Valentine’s Day Food & Fun

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I love food, so it’s probably no surprise that my Valentine’s Day weekend revolved around it. The celebration kicked off Friday night, when my mom and I fried up some potatoes and eggs. It’s my favorite no-meat meal during Lent; there’s just something deliciously comforting about it, especially when it’s piled atop a thick, buttered slice of bread. Saturday brought more tasty treats: Valentine’s-themed doughnuts for dessert and a bag filled with gifts and chocolate and candy. (Thanks, mom! Love you!)

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On Sunday, Todd and I celebrated the commercial holiday by attending a gelato-making class together. We learned a base recipe that could adapt to any flavor: For chocolate, we mixed in cocoa powder. For french vanilla, we swirled the base with a caramel-like vanilla sauce. The recipe was really simple: milk, heavy cream, two types of sugar, milk powder, and a mixture of guar and carob gums to replace the egg traditionally used in gelato. Todd and I took turns measuring out the ingredients, and we worked with the other couples to make sure each batch turned out well. We left with four flavors: chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, and Snickers. Overall we both really enjoyed the experience and thought it was well worth the time and money.

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For dinner that night, Mom made one of our favorite dishes: spiced chicken fajitas loaded with peppers, onions, and melty cheese! And she didn’t skimp on the fixings; we also had sour cream and guacamole. She even made some ground beef and hard shells, just in case anyone wanted tacos alongside their fajitas. Pink and white place settings and a red tablecloth completed the Valentine’s Day spread. Who needs an expensive fancy dinner when you have home-cooked food made with love?

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But we didn’t stop there. Since I had the day off from work on Monday, I decided to spend some time baking. I wanted to make something I’d never attempted before, so I settled on doughnuts and blondies. For the former, I experimented with flavors: cinnamon-sugar, maple-salt, powdered, jelly filled, toasted coconut. For the latter I stayed classic with a hint of vanilla into the batter, heaping handfuls of chocolate chips and walnuts, and a lightly toasted coconut topping.

How did you celebrate? What do you think is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert?

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