Sunday, February 13, 2011

A menu full of love, no love handles.

Valentine's Day. Just another Hallmark holiday to me. I was going through an old shoebox that holds a collection of all the pictures, notes, cards, and such from my entire relationship with the hubby. Reminiscing of those school days and age of innocence was such fun. I just so happened to keep the first Valentine's Day card my husband got me, at the time a 17-year-old boyfriend, and I just so happened to run into it while rummaging through the box. He wrote a note, "Our first of many Valentine's Days to come..." Kind of foreshadowing in a sense, huh? Here we are SEVEN Valentine's Days later! How sweet. I love love-Thank you Cupid for doing your job.

But unlike most couples, we aren't huge gift givers. In fact, I was just telling him the other night that I'd rather go many years full of giftless birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries, etc. so I can manifest my gifts into one ultimate gift on our five year wedding anniversary--an upgrade to a two carat diamond. YESSSSS! Maybe some would disagree, but I am happy to go without gifts for a huge diamond! But as of now, in this moment, Valentine's Day isn't such a big deal. It reminds me of Sweetest Day. People in the Northeastern Great Lakes Region know what I am saying. Just a holiday for another excuse to buy a card and the works.

We all know that our hearts are omnipresent during this special day though. So whether yours are in the form of  greeting cards, gourmet chocolate, cookies, teddy bears, or flowers, just make sure it comes with a whole bunch of love. My way of spending Valentine's Day is by cooking up a home cooked meal--full of love, no love handles! (as quoted by Martha Stewart).

Here's a quiz for you: (the answer is at the bottom of this post)

What holiday marks the most purchased greeting cards?
A. Valentine's Day
B. Mother's Day
C. Father's Day
D. Christmas

On the menu: Roasted scallops wrapped in proscuitto with orzo and roasted parmesan cauliflower

Above & Below: This is before I cooked the scallops. Some of them needed to be held together by toothpicks because they got a thicker piece of prosciutto.

Next time I plan on using bigger scallops.

Above: Roasted parmesan cauliflower screaming, "Eat me! Eat me!" 

Below: I almost forgot to take a picture of the finished scallops before they were gone!

As Eric (my husband) said, "This is a five star dinner." Things like that make me smile and are a reminder as to why I love to cook! However, the cooking part is easy, but the planning part is hard!
I have been trying hard to meal plan for the week because I go to the market EVERYDAY!! and I spend hours on end in the morning trying to figure out what I am going to make for dinner.

There are so many reasons you should plan a weekly food menu:
1. It saves time. I believe this one--I have literally sat online for two hours looking up recipe ideas. Trust me, it was a waste of time. And time is money, so they say!
2. It saves money. By meal planning, you write down a set list of items, and therefore, no more impulse buys! Those cookies may look good on the shelf, but does your recipe call for cookies?!
3. It saves energy. This goes with time in a sense, but how much energy is put forth trying to figure out what to make for the evening? For me, a lot! At the end of it, I get so frustrated that I don't even want to cook anymore.
4. It saves waste. Ever forget about items in your fridge? I have! I have! And only to find them moldy? I have! I have! Plus meal planning ensures leftovers...unless it was a DYNAMITE recipe, right?!
5. It saves your kitchen from disorganization. Because you have a set grocery list, you will no longer have unnecessary items placed sporadically throughout your pantry.
6. It saves unneccessary trips to the store. Ever have some food on hand, but you are missing one thing that cannot be substituted? I've actually been in the middle of cooking a meal before--in fact it was homemade sloppy joes, but I didn't have buns or bread to go with it. How foolish of me!
7. It saves you! Meal planning is healthy for your body--mentally, physically and emotionally. Not only does it prevent you from feeling drained and stressed, it prevents you from eating poorly!

Everybody jump on the bandwagon! Time to make meal planning part of your daily lives! Well, correction, your weekly lives! Ha!

In honor of celebrating a day about love, I just had to post three of my favorite love songs.

This is a classic!

This is our wedding song <3 <3

I LOOOOVVVE this song. Even though it is not the original... I love Michael Buble's voice. It's classy!

Other songs I love:
The Way You Look Tonight
You Got me by Colbie Caillat
High School Musical's You are the Music in me

The answer is D. Christmas. Post offices go stir crazy with all those cards and mail!

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