Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Valentine's Day Dinner for the Whole Family

My husband and I usually go out to dinner for Valentine's Day. We usually avoid the crowds on February 14 and go on the Saturday before or after that date. A few years ago, I made my first special family dinner to celebrate the Love Holiday. Amanda was a preschooler, and any excuse to celebrate was welcomed heartily by her (sorry, pun intended). I stretched my mind and went all out. Unfortunately, I apparently did not capture the event on film.

The Menu

Sweetheart Meatloaf (individual hearts)
Mashed potatoes, tinted pink with food coloring
Pillsbury breadsticks twisted into a heart shape before baking**
Green peas (I tried to use the tin heart cookie cutter to mold these into shape, unsuccessfully)
Brownies, baked in a pan as usual, and cut out with the heart shape

We ate in the dining room, on china, by candlelight. I think that there was a little gift beside Amanda's plate. That same year, I tried a green-themed St. Patrick's Meal. I will caution you that green tinted cream gravy for chicken fried steak and green mashed potatoes aren't quite as cute or appetizing as pink ones.

Traditions are fun. Taking time to celebrate is worthy of the effort and planning that it requires. The truth? I did do this meal as described. Once. Three or Four years ago. My promise? I'm doing it again this year.

**Incidentally the Pillsbury website has some fun ideas to make the day, or week, or month special.

Are you the family's designated celebrator? Read this essay (or click the link and you can hear it as I did--surprise--on my podcast subscription to This I Believe).

Click over to Rocks in My Dryer today for all sorts of tips on love, sweet love!


Nikki said...

Great ideas. Thanks for detailing them. We love Valentine's in all forms.

Nikki All OUT Valentine's Day

devildogwife said...

lol at the St Patrick's Meal. It's amazing how something can look great in one color, but horrid in another.

I love you meal ideas!

Becky said...

I got a kick out of your *intended* pun! I love the idea of making a colored and heart shaped Valentine meal. I think I might even try to do that this year. I was hoping to find an inexpensive heart shaped cake mold, but the ones I've seen are really pricey. Anyway, thanks for sharing this with us and for the added sites. Have a great day!

Katrina said...

Love this meal idea. The closest I've come is cutting out heart-shaped brownies, but I'm liking your whole meal approach. Thanks for sharing it.

Larae said...

Cute food ideas! I love the idea of a themed family dinner. Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine's Day! =)

Barbara H. said...

Great ideas, and thanks for the links!

Sara said...

Great meal idea! I'm "stealing" it for my own! Thanks for visiting my blog today.

MUISTO said...

Great idea - thanks!

Since we live in a house that is pained green on the outside, we decided to do a "green day party" a year ago. We invited guests and they had to join us in green clothing only. This day ended up in a very funny dinner.
We still remember, that the vanilla pudding tasted different - depending on being eaten with open or closed eyes :-)

And now I am wondering if anyone in my family would be willing to eat pink mashed potatoes :-)

L.L. Barkat said...

Any ideas for making spaghetti into heart shapes? :)

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

FUN ideas!!! I am heading over to your links...