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!)
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.
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?
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?