Friday, February 11, 2011

valentines ideas + i'm off!

While making your friends and family homemade meals shows your love any day of the year, with Valentine's Day on Monday, I wanted to share a few of our family's favorite treats and meal ideas that could make the day even more festive. Making the meal special can be as simple as adding something red to the plate, like strawberries on some protein pancakes, or strawberry jam on toast.

Or, if you have the time (which is unlikely, since Valentines is on a Monday this year!) you can get a little fancier and make heart shaped egg in toasts.

If you have a little one coming home for lunch, why not surprise them with a heart-shaped meal, like this one of mine that was featured on The Daily Meal.

Even just cutting that sandwich into the shape of a heart might bring a smile to your little one when they open their lunchbox.

When it comes to dinner, the recipe I just posted for mini turkey meatloaves can be zig-zagged with ketchup to make them festive and red for Monday. If you want to get all Martha, you could even shape them into hearts and serve them up for dinner on Monday. A little over-the-top, I know. My family will be enjoying them just as you see above.

If you do whip up a batch of these meatloaves, they're great with roasted sweet potato wedges-- just cut the sweet potatoes into spears versus rounds, carrot & parsnip fries or mashed potatoes. Someone told me they tint their mashed potatoes pink on Valentine's Day (with beet juice or India Tree red food coloring). I'm not so sure how that would go over here and I'd hate to waste a batch of fabulous mashed potatoes? But it's another idea!

For an after school snack (or a really simple lunch or dinner), you could let your kids create their own yogurt parfaits with yogurt + their favorite granola + strawberries (I add a little sugar to frozen ones this time of year which gives them a syrup-y consistency my kids like).

Or, if you're feeling really inspired (and a little crazy), you could get up at the crack of dawn and bake a batch of my family's favorite scones right before you jump on a plane. While these are amazing, I'd recommend you don't try to make them before the school bus arrives. Instead, give the kids a hug, get them off to school and then make a cup of coffee and relax while making these. Having them ready when everyone gets home from school will be an extra special treat.

Anyway, back to the jumping on a plane thing... this is actually going to be the only post this week because I am going to do a one-week self-imposed media freeze. (This should be interesting, and mildly alarming to my system.) Next week, after baking those scones, I am going to be relishing lots of yoga, thoughtful talks, hiking, amazing meals and time with my mom.

While I am being ever-so-quiet, don't forget that you can still search for old recipes here in the upper right hand corner (though I find that to be an imperfect science, often not being able to locate a particular recipe by keyword even though I know it is there because I posted the darn thing!!) or you can scroll a bit further down and look at the recipes by category. Either way, I hope you have a wonderful week of cooking and enjoying simple, healthful meals with those you love.

1 comment:

  1. Happy heart day to you!!!! Have a wonderful time with your beautiful mama!!!!


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