Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's wrap-up

The Hubbs and I say I love you every day, and we have never celebrated Valentine's before. This year, I planned a few surprises for him:

Baking...
I found this cookie cutter set at Micheal's and decided some valentine's cookies would be in order to take in to work. The cutter has a little plastic pusher, so dough doesn't get stuck in the little spaces. This, I'm sure, will eventually break, but for now it's super fun! The included recipe is a basic sugar cookie recipe with the addition of some ground almonds and cinnamon, and the cookies were great. You bake the tops and bottoms, then add a teaspoon of jam on the bottom cookie, dust the tops with powdered sugar, and smoosh together. I used raspberry jam homemade by one of my coworkers, and they were delicious! The cutter set includes hearts in several variations, plus lips and "XO"...which I stood on it's side to make scull-and-crossbones.

Crafting....

I made The Hubbs a card and left it on his driver's seat on Monday morning. The Eiffel Tower is one I printed from Google Images and then just traced over with a blue pen. Mounted on brown, It has some chunks of folded paper between it and the card so it stands out.

The Hubbs was going to bring the card back home and tack it to the tack board.
Me: why don't you put it up at work?
Hubbs: I thought you'd want it at home
Me: you don't have any pictures of me at work. (emotional blackmail implied...)
Hubbs: yes I do, that picture from our wedding of us walking down the street.
Me: you mean the one of us from the BACK!?
Hubbs: alright, I'll put it up at work

Yeah. That's right.


The ribbon is Martha Stewart, found in the scrapbooking section. The back peels off, making it a sticker. Genius!

Cooking...

I told The Hubbs I was planning a secret V-day dinner, and he bugged me all week to tell him what it was. We had dinner Saturday, since I had to work Sunday-Tuesday nights. I wanted to recreate the foods we loved on our honeymoon in Paris: steamed mussels in a shared pot, fries to dip in there, of course, salad with goat cheese toasts, cheese, grapes, and a fruit tart. Going with Ina's "make 2, buy the rest" theory, which I usually cannot bring myself to do, (must...prove myself...by making everything from scratch!) I bought the tart, and the salad was mostly assembly, so it was really an easy meal to prepare.


The mussels were surprisingly easy to make: saute shallots in butter and oil, add wine, boil, add mussles, clamp the top on, keep on the heat for about 5 minutes, a-shake-a-shake-a several times to mix them up in there, and eat-em-up as soon as they're all open. Yum! (and yes, other than this transgression, I don't eat meat. I don't use the word "vegetarian" any more, because for the 9 years I was one, it really bugged me when cheaters called themselves vegetarians. It confuses people who see "vegetarians" eating fish or some other cheat, and then those people think fish is a vegetable they can serve you.)

The oven-baked fries were...pretty good. Let's be honest, a deep fryer the oven is not, and no oven-baked fry will ever really be as good as a fried one. But you can get pretty close.

For the Salade de Chèvre Chaud, a staple on every french menu, I lightly pre-toasted in the toaster baguette sliced on the bias, (an improvement, I think, from the traditional french method, in which the toast that ends up under the piece of goat cheese never gets crisped and ends up a touch soggy), then very lightly rubbed one side of each toast with the sliced end of a garlic clove. Then threw on some runny, aged goat cheese (usually they use fresh, but this stuff looked so good at Plum Market) and broiled for a minute. A simple salad of romaine tossed in balsamic with a little mustard completes the dish easily.


...Then we watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yup, I know how to please my man.

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