Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

We had a very busy Valentine's Day this year.  Alex was out of town last weekend, but was going to be back in time for dinner, so in keeping with my usual Valentine's tradition, I planned a huge gourmet meal for the evening.  And as usual, most of the recipes were new ones that I had never tried before.  Although, this year, I let Princess M browse the recipes with me and help pick out the dishes for the meal. 

I actually began making things the night before, like the pound cake for the fondue and several of the sauces for the meal that could just be reheated for the actual meal.  I also prepped the dough for our heart scones that I planned for breakfast for me and the girls.  The scones turned out great, by the way, we'll be keeping that recipe for sure. 

After breakfast, and a little clean up around the house, we headed off to the grocery store to pick a few items we needed.  I'm really glad we did, because they just happened to have a clown at the store that morning, painting faces and making balloon animals for the kids; as well as chocolate covered strawberries for samples.  It was a real treat for the girls.  Here's a shot of their cheeks  before they got too smeared up.  

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen.  Princess M was a big help to me this year.  She washed fruit for me, and pretty much made the chocolate dipped, stuffed cherries all on her own, with just a little help.  She had a lot of fun doing it too.  Banana Girl helped me make the mixed berry lemonade (from real lemons and berries).  We made a black raspberry swirl cheesecake (that we actually didn't get around to eating until today.)  We also had cold raspberry soup; sirloin steak with a tangy, chocolate sauce; fontina scalloped potatoes; and a simple mandarin orange, almond salad.  I absolutely loved the way the steaks and potatoes turned out.  Those are definite keeper recipes too.  It ended up being a very nice dinner that even the girls enjoyed. 

We had a chocolate fondue on the menu for dessert, but by the time Alex finally got home from the airport, we had eaten this huge dinner, and cleaned up, it was really late and we were all stuffed.  So the fondue will have to wait until tomorrow. 

Throughout the day, Princess M had a lot of fun making homemade Valentines to put in our new love mailboxes that I made Alex build for me before he left, and that we painted together on Saturday.  She checks them every morning and throughout the day to see if her flag is up, signalling a special delivery in the box.  It's been a fun new tradition, that I'm contemplating keeping available throughout the year. 

So anyway, we had a lovely Valentine's Day, a very yummy dinner, and we so excited to get our daddy and husband back from his work trip.  I think though, that next time I'm 8 months pregnant on Valentine's, I need to back off on the menu.  My back was killing me by dinner time and my feet are still sore even today.  It was tasty though.  (I'll be posting the recipes on my recipe blog later today.)  Hope you all had a great day as well!

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