Stay home on Valentine’s Day

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Real talk: I wrote a nightlife column for more than a decade, and every year, never fail, my editors wanted roundups of ‘things to do’ for Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day — these are easily the least fun times to ever go out.

Bars are crowded, everyone has a special prix fixe (read: overpriced) menu, you’ll feel rushed, and well, the whole thing is rather anticlimactic.

[From soapbox: As I’ve been trying to share for almost 20 years now, there is plenty to do around here — my gosh if my 20-something self had the options my near 40-something and all of YOU have — I implore you to explore the area on a regular basis. And, if it’s a matter of budget that limits you, even more reason to skip the big ‘holidays’ for some off-hours fun and adventure.]

That’s not to say you shouldn’t go out or do anything. Thanksgiving Eve, if that’s your bag, you know what you’re getting into (and editors, there aren’t any specials — people are there to drink and will do it without $1 off drafts).

Pro tip: Celebrate however you want to, just know what you’re in for. Valentine’s Day can still be celebrated on a day other than the 14th. It’s also just as nice to do at home.

In today’s world, you even could stop reading this post right now and just plan to GrubHub it. Pick up a bottle of wine (or better freaking yet, hop over to WTSO right now and have your wine delivered to your door as well), and you’re set. Netflix and chill.

But, let’s be real, you’re still reading because maybe you want to make something yourself, or at least appear as though you have. You could also opt to make dinner together because that sounds both like an equal distribution of labor and romantic (although I’m too much of a control freak in the kitchen to allow for this, I’ve tried).

A little bit of planning

Plan a trip to Broad Street Market to pick up the following:

  • Cheeses and meats from ReVittle and Hummer’s
  • Pickle assortment from the Pickle Bar at the Produce Patch
  • Smoked salmon spread from JB Kelly Seafood
  • Rip Rap crackers and/or frozen sourdough baguette from Radish & Rye
  • Assorted fresh vegetables (celery, carrots, radishes, bell peppers) from producer(s) of choice
  • Crowler of ginger beer from Zeroday Øutpost
  • Limes from Produce Patch
  • Spirit of choice from 8 Oaks Distillery (recommended for this cocktail: vodka, rum, or bourbon)
  • Dark Chocolate + Blood Orange Mousse from Raising the Bar

Awesome, do you know what you’re making? A freaking picnic board. It pairs EXCELLENTLY with binge-y TV and comfy clothes. You’ll need ice for those Mules, but I’m feeling like you don’t need a recipe for any of this, right? (Yo, hit me if you do.)

Planning a Shoestring Valetine’s Day in Harrisburg


OK, you’re like, that’s nice Sara, but I actually GAF about V-Day, and I want to show my partner some l-o-v-e with a bit more time in the kitchen. You can do that!!

Recommendations: This easy pan steak from Bon Appetit. Oven-roasted salmon. A roast chicken is easy yet impressive! These potatoes are better than just tossing them cavalierly into the oven. You need a salad. Honestly, I sometimes just like mesclun greens with s+p, EVOO, and some good vinegar.


Make this. That’s all.

Sara’s Kitchen: Parcel Torte (Three Rivers Cookbook)

What to Binge

I’m probably the last person one should ask what to watch because I’m v picky. In my limited time, I really hate being tortured by stressful thrillers and oh-my-god that is all you people seem to want to watch. Can’t I just feel good??? Regardless, I’m going to tell you what to watch ANYWAY because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want to (also, let’s consider that if I’m that picky and I am recommending these things, lots of less picky people probably are too, so yada yada, the odds are in your favor.)

Escape from Dannemora

I never wanted to see Patricia Arquette like this, but she is a talent. The story, which is based on the real deal, is addicting to take in. Watch here.


I didn’t even know that I missed Gossip Girl until Penn Badgley appeared once again on my screen. Less annoying than Dan (was he Gossip Girl? I never did finish the final season), but delightfully creepy — and I say delightfully because there is something forgiving in this flawed villain. Andy and I both were cracking up in an episode where he suffers a head injury. Watch here.

Russian Dolls

OK I haven’t even watched this yet, but we love Natasha Lyonne from Orange Is The New Black, and I’ve only heard RAVE reviews of Dolls. This is on our next-watch list. Watch here.

Tin Star

Don’t enjoy restful sleep? Miss Christina Hendricks? Have a thing for Tim Roth? Like I guess that’s why you should watch this. It’s like Ozark for Canada but not. I was shocked to discover there’s a season 2 (and not because it’s bad — it’s just … stressful). Watch here.

The Good Place

If you haven’t yet, just do it. Start at the beginning. Kristen Bell and Ted Danson are national treasures. In 10 years, millennials will be all “omg i can’t stop hologramming The Good Place that is all that is life to me” or whatever. Watch the first 2 seasons here

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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