When Christmas holidays with their cozy home hustle and warm family dinners are gone, when there seems to be no more place for wonders and winter weekdays look all the same, – St. Valentine’s Day will come to cheer us up and once again adorn our homes and town shop windows with hearts, angels, flowers and other cute little things. The morning of February 14th will make us remember how important it is to tell our second halves that we love them and how wonderful it is to know that we are loved.

St. Valentine’s Day proves to be one more great reason to treat your sweetheart not only with the most beautiful words on the Earth, but also with some charming meaningful presents and various delis. So, here at Marky’s we welcome you to find out more about why we celebrate this day, what is actually so special about it and how it can be turned into an unforgettable romantic occasion.

And the first invaluable present you can give to your second half on this day is your precious time. That is why we are going to start right away, so that you don’t lose a minute!

The Origins of the Holiday or Who Is This Valentine

Although the plots of several stories that can tell us about the origins of Valentine’s Day differ, still they all have the same protagonist and almost the same background. Most of the legends take their roots from the times of the late Roman empire, and, to be more precise from the 3rd century A.D. The then Roman Emperor, Claudius II, was desperate with his understanding that the world’s greatest civilization was facing its end. Indeed, the empire had grown so huge that it became difficult to control it and keep the peace on the most remote territories. That is why Claudius needed brave soldiers who could postpone the day when the empire was destined to fall.

However, the emperor believed that soldiers who had families wouldn’t be very eager to give their lives away on the battle fields. So, he decided to forbid all young Roman men to marry women they loved. At that time a Christian priest, whose name was Valentine, lived in Rome. He realized that Claudius’ order was absurd. It is said that the priest risked performing marriages for young couples in secret. But Valentine’s actions were revealed, and the Roman emperor ordered to put the priest to death.

Since that time Valentine was considered and respected as a saint who helped Romans. Young lovers decided to commemorate the day when the priest was executed and to celebrate it as the holiday which would symbolize that love couldn’t be forbidden or killed.

Another story tells that the date of the holiday, that is the middle of the last winter month, is likely to be chosen by Christian church, and St. Valentine’s Day has originated from Lupercalia or Lupercalis, the pagan Roman fertility festival dedicated to the god of agriculture, Faunus, as well as to Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The festival was usually held on February 15th. It was Christianized by the church and dedicated to the courageous Roman priest Valentine.

These are just old tales, but let them make us believe that our love is a powerful feeling that can do incredible things.

And now, as we have learned a few facts about the holiday, let’s move on to the tips that will help you and your sweetheart enjoy your time and make your Valentine’s Day simply perfect.

Romantic Ideas for Her

It’s your chance to become an almighty wizard for her! Here are a few hints how.

Prepare a Sweet Present

If your second half has a sweet tooth, then a nicely packed sweet present will be a true delight for her! Go original and choose brand dainties she has never tasted before. Marky’s will help you with pleasure! We can offer a wide variety of gourmet desserts which will wonderfully suit any other plans you have for this day. Oh, and don’t forget to pin a small cute Valentine card or a heart-shaped balloon to the box.

  • Our generous collection of Belgian chocolates will satisfy the expectations of the most discerning aficionados. Dark, milk and/or white chocolate with or without fillings plus truffles just can’t leave anybody cold. And what if these small chocolate masterpieces are packed in a red heart-shaped box?
  • Also, you could present her a beautifully packed assortment of French macarons. This awesome dessert will literally make her day, especially if you pin a nice rose to the box or present it with a bouquet of her favorite flowers.      

Cook Something Romantic and Delicious

Are you going to spend the romantic evening at home? That’s great! Because you probably think about making a beautiful dinner for her. Anyway, that can be a great surprise. Let’s see what you can do. What about cooking something both delicious and versatile, and serving this with a whole range of other decadent things? So, what would you say about cheesy mashed potato – just like a fondue?

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Ingredients:

Directions:

1. Take a large saucepan for the potatoes and cover them with 2 inch. of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they get tender (that is about 30 min.). Afterwards, drain and peel the potatoes. Pass them through a ricer into the saucepan. Stir in the butter and 1/2 cup of the cream until incorporated.

2. Take a small saucepan and combine the remaining 1 cup of cream with the minced garlic and bring to a boil. Stir the cream into the potatoes and cook over low heat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the cheese by the handful, stirring it in until melted before adding more. Season everything with salt and serve hot. If necessary, add a few drops of hot water to loosen the potatoes. Herbs like rosemary can be added to taste.

Here are the gourmet foods which can accompany this unpretentious dish:

  • opt for foie gras;
  • make an antipasto with the best salami or prosciutto;
  • diversify your dinner with some tender anchovies in vegetable oil;
  • or cook a few canapés with caviar, shaping each piece of bread into the form of a heart.

Bring One of Her Dreams into Life

Two tickets for the concert she has been dreaming about for many months will be a really successful option! Or, maybe, she would like to try skydiving? A certificate for her favorite perfume boutique would also go perfectly.  

Romantic Ideas for Him

Do you want to amaze him? Below there are a few great ideas for you.            

Make a Warm and Delightful Dinner

If you are going to spend this evening at home, surrounded by the warm golden light of candles and beautiful flowers that he will bring you, a delicious romantic dinner for two is an integral part of the celebration. However, you think, there must be something original in it, something that would make the atmosphere festive and exquisite, but cozy. This recipe will help!

Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Mushrooms & Peppers

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Ingredients:

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Stir together 3 tbsp. vinegar, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, chili-garlic sauce and mustard. Then set aside 1/2 cup of sauce. Place salmon, skin side down, on a large parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and rush it with 2 tablespoons soy mixture.

2. Bake salmon at 475 degrees F for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, you can toss mushrooms and pepper and onions with 1 tbsp. of soy mixture. Scatter vegetables around fish in hot pan and brush fish with soy mixture. Bake 8-10 more minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Vegetables should be just tender.

3. Prepare rice. Stir rice and remaining 1 tbsp. each of vinegar and sesame oil in a serving bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Lift fish from skin with two large spatulas and transfer to a platter with vegetables. Sprinkle fish with sesame seeds. Serve with rice and 1/2 cup sauce reserved.

Present Him Something He Does Need/ Want So Much

Whether you decide to stay at home or go somewhere to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, you can surprise him with some little but very handy present. It can be something he wanted to purchase a very long time ago and even showed you on the Internet or in the shop window. For example, it can be some widget for the car. Or, if you know for sure that he needs something very much but pays hardly any attention to it (let it just a new wallet or shirt), spend some time on shopping and choose the best and the most useful present for him. Don’t forget to pack it nicely and pin a small card.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day to You and Your Sweetheart!