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Books and Bites: How to plan a themed date night for Valentine's Day

Bestselling author Isaac Fitzgerald and food expert Alejandra Ramos put together a reading list and menu for a romantic evening.

If you still haven’t settled on Valentine’s Day plan, don’t fret. Bestselling author Isaac Fitzgerald and food expert Alejandra Ramos have your back. With their expertise, you can put together a wonderful date night at home in no time.

For a Valentine's Day edition of Books and Bites, each of these three theme nights is inspired by a romantic book and Fitzgerald and Ramos have everything covered, from excellent recipes to striking decor. Check them out below and ensure your date night is a great night.

Date theme: A DIY pizza valentine party

Kick it back to your teen years with a Valentine’s Day pizza party inspired by "Happily Ever Afters," by Elise Bryant, about a teenage girl named Tessa who gets accepted into a competitive art school. Instead of your teacher ordering them for your class, you and your valentine can get in touch with your creative sides making these pizzas with DIY toppings yourselves. And don't forget to grab a bottle of red wine.


"Happily Ever Afters," by Elise Bryant

In Bryant’s young adult novel, when Tessa arrives at the highly competitive art school of her dreams and finds herself feeling uncertain and unable to work, her best friend dreams up “Operation Happily Ever After” with the hopes that some real-life love might get her imagination active again. This coming-of-age story is as romantic as it is charming.


Heart-Shaped Pizza with DIY Toppings
Brown Butter-Raspberry Tiramisu


Emile Henry Pizza Stone

Get this pizza stone, made of durable Burgundian clay, to guarantee a perfectly crispy crust. When it’s not busy in the oven, it can even double as a cutting or cheese board.

Red and White Checkered Napkins

Bring the classic pizzeria vibe home with these 100% cotton gingham napkins.

Maple Wood French Rolling Pin

Roll out your dough with this award-winning rolling pin, made in the U.S. with sustainably grown and harvested wood.

Mini Heart Bowls (Set of 4)

You can use these cute bowls to organize your toppings and round out a special Valentine’s Day theme!

Date theme: A romantic afternoon tea date

If you and your Valentine were dazzled by the scenery, set design and costuming on "Bridgerton," this tea date is perfect for you, inspired by "The Duke & I," the first book in the "Bridgerton" series by Julia Quinn, from which the show was adapted.

Capture the essence and flavor of the book with these floral patterns, tasty teas and a delicious spread of sandwiches, tarts and more!


"Bridgerton: The Duke & I," by Julia Quinn

Quinn’s classic Regency-era romance is as immersive as it is passionate. The electrifying will-they-or-won’t-they relationship between Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton makes the book impossible to put down.


Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches


1-800-Flowers One of a Kind Bouquet

Order these one-of-a-kind bouquets designed by a talented local florist for a stunning centerpiece. 1-800-Flowers encourages customers to order as soon as possible to ensure their flowers can be enjoyed in advance of the holiday.

Chintz Napkins (Set of 4)

Though you might not be able to get your hands on any of the stunning floral gowns from "Bridgerton," you can bring that aesthetic to your table with this beautiful set of four rose patterned napkins.

White and Pink Flower Candle

Thankfully, we don’t need to use candles for light like they did in the Regency era, which means you can just appreciate how wonderful this classic candle looks.

Cupid Earrings

Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion from head to toe with these resin Cupid earrings.

Floral Teacups Set

This set of six floral teacups and saucers is an excellent statement piece that will make you feel like you’re drinking tea in a lush garden, even when it’s frigid outside.

Harney & Sons Valentine’s Day Tea

This delicious chocolate Black tea with rosebuds was made especially for the holiday. With 30 sachets in the tin, you can reclaim the romantic magic anytime.

Harney & Sons Wedding Tea

Whether your wedding is in the past or the future (no pressure!), this white tea with rosebuds is a delicious addition to your tea date. One tin comes with 20 sachets.

Heart-Shaped 3-Tier Cake Stand

This three-tiered server is an elegant way to present desserts on Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

Lace Doilies (Set of 4)

Spruce up your placemats with this set of four beautiful doilies.

Date theme: A tiki for two

In Melissa Broder’s "Milk Fed," The Golden Dragon, a tiki bar, is where Rachel, the novel’s main character, begins to fall in love. To capture that spark for your valentine with a night in, pair an irresistible pupu platter with a scorpion bowl cocktail, and deck your space out accordingly.


"Milk Fed," by Melissa Broder

In “Milk Fed,” Broder’s second novel, Rachel is a non-practicing Jew with an unhealthy relationship to food. Her world opens up when she meets Miriam, the Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her go-to yogurt shop. It’s a thoughtful, compulsively readable, visceral novel about religion, sex and love.


Scorpion Bowl Cocktail
Braised Ginger-Teriyaki Spareribs


Amehla Scorpion Bowl

This handpainted bowl has a massive 32-ounce capacity, which makes it the perfect container for your festive cocktails.

Tiki Mugs (Set of 4)

Once you’re ready to drink your delicious cocktail, there’s no better way than out of one of these fun mugs. They come in a set of four and are made of pure ceramic.

1-800-Flowers Elegant Orchid

Add a small part of the south pacific environment to your date night with a beautiful orchid. They’ve got both purple and white ones in stock.

Bamboo Bottle Opener

Even your beers can be festive when they’re opened with this bamboo bottle opener. Pair it with their serving pieces and straws to take it to another level.

Artificial Palm Leaves (Set of 36)

Turn your table into a tropical oasis with this 36-piece set of artificial palm leaves.

Bamboo Table Runner

This runner is made from premium bamboo and adds a great tiki element to your table. If it gets a little messy, just shake it off over the sink and wipe with a damp cloth!

"Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails," by Shannon Mustipher

To turn any night into a tiki night, turn to this extensive book of cocktail recipes!

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