I have just decided on our Valentine's Day menu for tomorrow, and I'm preparing to hit the grocery store before it is besieged with shoppers loading up on shrimp cocktails, lobster tails, and chocolate dipped strawberries. I always debate on whether I want to go to a restaurant for dinner or stay at home and cook for myself and family. Cooking at home usually wins out.
When you have 3 Kids, Valentine's Day turns into a group event. The Husband and I have been married for 18 years; we have old love. I remember our first few Valentine's Days together. Red roses, heart shaped boxes of candy, dinners out on the town. Those are still all good things.
Then our family started to grow. During my early motherhood days, I would cut giant hearts out of red and pink construction paper for my Kids Valentine's Day cards. That tradition has fallen by the wayside. This year I made big sugar cookies dipped in chocolate and piled with jimmies and sprinkles for the Kids to share with their lunch tables. With 2 middle schoolers and a high schooler, there are no longer any Valentine's Day class parties to bake for. No Thank You Boy asked why I was making cookies for him to share with his friends because no other mom does anything like that. I said it is just what I do. Some people must exercise or keep their homes immaculately clean or have a fulfilling job to be happy. I, on the other hand, NEED to bake a pound cake, chocolate chip cookies or brownies to have a satisfying day. There is just something about mixing up butter and sugar in my Kitchen Aid mixer that makes me happy. If my cake stand is empty, it is not a good day. Today it is filled with chow mein noodle haysacks. It's a good day.
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 - 5 cups chow mein noodles
Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a heat proof bowl over simmering water. Add chow mein noodles and stir. The noodles should be coated thoroughly. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper and sprinkle with sprinkles. Let harden.
Tomorrow evening, The Husband has said he wants us to prepare dinner together. He is your basic Grill Man during the summer months so cooking dinner together will be a somewhat new experience. Our menu will consist of Seared Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Au Jus, Fettuccine Alfredo, Roasted Asparagus, and Creme Brulee and Chocolate Mousse. Yes, we will be having 2 desserts. I love them both. There will be some wine and champagne too I imagine. I am expecting a few interruptions as My Oldest goes off to the movies with friends or My Middle One needs a ride to her BFF's house for a sleepover or No Thank You Boy heads to the neighbor's to play Wii.
Interruptions are the norm in our lives at this time. I have been thinking about the day when The Husband and I will no longer spend Friday nights watching No Thank You Boy play lacrosse, or pack a day's worth of food for a softball tournament early on a Sunday morning, or make countless trips to the movie theater, mall, and friends' houses all over town. Our lives will be more quiet then. But on the other hand, I'm sure we will find some interesting adventures to fill our days. I think we will get away on one of those adventures this weekend.
Happy Valentine's Day!