Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some of the Valentine's Day surprises...

Well, I had a change of heart about 9:30 p.m. last night as to what I wanted to make. Instead of lasagna, I'm going to make Caesar salad, bruschetta, my tetrazzini and for dessert either some chocolate chip bars a la mode or this chocolate chip cherry cobbler I found the recipe for.

I switched modes last night from lasagna to tetrazzini because a) it's easy to prepare (read that as it doesn't take 3-4 hours like my homemade lasagna does), b) is very filling and c) it's oh so delicious! The green bell peppers and green onions with the cream cheese... perfect compliment to the spaghetti noodles and meat sauce. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese does the trick!

Caesar Salad - this is super simple -- buy some mixed Romaine lettuce, some Caesar dressing, awesome croutons, grate some fresh pepper and add in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Voila! Instant deliciousness!

  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, diced (or several Roma tomatoes which I use because they have less seeds and more "meat", diced)
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread or a FRESH French baguette
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 sm. onion, finely diced

Bake bread according to package directions. While bread is baking, saute onion and garlic in dash of olive oil. Remove from heat, transfer to bowl and add in all spices and tomatoes. Stir well. Once bread has finished baking, cut into 1/2" - 3/4" slices. Put back in the oven until top side is LIGHTLY toasted (mostly just hard feeling but not to the point it's changing colors). Remove bread from oven and plate it up -- I usually give each guest 2-3 slices, depending on how thick I sliced the bread and how many guests I have. Spoon tomato mixture over the top of each bread slice and then drizzle fresh olive oil over each one. MMMMmmm makes me hungry just thinking of it! It's really a pretty presentation to garnish each one with a fresh basil leaf but that's not necessary if you don't want to.

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • butter or olive oil
  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of seasoned diced tomatoes (I like Del Monte's basil, oregano and garlic ones)
  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 8 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Saute the onion in butter/olive oil. Add hamburger meat and cook until browned. Drain. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper along with the can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. Stir in the green pepper and green onions (tops too) along with the cooked spaghetti. Make sure it's all blended well. Pour into a buttered 9x13x2 casserole dish and top with meat mixture. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over top and bake 30 minutes at 325.

As for the desserts, I was thinking of THIS Chocolate Chip Cherry Cobbler from Betty Crocker. Doesn't this look delicious? Click the link above for the recipe. I don't see how you can go wrong with that combination. YUM-O!

The other option was some chocolate chip cookie bars that will be cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter and then served a la mode and topped with some Hershey's syrup.

AND... as I promised to share what Josh was making for the grandmothers. . . he made these ADORABLE little duct tape roses from a link he found on the internet. You can find the tutorial video HERE. We bought the little red, heart shaped vases at Michael's for $2-3 each and the ribbon was on sale for 50% off so it was like $0.50. He is so proud of these!

And, as if that wasn't enough... they'll also get the photo frames that the boys created for them. Here are the boys working on their frames.

I think they did a great job of finishing these. Three frames per kid -- one for each grandparent. And the pictures I posted yesterday? Those are what are going inside. I hate that I had to crop the heart shaped ones but if the grand-folk want, I can always give them the link to get the ACTUAL uncropped photos to put in their albums. But then they wouldn't have these little mementos to display each Valentine's Day. :) And... personally, THESE are MY favorite kind of gift -- handmade, or better yet, HEART-made. The thought that Joshua puts into each of his gifts is just... it just warms my heart. He knows that my mom's favorite flower is a daisy so he painted daisies all over her frame. He knows his Pawpaw (my dad) is a simple guy so his just has plain hearts on it and he knows that his Mimi and Pop will just appreciate his artistic skills and so he decorated theirs with hearts and tulips. I think they will all be very pleased with their goodies.


SnoWhite said...

what a fun Valentine's Day! Love your creativity with the foods you cooked today.

and... how crafty! those gifts are superb.

thanks for sharing your blog with me!

chksngr said...


We made banana muffins, cards for the grandparents and then Scott and I had a DATE - yes a DATE!!! We actually got to go have a gorgeous dinner without children! WOOHOO!!!

LOVE those roses!!! What an awesome idea - and boys certainly love to make things out of masking or duct tape, don't they!?!?!?