I love going out to dinner… except on Valentine’s Day, especially when it falls on a weeknight. Restaurants tend to be crowded and rushed. Often food and service suffer.

On night’s like that I prefer to celebrate at home and keep it simple but special. Here’s my solution this year: a three-course crepe dinner. Sounds hard you say. My reply–it’s not!

Besides instant flour, I’ll bet you’ve got all the ingredients to make crepe batter right now–milk, eggs, salt, oil. So you don’t end up with extra batter, I’ve made the yield small. There’s enough for a three- course dinner for two with a little extra for practicing. Crepes refrigerate and freeze well, so double the batter, if you like. Using instant flour means the batter won’t lump, and there’s no need to let it rest as suggested in some recipes. As soon as the batter’s made, feel free to head to the stove.

While your Valentine pops the cork, make the first two crepes, spread them with a little flavored cream cheese, lay on thin-sliced smoked salmon, roll them up and slice. These salmon rollups are a perfect appetizer for two, great for large groups too.

Depending on your cooking style you can make all the crepes at once, taking the chill off in the microwave just before serving, but they’re so simple and quick, I prefer to make them as I go.

After enjoying Sexy Salmon Rollups, it’s time to make the main course: Crab & Spinach Crepes. Simply stir crabmeat (or ham, if you prefer–sauteing it first) into the hot creamed spinach. Heighten flavor with sliced scallion and grated parmesan.

For dessert it’s Crepes with Drunken Strawberries and Ice Cream.  Make (or reheat) two more crepes, spreading them with butter and sprinkling with sugar. Fold into quarters and then top with vanilla ice cream and sugared strawberries. Serve them on dessert plates, if you like, but I like arranging on one big plate and sharing.

It’s a beautiful, simple three-course meal. I think you’ll be satisfied but not stuffed at evening’s end–a great way to end Valentine’s Day–or any day!