Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a wife and mother (especially with three tall men making up my family; my husband, a teenager, and a young adult), it is that one of the best ways to show love is to feed them. You know the old saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, it’s usually true!
Now, I’m all for healthy living and eating, and there are times when that trumps such luxuries as Valentine’s Day treats. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to make something healthy. But I’m also a firm believer in making life enjoyable for my family, so sometimes “fun” food wins!
Going out to eat is nice, but can be especially busy on holidays such as Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you are saving money and don’t wish to go out to an expensive restaurant, have young children at home and it’s not always easy to get (or afford) a sitter, or wish to have a special family day together (and save your special “date night” for the evening or another more practical day).
There are creative ways to enjoy eating at home, whether it’s just you and your special someone, or a family holiday together.
Sometimes it’s special to spend hours in the kitchen, crafting an exquisite meal at home complete with fancy side dishes and dessert, but I live in the real world, where most often something simple is desirable…..and did I mention that I’m dealing with men, here? Even my husband admits that men like simple.
So here are some simple food ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your family without spending your whole day in the kitchen:
1. Order take-out: It may seem obvious, but ordering take-out food to eat at home is both fun and can be much cheaper than eating in a restaurant.
2 Pick up a favorite coffee or surprise treat: Surprise your loved one(s) by stopping at their favorite coffee drive-through or bringing home donuts or ice-cream.
3. Make-your-own special hot or cold drink: We love to make cafe-style hot beverages at home using our battery-operated milk frother, and our favorite iced coffee is now homemade, cold-brewed. (More on drink recipes later!)
4. Choose foods that are naturally red or pink: Desserts or salads with strawberries or other red fruits make festive choices. One of my favorite bloggers recently shared a whole list of 29 Fun treat Recipes for Valentine’s Day!
5. Make something “usual” in an unusual shape: Kids of all ages love heart-shaped pancakes (using a heart-shaped pancake mold, “winging it” like I have on my own, or even crafting your own tinfoil molds ; there’s even a link with instructions for making heart-shaped bacon!)
6. Cook or bake one of their favorites (no matter the color or shape): I even purchased an entire cream cheese cookbook (years ago when they would allow sales people to leave them for us to browse at work), in order to obtain many different cheesecake recipes since it was one of my husband’s favorites.
7. Decorate desserts or treats with appropriately colored sprinkles or candies: Appropriately colored sprinkles (red, pink, white) or cinnamon hearts make regular cookies, brownies or whipped-cream look special.
8. Serve food or drinks in appropriately colored or decorated dishes, mugs or paper-ware: Pull out your red mugs and dishes or pick up some Valentine-themed paper goods.
As you can see, with a little effort and imagination, you can make the day feel special (and still find time to relax yourself). These ideas can be switched up for other holidays and special occasions as well. One anniversary (long ago, before kids), when funds were extremely tight, I made pizza at home for just the two of us in the shape of a heart. I’ve made heart-shaped pizzas since then for my family on various occasions! Fun!
Did anyone happen to notice that none of these photos were exactly of Valentine’s Day goodies? I guess I need to start taking more photos of my Valentine’s Day treats! Tomorrow I plan to make either strawberry shortcake or homemade pound cake with strawberries, and I’ll be sure to take a photo!
Have fun with those you love this Valentine’s Day!
What kinds of heart-shaped foods have you cooked or baked? Do you have any other practical but fun Valentine’s Day ideas?