Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's day is always a family affair in our house.  While my husband and I both enjoy the opportunity to show love to each other, our anniversary is almost exactly one month later, and we usually save our money and go out for that instead.  So I have been making "fancy dinners" for the big V-day since our kids were little.  Usually we get all dressed up, but this year I spent so long cooking I couldn't fathom putting on a dress at the end of it.  I opted for a red shirt and jeans instead :)  We still had candles and a tablecloth.  I let the food be the fancy part this year.

We started off with this cute appetizer of Cupid's Arrow Cherry Tomatoes.  Its not so much a recipe as an idea.  The original had little paper feathers on the arrows but I thought adding some mozzarella cheese would be fun instead!  I really wish I had used the triangles I cut out of the cheese pieces as arrowheads... I just didn't think of it.  Maybe next year.

I got some cute little heart-shaped ice cube trays in the dollar section at Target.  The kids love anything seasonally themed!

We had rice (recipe at end of post) with heart-shaped carrots.  The only way my kids would eat it was because of the cute carrots!

We also had Skillet Lamb Chops (*side note: I added sliced fennel bulb and skipped the dried onion.  I must say I was so glad I tried something new!  I had gotten a fennel bulb in my organic veggie delivery this week and had no idea what to do with it.  After googling some ideas I discovered that the flavor suits dark chicken meat and lamb well.  Since I love lamb I went for it and I must say fennel bulb is delicious!  Kind of a mix between celery, onion, and potato) and roasted veggies (used potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower).  I thought the cooking time on the roasted veggies was a bit long.  Next time I'd cook them probably 25 min.

All of it was simply fabulous.  I felt like a gourmet chef.  Its been a bit hard to find the time to cook since we added a fifth member of the family, so this felt like a great accomplishment to me!  Prior to children I was a chemist.  I loved working in the lab, and after choosing to stay home cooking brought the same type of enjoyment for me.  I literally was in the kitchen from 2pm until we sat down to eat around 6, but it was totally worth it!  I wouldn't do that every day, but for a special occasion it was fun :)  Can you guess my kids' favorite part of the meal?  If you said the tomatoes, you'd be right!

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of our youngest.  Just imagine this adorable little boy covered in a mess of tomato seeds and you get the idea :)

Savory Rice Medley

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked, long grain rice
2 green onions, sliced
1-2 sliced carrots (optionally, slice and cut into heart shapes)
4 teaspoons chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried basil leaves

In saucepan, combine all ingredients, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.


  1. MMM, sounds like V-Day dinner at your house rocked!

  2. I love how that lamb dish looks like. It’s so mouth-watering. And I also adore those heart-shaped carrots. Please share the recipe.


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