“Valentimes” Day

Only one snow day this past week which left 4 actual days of work. And on Thursday, it reached 51 degrees, while back in PA my family and friends were getting pounded with 12+ inches of snow, rain and sleet. It was a fun week to work in an early childhood center, with Valentine’s day coming up. We usually give the kids a “party day” and it’s chaotic and hilarious to see how excited the kids get. We talked about who we love in therapy and superheroes ranked pretty high for my kids. In my  sessions this week, we made “Valentimes” for moms and dads (pretty common for my kids to pronounce it this way) and made our own “Love Monster” after reading the adorable children’s book by Rachel Bright. Check them out below.

vday crafts

After all of my car troubles, Nick decided to drive to my place this weekend. I told him that I would make us a 3 course Valentine’s meal. I go to his place most weekends, so I really enjoy cooking in my own kitchen when I have the chance. I borrowed a few of the recipes below from Pinterest and will share the links. Prep started Thursday night when I headed to Aldi’s and stacked my cart with ingredients. If you know me, you know that I love dessert so let’s start there. The first thing I made, Oreo Bomb Cake from “The View from 510” blog, needed to be in the frig for 8 hours so I decided to make it the night before. Here is a before shot on the left showing the layers that make up this tasty dessert. On the right is the finished shot, with a huge chunk taken out because I had already served it to Nick. (He gave two thumbs up but requested a smaller piece next time!)

precakecake

Friday after work, I hustled into the kitchen to get started on the appetizer and meal portions. First up, a spinach salad with chopped almonds and pecans and freshly sliced strawberries. I made an Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette Dressing with a few spare ingredients that I found in my kitchen. When grocery shopping, a salad dressing didn’t really cross my mind. Thank God for the internet!  Below is the dressing in the works. I used my heart shaped measuring spoons that were party favors from my good friend Theresa’s bridal shower last year. Perfect for this Valentine’s day creation!

dressingsalad

The main course was my favorite part by far. Paired with a little Pinot Grigio, it was filling and flavorful. I made Crock Pot Sausage and Cheese Tortellini from the “Ice Cream with a Fork” blog. The sausage needed to be browned ahead of time but otherwise it was an easy meal, with all ingredients in the crockpot for 4 hours with a lid and the final half hour without the lid. This allowed the sauce to thicken up at the end. The recipe made plenty and we will be eating the rest later this weekend. The before picture shows the spoonfuls of cream cheese. The after picture was taken after we had actually eaten. I almost forgot to catch a shot of the meal!

mealtort

All in all, I’d say the “Valentimes” meal was a success. It was really nice to enjoy a meal over a long stretch of time (Nick insists it was too long of a stretch). A meal also tastes really good when you know the prep that went into it. Given that it’a three day weekend, I am glad to have two more days to relax. We are currently watching the movie, “I Love You, Man,” on TV and Nick is doing his best impersonations of “Slappin’ da bass mon.” Happy Weekend Everyone!

dinnernick

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10 thoughts on ““Valentimes” Day

  1. Wow, I am so impressed with your cooking skills. You must have taken after me. (haha) What a meal!! I love the before and after pics. Some day we will have to open up a cafe together:)
    love you,
    Mom

  2. What a lovely Valentine’s dinner. Boy Tara you have become quite cook, Nick’s lucky to have you. Your place looks really nice and that dessert looks sooo good. I need the recipe.

  3. I think the best valentines are home made and just getting too spend time together:) that sounded perfect! I’m sure it was served with “a whole lot of love and a dash of spice!” 😀

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