Tired of fighting the Valentine’s Day dinner crowd or being forced into prix fixe dinner options?  I bet you have friends who are also tired of this situation—so give them another option.  Host a Valentine’s Day get-together to celebrate the decadence of the day, potluck-style! As the host, you can focus on a few specialty desserts, drinks (champagne of course!), and elegant decorations.  Have guests bring their favorite desserts along with copies of the recipe in the form of love notes.


  • Assorted desserts cut into heart shapes (brownies, cookies, etc.)
  • Strawberry Surprise Cake
  • Drinks that pair well with decadent desserts, such as dessert wines, Chenin Blanc, Champagne, and a port. Don’t forget to offer non-alcoholic champagne or sparking wine for designated drivers or non-drinkers.

Hostess Tips:

  • Recipe Booklets:  If you can have guests send their recipes in advance, compile a booklet of the night’s featured recipes.  Print them or copy them on fancy paper.  Hole punch them, and tie them with a pretty ribbon for a nice presentation.  Assure your non-cooking friends that the recipe doesn’t have to be elaborate.  In fact, some guests will likely bring store-bought items, so include a recipe like “Visit your nearest bakery and pick the most decadent dessert in the place.  Bring it home; slice it; serve it, and enjoy!”
  • Fresh flowers: arrangements are lovely for such an event, and also consider having some individual flowers (or small take-home arrangements) ready—everyone deserves to get flowers on Valentine’s Day!