Contest 2011 February

I am really glad to see so many people voting in the last month’s contest. Congratulations to all the participants and winners. For this month, I wanted to do something different from previous contests. Because Valentine’s Day is coming soon (Feb 14th), I want to do something revolving around a romantic theme.

Rather than creating a dessert or other recipe, for this month I just want to hear your valentine’s story – what did you do for your husband, wife, girl/boyfriend, or other loved one? If you cooked something, please describe the menu that you prepared. Did you surprise your loved one? The more details, the better!

The winners will be selected randomly from all the comments.

Update: Thank you for sharing your touching valentine stories. The comments are now closed. Two random winners will be selected soon. Stay tuned.

Below is my checklist:

  • You will not have email me anything this time. You can simply leave a comment on this page (at the bottom of the page).
  • You must leave a valid email address so that I can contact you after the contest is over. Don’t worry, your email address will not be public (only I will be able to see it).
  • The deadline is Februrary 20th.
  • The winner will be featured on the homepage and a link to their website (if available).

1st Prize: $50 gift certificate from Amazon.com
2nd Prize: $25 gift certificate from Amazon.com

**Anyone can join this contest**


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60 thoughts on “Contest 2011 February

  1. Dear Manjula Aunty,

    “The Happiest Valentines day… that I ever celebrated”

    Almost it is 22 years since we celebrated this particular memorble Valentines day.
    I’m from Rameswaram, southern most costal area in Tamilnadu near where we have the Srilankan Refugee camps.
    My Dad used to work for Dept. of Telecommunications, India. In 1988 end, he and some of his co-workers are
    deputed by the Indian Govt. to work in Srilanka. We could remember the worst war in Srilanka in 1988. During that war,
    all the communication lines, electricity lines etc got highly damaged there. So Indian govt. lend their helping hands.

    For this reconstruction work, my dad has to work in Srilanka for 3 months and he went with the Indian army.
    As we were very much related with Srilankan refugees, we could feel their sufferings from the bottom of our heart.
    Eventhough it was a very dangerous assignment, my dad accepted and was ready to go there. But my mom was so much worried. Because the war was not completely over, it was slowly coming to the end. My dad stayed in tents in the Indian Military camp. For all the 3 months my mom used to cry always thinking and praying that my dad should return safely. I was doing my 5th std and my sister in her 3rd std… so we didnt feel the seriousness that much.

    Even the letters that we send to our dad will be given to him only after being read by the Military and also the letters from my dad was read by military. Atlast…Feb 14, 1989 came…. it was the day that my dad returned…. My mom cooked coconut milk rice and fish curry which is my dad’s favourite. We all had lunch together…. that was the happiest moment in our life…. Even though Valentines day is not celebrated by everyone in South India in 1989… our family had a noteworthy reason to celebrate… Even after 22 years we could not forget that particular day… After his return he used to tell all his experience… like… he used to hear some bomb blasting sound at a distance during night time….

    We all have our loves ones around but you know… the Srilankan refugees… their condition is really pathetic… lost their country… homes… relatives… family… We used to always pray that they should get everything back. Though we cannot do much for their peace… we can be friendly with everyone around us…. that gives the real feel of celebrating our Valentines Day…

    Thanks,
    Kayal.

  2. Every year I try to surprise my husband on V-Day. This year, without telling him, a booked a room in a beach hotel and planned everything for the trip. When he returned from office on Friday, I was all packed and ready to go. I didnt tell him where we were going. But I had prepared and packed the following items –
    1. Heart shaped black forest cake
    2. Heart shaped cookies
    3. Fruit Pudding
    4. Pani Puri (All necessary ingredients to make it there)
    5. Kothmir Vadi
    6. Crescent Rolls
    7. Masala Khari
    8. Paneer Tikka
    I had been planning for this for more than a month. I planned the cooking out starting the Monday before. I started making the Khari first, then made the Kothmir Vadis and freezed it before the frying stage. Then I made cookies. Thu and Fri were hectic as I tried to cram everything else into the 2 days. We started having all our snacks from Fri evening (during the 2 hour drive). We cut the cake and had it by 12 midnight on V-Day. It was a very memorable incident for my husband and he is very happy about it. I greatly enjoyed planning everything for him.

  3. Hi Manjula Aunty

    Monday was Valentine’s Day – day for people to express their love to their loved ones.I have been married for 3 years and every year we celebrate our love by making 14 february-a very special day.

    The very first thing i did to my husband is to wish him Happy Valentines Day.Then when he went to get ready for office i gave him a hand made Valentine card with a personalized message expressing him my love to him and a bottle of perfume by escada.When he saw he was totally amazed and went to office with a smile on his face

    In the evening he asked me to go to a restaurant for dinner to which i told him today we will not go to restaurant but it will come to us.He got very surprised .I asked him to sit in the bedroom till the time i come to take him to restaurant.I decorated my dining table in restaurant style -put bouquet of red roses in middle,prepared his favorite food i.e. rajma ,jeera rice ,aloo gobhi and suji halwa put on the plate in heart shape.I also prepared a heart shaped menu card .After setting my table,I blind folded him, switch off the lights of room and made him to sit on the dining chair.Then i lit the candle and opened his eyes.The whole ambience of the room bought a twinkle in his eyes.Then he ordered the food from the Special Valentine’s day Menu Card and we both enjoyed the romantic candle light dinner , love talk and last but not the least a long drive.

    As far as my surprise is concerned my husband me abouquet of red roses,choclates, valentine card, a teddy bear, three heart shaped balloon saying ‘I Love You’ and finally a pendant set from Swarovski.

    This is our this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations.

  4. Hello Manjula ji,

    This is our 3rd valentine’s day but still its like our first. I wanted to surprise my hubby this year. Am a stay at home mom with a 7 month old baby. Its really hard to get any work done as my daughter jus doesnt leave me to go into the kitchen or do any house chores.I prepared coconut cookies in heart shaped. Decorated them in a white plate and poured a little bit of chocolate sauce on them. On the plate I wrote I Love You written in the chocolate sauce. Arranged it on the dining table with candle lights. Didnt have time to buy roses so what I did was got a red ribbon from one of my baby’s teddy and made a rose out of it and even with one of her dress belt. Decorated the table with red shawl and red duppatta. Placed all these items very decoratively. Wanted to decorate my house too.. But did not have much items at home. I had one of my mom’s red saree. So I kind of used it as a curtain. Pinned it up to the wall around the window. Thought of preparing butter naan and paneer butter masala. My husband loves paneer. He called up in the evening around 6 and said will take another hour. I thought I had enough time to prepare the food too. But to my surprise he called me again in ten minutes and said that he will be home in 5 minutes. I hurriedly lit the candles, switched off the lights and my daughter and I were hiding in the room. As my husband opened the door he started calling out for my daughter. She usually goes to him (she is crawling 🙂 )as soon as he enters the house. To his surprise we were so silent. And once as he neared the room we came in with a SURPRISE… He was so happy and definitely surprised by the candle lights, heart shaped cookies and that even my daughter is a part of it. She was also so excited looking at the candles and was so happy. My husband jus loved the cookies. They turned out very nice. Suddenly my husband gave me a beautiful card that said “With love, to my Wonderful Wife” and my favourite chocolates white Rafaello. That was a great surprise. We played some music, the three of us danced heartfully. Then I prepared the garlic naan ( he loves garlic), Paneer butter masala. Turned out so yummy yummy. We jus had a perfect Valentine’s Day. All smiles, all happies 🙂

  5. Hi Manjula, myself and my mom absolutely love your site. We always come here to double check our recipes and to get new ideas! You have really good videos and put in a lot of effort so keep it up! In terms of valentines day I made my husband’s favourite couscous salad, homemade buns and roast potatoes with mini chocolate brownies. He was very happy! hehe Thanks for the great website!

  6. It was 2010 valentines and it was our first valentines day after marraige … after seven long years of love … we got married and i was very excited about this valentines day as our anniversary was 2 weeks back and due to our work schedules we were in different cites. So i was all geared up with my preparations. The day started as usual .. we wished each other and left for work. I dint want him to feel special because i wanted to surprise him . I came back home early from work …. prepared his favorite dishes for dinner . He loves chicken .. so i made chicken fry and chicken biriyani and for dessert i made mango mousse . After i finished cooking i started decorating the house.. it was all red 🙂 red curtains .. red sheets .. red flowers …. i had candles all over and i placed the candles in such a way that they show him directions as in which way he has to go next.Then i set up the table which had beautiful candle stand and just one rose .I still had like 2 hrs for him to come home so i freshened up ad wore his favorite dress. I then wrote small small love notes for him and placed them in different places… so that he could read them one by one . Along with each note i kept a gift for him .The gifts included a watch , a coffee mug with his best pictures, a personalized calender with our picture for each month and his favorite perfume. The notes i wrote were related to the gifts .. for example .. the note with the watch would say ” i want to spend every second of my life with you ” and the note with the perfume would say ” my life is filled the fragrance of your love” . I placed the notes in such a way that he knew where to go next . I randomly put some rose petals all over and now for the finishing touch …. i lit the candles …. sprayed freshener …. played his favorite collection of romantic songs and made a call to him. I told him i was going out with friends and he could go home and have dinner and sleep . By the time he was home and i locked the doors and hid myself in the closet . There he comes … he opens the door and Surprise!!!! He was taken aback by the ambiance . He read the love notes i left for him and reading one after other and he finally comes into the bedroom .. i came out of the closet and blind folded his eyes for behind and took him to the dinner table and gave him his final gift and asked him to open his eyes . He was overwhelmed with my gift and was very happy . Well i gave him holiday tickets for him and his best friends in Goa for the weekend . I know thats a strange gift for a valentines day but i believe everyone needs some space in relationships and they need some time for themselves . He was very very happy 🙂 We then had our candle light dinner and we talked …laughed …. watched his favorite movies . We had lots fun . Well, mission accomplished … i suceeded in surprising him and made him happy 🙂 . Thats was our best valentines day 🙂 Because at the end of the day … if the the person you love is happy then your happy too 🙂 . And by the way … he enjoyed his holiday with his friends and 2 weeks later he took me on a holiday to coorg 🙂

  7. My husband and I have known each other for 8 years before we got married.Valentine day is hence something very close to our heart.I would like to share how Valentine day has changed for us from our college days to now.
    During our college days we used to somehow manage to sneak out of our houses for about an hour and my husband who was my boyfriend then would surprise me every year with a bouquet of red roses and chocolates.(made me feel special all the time!)

    We got married last year in January. It was one of the most memorable moments of our life. As in most love stories, it wasn’t easy . We had to gain the confidence of our family members. We faced lot of hurdles on the way but we didnt lose hope. So last year’s valentine was the first after our wedding. A very special one but Since both of us were working, we couldn’t really celebrate it. Out of our busy schedule my husband surprised me by taking me out for a candle light dinner which was a beautiful surprise and a new experience.

    This year we are here in the United States and I am not working. I didn’t know how to cook so I took this oppurtunity to learn.I have learnt a lot from your website.

    This year, Valentine celebrations for us had already started the week before
    valentine’s day. My husband had been surprising me with some goodie each day throughout that week- a cute little valentine teddy, dunkin cupid’s choice everyday. It was like a valentine’s week.

    From my side,on valentine’s day, I planned to surprise my husband by preparing his all time favorites through out that day .
    1. Starting the day with heart shaped dosas as breakfast . He was so excited
    2. lunch heart shaped carrot parathas
    3. Today we couldn’t miss out on our favorite cuisine so we went out for dinner and enjoyed some yummy chinese food. There was another surprise waiting for my husband after coming back home to end the valentine’s day with a sweet note, his all time favorite – some yummy rich chocolate cake and besan laddoos.

    Days have changed from sneaking out once upon a time to going out for a nice candle light dinner to cooking a nice romantic meal at home :))… It has been a wonderful journey :))

    I have created a website that has all the sweet moments of this year’s celebrations. The link is below. Please do check it.

    http://ourvalentine.yolasite.com/

    I learnt to make most of whatever I prepared above from your website. Thanks for making it special!

  8. Hai Manjula ji. This is first time I have visited your site and felt very nice. Iam 42 years old and my better half is 37 years. We are blessed with a daughter and a son aged 14 and 10. Every day is a valentine day in our life and I always tried to participate in her kitchen stories. She is a wonderful homemaker and very innovative in cooking and really there is no necessary to celebrate valentine since every day is a valentine for us.

  9. It is a special day for us in our married life. I eagerly wait for this day.
    Different people have their own way of celebrating Valentine’s Day
    but we celebrated this valentine’s day with full of surprises , happiness, romantic compliments, delicious food items prepared at home and with poetry.
    we slept at 10Pm on 13th Feb,
    I thought he will sleep immediately and he won’t wakeup at 12 to wish me for valentine’s day..I waked up at 11.45 PM
    I am ready with my things to wish him surprisingly…when the clock showed 12 PM I kept a Rose in his hand with a book beside him writing all the sweet memories
    I had with him since our marriage and murmured the valentine’s day wishes in his ears, suddenly he opened his eyes and wished me with some romantic words, he was very happy for me disturbing my sleep to wish him at 12

    next day morning when I woke up and entered in the kitchen, i was surprised that he prepared breakfast for me with my favouriate item puri with bombay curry, when I went for bath he arranged all the items for breakfast on the dining table with some sweets which he already brought from outside with one rose flowes buch which includes 1 white rose ( for friendship ) 4 Red roses for ( love ) 3 yellow roses for ( Relationship ) and a card with this message on that card

    “”I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
    Next he went to the office ,I prepared his favouriate dishes for lunch box carrot rice with wada and kept a msg for him in the box with dryfruit laddu
    At lunch time he called to me and told that evening we will go out for dinner, then again he wished me in a different way ….
    he came early to home, we went for shopping , he purchased me a new dress and had pizza with some other stuff and drinks, we reached our home at 9PM, relaxed for some time,
    and watched one movie holding our hands with sharing memorable things in our life, after sometime I prepared Mango delight for him which is his favouriate drink prepared with my hands, and french fries,
    and had given one more greeting card for him with this message Thanks for giving me a chance to enter in to your life, I am very happy with you
    we completed watching the movie , when he was getting ready to sleep he found a book under his pillow,
    he opened the book turned each and every page felt very very happy , I had kept all his best friends pics, his lovely family members pics,
    some of his childhood pics, and some of our pics with this quotation at last page of the book

    I can’t replace any of these persons place, but I will make you happy to keep my place along with this persons list until my last breath….

    like this we spent our valentine’s day this year…I hope we will celebrate this type of golden days in future also..

  10. Dear manjulaji, couple of days before this valentine’s my parents who were looking for a groom for me found a horoscope match with a boy who works at the same company as mine…So i shot him an email …we decided to meet on “Monday” ..At that time it didn’t strike us that monday was feb 14 – valentine’s day!! ..We met at a starbucks – and our meeting was great..We have met couple of times since then and he has given his OK ..I think i am OK too ..tho i’ve still not told him so! ..This was by far my most memorable valentine’s day!..

  11. Hi Manjula,

    This valentine’s my husband had to leave on an official tour so we celebrated the weekend before valentine’s..We went on a little road trip and stayed overnight at a wonderful resort and spa ..We pampered ourselves to various spa treatments and tasty treats …My husband surprised me with a flight ticket for me to accompany him on his tour..he extended his tour by 2 days so we could spend some time together..We just got back yesterday!! ..and i enjoyed every minute of the last several days ..:-)

  12. I have a girl friend named ramya .We are in love for the past 2years.We are working in the same work place.She loves choclates a lot and even more happy if i surprised her with any gift.So i made a point to give her one choclate everyday when i meet her the first.For this valentines day i thought of surprising her in a beautiful way.From feb 14 12.00am i didnt call her nor i did messaged her.She was trying my number continuously after every 15 min but i didnt respond to her.Next day i skipped to go to office and was working from home .She was trying my number every hour from office but i made my heart like a stone and just didnt replied to her call.We both live in same apartment,so she came to see me at evening but i went out.Thats it..She losed her patience then no calls untill 11.30pm.At exactly 11.45pm i just knocked her home with 3 gift boxes for her..Asusual for 5 minutes she blasted me with whatever shabbish words she know in tamil.I told her she can continue the remaining things after 12.00pm but i wanted to open my gift items before the valentines day ends..With a rude face she opened it 1.The first box carried her favourite choclates.2.The second box carried 2 flight tickets to India3..Boom Boom surprise.yes its our engagement card..She cried and asked how it could be possible..Ramya is none other but my mothers own brother daughter .We had a good time together as friends and cousins from the childhood .We came to us before 4 years,and became even more closer and before two years we ended up in love.So it was very easy for me to convince both the families for our marriage.Our horoscope went positively with every move and yes everyone accepted my surprise package for my girlfriend and maintained the secret from her.She thought iam kidding her and after i told the whole story and my 21/2 months effort about the engagement issues she just gave me a great hug and kiss, which even if i think now iam getting cherished.It was an unbelievable valentines day for us.But to give surprise for 15 min i just missed the whole day ignoring her calls and being together with her..Sorry ramya .Since we were not together on feb 14 we both went to movie the next day had lunch at olive garden and then went to shopping and then requested for a candle light dinner at Suchi restarent and ended the day with great time together..Love you Ramya..Hope even this mail would make u happy(Got to know this website only from Ramya.Because i have eaten more food prepared by her only from this kitchens receipe).Thank u for giving me space to write my story ..

  13. Manjula, my name is madeline – I’m originally from france but live in the US. I recently went through a bitter divorce and did not think that valentine’s day would ever have a meaning in my life. But my two beatuiful daughters simply proved to me that i was wrong. They are 11 and 16 years and so very undertsanding and loving. They had surprises planned for me right from when i woke up. I woke up to a beautiful bunch of red roses on my nightstand, followed by a hearty breakfast handcooked by my girls. We had a girls day out – shopping and a movie followed by dinner at my favorite indian place. I completely forgot about my worries that day and it’s been better since then.

  14. Dear manjula aunty,

    Happy Valentines day to you and your family as well! ..We had a very sweet 5th valentine together. We recently bought a new house in the US and dedicated the basement as a media center. So before my husband got home I decorated the room with red roses on the walls…I baked a chocolate cake that we had with wine..We then had dinner of shahi paneer and naan ..followed by some sugar free ice-cream for dessert. Later we played our favorite romatic film in our media room and enjoyed every minute..

  15. Hi Manjula,

    I see most posts dominated by the wives 🙂 ..But here is what i as a husband decided to do for my wife..We recently had our second baby and life was rather too hectic – mainly for rama (my wife)..She was awake at nights with the baby and the day time with both children – a todder and an infant in arms is no joke. As much as i try to chip in, it’s still a lot of stress and work on the mother. And so with the help of a friend here’s what we decided to do to make rama’s day!.. I got he a gift card from massage envy and asked my friend to drive her there as a surprise and had the card. She was really thrilled and came home refreshed. I was looking after the children – phew! ..My initial plan to cook something didn’t work out that well since with the kids i didn’t find the time!! ..so i ordered some chinese food (her fav) and we played soft music and had a great dinner once the kids went to sleep..She was pleasantly surprised and the massage invigorated her..

  16. I always look for some special day that I can do something special for my husband. I love to express my love for him in every possible way. So Valentines day is very special for us.But this time I came to know there is valentines week not just a day.So planned for a week of celebrations.
    Everyday planned a surprise for him.

    Feb 7th is a ‘Rose day’. I wished him with a rose heart on facebook and he surprised me with rose and chocolates on that evening.Feb 8th is ‘propose day’ I proposed him to be mine with foam letters arranged like a small puzzle.Feb 9th is ‘chocolate day’. I made chocolate dipped strawberries for him.

    I melted the chocolate frosting for 30 seconds in the microwave and dipped the strawberries and decorated with some sprinklers.

    Feb 10th is ‘teddy day’ but my husband was sick so could not plan anything. Just wished him.Feb 11th ‘promise day’. I presented him a foam erase board with a message saying that is our heart board. Sometimes we can share sweet comments , compliments even complaints through the board.Feb 12th ‘Kiss day’. Wished him with a kiss when we went to the mall for shopping. He bought some accessories for me. I bought a shirt for him.Feb 13th is ‘Hug day’.Wished him with a big hug early in the morning.

    Feb 14th the big day ‘Valentines day’. I planned to give him 4 cards for morning, afternoon, evening and night. I gave him a hand made card in the morning when he was leaving for office. He gave me a card. Kept a card in the lunch bag as a surprise for the afternoon. When he was home by the evening , I decorated a small place in my hall with valentines day banner and ribbons. Baked a chocolate marble cake and arranged it on a table with nice red table cloth with hugs and kisses written on it along with nice red candles.Decorated the knife with gel hearts.

    He was so surprised and felt very happy on seeing everything. I gave him a card and a gift bag for the evening. He gave me a lovely photo book.we both cut the cake and then he opened his gift bag found the spa massage gift voucher and was very happy , gave me a hug and said ‘Thank you dear’. I was on cloud nine. Later we went for dinner and when we returned home I gave him the fourth and last card for the day saying ‘Happy valentines day night’.He loved everything and was extremely happy. I am happy that I could make the week so memorable for both of us…..!!

  17. My boyfriend and I first met online. I’m very happy to report that he’s a total sweetheart and not an axe-murderer! Still girls, proceed with caution, because you just never know. I emailed him for a few weeks, we talked on the phone, and had our first meeting in a public place. Safety first!

    We’d been dating for a couple of months when he mentioned that he’s a champion yoyo-er. Seriously! He understands all kinds of complex yoyo terminology that I’d never even heard of – “Well you see, this has nice spin for a basic Imperial yoyo,” and that kind of thing! So of course, when it came to Valentine’s Day, I had yoyos on my mind.

    I found my boyfriend online, and that’s where I found his perfect gift too! I contacted a woodworker on the other side of the country who happily personalized a wooden yoyo with the username my boyfriend first contacted me under. My guy was thrilled and promptly whipped out some impressive yoyo tricks.

    We had a great Valentine’s Day together – he spoils me! – and I’ve been sneaking Belgian truffles ever since. 🙂

    Maybe some day I’ll learn how to walk the dog or rock the cradle, but for now I’m content to let my boyfriend impress me!

  18. I am a bit uneasy whenever Valentine’s Day arrive. The reason is that my hubby is more romantic than me and likes mushy things much more than I do. Whereas on one hand the idea of heart-shaped cards, red roses and candlelight dinners make me cringe. ewww 😉 he is diametrically opposite and revels in such gifts and decorations!

    So this Valentine’s I had to do something which was palatable both to my taste and his. So instead of cooking Indian , I went for continental dishes and the menus goes as follows : Mushrooms in cream sauce, sicilian aubergine stew : caponata from Jamie Oliver’s , Corn brushetta from Manjulaskitchen and chocolate cake with whipped cream from ediblegarden’s website. Served it with baguette, rice and red wine! Tuned into some classical english internet radio channel and waited for him to arrive. I had earlier mailed him a personalized card from an internet card service , which unfortunately has not reached till the now 🙁

    He was all smiles when he returned from office and brought for me lovely purple and white flowers !!( No red roses bunch but just one!!!!) and a pack of assorted leonidas chocolate!! ymmm…

    He loved the food I had made and the evening melted away with the strains of the violin in the background. He was happy that i acted more romantic and wished that I stay that way forever…Amen and Happy Me 🙂

  19. Its been around 2 years of our marriage and always i give surprises to my hubby on valentine day. but on this 14 feb there was one funny thing happened which i want to share with u. The day before valentine i invited some guest to my house and i made aaloo ghobi, dal dhokli, matar paner n fruit cream. When i was cooking i told my hubby please bring salt and he bring salt from his friend house n i started cooking. In eve time all our friends came n i served the dinner. one of my friend said me dal is very sweet. My hubby said ya dal is very sweet n i thought it may be due to dhokli, which i added to dal. Everybody wanted salt after that n i give salt to them. Then next day on the valentines day, i made alloo mangodi for my husband . In evening he came n i served him food ,after eating he told me this alloo mangodi is very sweet n i told him ya i feel same n i said this may be due to potatoes this is very sweet. but my hubby said to me. KUCH TOH GADBAD HAI. then he tasted that salt which he brings, it was sugar. we started laughing then i told my hubby yesterday dal was very sweet because i add this sugar in dal. but my hubby told me why dal was sweet not matar paneer n aalloo ghobhi. i told him i add that salt which u bring only in dal bec i didnt have salt for dal. and also i said to my hubby yesterday everyone was asking abt salt n i gave them this sugar in the form of salt. We laughed so much. n after that my hubby gave me flowers n i gave him besan burfi n i told him this is the best use of salt which u brings. n we laughed very much. This was our FUNNYvalentine and i cannot forgot this in my life.

  20. This year is our 5th anniversary of marriage…so I planned a long celebrations..from 10th Feb I started making one special food on each day…with a bit more on 14th….the list of the things I tried are…jangri(sweet), kachori(snack), doodh peda (Sweet), cookies etc….on 14th morning gave him toast made with a ILU stamp on it…..posted a post card in the post box as a surprise….made cake, biryani, palak paneer, naan, raita, badhusha, and added chocolate to the menu…surprised him by wearing a saree by the time he came back home…he got me a rose plant as gift on 14th…ofcourse forget to mention…presented him a hand made painting by me…we have planned a trip to Isle of Wight, a 4 day trip…planning to buy him a gift there as I prefer to buy him with his choice…

  21. He is a foody person and getting a good comment about the food from him is like a task for me.I surprised him with all his favourite menu from me with a candle light dinner.In the last 3 months these are the items which i tried and impressed him a lot.So the menu goes here
    1. cabbage pakodi(sailus food)
    2.eggless cake using curd (sailus food)
    3.besan paare,bathura(manjulas kitchen)
    4.peda(show me the curry)
    5.chicken biryani(spice india online)
    5.channa masala(my own version)
    6.badam halwa(shanthi krishnakumar).The reason i mentioned the websites is, u can try any1 of this site and the end result will be delicious.
    I bought bubble bath set from body shop as a gift for him, so instead of giving him as such i just filled the tub with bubble foams and some rose petals..I had some rose petals on my home so i just kept one rose petal
    at each steps at my entrance and directed till the bathroom where i arranged bubble bath for him .When he came from the office he was very surprised to see the welcome from me.While he was taking showers i just
    rearranged the rose petals from bathroom to the dining area where i arranged candle light dinner for him.After dinner together we watched our wedding cd after 3 years ,and had a gud time together commenting
    about our marriage ceremony .He thoroughly enjoyed my rose petals welcome and the dinner.One funny comment received after the end of the day is he told me that “Please atleast next year fill the bath tub with
    real flowers.”.May sound funny for the readers the reason is i had got only artificial flowers at home .so since its an instant idea of mine resulted very funny comment from my hubby.Since last three days he was commenting that he is the first person in the world to take bubble soak with artificial flowers.Each time he say this we had funny moment the day after other.But at whole we had a good romantic and funny evening ..

  22. This Valentine’s day was our 7th Valentines together. In last 7 years both me and my husband have exchanged store bought gifts. But this time once I read about this contest I decided to surprise my husband with something home made. So I started planning. The first thing that came to my mind was a cake. I bake cakes often but this time I went ahead and decorated the cake too (I could never believe myself that I was good at that too). Thereafter, I planned to cook Hariyali Koftas (Paneer koftas in spinach gravy), Vegetable Pulao, Egg Pakoda, and Butter Naan.

    In the evening I decorated the table with some flowers, candles and my meal and waited for my husband to come home from work. Finally, I heard the door knob clicking. My husband was very pleasantly surprised with all my preparations. I owe all this happiness to Manjula Aunty coz in a way this contest motivated me to do all this and her cooking videos gave me the confidence to try new things. Thank you once again!!!

  23. Hi :),

    Yesterday was our very first Valentine’s day and would like to share about how we celebrated this special day.

    Surprise Gifts : Rather than buying gifts from stores , I wanted to make my own gifts to make my husband feel special. So I learned basic embroidery in a week and did the embroidery of a Heart Garden of red roses and green leaves on pillow cover , with our names inside the heart and then I got a personalized calendar done. This has our photos with each month’s calendar. Photos are related to the special events that took place in each month. With a red rose, I kept these gifts with his office bag. And while he was about to leave to work, he saw those and was really really about the gifts.

    Candle night dinner : We could not do candle night dinner on the 14th since that day was a Ekadashi day(Fasting day). So we did this on the following day(ie today). By the time he got back from work in the evening, I decorated the table with nice red-white covers , red-white hanging curtains surrounding table and scented candles.Played a soft music in the background. And prepared both of ours fav food Poori, shrikhand, chole ,cabbage pakoda, Vegetable pulav , Ras malai with a Cream cheese carrot cake.

    This was my part of surprises and also my husband surprised me with wonderful gifts :Flowers and Tusuva spa coupon 🙂

    This way we made this day very special for each other.

  24. Happy Valentine’s Day
    On every Valentine’s day I like to do something special for my husband. He loves eating and I love cooking and each time I make something special for him. This time I prepared Falafel as per Manjula aunty’s recipe with some of my twist. Instead of tahini sauce I used a mixture of sour cream and sesame seeds. I even made a sauce from red bell peppers. I crushed the red bell pepper along with 1 tsp garlic and salt to taste. When I had made this dish for the first time my hubby loved it and this became one of his favorite dish. Thus I wanted to make it on this special day.
    How can a Valentine day be without desert. Moreover my husband just loves sweet and his most favorite is Fruit Salad. The recipe for the same is:
    Milk 1 liter (whole milk)
    Milk 1 cup
    Sugar 1 and half cups
    Custard powder 2 Tbsp
    Fruits like apple, banana, grapes , pear

    Boil milk at medium heat till it reduces to half.
    Add sugar and boil again for sometime.
    In a bowl mix custard powder and milk till no lumps are there.
    Add this to the boiling milk and keep on mixing.
    Boil for 5 more minutes.
    Let it cool and add all fruits.
    Serve chilled.

    When my husband came back from work he surprised me with bunch of red roses ( The second time till now, first time he gave me when we got engaged), I surprised him with fruit salad. And later we had lovely dinner of Falafel. I even lit a candle for the effect. It was beautiful.

  25. Valentines day 2011! Most amazing and super-special day of my life 🙂 It was our first valentines day after marriage . Coming from an orthodox family both of us were shy at first to celebrate this day. S asked me “Do we need a valentines day to celebrate our love?” I was happy and sad at the same time as i was a romantic 🙁 anyways the day dawned like any other usual day.. i went on wid my chore for the day making lunch(non -special) . In the afternoon i just happened to browse by you tube and found the most amazing video on how to make origami flower(A paper rose) so i decided to surprise him and started making the flower out of paper myself. It was quite difficult not so easy as i had imagined and after several trial and errors made him the perfect pink rose from a colored paper 🙂 i was so happy and insipired by this i decided to cook him a special dessert as he has a sweet tooth. I cleaned up the house like a maniac and made him some semiya payasam(vermicilli sweet) .I also wanted to try out Manjula auntys Chole which i happened to stumble upon and took out the Chole and kept it ready. I dint notice the time slip by , it became so late and i wondered wat S was up to. i called him up and he said he was on his way back home.He knocked on the door and i was excited to show him the flower that i made.
    There he stood with a balloon in one hand a cake in the other a box of chocolates on top and a big smile on his face sayin”Happy valetines day” I was so shocked and surprised and happy cause i loved balloons and chocolates like any other girl. he also presented me with a box and Lo! an ipod 4th gen touch . I was happy beyond my wildest dreams and showed him the rose i made for him. He was touched and has taken it to office today to keep it on his desk. We celebrated our love , happiness and togetherness with each other the whole evening . I made the chapathis and chole and we finished our dinner with the dessert. It has been the first and best valentine i have ever had. We later called up our parents in India and shared our love for them too . Hope It had been great for all u girls out there too !

  26. This is our first valentines day after our marriage and is definitely a special one. I love giving surprises and my husband enjoys them. every meal I prepare, i give him with a tinct of artistic touch to it and he always waits for how I give the dish. every thing I show him is different to him. Even the smallest thing i buy for him is in his hands with a surprise.

    well, He is a foody person and getting a good comment about the food from him is like a task for me.

    First thing in the morning I kept a Valentine card on the table. I knew he would definitely go to the table. I was waiting since he woke up and he finally saw just before he left to work.
    I had made a 5 min movie with all our photos, recollecting our golden days before marriage, the first time we met, the first outing and all the first time stuffs.We watched the movie after he returned from work in the evening with BelPuri that i had prepeared enjoying the nostalgic experience.

    Later, I planned for a lovely Candle light dinner. I had arranged a perfect dinner table at home. My dinner was all ready with Tomato soup Roti & Dal Makhni and Basundi ; Set the table like a restaurant, Switched off all lights, Lit the aroma candle on table. I blind-folded him, brought him to the table and opened his eyes. He had a cute smile on his face seeing heart shaped rotis, Dal Makhni tomato soup and Basundi. He loved the food. A romantic dinner with a soft Yanni’s music at the back ground. The only thing he said was ” The food is perfect and so are u”. There can be nothing more I can hear from my dear husband

    I am posting my ingredients of my Valentines day recipe separately.

  27. Hi everyone,

    Like all we have had so many ups and downs in our 6 years of marriage.I have learn t the best formula which works to be happy and together always is to understand each other and give time.

    We never expect other person to do great surprises ,extravagant gifts or expensive restaurants.We try to expect least and help other people when possible.

    Since i am passionate about cooking ,i do try a lot of things every now and then and i am only writing here with respect and all the help that i got from this website .cooking has always been my companion during my sad times and my hobby too.

    I won the first contest of gulab jamun in november 2009 in this website and lastly i did make a cake decorated it for the valentines day.(I will be sending the pictures by email )

    Best Regards.

  28. Hi Everyone,
    Happy Valentine’s to everyone!!!!:-) This valentine’s day I had prepared ‘Dhood Peda’ sweet and Pasta as per Manjula Aunty’s receipe, for the snacks in the evening…..it had come out well & shared with my neighbours, received good compliments from everyone. Sweet Peda is rarely prepared at all house and even for the first time I tried, which was really good and easy to prepare. Pasta was also colorful with different colors of capsicum and my husband enjoyed the snacks. We had a candle light dinner at home just to enjoy the day 🙂
    As I am staying in Australia away from my in-laws and my mother, I miss them all & also their receipes,So i don’t miss any receipe from Manjula’s Kitchen and try almost all of them.I really thank Manjula Aunti for sharing those receipes which can be easily prepared at home and also remind us about grandma’s receipe.
    Thank you once again Manjula Aunty.
    Cheers,
    Muktha

  29. Feb,14 2010.It was just a day since I landed in USA for the first time soon after my marriage.Jet Lag?? Don’t ask,I was sleeping for a day long continuously.”HAPPY VALENTINES DAY”,someone wished at my ear.I just thought it was a dream:)!.But when I heard it again,I woke up.With a Lovely bunch of red roses,my husband surprised me!!Wow I just jumped out with happiness at such a romantic moment.The surprise wasn’t over there.The home filled with aroma pulled me to the dining table.Huh,I was shocked to see a variety of south indian dishes.The menu was:Banana(plantain) pakoras, Bisi bele bath(spicy sambhar rice)& papad, Bitter gourd stew,curd rice and Carrot Halwa.Huh!! We had a great homely lunch date:)
    When we almost finished with a heavy lunch,my husband asked if I realized something unique with the lunch.I said,’It is an authentic south indian(Tamizh) food’. He said this is something more that and explained : Carrot Halwa(sweet), Bisi bele bath (salty and pungent with spices),the stew(bitter),curd rice(sour) and the ‘banana plantain’ pakoras(Acrid/thuvarpu in Tamizh).He said,Just like this lunch menu has all 6 types of tastes,so is our life going to be filled with sweet memories,bitter experiences and so on.Just as these dishes are digestable,so will any situations we are going to face in life.It is just LOVE that should bind us and help us face life with confidence at any point of time.
    I was touched with his uniqueness and a wonderful way to look at life.
    It is one year now and by gods grace we are keeping good life.A lovely,touching and thoughtful valentines day to remember throughout our lives!!

    Every day has been a valentines day since then for both of us.
    HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.Have a loving and caring life:)

  30. Wow ! what a day it’s been . First of all , a very happy valentine’s day to everyone 🙂
    To tell my valentine story , I have to go back a few years in time.
    Our’s was a perfect arranged marriage,who said there is no fun ,romance in arranged marriage !!

    I got engaged on Feb3rd 2007 and I was in Singara chennai (beautiful Madras) at that time and Mr.S came from U.K . We spoke for a couple of times on the phone and he came down to chennai and saw me in person and we liked each other and decided to get married.:)

    We decided to meet on Feb14 th in Besant Nagar beach. I’m from a very traditional and orthodox family and has never gone out with a guy before so I was a bit nervous and shy and hesitant .
    But anyway I still went with the plan and went straight from the work to the beach.

    We spoke and spoke for more than an hour and took a long walk in the beach and enjoyed the cool breeze of February which made it even more romantic, suddenly he gave me a beautiful Morgan watch and cute little handbag to my surprise. I was totally in awe with the gift and was very pleased that my to-be husband could make such a nice choice of gifts.
    I gave him a t-shirt. We didn’t want the day to end as he was supposed to return to U.K the following day. With lots of love and tears we said our good-bye’s
    After a very long 4 month wait we got married.

    So the first Valentine’s day is always special to both of us and we will always cherish those moments .

    As today is a Monday and we decided to do our beach walk(a usual thing we do for every valentine’s day) yesterday and watched a romantic movie “Remember Me”.

    Today my husband came with a bunch of red roses from work and I made Chapathi, Spinach dhall and Beetroot Halwa for dinner and decorated our room with lot of candles and lilies . Beetroot Halwa is very delicious and easy to make and it’s our favourite. I used Manjula aunty’s carrot Halwa recipe but I substituted carrot with beetroot.

    I just thank god this day for giving me a good and supporting husband
    Once again , a very Happy Valentine day to everyone.:)

  31. Its 14th Feb again — Happy Valentine’s day. Wow! everybody is celebrating “this day” with so much of love and enthusiasm. I felt everyone is so much in love and they eagerly await for this day. Gifts, flowers, and dining out; sound so much interesting. I feels so good to see everyone in love. I just asked myself have I done anything special today for my partner. Let see, did I buy any gift or card? I answered No. Did I have any flowers to give? Again NO . Ok then, I must have prepared something special like going out for dinner? Again No. Hhmm… Ok at least I have cooked something special? I answer why I need to do all this today. Why Today? because it Feb 14th “the Valentine day”. So what ? I asked myself. Looking out I saw everyone is so excited to celebrate this day with their special one. I asked myself are you not excited to celebrate “this day” with your partner. Then I answered yes like everyday I am happy today, that I am celebrating this day with my partner. It doesn’t matter if today is Feb 14th or Feb 15th. I like to celebrate each day with my partner. Like everyday I am happy today. Like everyday I want to tell my partner how much I love. Like everyday I am cooking special for my partner. Like everyday we see each other with love in our eyes and smile on our faces. Like everyday we hold each other hands. Like everyday we forgive and forget each other mistakes. Like everyday we talk pleasantly with each other. We don’t wait for Valentine’s day to come, because we celebrate it with all the love, and enthusiasm throughout year.
    I have been married for 7 years and its been three years I am celebrating Valentine day like this. I also used to wait for this day. I used to plan a happy day. I always thought I not going to be upset this day and make my partner feel special this day. I also used to plan a menu to cook something special. No fight! No anger! No argument! Only love love love for this day. Three years back, just few days before Valentine day (that I was eagerly waiting to come) something happened. Due to some circumstances we didn’t celebrated Valentine’s day that year. And one day something stuck in my mind. I asked myself Why wait to show and give love only on 14th feb. Why to limit myself to be happy and show my love for that particular day. The past is gone; and the future is uncertain; the only thing I have with me is my present, so why not celebrate it in my present moment. Why not celebrate it everyday. Why to wait for any special day when everyday is special in itself. Nevertheless, I think every moment is so special in itself. So why even wait for a moment to come. So why not grab every present moment to say I love you. I just want to tell my partner that I love you in every present moment of my life. I am so happy and in love and this is my plan to celebrate love throughout my life. I wish everyone feel happy and so much in love throughout their life. Love love love not only for this day, but for everyday of life.

    Enjoy every moment 🙂
    Charu

  32. My wedding day falls close to Valentine’s day and so we celebrate both together. For the first year, we didn’t had any transportation and we cudn’t walk out due to the bad weather. To my bad luck I cudn’t get anything earlier too. So I decided to make some paper roses and hid them. I left some clues and my husband found them following the clues. It was a most memorable day. Though I was a bad cook that time, I managed to make a sambhar rice with potato fry and a delicious Kesari.

  33. Hi, Today is V-Day n i m very exiceted to celebrate this with my hubby (Sankul) n cute baby Sarvika. Today i will be making Veg Sizzler n Hot choclate cake with the red roses n rose perfume candles. This is my 3rd V-day but still i m feeling this is my 1st. This day i m missing my mom-in-law b’coz she is in India, 1st time we r not together. Anyways Happy V-day to all of u n specialy Manjula Aunty………

  34. We went shopping together today for organic produce and local, grass-fed meat. We are going to grill a nice romantic dinner in together tomorrow and maybe have a glass of wine with dinner.

  35. Valentine’s Day is very special in our family..our marriage is an arranged marriage..he came to see me for the first time along with his family on feb14,2003..he came along with one red color rose flower..all of them teased us that the bridegroom confirmed his approval…right now 8years complete..with gods grace we are living very happily and blessed with 2kids..each year i will do some traditional recipes for my husband and share my love to him…! his favorite is Rava kesari..which is simple..rava-1cup,sugar-1 1/2 cup,cardamom powder -1pinch, saffron color-1 pinch,ghee-4 Tbspn,water -1 and 1/2 cupcashew-1tbsp,raisins-1tbsp,. 1.roast rava in ghee till light golden color..2.boil water..add color and cardamom powder..2.in a pan roast cashew and raisins..keep aside..3.once rava got roasted add water and let it cook..then add sugar,mix well..4.add ghee and roasted nuts..serve hot….happy valentines day to everyone…!

  36. My husband has very basic food requests, so for Valentine’s Day I make him meatloaf and he is very happy. Fortunately for me he is not hard to please, as I am not a very adventurous cook!

  37. Last Valentine’s day my Dad was in the nursing home for rehab and not doing well. We knew he did not have a long time to live. I went out and bought a card and some lotto tickets for him to give my mom. I also bought a glass plaque with a saying for him to give his wife. We bought him some balloons and a card and a teddy with a heart and his favorite candy. We cooked his favorite meal – hotdog and beans and wrapped it fancily. He thought we bought it from the deli. We spent the day with him. He was so touched to have a gift to give mom and by what we gave him. It was a sad but happy time because we all spent it together – 3 generations and reminisced and enjoyed eachothers company. It was his last Valentine’s after a 45 year marriage. Sadly he later passed away on March 13th. He passed with Love and surrounded by his wife, daughter and granddaughter all holding him and telling him we loved him. <3

  38. 51 years ago, while at the beach trying to attract a handsome young man with whom my girlfriend was enamoured, we (childishly, of course) bombarded him with green grapes. Unfortunately, my grapes landed not on target, but in the face of his blissfully sleeping friend who awoke sputtering angrily. I apologized profusely, and we spoke a bit and I thought that was the end of the meeting. A couple of months later he called, we dated 5 weeks, became engaged and married 6 months later. All because of an errant green grape. Fast forward….we’re married 50 1/2 years. I prepared a “gourmet meal” of “Take out” pizza. Set a pretty table with candles and lace. Filled an empty wine bottle with green grapes and filled two crystal wine glasses with the same. We toasted each other to our lovely past and to the next 50 years together. Nothing fancy, or pretentious, just a lovely, care-free evening with two “seniors” in love after all these years.
    Hope everyone has a happy valentine’s day and many more to remember like we do.

  39. Hello everyone 🙂 Its 14th feb around and i am excited more than ever..every year my excitement is higher as i think i got one more opportunity to express my feelings to the dearest person in my life-my husband Amrish.I love him so much and he too loves me n takes care of me as much as my parents do n he always see’s to it that i don’t miss them here in america.

    I am a 28 year old woman (still a young bubbly girl from heart) married for past 2 years and residing in unites states since marriage. We had an arranged marriage but our love n affection for each others is as strong as any love marriage couple. When people see us together they say ‘Rab Ne Banadi Jodi’.

    I am ver romantic type unlike him 🙂 but he is very homely guy and loves me equally…the only difference between us is the way of saying those 3 magical words ‘i love you’. For my hubby saying is hard but he expresses it with his eyes and gestures like calling me everyday from office atleast for 2 mins he speaks to me and enquires whether i had lunch on time.i am so lucky to have him in my life that i dont miss any chance to let him know my feelings for him.i do that by cooking his fav food,spending maximum time with him when he is at home.

    This is our 3rd valentines day..On first valentine i had baked his favourite chocolate cake and his favourite food pav bhaji and rasgulla for lunch and he was so impressed by me that he took me out for dinner 🙂 i guess he wanted to have better meal atleast at night 🙂 just kidding.. he gifted me a pretty dress which i wore when we went out for dinner.

    On our 2nd valentine last year-i prepared mango shrikhand,puri,chole n jeera rice for lunch and for dinner we went to an indian restaurant.While we were sitting in the car after dinner,i surprised him by gifting him perfume.That was very romantic moment 🙂

    This year 14 feb is a monday but nothing can stop us from celebrating the
    ‘love birds’ day.I will be making his fav pav bhaji for lunch tiffin so that he will return home dancing with joy 🙂 While he is in the office on 14feb i will bake black forest cake.This time we will have dinner at home..menu is ready in my head : tomato soup,biryani,pudina raita,fruit salad and finally the cake cutting n eating ceremony..wow i am so excited even while writing! One more thing to share: i have made a beautiful greeting card for my hubby..its made with paper quilling technique i learnt online n prepared card in heart shape saying i love u with paper flowers around.i know this will surely bring smile on his face.
    Happy Valentine Day to all..always luv & be luvable…cheers!

  40. Last Valentines day (and this valentines day) I have been out of town for work. My husband can microwave, but if I am not around he picks up takeout and sits alone on the couch eating and watching TV. Last year, made him one of his favorite desserts, strawberry shortcake, and hid the components in the fridge. On valentines day, I had a meal delivered to him, called him on the phone and told him about his dessert. We then ichatted over the internet and ate dinner together. He was surprised and thrilled. I’m still trying to figure out how to top that one this year…..hmmmm.

    BTW- Love the site.

  41. My hubby and I just had a new baby on Thanksgiving day, so we really have not gotten out at all since she was born, and a week after I was released from the hospital I was readmitted with heart failure. So it has been a trying couple of months, thankfully now I am ok. My hubby has been so wonderful, he was home with a newborn all by himself when I had to go back into the hospital for another 8 days. He took her to her docs appointments and fed and changed her. I couldn’t ask for a better man. Anyways, I wanted to make this Valentines Day a special one for him, so I got tickets to a hockey game, since he’s a huge fan, and booked us a hotel room for the night after the game. I cannot wait to give it to him on Monday! Thankfully the baby’s grandparents are taking her for the night so we can have some much needed fun and alone time!

  42. This is the second Valentine’s Day that my wife and are not celebrating… Last year she was on her way back from India on that day and the circumstances has brought us to be apart again as she has to leave to go to India on 14th of Feb…on Valentine’s Day… It will be our 11th anniversary of engagement and haven’t been able to spend it together… it sucks

    However, the small community we live in Wichita is having a V-day party, so I will be taking her with kids to music, masti, games, good cooking from a restaurant in Kansas City… of course Dancing at last… so at least, we will be able to celebrate our special day couple days early…

  43. Hi all,

    Will be sharing precious moments of my first valentine after our marriage….
    My mom-in-law and dad-in-law had to go for attending a relative’s wedding out of town..So here how our day went:
    Starting with wishing each other in the morning with my self-made valentine card and a heart-shaped pillow from him…we both were glad….
    My mom-in-law and I got all the ingredients ready a day before….
    I printed a menu for him for all three meals..
    So made him triangular paneer paranthas on an electric tandoor and heart-shaped almond burfi (used cookie cutter for that) with masala tea(his all time favorite)
    For lunch…he was with me in kitchen and helped me making samosas….
    In lunch, we had samosas, heart-shaped veggie cutlets and biryani served in a heart-shaped plate…
    And now comes the essential part…yummy….home-made cake..
    I made an eggless walnut cake for him(of course I was scared it didnt turn out bad, but thank God for all good)….though without icing….but decorated it with our names(used crushed walnuts for that)
    And I got a lovely surprise…a mug with our wedding picture printed on it….I was soooo glad…
    Then we had family dinner…my in-laws were back by then…..so i made palak paneer and kidney beans(my hubby’s favorite)…and we ended our day with blessings from elders ….
    That day is memorable for both of us..:)

    Really, love is the key ……one does anything and everything in love with soooo much dedication….

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all
    Thanks a lot to auntie for all recipes…

  44. Happy valentine’s day!
    Enjoy this valentine’s day with your loved ones!!

    On the last year’s valentine’s day, I decided to make something myself and surprise him. Although it was Sunday, he went to office in the afternoon to finish some work. And it was a perfect time for me to cook something without his presence. I made pulao, chicken curry, aloo matar sabji ( his favorite), and chutney. I had also prepared masala papad & chicken chili, and bought some cold drinks for snacks.
    I had already prepared dessert on the earlier day. For dessert, I made gajar ka halwa (recepie from Manjula’s kitchen!). After cooking halwa I put on the plate & made it heart shaped and finally, decorated with some cashews.
    Before he returned from office, I decorated the dinner table with some scented candles. When he came home, he was so surprised for my all preparation. We enjoyed our candle light dinner!!

  45. I would like to share the surprise I gave my wife on the eve of our first Valentine’s Day.

    During my turn of cooking, I would without fail would prepare Pasta, which was the first dish I learnt when I went abroad for studies and was staying in the international student’s hostel. By the time Valentine’s arrived, my wife was way past impressed with the Pasta and it had become our ‘majburi Khana'( to be cooked when we were too tired to cook anything else)

    Well I did have other recipes up my sleeve but till then I had only boasted about them and had not laid out them for display. So Valentine’s was the perfect opportunity to show my love and talent to my dear wifie.

    I bought stuff while returning from office and thought that I would prepare Tiramisu when she goes to bed and surprise her at midnight. By as luck had it, we were visited by a guests who stayed chatting till late until 11pm,way beyond their expected departure time. Throughout the evening I was worrying about the mascarpone cheese , which was hidden in my office bag,thinking it might go off. When the guest did depart, i excused my self by saying that I had some work to finish. My wife went to bed. I quietly and quickly took out all the ingredients and made the Tiramisu. I decorated the lounge room with perfumed candles and lit up a red chinese lantern. I placed her gift – a flowering plant ( she values them more then bouquets) and Body Shop gift and a poem written by me.

    At midnight, I woke her up and asked her to close her eyes. Then brought her into the lounge room and asked her to open her eyes. The amazement in her eyes was quite evident. Though I was afraid that the Tiramisu was not given enough time to set, yet it turned out very tasty. Since we had given up eating eggs, she was overjoyed to taste the delicious dessert. I am sure did a good job , cause she was very impressed with my skills. Now I am known in my family as the expert in Tiramisu making! Yahoo 🙂

  46. It was our 4th Valentine after moving to Chicago. My husband was an IT consultant at that time and used to travel from Chicago Monday mornings to L.A and return Thursday night by taking the red eye arriving early Friday morning back to Chicago. ON that particular Valentine, in 2004 my husband happened to call me and tell me that he will be coming in on the 10:30 pm (Thurs) flight. I decided to cook a romantic dinner for him.

    At that time my daughter was 2 years old and was in bed by 8:00 pm as usual. I decided to make heart shaped veg cutlets for appetizer, malai kofta for dinner with paratha, pulao and raita, and heart shaped chocolate frosted cupcapes with red sprinkeles. I went to the store and purchased the ingredients and floating heart candles. I printed a valentine card with menu in fancy font. I waited till 11:00 pm for him to show up but he still wasn’t home. I called his cell phone which went to voice mail. Around 1:15 in the wee hours I heard the key click. He informed me that he had missed the flight hence he was late. When he went to find something to eat he was very moved by the dining table decorated with all his favorite dishes. We enjoyed a romantic candlelight dinner that evening, inspite of him being late and tired. That was the best Valentines ever!!!

  47. Happy Valentine’s Day to all! Spread Love and Joy !

    Cooking was not my forte. Whenever my mother tried to introduce me to cooking, i would make a sullen face and try to avoid it. I liked eating though 🙂

    When i found the love of my life and after our engagement when for the first time he came to my apartment for Valentine’s Day, i decided to cook for him rather than order food from a home delivery service.

    SInce i was working and staying on my own, i had started to work in the kitchen but what i made was basic fare. But i had to rustle up something special for him. I was nervous and rang up my friend for constant help with recipes! ( I hadn’t discovered Manjula Aunty by back then )

    He was arriving in the afternoon , so i thought of preparing rajasthani kadi, Aloo-shimla mirch, Salad, Boondhi raita and Rice.
    For snacks I bought cake, juices and chips.
    I had dreamed that i would prepare everything in a jiffy and clean the house and be ready and all. But alas i took so much time, burned the Shimla mirch subzi and had to re-do it (charred it a little second time around as well ) !
    He arrived early and called me so that i could go meet him and bring him to my apartment. I had been so occupied that i hadn’t even taken a bath. I rushed to freshen up and was so jittery! Had no time to even dry my hair and just rushed.

    But he is so lovely, his eyes were shining with love when i met him. I forgot all about my uncombed hair with water dripping from them! And i took him home .
    I guess he was nervous as well but our love for each other made us comfortable in each others presence.

    When i served him, i heaped his plate with a lot of grub and he obligingly polished it all of! however, after marriage he later told me that he had overate that day!!

    Since that day, I realised that the most important ingredient in any dish is LOVE.
    Food made with love tastes best no matter what the recipe. It is also the reason we all cherish the food made by our mothers. Nothing can beat their cooking.
    So go mess up the kitchen with Love and what will come out of it will sure taste like Manna!

  48. Last year mine was the first valentine after our engagement and we were not together as he is in USA and i am in INDIA but i send him one big card and a gift this year also we are not together as my visa process is going on but this year i am going to send him some home made cookies with help of your recipes last year i was not aware of your site otherwise i could have made and send him some thing as he is food lover and it is always said that the way through a men heart is through stomach so this are my planning for my hubby this valentine.

  49. Well I am Tara a mom of two grown up and married daughters…rather a grandma…..Valentines Day!!!!!!!!A special day to show love…..Candle lit dinner…red and white balloons…. cakes chocolate…Romance!!!!! Love!!!!!Never thought that love needs to be expressed. It was so natural for us to take care of each other…Going for a dinner was for just a change just for the taste buds…..going to the Mall was just for shopping…..Life was moving on…..It was 14th Feb again…so, whats so special.Till..someone knocked at the door..It was a parcel for me.A letter from my daughter and a lovely valentines day card inside…she asked me to write sweet words for my hubby…..what a childish thing I thought. I wanted to ignore but don’t know why but wrote it for my Husband..I felt nice.Then I put on his favourite Kishore Kumar’s music and prepared dinner and his favourite Gajar ka Halwa….I was smiling all the way. It was evening my husband has gone out for a walk. I waited for him. I was confused…Oh my god what he will say ki is budiya ko kya ho gaya hai?????
    Anyway….Ting tong…I rushed to the door and the moment I opened he was there with a red rose in his hands and a packet of my favourite Jalebis….he said Happy Valentines Day dear!!!! For a second I felt so shy like a newly wed…but moment later we laughed and laughed and the the whole evening was spent in cherishing the long lost moments of our life….Gajar ka Halwa was our valentine cake…..
    Thanks to our daughters who planned all this and helped us rejuvenate the forgotten love inside us…It was my first Valentines Day but not the last and now every year we both are celebrating it…

  50. Hello,

    It was on the Valentine’s day that we got our first Handy Camera. It was a combined gift from both of us to both of us 🙂

    The very first thing to be shot by camera was to make a sweet dish just like Manjula Aunty does and shoot it.

    So the instant sweet dish that I could think of was “Suji ka Halwa”.

    I took all the ingredients in separate bowls as required and started speaking the way Manjula aunty says in my mother tongue “Kutchhi”.

    My husband took the video as I was going through making the Halwa.

    And we had enjoyed eating the Halwa watching the shooted video.

    It was very special feeling and we still cherish the sweet memory.

  51. Well I am Tara a mom of two grown up and married daughters…rather a grandma…..Valentines Day!!!!!!!!A special day to show love…..Candle lit dinner…red and white balloons…. cakes chocolate…Romance!!!!! Love!!!!!Never thought that love needs to be expressed. It was so natural for us to take care of each other…Going for a dinner was for just a change just for the taste buds…..going to the Mall was just for shopping…..Life was moving on…..It was 14th Feb again…so, whats so special.Till..someone knocked at the door..It was a parcel for me.A letter from my daughter and a lovely valentines day card inside…she asked me to write sweet words for my hubby…..what a childish thing I thought. I wanted to ignore but don’t know why but wrote it for my Husband..I felt nice.Then I put on his favourite Kishore Kumar’s music and prepared dinner and his favourite Gajar ka Halwa….I was smiling all the way. It was evening my husband has gone out for a walk. I waited for him. I was confused…Oh my god what he will say ki is budiya ko kya ho gaya hai?????
    Anyway….Ting tong…I rushed to the door and the moment I opened he was there with a red rose in his hands and a packet of my favourite Jalebis….he said Happy Valentines Day dear!!!! For a second I felt so shy like a newly wed…but moment later we laughed and laughed and the the whole evening was spent in cherishing the long lost moments of our life….Gajar ka Halwa was our valentine cake…..
    Thanks to our daughters who planned all this and helped us rejuvenate the forgotten love inside us…It was my first Valentines Day but not the last and now every year we both are celebrating it…

  52. The first Valentine with my husband..I planned a surprise for him. I had red and white balloons all over the house. The only lights were of the candles. From the entry door till the bedroom, I put sticky notes on the wall, one line on each, describing our relationship and love for each other. It was a Thursday and my husband fasts every Thursday. So I made him his favorite besan ka halwa and presented as a cake. By far, it was the best Valentine ever!

  53. How more romantic could it be that I am a gori from Toronto, with Eastern European parents. I met my love at work, he was my boss! He is sikh, from Pakistan. Handsome devil! Tall and lightish skinned. We fell in love and I have been watching Manjula ever since. He tells me (not his mom) and friends that come over that my cooking is the best ever! even
    “sometimes” better than his moms. I make Rajmah with Nutrella and I call it Indian Chili! I am Khadi that is too yummy! I make the best fish Pakoras and tindora subzi. I could use a bit of work on my chapati (they sometimes come out hard…lol) I love him so much I dont even eat Canadian food anymore. Indian ROCKS!……This weekend we are having some north indian friends come over and south indian friends from GOA….my dilemma..what to cook?….do i use cream or curry leaves LOL…this should be my biggest worry….Happy Valentine;s Day. I will post again when I know what I am cooking…but I think for Valentines Day it would be appropriate to make Sambhar with rice, Butter chicken, masoor dal, gulab jamun with vanilla ice cream …all the way…

    Faye from Toronto

  54. i m single….and not yet mingle…but when i get my right person i will make the delicious meal for my sum1 special…the dishes which i will prepare for my sum will be very spl…like
    walnut cake
    kokum and sqush crush
    brownies
    black forest cake
    cheese cherry pinapple
    biryani
    palak chole
    butter pratha
    dal tadka

  55. Valentine symbols usually are colors like pink and red, symbols of hearts, and angels, and foods such as sweets, chocolates etc.

    So one year when finances were tight,I wanted to do something special for my 2 little girls and husband.

    After dinner, we exchanged our own original valentine cards. Then I brought out a platter of home made chocolate coated marshmallow and a platter of chocolate dipped strawberries. This was served along with hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream .

    It was a sweet valentines day which we all remember!

  56. I feel really happy when I cook something nice and my husband and kids enjoy having good food. But as my younger daughter is really small (9 months) and with not much help around I plan to make good meal for them:
    1. Malai Kofta,
    2. Palak Poori
    3. Spinach Raita
    and last
    4. Date cake with vanilla ice-cream.

    I think, I will be able to do it.
    Thanks, Manjula aunty for sharing your cooking experiences with us. I do feel like cooking when I see you cooking so well.

    Take care and keep updating your blog! Good Wishes.

  57. I am sindhi and lived in New York, in 1998. For about 9 months I dated an IT Professional sindhi guy through an online matrimonial site for Indian Professionals. We really liked each other and had met several times in New York and Chicago.

    When I went to his house first time in a small town in Iowa, he offered to order food in from a restaurant. I noticed that he did have a full fledged kitchen with all indian spices and groceries. So I figured I had a chance to really impress him. I told him, I can cook and he can tell me what I should make. He told me he wanted to eat Saibhaji.

    So I planned the menu. I am a sindhi, and we usually eat Saibhaji with white rice and fried brinjal/eggplant. I also wanted to make boondi raita and cut some cucumbers slices for salad. For dessert I made rice Kheer. (usually we eat vermicelli kheer, but he did not have vermicelli).

    So he had to go buy me eggplants and dahi and khari boondi, as he did not have them at home.

    My now husband was super impressed with the food that day, because the saibhaji that I made, tasted just like his mom made, and more!!! I had added chana dal, spinach, tomato, onion, garlic, and all spices with garlic tempering. I also added ginger in cooking bhaji and lemon juice in the end, that his mom apparently did never use.

    When frying eggplant, sindhis cut about half inch slices of eggplant and draw square grids/lines on them with a knife tip and marinate them with salt and then deep fry them. I had done exactly the same thing like his mom did when he was a kid. He never thought I would make those grid lines. I also sprinkled dry spices on fried eggplant just like his mom, including mango powder and green chilli powder.

    Raita tasted very crispy as I had added boondi in the last minute. Needless to say, he proposed marriage to me in a few days! I firmly believe my typical menu and cooking won his heart 🙂 Right in his town, right in his own house!!!!!

  58. Dear Manjula Aunty,

    I have a doubt regarding the feb 2011 contest.We should basically share the spl surprising cooking recipe we made for our loved ones right?

    1. I am looking more for your valentine’s story. You are welcome to include a recipe that you made, but since there is not that much space in the comment form, you can just list the individual items on the menu that you made that day.

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