Sugar + Shake say, “Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is for suckers.” Seriously, we NEVER go, and we started dating just before Valentine’s Day. (So I also never got flowers for our anniversary…) It’s crowded, everyone’s grouchy (ironic, huh?) because of the crowds, and half our favorite places will only serve prix fixe menus in a vain attempt to keep control over the insanity.

Sugar’s Strawberries & Cream Sparkler. Prosecco with macerated strawberries, topped with homemade frozen honey cream. © 2013 Sugar + Shake

Our friend Melissa asked me for suggestions on alternatives to Valentine’s dinner out for a round-up piece she was working on. I asked Shake for ideas (you know, for a guy’s perspective) and his contribution was, “Stay home.” (This is what you get when you ask guys these things.) I gave Melissa some actual suggestions, which I hope were helpful.

One of those was stay home — hey, I never said it was a bad idea! — and make cocktails and desserts for your sweetheart.

I suggest this drink, which is both cocktail and dessert in one. Strawberries, honey cream and bubbles — you can’t fail to win your honey’s heart.

Sugar’s Strawberries & Cream Sparkler

This recipe involves making a frozen honey cream (click for recipe), which is extremely simple, but guaranteed to win you bonus sweetheart points. You don’t even need an ice cream maker to do it. If you just don’t want to make it, you can use vanilla ice cream — but for crying out loud, at least splurge on the highest quality you can find. Häagen Daz has released at least two limited edition honey ice creams, which, if it comes back again, would be perfect.

For one drink:

  • 6 – 8 macerated strawberry slices*
  • 1 small scoop frozen honey cream (at least half the glass should be empty after adding the honey cream)
  • Prosecco or Champagne

Fill a champagne flute a quarter of the way with strawberries. Add frozen honey cream (glass should be approximately half full). Slowly top with Prosecco. Serve with a straw and a smooch.

*To macerate strawberries, sprinkle one to two tablespoons of sugar on washed, sliced strawberries. Mix and let sit for about half an hour.

Top with frozen honey cream. Truthfully, this is a simple dessert that just looks really fancy. It take about 5 minutes to assemble, and another 15-20 to bake the pastry crust. © 2013 Sugar + ShakeIf you have any strawberries and honey cream left over, you can make these cute little warm strawberry cobblers. I used leftover dough from making tarts, but sugar cookie dough or frozen pie crust or puff pastry are all perfectly acceptable alternatives. Roll thin, cut out with a cookie cutter and lay on top of the strawberries. (Another fun twist: add a splash of whiskey, bourbon, red wine or your favorite liqueur to the strawberries.) Bake at 350° until dough turns golden brown. Top with honey cream.

May you love as long as you live, and live and long as you love!