If the idea of dropping approximately a million dollars on awkward Valentine's Day "romance" makes you cringe, relax. This year, celebrate the true loves of your life — your best friends, and food — with some easy Galentine's Day brunch ideas. Boxes of mystery chocolate and giant teddy bears are great and all, but why settle for those when you can have homemade heart-eye emoji waffles and pink Bellinis instead? There's really no competition.
Not sure what Galentine's Day even means? As Leslie Knope herself explains, "it's only the best day of the year." She would know — Amy Poehler's Parks and Recreation character was the one who first put Galentine's Day on the map when she declared Feb. 13 to be a day for women to take a break from their significant others and "just come and kick it, breakfast-style" with their friends. Leslie's go-to food, of course, is waffles, but you can observe the occasion with really any type of buffet spread that gets your pulse racing... even if that means having a bunch of friends over and just ordering pizza. After all, it's not about how you celebrate on Galentine's Day — it's about who you celebrate on Galentine's Day.
That being said, if you, like Leslie, are somewhat of an overachiever, there are easy ways to prepare an Instagram-worthy, at-home Galentine's Day brunch for your friends that don't require much more effort beyond hitting up your local grocery store for ingredients and heating up the waffle maker. Here are four recipes to get you started.
Strawberry Lemonade Bellinis
If a Galentine's Day brunch is what you're after, then you're going to need some brunch-approved beverages. And while mimosas are delicious, these strawberry lemonade Bellinis are delicious and pink. Plus, a sprinkle rim is an easy way to trick people into thinking you worked extra hard on this.
1. Fill up a small bowl with simple syrup, and another small bowl with sprinkles. Dip the rim of your Bellini glasses into the simple syrup, about half an inch down. Then, roll the rim of the glass into the bowl of sprinkles.
2. Add as many strawberries and raspberries as you want to the bottom of each glass. Pour strawberry lemonade on top so that the glass is about three-quarters full. Fill the rest of the glass up with champagne.
3. Place a lemon on the rim of each glass as garnish. Try to clink glasses in a toast without messing up your sprinkle rims. Cheers anyway when you fail.
Hot Pink Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is bae, always, and no one in this world does a better job at warming up your soul than your favorite golden brown sandwich. So, you're going to want it by your side as you're celebrating your favorite things this Galentine's Day. Give grilled cheese a festive twist by making it pink — no, seriously.
1. Add a few drops of pink food coloring to a bowl of shredded cheese, and mix it together.
2. You've made grilled cheese before, but let's run through the steps anyway. Place a square of butter into a hot frying pan. Once the butter has had a chance to melt, add a piece of bread into the center of the pan, and generously sprinkle the newly pink cheese on top of it. Cover it with another piece of bread, and let the sandwich fry for a minute or two. Flip the sandwich over and let the other side fry. Let it get as crisp and golden and melty as your heart desires.
3. Cut the sandwich into triangles, and pull it apart in a big, pink, cheesy reveal.
4. Instagram everything. Obviously.
Pink Hot Chocolate
Don't put that food dye away just yet. Pink hot chocolate feels cozy, looks awesome, and takes approximately two minutes to make. Serve it in your favorite mugs, sip slowly, and soak up everyone's admiration — you deserve it.
1. Heat up two cups of milk in a saucepan at low heat. Stir frequently — you don't want the milk to boil.
2. When the milk is warm, add two-thirds of a cup of white chocolate chips into the pot... or more, if you like things extra sweet. Stir the chips until they melt.
3. Add as many drops of red or pink food dye to your hot chocolate as you want until everything is pink AF.
4. Pour into two cups. Add marshmallows and sprinkles for decoration. If you don't, you're probably a monster.
Heart-Eye Emoji Waffles
And now, for the grand finale. Pay tribute to Leslie Knope, queen of breakfast foods and friendship, with the cutest stack of waffles you've ever seen in your life. No, I'm not exaggerating.
1. Go the lazy route and pick up waffle mix at your local grocery store. Follow the instructions on the box — you likely only need to add an egg, some milk, water, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Or, go the extra lazy route and just buy frozen waffles. Do you.
2. Stir your waffle mix and ingredients together in a bowl, and pour the batter into a waffle iron.
3. While your waffle is cooking, chop off the stem of a strawberry and cut the strawberry in half. Cut a tiny triangle in the top-center of each strawberry piece to make a heart shape.
4. When your waffle is done cooking, put it on a flat plate and place the strawberry pieces where you want your waffle's "eyes" to be. Use whipped cream to keep them in place, if you want to. Use a tube of black icing to draw a mouth on your waffle. Bask in your own creativity. This is the single best thing you've ever made — you know, besides all the lasting friendships you're celebrating this Galentine's Day.
See that, you beautiful tropical fish? Planning a Galentine's Day menu is beyond easy. So, grab the Ann to your Leslie, and get cooking. Or, just make reservations at your favorite brunch spot. Whatever, your friends won't judge you.
Images: Fan Chen for Bustle; Design & styling: Bry Crasch/Bustle, Brit Phillips/Bustle