Confessions of Valentine’s Day

I have a confession to make. Even though I’m sharing some Valentine’s Day recipes with you, I don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day. I used to, when I was younger and married the first time. But as years passed and I watched people run around on Valentine’s Day like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to find last minute flowers or candy or make dinner reservations, I began to see the whole thing as a silly annual ritual that wasn’t about showing your significant other the depths of your love, but more about fulfilling an obligation or expectation.

David and I feel that the little things we do for each other daily are a better expression of our love than whatever we would buy for each other just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Here are some examples of how my husband shows his love:

1. He makes the coffee every morning so that it’s ready when I come downstairs.

2. He fills up my car with gas and washes it weekly.

3. He cleans up after me in the kitchen.

4. He takes care of Callie the Beagle.

5. He supports all of my endeavors, whether it’s going back to school, quitting my job, starting a food blog, or writing a book. He’s always my biggest cheerleader.

6. He thinks ahead to things that might be important to me and sets the DVR accordingly.

7. He periodically brings me little gifts just because.

8. He tells me daily how much he appreciates and adores me.

9. He shares his beautiful daughter with me as if she were my own.

10. He loves my boys as if they were his own. This was not always the case, but they have grown into it and it warms my heart more than anything else.

There are more, and there are things I do for him as well although I think it might be egotistical for me to list those. But this is a snapshot of why we don’t feel it necessary to buy each other cards or other gifts on Valentine’s Day. We do go out to dinner with our friends but there’s about 20 of us and it is as far from a romantic occasion as you can possibly get. It’s always a fun, loud, laughter-filled evening.

For those of you who do celebrate Valentine’s Day, or just want to create a romantic Saturday at home, here are a few recipes that should help. Mostly chocolate because what’s more romantic than chocolate?

Start the morning off with breakfast in bed with coffee and these Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Then take a long, morning walk and follow that with a mid-morning snack of healthy Breakfast Cookies.

breakfast cookies

Work some crossword puzzles or play around on Facebook and then have a late lunch of sandwiches with Chicken Salad with Grapes.

chicken salad with grapes

After an afternoon of boutique shopping, head back home for movie night and a cozy dinner in front of the fire where you enjoy these Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cheesy Polenta.

beef short ribs

And for dessert as you enjoy champagne in front of the fire with your love reading to you William Carlos Williams’ poem This is Just to Say:

Shortbread with Chocolate Nutella Ganache, Streusel, and Salted Caramel.

Salted Caramel Streusel Shortbread with Chocolate Ganache

Valentine’s or not, this would be a perfect, romantic day.

Enjoy!

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