All set to host a memorable spring meal. Shop Easter table.

Now on newsstands—and online too—Magnolia Journal Spring 2024. Get your copy.

Join us March 8-9 & 15-16 for Spring at the Silos. Learn more.

This Year’s Gaines Family Valentine’s Dinner

by Joanna Gaines
Published on January 26, 2024

A Sweet Tradition

The first year we lived at the farm, Chip and I had the idea of making Valentine’s dinner at home. Instead of finding a fancy table for two somewhere, we thought the kids might enjoy dressing up our own table, making a spread of our favorite dishes, and toasting to a night spent together. Every year since, we’ve returned to this sweet tradition, and as the kids have grown up, it’s now a full-on family affair. Everyone takes a job: setting the table, cooking (or sometimes just tasting…), playing dj, or lighting the candles. We like to change up the table setting and add to the menu every year, so I thought I’d pull together what the kids and I came up with for this February 14. Maybe it will inspire your own evening-in!

The Menu

The theme here is simple. I make everyone’s favorites, and fill in any flavor gaps with tastes I know we’ll all love. Here’s the lineup for this year:

Starters & Apps

White Cheddar Bisque

poured into small, individual cups

Salad & Sides

Arugula and Dried Cherry Salad

Mac and Cheese

Scalloped Potatoes

Dinner Rolls

Mains

Beef Tenderloin (We also prepare King Crab Legs every year—it’s always the kids’ favorite!)

Desserts

Desserts Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

The Table

When it comes to the tablescape, I like to layer in a few feminine details along with a neutral base to keep the look balanced. The sweet spot for me is a table that feels celebratory and nostalgic, but one that also feels intentionally put together for the people there. This year, I played around with woven and linen textures as well as vintage flatware and glassware. It feels classic to have a centerpiece of roses, so we snipped a few varieties from the garden!

Grey Scalloped Plate (Dinner & Dessert), Amelia Placemat, Dawn Rose Napkins, Etched Glassware (Tall & Short), Vintage Flatware Set, Gatecrest Candle Holder, Hand-Dipped Taper Candle, Rustic Black Hand-Made Vase, Dutchess Rose

SHOP TABLETOP

I'm also including a sweet poem this year at each place setting, which I’ve included here so that you can simply click on and print for yourself. Give it a place on your own table or tie onto a gift!

(A Little) Something for Everyone

Every year, I always love surprising the kids with something small that I hope makes them feel special. This year, I jumped on magnolia.com and found a little something for everyone (except Crew, whose unfailing love for birds sent me on a search for the perfect bird call…)

For the Boys | No.16 Forest Green Hat, Major League Ballpark Scratch-Off Chart

For Crew | Field Guide to Backyard BirdsOpens in new tab, Bird Call SetOpens in new tab

For the Girls | Petite Avery Dish, Pink Agate Bracelet Set, Golden Key Chain Bracelet Set


Explore more gifts to celebrate the people you love:

SHOP THE VALENTINE'S DAY COLLECTION