiles
thinking about you.

No matter what day of the week Valentine’s Day falls on, you
can always have breakfast in bed. Just set your alarm for earlier than normal.
If you both work you can make meeting for lunch a Valentine tradition. Or a
special dinner at home that you cook together. Try some of those wedding gifts:
the wok, a pasta maker, the fondue pot.

Go to a wine tasting a week or two earlier and pick out a
bottle of wine together for the evening. Rent a movie that you’ve both wanted
to see to watch after dinner and finish off the wine.

A lot of couples suggest bubble baths for two. But, there’s
a reason they are so popular! My suggestion would be to do this after the
movie, because most likely it will be bedtime after that!

Some recipes for a Valentine’s Day Dinner for two:

Sweet and Sour Chicken

2 cups instant brown

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons apricot preserves

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

6 cups bite-size pieces of vegetables, such as snow peas, broccoli and bell

1 (5 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Prepare rice
according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, whisk
vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Set

Heat 1 tablespoon oil
in a wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2
minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the
outside and just starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to
a plate.

Add the remaining 1
tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until
fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Add vegetables, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables
are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and the chicken.
Whisk the reserved sauce and add to the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until
the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Serve
with the rice.

Favorite chocolate bar dessert.

1 chocolate cake, made according to directions (un iced)

1 tub of cool whip

1 package chocolate pudding (prepared)

4 of your favorite chocolate bars

In a large glass bowl, place half of the cake, squish it down. Put half of the
pudding on top of this, then put half of the whip cream. Next crush up the
chocolate bars, sprinkle half on top of whip cream. Repeat all steps. Serve in