Mornings With Gina Birch

Finding a restaurant reservation in Southwest Florida this week is not easy. However, there are still some to be had. Going out to dinner for Valentine’s Day is a popular past time. It can also be expensive. If you want to celebrate and incorporate a good meal, but want to save money and avoid the crowds, check this out. Here are 5 fun and creative dining ideas for your Valentines celebration and for TikTok Tuesday. If you still want to take a stab at a romantic night out, check out these restaurants in the Fort Myers area and these in Naples.

Otherwise, get creative at home and save money at the same time. There are all kinds of ways to celebrate all of the different kinds of love in your life. If it is the romantic kind of love there are some recipes below that the creators call woo worthy. On the other hand, if it is love for family which includes your kids, that calls for a different celebration. Some of the meals are interactive, meaning those you are cooking for can get their hands messy too. Creating meals together is a great way to bond and make memories.

I’ve put together five videos that stood out in my feed this morning. Hopefully, they will help to inspire you if you are still trying to figure out what to do for Valentine’s Day. Take an idea and adapt it for your lover, partner, friends, or family. If you don’t have a TikTok account, don’t worry. I’ve tried to make it easy. All you need to do is scroll down and hit play from this post. In addition, all of these videos are office friendly and kid friendly. Share them with your friends who are also trying to figure out what to do for Valentine’s Day.

Here are 5 fun and creative dining ideas for your Valentines celebration.

  • Valentine's Day Dinner For Under $20

    First of alll, I’m not sure about getting all ingredients from a dollar store. However, she does it AND calls it elegant. I’m simply passing it on because it looks easy and if you are tight on funds it works. In addition, I thought the lasagne adaptation was kind of interesting. I never even thought to do this. Real Champagne would blow the $20 budget. But if you save on the food, perhaps you could splurge on the beverage if that is your thing.

  • Three Course Meal For $25

    This one is perfect if you are on a budget but still want a meal that is full of flavor. The appetizer is pretty basic but a classic. Pay attention to detail for the main course. Finally, the dessert looks fast and easy. It’s something you could make anytime of the year. Use this template as a guide for your three course home menu.


    simply cannot afford to eat out in this economy & intimate dinners at home are so much more romantic🌹❤️ Bruschetta Recipe -1 baguette, sliced -1 roma tomato, deseeded and diced -1tbs fresh basil, chopped -1 clove garlic, grated -1 tsp balsamic vinegar -1 tsp olive oil -pinch of S&P -parmesan for topping Spicy Vodka Rigatoni Recipe -1 small onion, diced -4 cloves garlic, minced -1 tsp red pepper flakes -6oz tomato paste -1/2 cup vodka (can sub w/ chicken stock) -1 cup heavy cream -2 tbs butter -1/2 cup parmesan -1/2lb rigatoni Saute onions until softened. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes, saute additional 2 mins. Add tomato paste and caramelize over medium heat until a deep red colour is achieved, about 8-10 mins. While tomato paste is caramelizing, cook the rigatoni. Deglaze pan with vodka. Once vodka is evaporated, add heavy cream and stir. Add cooked pasta along with some pasta water to loosen suace. Finish with butter and parmesan. 3 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse -1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips -1 cup heavy whilping cream, divided -1 tbs powdered sugar Melt together chocolate chips and 1/4cup of cream over double boiler or in microwave. Whip remaining 3/4 cup of cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks. Reserve 1/2 cup of the whipped cream for topping, and fold the rest into the cooled down melted chocolate. Divide into 2 bowls and let chill for 3-4 hours. To serve, top with reserved whipped cream and strawberry. #valentinesday #valentinesdaydinner #valentinesdaydateideas #gigihadidpasta #spicyrigatoni #chocolatemousse

    ♬ Sunday - HNNY
  • Fun Presentation And Different Food

    I love the idea of using a candy box for a dinner presentation. How fun would it be to not know what was inside and then open it up. This creative mom also made some unique items to put inside. More heart shaped food. She doctored up a dessert to match and is honest about the taste and quality. Great ideas to build upon here.

  • Put A Ring On It With These Dishes

    Looking to seal the relationship deal through a well prepared meal? This TikTok users promises to have the answer. Women have been told for decades that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I know, I know that is dated and sexiest in today’s world so don’t reprimand me for repeating it in order to have a little fun. However, food <em>is</em> a way to woo many people; men, women and non-binary. If these dishes are that impressive, take a container of left overs into your boss too.


    Day 1 of Marry Me Week: Marry Me Gnocchi! 🏹❤️ With a vegan spicy sausage and that creamy Tuscan sauce, this 30-minute dinner is absolutely next-level. #marrymechicken #marrymechickpeas #marrymerecipe #gnocchirecipe #gnocchi #valentinesdaydinner #valentinesdayrecipe #vegetariandinnerideas #viralrecipes

    ♬ original sound - summer songs<333
  • Easy And Fun For Everyone

    This is perfect for both family and date night. Getting in the kitchen together to cook a meal is a great way to bond. It is fun for the kids to participate and almost always a guarantee they will eat what they created. Everyone gets their favorite toppings, no fighting. It can also be a precursor to romance. Think of that dough rolling and cheese sprinkling, hah.


    Heart Pizza Bar!🍕♥️ The perfect Valentine’s dinner to make with your family, friends, or special someone! 1. I cut hearts from pizza dough with a 5” cookie cutter (from hobby lobby) 2. Poured pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese into individual bowls for everyone. 3. Added topping options into a muffin tin. - pepperoni hearts - sausage - ham - grilled chicken - pineapple - jalapeños - white onion - red onion - tomato - green pepper - mushrooms - black olives 4. Everyone can assemble their own personal pizza! Bake and enjoy! #valentinesday #valentinesdayideas #valentinesdayfood #valentinesdaydinner #heartpizza #valentinesdinner #valentinesfood #valentinespizza #familyfun

    ♬ Friday I'm in Love - The Cure

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