Slideshow: Staff Picks: Our Dream Dinners at Home on Valentine's Day

Mac and Cheese and Champagne
Mac and Cheese and Champagne
Our Valentine's day tradition is homemade mac and cheese with Champagne. (Here are a few of my favorite bottles.) I'm all about the high-and-low contrast (Champagne, by the way, is also super-awesome with fried chicken or sushi.) Maggie Hoffman
Heart-Shaped Pizza or Chicken Hearts and Soup Dumplings
Heart-Shaped Pizza or Chicken Hearts and Soup Dumplings
I'm not sure how much license I get to take with this, but can I pick WHO is making dinner for me in my apartment? If so, I pick Mathieu Palombino and this heart-shaped pizza.

Or... the bitter Valentine... I am happy to play that role.

Aw yes, the single lady's romantic in-home Valentine's day dinner. Chicken hearts on a skewer yakitori style seem holiday appropriate. Or perhaps the salve of obscene numbers of soup dumplings will do the trick. Meredith Smith

Eggs in Purgatory
Eggs in Purgatory
"At the Bijur-Levine household, we've figured out how to make Valentine's Day work. We celebrate the day before. We call it Valentine's Day Eve. The flowers are cheaper. No ridiculous expectations that can't ever be met. So on Valentine's Day proper, a home-cooked meal is a nice, relaxing way to celebrate. One of my favorite things to make, and this is for any meal, would be Eggs In Purgatory. The eggs are gently poached in tomato sauce; best served with some crusty bread. Here's a recipe." Ed Levine, Serious Eats overlord
Mussels
Mussels
"My wife I usually have a feast of shellfish. But unlike a year ago, she's pregnant, so we'll have to skip the raw oysters and get right to the cooked mussels, which we've been eating ever since we first started living together. They're also cheap—which explains how we could afford them at the time—but they don't taste like it. Of course, there are so many good recipes out there, it's hard to pick just one, but I particularly like Mussels With Fennel And Bacon, Mussels In Goan Sauce (Thisri), and Mussels with Black Pepper." Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago editor
Steak, Salad and Cake
Steak, Salad and Cake
For Valentine's dinner at home, I'd love a simple menu lovingly and expertly prepared by my Valentine. This perfectly medium rare pan-seared steak paired with a nice red wine, ultra crispy potatoes, a fennel, arugula and green apple salad, and for dessert, the Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake. Alaina Browne
Lots of Little Bowls
Lots of Little Bowls
I like meals that are bountiful with small plates and salady things to nibble on, no need for a big honking steak. We'd start with negronis, or whatever other spirited sipper Andrew has up his sleeve, and sit at a table full of small bowls with assorted treats: some marinated carrots with mint, shrimp and quinoa salad, sweet and spicy brussels sprouts, and if there's going to be a "main"-main, a simply prepared fish with olives and a squeeze of lemon. For dessert, a slice of chocolate oatmeal pie (what can I say, I go weak at the knees for oatmeal pie). Erin Zimmer
Straight to Dessert
Straight to Dessert
I'll go ahead and expose the fact that I am single this Valentine's Day and also, that if left to my own devices, I would eat all kinds of dessert items with no regard for real food. The two recipes that have been tempting me lately are rather similar: Max's Coffee Oreo Ice Cream and Maria's Coffee and Donuts Cake. I'll be confidently living the stupid female cliche of stuffing myself with indulgent foods and possibly feeling sorry for myself after. Note: no chick flicks will be involved. Leandra Palermo
Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions
Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions

If you've never tried a marinated kale salad, it might just rock your world. Here's how it works. Take your raw kale, dress it with a standard vinaigrette, let it sit overnight in the fridge, and boom—what was once a tough, leafy green is now tender and crisp. The greatest part about it is that after marinating, the salad will last for days and days without losing its crispness. This salad also calls for chickpeas and onions, making it a hearty side or light lunch.

Get the recipe! »

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Italian Pasta, Gelato and Cookies
Italian Pasta, Gelato and Cookies
I'd like to have my boyfriend make me dinner since he's a great cook and normally it's just me force feeding him cookies and breakfast sweets. We've spent a lot of time in Italy together, so a pasta like this Maccheroni alla Chitarra with Ragù Abruzzese and Palottine would be perfect alongside Acme bread, a salad, and nice bottle of Nebbiolo or Amarone. For dessert, vanilla gelato drowned in espresso, a few of these chocolate chili cookies, and a glass of Prosecco. Yum. Carrie Vasios