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February 13th, 2012 | By Alicia Silverstone

I’m a big fan of cooking with your loved one. It’s romantic, fun, relaxing, and you’re giving each other the best gift you could possibly give; nourishing yourselves. Make it a special occasion and plan a special meal together. If you want to do something really special and save money, make a really intimate, romantic vibe at your house and cook together, open a bottle of wine if that’s your thing. Enjoy the experience of creating something, whether it’s by yourself and presented to your loved, one or made together.
Let’s start with beverages. If you plan to drink wine, go for organic. If you’re going to open a bottle of wine, here are some choices that I like:

  • Georges Deboeuf Beaujolais
  • Bonterra Chardonnay
  • Our Daily Red – $8 organic, sulfite-free
  • Paraducci – Sustainable Red 2005, Mendocino County
  • Well Read (Trader Joes)

I found this Pomegranate Cocktail if you’re in a more wild and crazy mood. Before you get your mixology on, check out Barnivore for a complete list of vegan wines, beers, and spirits.
For the traditional V-day chocolates, try one of these great confectioners:

If you’d rather bake, try the Coffee Fudge Brownies from my book (p. 181), or these Raspberry Truffle Brownies from the Post Punk Kitchen. You can find lots more yummy desserts starting on page 179 of The Kind Diet.
If you’re dining at home, set the mood with some handmade, soy-based candles. Etsy has a huge selection! For those of you in LA who want to go out to eat, check out Elf Cafe©, Real Food Daily, or M Cafe© for yum desserts or a full meal. For a really romantic meal in LA, go to Elf Cafe©, or slightly less romantic but certainly delicious, RFD or M Cafe©. For super fancy dining, Madeleine’s Bistro is not insanely delicious, but it’s fancy. For superhero dining, run to Inaka. For people who want a special fancy meal, go to Shima.
My hands down first pick is Elf Cafe (note: it’s cash only and byob). For new york, Candle 79, Kajitsa Shojin is great. They serve Buddhist temple food- monk food. It’s so lovely in there; romantic and special. If you order saki, it comes in a precious little glass. Every plate is an experience! The ware they serve things on is lovely, and the food is so simple and lovely – it’s a beautiful, beautiful place.
What will you be eating on Valentine’s Day? Do you plan to cook or go out?

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